- Overseas territory of the UK also claimed
- Off the south east tip of South America, part
of the "Scotia Arc"
Territory - 2 main islands (about 200
in total), West and East Falkland. 12173sq.km.
- Stanley (Port Stanley)
Population - approx. 2 900
Highest Point - Mt. Usborne 705m (2,312ft)
Languages - English
Ethnic group - British
Currency - Falkland Island Pound FKP
Falkland Islands are one of those places that you're
sure you've heard about, but would probably be hard
pushed to actually say where they are. In that lies
the charm of the Falklands.
The Falkland Islands may be included in a trip to
the Antarctic Peninsula, they will almost certainly
be included in a trip that takes in South Georgia.
They are a place where
the modern world has most certainly arrived, but that
manages to maintain much of the lure and appeal of a
time gone by. A place that seems somehow vaguely familiar
but not quite in "that combination" of people,
town, scenery, climate and wildlife. The Falklands are
sometimes described as being "More British than
The Falklands are
a place of wide open skies, beautiful long white sandy
beaches and clear blue seas. Ask someone where the
Falklands are and the answer you might get is that they
are off the West Coast of Scotland, thousands of miles
out in geographical terms, but very close in a lot of
Where they are not similar
is that in the Falklands a walk along the beach may
bring you in contact with five different types of penguin,
elephant seals, sea lions an assortment of other South
American and Antarctic birds such as albatrosses and
petrels, and if you're lucky some dolphins or whales
will be swimming off shore.
Falkland Islands are fairly remote and definitely off
the beaten track. They're not the kind of place
that you end up visiting on your way to somewhere else
unless you make a definite choice to do so. They are
for adventurous trail blazer and for the traveller who
relishes the idea of visiting a distant place that few
before them have travelled to.
The capital of the
Falklands and the only town of any size is Port Stanley.
A charming settlement of houses on a gentle hillside
overlooking the magnificent natural harbour. Like many
islands the world over, the local availability of building
materials dictates the character of the town and Stanley
is first noted for the brightly painted corrugated iron
roofs to most of the dwellings. There is a fine old
church here with an arch made of the jaw bones of four
huge whales that give a clue to one of the sources of
the islands prosperity in the past.
While in the Falklands
you will hear mention of a place called "The Camp".
This is the entire rest of the Falkland Islands other
than the less than 1% that is Stanley.
Falklands are geologically a part of Patagonia and the
Scotia arc that stretches from the southern tip of South
America eastwards through the Falklands and on to South Georgia,
before arcing south and westwards to the South Sandwich,
South Orkney and South Shetland islands to join with
the tip of the Antarctic peninsula.
are two main
islands in the Falklands group, they are roughly equal in size and make up almost
the total land mass of the islands, others in the group
are numerous but very small.
have a cold maritime climate with an average of 2.8°
C (37° F) in the winter and 8.3° C (47°
F) in the summer. Humidity is constantly high, and rain
falls on about 250 days of the year. November is the
are very windswept, and have virtually no trees. The
commonest vegetation being grasses and a small shrub
with red berries known locally as "Diddle Dee".
Attempts have been made to plant trees, but with little
success, though some do grow in Stanley where they
are able to derive shelter from the buildings.
Islands have coastlines that are very indented and provide
many natural sheltered harbors, very similar to the
Pacific coast of Patagonia.
There is very little pollution of any kind in the
Falklands, the beaches in particular are great
clean expanses of pale sand that looks like it
belongs in the tropics. Fresh air is almost the only
kind there is and away from Stanley the loudest
noise in the landscape on a still day can be the
sound of your heartbeat.