A Quick Guide to Island Hopping in the Falklands

With almost 800 islands making up the Falklands, it all seems a bit daunting when trying to plan a visit.  Fortunately, whilst you can enjoy every single island visually, should you be flying around the Falklands on our little red Islander aircraft or sailing around in a yacht or small cruise ship, if you want to step on land and stay a night (which is highly recommended) there are fewer to choose from!

Aside from our two big islands, East and West Falklands, there are six that you can stay a night on, so we are going to focus on these.

Where are they?

Roughly speaking, three islands are in the north: Pebble Island, Carcass Island and Saunders Island, and three are in the south:  Sea Lion Island, Bleaker Island and Weddell Island.  If you are visiting more than one island make sure you visit the northern islands before moving to the southern ones (or vice versa).

How long should I stay?

Stay at least two nights on any island you visit.  One night is just not long enough, and you never know exactly what time you’ll arrive and what time you’ll depart (see below), so by having two nights you’ll ensure you have one complete day in the middle to explore and really relax.  But stay even longer if you can – we love 3 or 4 nights on any one island to really slow down and enjoy the wildlife, scenery and pace of life.

How do I get to the islands?

The only way you can get to these islands (unless you are chartering a yacht or are on one of the smaller expedition cruise ships) is on our little Islander aircraft.  The Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) runs like an air taxi service.  There are no schedules so each day they create a service based on where everyone wants to go.  It’s relaxed and it’s fun, but it does mean your flight times can vary.  You’ll be told the night before you fly what time you’ll be collected from the island you are on.  The flight times (and your name) are also read out on the radio!

So how do I choose my islands?

They are all lovely, so you just can’t go wrong.  The Islands page on the website will give you more information, but to summarise in just a few words:

Pebble Island: large island with lots of walking opportunities and mountains to climb. Fascinating war history and relics, rockhopper penguins, sea lions, and the longest beach in the Falklands (4 miles long), which is great for beachcombing.

Carcass Island: compact and beautiful, gentle hills, beautiful bays and beaches, gentoo penguins, elephant seals and sea lions, perfect for walking, and a boat link to West Point Island for magnificent albatross and rockhopper penguin colonies.

Saunders Island: large island with accommodation in various different places, spectacular birdlife including king and rockhopper penguins, black-browed albatross, and ruins of the first British settlement.

Sea Lion Island: very easy wildlife watching - some of the birds practically walk into the lodge!  Rockhoppper and gentoo penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, vast range of bird life, long beautiful beaches and areas of tussock grass.

Bleaker Island: low lying so easy to walk around, with some magnificent treats, including rockhopper and gentoo penguins, black-headed swans, striated caracara, skuas, snowy sheathbills and much more.  Spectacular sandy bays and modern well appointed accommodation.

Weddell Island: huge island that offers much to explore and is currently having new accommodation built – Weddell is going to be a real treat.  Fabulous walking opportunities, sandy bays and rocky coves; great birdlife, including gentoo penguins, petrel, caracaras and hawks.

How do I put together an itinerary and book up?

There are two options here.  You can either use one of our two tour operators based in the Falklands: International Tours and Travel or Falkland Islands Holidays, or find an international tour operator that visits the Falklands.  Or you can book yourself directly with the owner on each island using the contact forms on our website.

Related

0 Comments

Comments

Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply