The Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands


The Falkland Islands, also known locally as the Malvinas Islands, are a collection of archipelagos (small cluster of islands) south of the country of Argentina in the South Atlantic Ocean. They consist of over 700 small islands with the two largest called East Falkland and West Falkland.

The Falklands have been a disputed territory for nearly two hundred years when the British Empire established them as an Overseas Territory in 1833. In 1982 the government of Argentina seized control of the island chain which resulted in the two-month long engagement known as the Falklands War. The result was the loss and withdrawal of the Argentineans and the re-establishment of British rule. The largest city in the Falklands is Stanley, located on East Falkland, and is also the capital of the territory.

Sites

The biggest attraction of the Falkland Islands is the wildlife. Many tourists come to watch the many bird species and marine mammals. Fly fishing and horse-back riding are probably the two most popular sporting events. Residents and tourists also enjoy the hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking. For those interested in getting away from the main tourist city of Stanley, Darwin which is a two-hour drive is a wonderful place to visit. Here visitors can fish, ride horses, and of course golf.

Many of the islands in this archipelago are not serviced by air travel and can only be reached by boat. One such place is the Jason Islands. The Jason Islands consist of Grand Jason, Steeple Jason, Elephant Jason, Flat Jason and South Jason. Because of their remoteness you will see species here and nowhere else. The species on the Jason Islands include the Rockhopper Penguin, the black-browed albatross, and the Cara Cara which is perhaps the oddest and rarest bird of prey.

While you are staying or visiting the city of Stanley you will not want to miss the Christ Church Cathedral. The Cathedral is most southern cathedral in the world; this beautiful church was built in 1892 and was finished in 1903. Another popular place to visit is the Britannia House. This museum built in an old air force hanger presents the military history of the Falkland Islands along with a history of the 1982 Falklands War.

Transport

Two major airports service the Falkland Islands. These include the RAF Mount Pleasant which is thirty miles west of Stanley and is the main international airport. The second smaller airport is the Port Stanley Airport. This airport is used mainly for internal flights and has no international flights available. Other airports in the islands are grass strips and much smaller. There are not very many paved roads outside of the area of Stanley or the RAF base.

Climate

The weather in the Falklands is relatively mild with light snow in the winters and sunshine and light rain in the summer. The eastern islands are generally wetter than the western islands.

Date posted: 21st November, 2016

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