To gain an idea of the significance of these burial mounds on the approach to A’Ali, visit Manama's Bahrain National Museum beforehand. The mounds, which date from the Dilmun period, encase burial chambers used for all members of society, young and old. At 15m in height and 45m in diameter, the tallest mounds are referred to as the ‘Royal Tombs’, and it’s easy to see why: they give A'Ali, an otherwise humble town of potters and bakers, a regal presence.
From Manama, take the Sheikh Sulman Hwy south past Isa Town, then turn west along A’Ali Hwy and follow the signs to the mounds; the journey takes 20 minutes by car. Keep your eyes open either side of the highway for other burial mounds: there are more than 100,000 of them in Bahrain. An erratic bus service links Manama and A'Ali.