The Falkland Islands are magnificent. The island of archipelago consists of a large number of islands, and their number reaches 200 on an area of 12,000 km2. The most famous islands are East and West Falkland, two main islands, and they are about 480 km away from Argentina.
These islands are called in French the Malouines, in Spanish the Malvinas, and in English, the Falklands. It is an overseas territory that belongs to Britain, and its capital is Stanley.
There has been a conflict between Britain and Argentina for control of these islands for a long time. That is because of their geographical location, which is considered a source of oil. Over the years, settlements of different nationalities, such as Argentine, French, Spanish, and Britain, have been established. Then Britain imposed control over it in 1933, and Argentina attacked the islands, and the war ended with the loss of Argentina, and Britain imposed rule again.
Hunting and farming are very common there. It is also favourite place for nature lovers, as it includes more than 220 species of birds. There are sea lions, elephants, whales, and penguins.
How to Travel to the Falkland Islands
There are three main methods to travel to these islands, which are:
- Travel from the United Kingdom to the Falkland Islands via a direct flight via the Royal Air Force, and the plane departs twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday.
- You can go by sea on cruise ships and on trips between October and March.
- Another way to travel to the Falkland Islands is through South America, through Chile from Santiago Airport, a one-day flight travelling from Chile to the Falkland Islands and returning on the same day.
Weather in the Falkland Islands
The climate of the Falkland Islands is characterised by cold marine. It is snowy and cold in winter; in the summer, it is freezing, with rain and strong wind. The humidity on the islands is high, so the sky is cloudy most days of the year, and the temperature in January and February is about 11 degrees and can rise to 16 degrees.
The temperature in June, July, and August is about 3 degrees, which is the coldest month and can rise to 6 degrees. The Falkland Islands’ climate is semi-polar, rarely warm, and snowy from April to December.
Things to do in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Island is a great place to spend a magnificent vacation, where you will live in nature and explore it. Its population doesn’t transgress about 3,000, which makes it much easier to roam in the country and have much relaxation, so let us start discovering these beautiful islands and the things to do there.
Stanley: Capital City of Falkland Islands
Stanley is located on the East Island, and about 2,000 people live in the capital city, and the nice thing is that the town was built on a facing slope to maximise exposure to the sun. While visiting the city, you will see that its homes are painted with bright colours, with iron roofs, and you can see Stanley Harbour.
Also, you can explore the city while walking on foot and see many military and marine monuments, and that is dedicated to the Falkland Islands War, which was between British and Argentine troops in 1982. One of the top attractions in Stanley is the Jubilee Villas. It was built in 1887 to memorialise Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
After you finish visiting the city attractions, you can buy beautiful souvenirs from the shops there, like leather and woollen goods, which is what the city is famous for.
Christ Church Cathedral
Another top attraction you can visit in Stanley is the Christ Church Cathedral. It is an Anglican cathedral in the world’s southernmost. The cathedral is one of a few buildings built with stone on the Falkland Islands, and Sir Arthur Blomfield designed it.
When you are at the cathedral, you will find the Whalebone Arch. It was made from the jaws of two blue whales in 1933 and was designed to memorialise the centenary of British rule.
The Dockyard Museum is a famous spot in Stanley; it was opened in 2014 and focused on the history of the Falkland Islands. When you visit the museum, you will see exhibits that contain historical artefacts like things related to fishing, industry, and ship figures.
Another section in the museum that you can find is the island’s natural history, such as a collection of bones, more information about the island, and its connection with Antarctica.
There are also other buildings besides the museum, like a storehouse, a structure that includes a collection of farm equipment, musical equipment, and many other things, including more displays focusing on the 1982 Argentina war.
Watching the Penguins of Volunteer Point
The Volunteer Point is just two hours away from the capital city of Stanley. It is perfect for watching the penguins and the wildlife. Located on the East Island; you will be able to see about 1,200 pairs of penguins sharing a colony.
You can see sea lions, steamer ducks, and white-bridled finches other than penguins. On your tour, you will have a guide answering all your questions while watching the penguins.
South Georgia Island
South Georgia Island is about 862 miles away from the Falkland Islands, a UK Overseas Territory, and on the island, you can see its mountains and glaciers that are covered with snow.
The island contains two British Antarctic Research Stations and also a museum. It is also a perfect spot for natural wildlife, where you can see most of the world’s population of southern elephant seals that comes there every year to breed. Many penguins live on that island beside albatross and reindeer.
South Georgia Museum
The South Georgian Museum was established in 1991 as a whaling museum. Still, after that, it included things about the island’s history, and it is in a whaling station manager’s house built in 1916 by a whaler from Norway.
Also, in the museum, you can see displays that show the discoveries that took place on the island, natural history, sealing, and many other things. And besides exhibits related to the 1982 Falkland Islands War.
Cemeteries and Monuments Located in the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands contains many cemeteries and monuments you would like to visit, such as Stanley’s old cemetery, which includes many tombstones with inscriptions. On the cemetery’s north side, you will find the Cross of Sacrifice, a memorial to the Falkland Islanders who were killed in World War I and II.
Also, there is the Victory Green, a military monument of World War II, and it is a scene of an annual parade on the Queen’s Birthday. The 1982 Liberation Memorial is for the memory of the soldiers who sadly lost their lives in the Falkland Islands War.
The Government House is the place that memorialises the sea battle between the German and British navies in WWI.
Wildlife in the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are full of wildlife, and that is one of the things that visitors love to see when they come to the islands. There are many colonies of penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, and many species of whales, dolphins, and birds. Two species of birds are considered unique on the islands: the Cobb’s Wren and the Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck.
The most famous creatures to see there are the penguins, with six kinds of them located there, such as the king, Gentoo, royal, and much more, and the perfect place to see them is at the Volunteer Point and the Gypsy Cove.
Along with all that, you can discover more species while exploring the island and having a great time, like the Falklands Fritillary butterfly.
West Falkland Island
West Falkland Island is a beautiful place to visit; it covers 4,500 km2 and is well-known for its steep coastal cliffs and hilly interior. The island is famous for many plants, like 163 types and 21 kinds of birds.
On the island, there is a settlement called Port Howard, and it is a central sheep-farming community that offers great places to stay, including a guesthouse, an excellent breakfast, and a comfy bed. While at Port Howard, you can explore many places, like a small museum with exhibits related to sheep farming. A perfect place for hikers that they can try is Mount Maria, which is the third-highest peak.
The Outer Islands
Other than East and West Falkland, which are famous for their wildlife, there are organised tours for these islands. The most interesting island is the Jason Islands, where you can see wildlife and birds like the striated caracara, the world’s rarest bird of prey.
Sea Lion Island is in the southern part of the Falkland Islands, and tourists come to the island to see sea lions, penguins, and seabirds. Pebble Island is a sheep-farming island containing grassy plains, and it is one of the rare places where you can see six different kinds of Penguins.