Stanley, Falkland Islands
The images you see on this page are collections that start from the Tourist Centre at the bottom of Philomel Hill in Stanley, Falkland Islands; they take you along Ross Road (also known as the 'Front Road') as far as the Stanley Museum.
The Falkland Islands are a self governing British Overseas Territory (not a Colony) and are an associated territory of the European Union.
However, our Islands are also claimed by Argentina, who call our islands, the Islas Malvinas.
In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, but after a 74 day war, the Islands were recovered by a British task force, and the Falklands to this day remain at peace, enjoying the liberty and freedom that most people take very much for granted.
However, Argentina still claims our Islands and subjects us to any form of aggression and bullying it believes it can get away with.
Our capital is Stanley (sometimes called Port Stanley and named after Lord Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Secretary of State to the Colonies).
The population of the Islands is approximately 3,100 souls, of mainly British descent.
The predominant religions are Anglican, Roman Catholicism, and the United Free Church.
Other religions to be found in the Islands include Evangelist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lutheran, Ba’hai and Seventh day Adventists
Our currency is the Falkland Islands Pound (FK£), with the United Kingdom Pound ( UK£) being on par with local currency and accepted anywhere in the islands. United States Dollars (US$), and the Euros (€) are also accepted (but please do not expect mainland rates of exchange.!). Most major credit cards are accepted in the main retail and hotel establishments.
Whilst mentioning credit cards, visitors please be aware that we do not have a cash vending machine, so if you require cash from your credit card, then this means a visit to Standard Chartered Bank on Ross Road, Stanley, where the staff have to telephone the credit company in the United Kingdom for authorization; and you pay for this - as well the bank’s commission and inferior rate of exchange.
Falkland Islands currency is generally not exchangeable outside of the Islands, so visitors must ensure they change back to their normal currencies prior to departure.
Up until 1987 the economy was agriculture based, predominantly from sheep farming for wool. Nowadays it is currently supported mainly from the sale of fishing licence's to trawlers (fishing predominantly for squid), to operate in the waters surrounding the Islands.
Tourism is becoming increasingly more important, mainly from visiting cruise vessels. 30,000 visitors from cruise vessels arrived in 2001, and steadily rose up to 60,000. However, with the present world economic state, this figure is expected to decline.
Oil deposits have been located within the Falklands territorial waters, whilst surveys continue; this resource has yet to be exploited.
A valid passport is a legal requirement, and entry to the Islands will be refused without one.
Visas are not required if you are a citizen of: Great Britain, North America, Mercosur, Chile, most Commonwealth countries and the European Community. However, all travellers are recommended to check their own particular circumstances before travel.
Additionally, all visitors must have a return ticket, enough funds to cover their stay (major credit card is acceptable), and accommodation.
All international departures from airports in the Islands incur a tax of £20.00.
Just about all international flights arrive/depart from Mount Pleasant Airport (MPN).
The main international carrier is Lanchile, and operates a weekly service from Punta Arenas, Chile, sometimes stopping at Rio Gallegos, Argentina.
Because all flights from Punta Arenas, has to pass through Argentine air space, Argentina will only allow one scheduled flight per week.
For this flight it pays to book well ahead, as it is quite often fully taken up.
Additionally, charter flights to the Falkland Islands that have to pass through Argentine airspace are banned by Argentina.
The other means of flying to the Falklands is by using the Royal Air Force Military flight, which carry commercial passengers out of RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. This flight takes approximately 18 hours, with a stopover for fuel etc., of 2 hours at Ascension Island.
There are no special medical requirements for visiting the Falklands.
Medical services are provided by the well equipped King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, situated on the west end of St. Mary’s Walk.
Emergency treatment is provided on a 24 hour basis.
For serious injuries the costs of being airlifted out of the islands are quite high, and Visitors should ensure that they have adequate medical insurance to cover any requirements - the worst case scenario being a medical evacuation (Air Ambulance) to the mainland.
Pharmacy and Dental services do also exist, however, only during working days (Monday to Friday), emergencies excepting.
Most stores considering the size of our community are very well stocked, and you can usually get what you want.
However, the visitor will undoubtedly experience a shock! Prices are usually well above the mainland or mainstream Europe/U.S.A. or the South American mainland.
The main reason for this being the fact, that because we are such a small community, retailers cannot purchase quantities in bulk similar to Tesco (or in the U.S.A.– Wal-Mart). Consequently, they do not receive the discounts which would usually be passed on to the consumer.
Most locals whenever possible (transport permitting) visit the “Seafish Chandlery" or one of the three “Kelper Stores” in favour of the FIC West Store based on the Ross Road (also known as the "Front Road") as this is usually considered the most expensive.
In spite of this, the main advantage with the West Store is that you are able to get most if not everything you may require on the premises and is centrally located in the town.
In most shops (but not all) credit cards are accepted, as well as Euros and U.S. Dollars.
Please do not try to use South American currencies, as they are very usually not accepted.
The Falklands climate is similar to the United Kingdom. Winters are usually milder the summers generally being a little cooler than the UK.
Because of the lack of pollution, and constant cool breeze visitors should be aware that the sun can be very strong and deceptive and poses real threat to sunburn, consequently a good sun block is recommended.
Strong westerly winds are prevalent in the islands, and rain showers being more common in the south east of the Islands.
Suggested clothing for the summer visitor should be a set of light to medium weight wind/water proofs, as our weather can be fickle and changeable, and comfortable footwear.
Crime is of low level relative to international standards.
Argentine minefields still remain from the 1982 war, but these are well fenced, with abundant minefield signs on the fences.
However, unexploded ordnances (including booby traps) and other debris of war can sometimes still be found. Whilst it is unlikely that anything will be found by the visitor, if anything suspicious is seen DO NOT TOUCH, but inform the appropriate authorities (i.e. the Royal Falkland Islands Police Force [RFIP], or the Explosives Ordnance Detachment of the Royal Engineers ).
Wildlife – Seals are probably the most dangerous when cornered or with young. Keep a safe distance - these animals can have a remarkable turn of speed.
Take care of the sun and wind, many a visitor has been caught out with sunburn.
Our atmosphere is so clean and clear from pollutants, there is very little to filter the sun’s rays; additionally, because of the prevailing cool breeze this gives the visitor a false sense of security, which leads to the sunburning.