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5 Fun Facts: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

4 min read

With an array of breath-taking sights, the Falkland Islands (also known as Islas Malvinas) provide every traveler ample opportunity to experience stunning landscapes and wildlife in a historic sub-Antarctic destination.

Considered an outdoor paradise for nature lovers, the Falkland Islands offer numerous opportunities to capture amazing wildlife photography and scenic shots whilst hiking and bike riding. They make a picturesque stop on any Antarctic expedition, especially for nature lovers.

Where Are the Falkland Islands?

The Falkland Islands are a British overseas territory located in the south Atlantic ocean. The archipelago known as the Falkland Islands is made up of about 740 to 780 islands of various sizes, the largest of which are East Falkland and West Falkland. It lies just northeast of the southern tip of South America, north of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The capital city (more of a large town) of Stanley lies on East Falkland. While the United Kingdom runs the Falkland Islands' foreign affairs, they are a self-governing territory, which means there is a Falkland Islands government responsible for internal regulation.

The Falkland Islands were named after Falkland Sound, which is the channel between the two main islands. The common Spanish name for the islands is Islas Malvinas.

The Falkland Islanders

About half of the residents of the Falkland Islands were born there. In addition to those of British descent, many descend from Scottish and Welsh immigrants, though there are nearly 50 different nationalities represented on the islands, including many South Americans and Scandinavians.

Sheep farming, tourism, ship restocking, and the fishing industry make up much of the Falkland Islands' economy.

Here are 5 fun Falkland Islands facts that you may not know

1. There is one weekly newspaper, the Penguin News , which is issued every Friday.

The Penguin News covers local and overseas events relating to the Falkland Islands. The paper includes current events, job postings, letters, local sports results, guest columns, and much more. 

Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands
Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Photo by David Merron.

2. There are no McDonalds, Tescos, or Starbucks

In fact, there are no chain shops or restaurants of any kind on the Falkland Islands! Visitors to the Falklands are encouraged to enjoy the abundance of wildlife on these remote islands.

Passengers at West Point, Falkland Islands. Photo by Nicky Souness.

3. 1690 was the first recorded landing on the Islands by British Captain John Strong aboard Welfare.

Captain John Strong, for whom Falkland Sound was named, made the first recorded landing in the Falkland Islands.

Passengers getting out of a zodiac at Saunders Island
Passengers disembarking a zodiac during a landing at Saunders Island. Photo by David Merron.

4. The best time to visit the Falklands is between October and April when seasonal temperatures and wildlife viewing are at their peak.

Falkland Islands weather tends to be rainy, windy, and unpredictable. The temperature ranges from around two to nine degrees Celsius (48 to 36 Fahrenheit) and average annual rainfall is around 573.6 mm (23 in).

Since the Falklands are in the southern hemisphere, their summer season is from October to April and they generally experience (slightly) warmer weather.

Penguins at Saunders Island, Falklands.
Penguins at Saunders Island. Photo by David Merron.

5. The Islands are a favorite destination for wildlife enthusiasts of all kinds.

The Falklands host five different penguin species, elephant seals, sea Lions, and 65% of the world’s black-browed albatross bird population (hundreds of nests pictured below at Steeple Jason). 

The diversity of plants and animals make it a prime location for wildlife and landscape photography.

A birder's paradise: thousands of black-browed albatross nest at Steeple Jason in the subAntarctic Falkland Islands.
Thousands of black browed albatross nest at Steeple Jason in the Falkland Islands - Photo Manda Lundström.

Interested in visiting the Falkland Islands? Check out our Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings expedition or our Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia expedition.

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