The Falkland Islands are an archipelago of approximately 780 islands located in the South Atlantic 770 km North East of Cape Horn. The climate is dominated by strong winds, fairly low rainfall and lots of sunshine with temperatures ranging between -5 and 24 degrees Centigrade. The Islands are hilly with grassland and low lying shrubs. There are few trees and the Islands have been traditionally associated with sheep farming.
A world of difference
The first authenticated sighting of the Falkland Islands was by Sebald van Weert, a Dutch Sailor in 1600. The first known landing was made by a British Naval Captain, John Strong who named the Islands after Viscount Falkland.
Port Louis was the first settlement on the Islands, established by French Colonists on East Falkland in 1764. This settlement was purchased by Spain in 1767 for 24,000 GBP. A British expedition arrived in West Falkland in 1765 and took formal possession of the island 'and all the neighbouring islands' for King George III. In 1766 a settlement of 100 people was established at Port Egmont in West Falkland. This settlement was withdrawn in 1774 and the Spanish settlement was withdrawn in 1811.
The Falkland Islands have a growing economy which has diversified from its original dependence on textiles to include fishing and tourism which are now a major source of income.
Find out who to contact for information on the Falkland Islands AIP.