The Falkland Islands are a group of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean and are one of 14 British Overseas Territories. The island chain is located about 240 miles from the Argentinian coast and about 1,200 miles from the southern tip of South America.
Queen Elizabeth II governs this territory as head of state. Since 1816, it has been a British Crown Colony with a governor appointed by the Foreign Office. Today, there are two main settlements on these islands: Port Stanley and Goose Green.
This article introduces this beautiful archipelago with some background on its history and provides information on what you need to know if you decide to visit these stunning islands.
The Falkland Islands, History
The Falkland Islands were discovered in the 16th century, but it was not until 1764 that the British established their first settlement on the islands. The inhabitants of these islands were whalers and seal hunters, who would stay for only a few weeks at a time before returning to Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego. A year after the French established themselves on La Manche, the Falklands became one of the first areas in which hostilities were embarked upon between France and Great Britain.
But under the terms of the Peace of Paris in 1814, the French relinquished their claim to the islands. It was then that Colonel Moody arrived with troops to garrison the islands against potential French aggression.
In 1833, an international commission declared that ‘the Island of Malvinas’ should belong to Argentina if no other European power claimed them within 30 years. This declaration resulted in an Argentinian protest. In 1867, another commission made up of three British and three American members ruled that they belonged rightfully to Great Britain because no other European country had taken possession of the Falkland Islands.
In 1982, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands shortly after they invaded South Georgia Island – both as part of Operation Rosario.
How to get there?
The Falkland Islands are located in the South Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Argentina. There are no direct flights to these islands, so Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the closest airport. You can either take a flight with a national airline or make your way overland to Chile and then fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once in Punta Arenas, it would help if you took a connecting flight to the Falklands (Stanley Airport).
Once on the Falklands, you will find a handful of hotels and guesthouses where you can stay on-site. If you plan on staying at one of these accommodations, be sure to book ahead as they fill up quickly.
The Falkland Islands are a great travel destination for adventurous travelers, ecotourists, and adventure-seekers. The islands are home to some of the best scenery anywhere globally; there is plenty to do if you visit.
Some of the most popular places visitors head to when they visit this territory include:
The Goose Green Area: This area is home to one of the largest populations on these islands. Goose Green is located right next to Port Stanley, which is often considered the capital of the Falklands. Many attractions here, including the Darwin Pond Nature Reserve, offer fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can also take a boat out onto Oyster Bay and see it from a new perspective or hike around some nearby lakes.
Culture and Etiquette:
– The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory, and English is the primary language. Therefore, you will not need to learn Spanish as you would in Argentina.
– There is a small German community on the islands, but they speak English.
– The currency used in the Falkland Islands is the Pound Sterling (£).
– Most people on this island chain are Christian, and Sunday is considered a day of rest. While it’s not necessary to wear formal clothing, it might be wise to dress respectfully in clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Additionally, women should have arms covered by sleeves or light clothing.
– The drinking age in the Falklands is 18 years old.
More about the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 1,200 miles south of South America. This archipelago has a population of 3,000, and there are two settlements: Port Stanley and Goose Green. Queen Elizabeth II governs the islands as head of state. There is no military presence on these islands, but they have good internet access and 3G coverage.
Falklands weather can be unpredictable, with temperatures ranging between 15°C in January to 25°C in July. If you visit during this time, expect clear skies with long daylight hours (about 14 hours). However, if you plan to visit from December through March, be prepared for rain showers that last all day and temperatures averaging between 10°C to 12°C.
There are no restrictions when traveling to the Falkland Islands with any passport – anyone can visit without having a visa but will need an electronic visa waiver before visiting South America afterward. Also, you don’t need vaccinations or a yellow fever card unless you’re visiting from Africa or Asia.
How to Get Around
The Falkland Islands are a small geographic area, so exploring is easy. There are buses in Port Stanley and Goose Green and a network of roads that can take you to other local attractions.
If you’re using public transit, the buses will run frequently and stop at many stops throughout Port Stanley. This is perfect for those who want to explore the city. In addition, the bus service is free for those who are visiting on a short-term basis (less than three months).
To venture out to explore the island, it is best to rent a car. Those who visit the islands can rent cars from various rental companies. However, it’s best to book your rental car before arriving on the islands because they may not have any vehicles left if you wait until you arrive.
Just because it’s small and far away, you shouldn’t miss out on this beautiful destination! With this guide, you can make your time in the Falklands amazing and get to explore it fully. Surely you will not regret it! So the next time you’re looking for a new adventure in your own backyard, pack your bags and head to the Falkland Islands.