To mention the word holiday and the Falkland Islands in the same sentence maybe surprising for some, however the Falkland Islands, located in the sub-Antarctic region of the Atlantic Ocean, are a haven for abundant wildlife, extravagant nature and history lover’s dream. Five penguin species including the inimitable stately King Penguin dominate the coastal landscapes along with sea lion, whale, the albatross and myriad other birds. Moreover the stories and lore of the Falkland Islands are unique and have to be experienced to be understood.
First and foremost any tailor-made holiday trip to the Falkland Islands should be a tour de force for wildlife enthusiasts but wide open empty spaces and a warm welcome in the capital Port Stanley wonderfully complement any stay here. Three quarters of the approximate 2,200 population live in Port Stanley with the rest living in ‘Camp’, the local word for the countryside, where the humans are outnumbered by over 650,000 sheep. This frontier territory is coloured by the history of the many generations who have lived here.
Although almost 13,000 kilometres and 18 hours flying time by MoD aircraft from the UK, the Falkland Islands are just 1 hour 20 minutes from Punta Arenas on the Chilean mainland. The islands can also be visited as part of a longer cruise that will also typically include South Georgia. A week in the Falkland Islands may be best spent with two nights in Port Stanley, a day in Port Howard for a taste of life in Camp with the rest at Sea Lion, Carcass, or Pebble Islands for wildlife. Guides in the Falkland Islands are part-time and work in other jobs when not conducting tours but when they are armed with a 4x4 ‘off-road driving’ takes on a whole new meaning.