Purple Island Al Khor is surrounded by Mangroves and is suitable for family outings. You can go there with a normal car. You can do all the things you want to do at the seaside, and more. We recommend going there during high tide. This is a perfect alternative to staying in Doha 🙂
Best Way to offbeat Purple Island, Al Khor, Northeast Qatar
Purple Island is reached by driving to Al Khor and continuing towards Al Thakira. After passing two Roundabouts turn right at a newly build Al Meera Supermarket. At the T-Junction turn left and drive for about 5 km until you reach a signpost leading to a dirt-road saying “Flower Each Spring”. Follow this dirt-road for about 2 km in a very gentle right curve until you reach the rest of a former causeway and park your car.
No 4×4 or SUV required
There used to be a causeway leading to Purple Island, however the causeway has been dismantled recently. In order to reach the island you will have to wade through knee deep water and mud/sand. Take care because the ground can be slippery!
Flamingos, thousands of small shell crabs, and fossils
Mangroves, salt water creeks, flamingos, small beaches, crabs, natural salt ponds, fireflies, worms, flowers, 100.000 shells, fossils, limestone rock formations, historical areas that contain views of tidal fish traps which represent traditional fishing methods. These are only a few of the things that can be discovered when exploring Purple Island
Walk, Paddle, Swim, and alternative outdoor activities
This is an excellent place for some relaxing water-sports, easy rock climbing, chilling on the beach and hiking at full-moon.
+ wading and looking at creatures found in the creek: glass shrimp, mud crabs, snails, barnacles, sea squirts and other organisms
+ splash around between the mangroves (during high tide): little natural salt ponds allow you and your kids to splash in shallow water – it’s safe!
+ enjoy the beach, waves and current are not strong
+ climb the limestone rock and enjoy the view
+ taste salty plants: The edible plant salicornia (pickleweed, glasswort or samphire greens) grows among mangroves. Try the yellow parts of the plant in comparison to the green – you will see that the yellow tastes much saltier. This is a clever trick for the plant to get rid of all this salt. For those of you who are interested in botanics and culinary details, here some informative links:
+ paddle through the mangroves with Kayaks
Kayak providers in the region:
Best time to visit Purple Island in Al Khor
Creeks cut across the walking path a few times and depending on the tide they are a few inches deep or dry. We recommend to visit purple island in the hours before during and shortly after high tide.
Check out the tides: http://qweather.gov.qa/Tide.aspx (make sure to set your place on ‚Al Khor‘
Facilities around Purple Island
Before reaching Purple Island you can stop at Al-Khor and buy some snacks at small shops or eat at local restaurants. There is an Almeera Supermarket on your way.
No wash-room facilities on the island
No shaded facilities – mind the sun in the summer months
Fun Facts about Purple Island
* What is purple at purple Island?
Purple Island has 4,000 years of archeological history. About 3,000 years ago, people used to make purple dye from the murex snails. You can still find many shells of these snails on the island.
Another reason for the colored name of the island comes from the many purple flowers, which blossom every spring.
Other names for purple island are Jazirat al Ghanem
Seablite (Suaeda vermiculata),
What are Mangroves?
Mangroves are incredible plants which are able to grow from saltwater. Some block salt at their roots, others secrete excess salt through their leaves. They thrive at the coast around Qatar but Purple Island is one of the best places to see them close up. Mangroves are a sanctuary for birds, fishes and shrimps as they find shelter and food. Did you know that these plants play a major global role in climate change mitigation? Their total carbon deposit per square kilometer may be up to five times the carbon stored in tropical forests. Look out for the aerial roots that stick out of the ground and do not wade through the water near them.
Wikipedia – Mangroves
Unfortunately Purple Island and its surroundings are victims of ignorant & lazy people who leave their trash. Please take your trash and leave the place in a better condition than you found it.