7 Days in the Falkland Islands… A Week I’ll Never Forget!

7 Days in the Falkland Islands

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to go to the Falkland Islands that’s for sure!

And that’s one of the reasons this opportunity was, quite frankly, the stuff my travel dreams are made of!

Needless to say therefore, when I was asked if I’d like to embark on this trip, I absolutely jumped up at the chance.

After all, who gets to visit the Falkland Islands?! I mean, come on!

Part of the UK and culturally very British, yet situated some 13,000km away from London in the South Atlantic, and boasting a topography and set of wildlife to match, Falklands sounded to me like one of those weird and wonderful places I just had to visit.

Hard to pigeonhole into any category, the Falklands stands outside most travel itineraries thanks to the fact it’s both pretty hard to get to and pretty pricey too!

But of course, this makes it all the more appealing, for where there’s some barriers to travel, there’s also usually fewer tourists and fewer crowds, and nothing excites me more than this!

Add to this fact the notion that the travellers who do make it here are of a certain persuasion – they’ve probably been around the block a bit! – and just about everything that could appeal me about travelling to the Falkland Islands, did!

So here, to bring you the raw and real review of my time there, is a round-up of my 7 days in the Falkland Islands…

Falkland Islands, West Falkland, Gentoo Penguin


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Travelling to the Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands, FIGAS, Me in Front Seat

Perhaps you’ve worked it out from my introduction already, but if not, here’s a quick heads up…

My trip to the Falkland Islands was not 7 days in totality.

After all, if you’re not already in the region (think southern South America largely!), then it’s going to take you a fair few days to get to the Falklands in the first instance!

My trip started from London and despite this being one of the most straightforward destinations from which to reach the remote archipelago, it still took me over 2 days to do so.

In fairness, this wasn’t helped by the 12 hour delay I had in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas, but out here, in the wilds of the South Atlantic, you’ll quickly learn the weather has a way of taking control that you simply can’t argue with!

It is better, therefore, just to embrace it!

Punta Arenas actually turned out to be a great day trip and, in my usual style, I made friends on the flight and set about exploring the city with them for the bonus 11 hours we unexpectedly received in Chile!

You can read more about this in my list of the best things to do in Punta Arenas, but suffice to say, the first 2 days of my Falklands trip were taken up with just getting there!

If you’d like to learn more about how you can get to the Falklands, including the 2 flight routes from London and Chile, check out in this article I wrote all about it.

Otherwise, I’ll continue with the story and say that, after the Chilean delay, I actually didn’t end up arriving into the Falklands until very late in the evening!

This meant it was straight to my hotel for the night – the Malvina House Hotel – in the capital of Stanley.

The Falkland’s largest hotel, this was the perfect place to begin my time in the archipelago, and a great base between my first few days island hopping.


Day 1 – Pebble Island

Falkland Islands, Pebble Island, Shed

Despite having only reached the Malvina House Hotel at 1am, when my first morning dawned in Stanley (think 4am in this southern hemisphere summer!), it was time to head straight back out of the capital on another flight.

But this one was on a much smaller plane and a much quicker journey!

Indeed my first experience with the wonderful local FIGAS service was one to remember.

Sat with Captain Dan in the front of the plane, with just 4 other passengers behind us, I got the most epic views of the islands from the air – a real treat having arrived in the dark the night before.

The flight to Pebble Island – one of the larger outlying spots in the Falkland archipelago – was just 35 mins and, wow-ed by the aerial views, it felt like no time at all as we touched down on Pebble’s grassy landing strip.

Home to only 8 people, Pebble Island (at 35km long), is certainly not crowded!

With only 1 settlement comprised of a sheep farmhouse and a tourist lodge (that sleeps max 14 people), the rest of this island is a wild nature paradise.

A 4WD tour with lodge owner, Riki, quickly had me up close and personal with not 1 or 2, but 3 penguin species, plus an amazing array of birdlife and a family of sea lions!

Right then, the penguin species names – Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic – were all new, but in just a few days, they began rolling off my tongue.

Driving across the roadless Pebble Island was also an adventure in itself, as we manoeuvred white sand beaches, natural fresh lakes and grassy meadows to reach the various wildlife hotspots.

Riki provided a great commentary about the islands as we went (he was born and brought up here), as well as telling us all about the animals and the 1982 conflict.

He even provided us with a hearty flask of tea and cake mid-way, and I was soon to learn this is a heavy feature in Falkland life!

Windswept but delighted, it was then time to return to the lodge for a hearty dinner (yes more food!) and a stunning golden hour view from the lodge’s glass-fronted lounge.

It was clear, this trip to Falklands was going to be one to remember!

Learn more about my time on Pebble Island here.


Day 2 – Hill Cove

Falkland Islands, Hill Cover, Albatross Couple

The sun was shining when I woke up in the cosy comfort of Pebble Lodge and enjoyed a classic Falkland breakfast – full fry up!

…Well the veggie version for me.

Then it was time to take to the skies again, as I headed out on the FIGAS plane to West Falkland.

So Riki drove me the 100m to the landing strip, hosted the wind sock, turned on the radio and waited for the pilot to make contact!

Once onboard, the beautiful weather again gave the most fantastic aerial views of the islands – there’s over 700 in the Falkland archipelago that stretch as far as the eye can see – and, interspersed with the most azure water ever, it’s was a complete scene of bright blue and green.

In just 15 minutes, we landed softly on the grassy landing strip at Hill Cove.

Despite being found on 1 of the 2 largest islands here, Hill Cove is incredibly remote – and that’s saying something for the Falklands!

An old sheep farm, now divided into a few smaller holdings, Hill Cove gave me an amazing insight into everyday life on Falklands away from the capital Stanley and the regular tourist route, which is known as the “penguin trail” here!

My home in Hill Cove was the adorable Boxwood Pod – the Falkland’s first glamping cabin and the perfect spot to take in the wild and wonderful landscape of dramatic West Falkland.

Owned by locals Peter and Shelly, Peter then whisked me off on an amazing 4WD tour to the far most westerly point of the island – Penguin Point.

We drive for an hour along a gravel road, before heading off-road for another hour, and then finally hiking over grassy fields – not seeing a soul the whole way of course.

At last we find ourselves on a deserted cliff face… well deserted aside from a colony of delightful Rockhopper Penguins, a family of Imperial Cormorants and the stars of the show – the shiny, the snow-white Albatross.

This is why we’ve come.

Peter confesses he only brings about 10 tourists here a year and I feel even more privileged than I already do.

Watching these amazing birds sit on their nests to protect their eggs, before swapping with their partners to take to the skies and collect food, was the most mesmerising sight, and we sat there, gazing at them for hours, before the wind finally picked up and chased us away.

On the way home, we pass an enormous colony of Gentoo Penguins, waddling between their springtime nests and the bright blue sea, and stop to watch them with a classic Falkland accompaniment of tea and home-baked cake – told you it was a heavy feature!

Driving home we pass Sealers’ Grave, the mysterious site where human remains have been found, before heading back past Dunbar and West Lagoon Farms tuning into FIRS – the local radio station – and Norman’s 5pm show as we go.

When you consider there’s under 3000 people living in the Falkland Islands, it makes for a fascinating listen!

Back in my cosy Boxwood Pod at Hill Cove, I sleep amazingly well – cosy and warm inside as the wind howls outside.

There’s something about a day spent full of fresh air, in nature, without a timetable, a to-do list and any wifi, that’s just about as relaxing as you can get in my book!

Learn more about my time in Hill Cove here.


Day 3 – Bleaker Island Yorke Bay

Falkland Islands, Yorke Bay, Gentoo Penguin Colony

Before I came to the Falklands, I was warned to be flexible with my plans.

And after a 12 hour delayed flight to get here from Chile, I was already acutely aware of this!

For such is life in this remote part of the world.

Indeed, life in the Falklands is so dependent on the weather in many ways, that if that wind or fog suddenly rolls in unexpectedly, plans often go out the window!

And so it was on my third day here.

I was meant to travel from Hill Cove on West Falklands to Bleaker Island in the south of archipelago, but waking up in my cosy glamping cabin to a thick fog, it seemed very unlikely any FIGAS flights would be happening.

And I was right!

So I treated myself to a lazy morning followed with a walk around the dramatic Hill Cove landscape and while blue sky appeared above me, it was clear from the phone contact we had with Stanley, that the fog there was sadly not lifting there.

Finally, at around 7pm, I got on the FIGAS flight, but was only able to fly as far as Stanley.

Unfortunately this meant my trip to Bleaker was not to be, but I guess it’s just another reason to return to the amazing Falklands!

However all was not lost for the day because, as my plane touched down in Stanley, golden hour was just beginning, so I quickly rushed to the stunning Yorke Bay – just a short drive from the airport.

This white sand dune and beach area had been off limits for decades due to landmines, but was finally cleared and opened again in November 2020.

And when it was, they discovered an enormous colony of Gentoo Penguins had been calling Yorke Bay home for years!

And so, with a stunning sunset backdrop, I got to snap some of the most amazing photos of my whole trip, as hundreds of Gentoo waddled and nested all around me.

With just me, there it felt like an incredible private show!

It’s hard to believe you can still experience these kind of animal encounters in the wild, rather than in a reserve, zoo or park, but such is the magic of travel in the Falklands.


Day 4 – Sea Lion Island

Falkland Islands, Sea Lion Island, Rockhopper Penguins at Sunset

Thankfully, the return of the good weather held out for my 4th day in Falklands, so I departed Stanley again on the first flight out, this time headed for Sea Lion Island.

Found in the south of the archipelago, I’d heard rumours this island boasted the most amazing wildlife encounters in the whole of the Falklands, so to say I was pretty excited, was an understatement!

After the 30 minute flight, I was met on the runway by Micky, owner of the single lodge on Sea Lion and caretaker for the whole island.

Being a very small and intimate place, Sea Lion is one spot where 4WDs are not required – a point I quickly realised as we walked the 3 minutes from where the plane touched down to the front door of the lodge!

After a classic Falkland greeting of tea and cake in the lodge lounge, and an introduction from Micky to the island complete with handy map, I took my bags to my cosy ensuite room, which boasted a huge glass window and views across the north of the island.

I hadn’t been there long, when a group of Gentoo Penguins waddled right past my window – well this is going to be special I thought!

And so, with my packed lunch, camera, tripod, water bottle and plenty of layers at the ready, I set off from the lodge to explore Sea Lion for the day.

I began by making a beeline for the north of the island, which is smaller and easier to access from the lodge and, well, that was about as far as I got!

For starters, this was because the wind picked up after about 4 hours, to the point where I could no longer walk!

And for seconds, this was because I saw so much wildlife and took so many photos in those 4 hours that honestly, I was completely overwhelmed!

Sea Lion Island was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

Everywhere you looked there were Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins by the dozens, not to mention that I even spotted my first King Penguin!

And while hundreds of penguins waddled around against a backdrop of white sand beaches and endemic grasslands, beyond, in the foreground, just about everywhere you looked were Elephant Seals after Elephant Seals.

There were so many seals in fact, from huge bulls to small pups, that you actually had to be carefully about where you were walking to avoid them, nestled as they were all over the sand, across the dunes and between the tussock grass!

Hundreds and hundreds of them.

I had never seen anything like it!

I sat, walked, snapped and gasped for hours, as scene after scene of epic wildlife activity unfolded in front of me.

At points, it was hard to take it all in, especially when the wildlife came so close.

In an island that never boasts more than about 20 humans, all of whom move on foot and are there to appreciate the wildlife, you can imagine how unthreatened the animals feel.

Finally, after hours and hours, I made it back to the lodge.

Utterly gobsmacked and with my camera on overdrive, I needed to put my feet up and my camera down!

Tea and cakes were of course on hand, before a delicious dinner and a few drinks from the bar too – the perfect reset before I was off again – this time to see the Rockhopper Penguins in the south of the island.

Walking here is easy and takes only 30 mins from the lodge usually, but in this wind, it was all but impossible!

So I grabbed a lift with Micky and headed to the cliffs to see yet another colony of these wonderful animals.

As the sun dropped behind them and the sky lit up, these wonderful colourful characters put on their best evening show – hopping, nestling, squawking and waddling all around me – at one point, almost over my feet!

If Sea Lion hadn’t already blown me away with its catalogue of close animal encounters already today, it certainly had now!

Read more about my time on Sea Lion Island here.


Day 5 – Volunteer Point

Falkland Islands, Volunteer Point, King Penguin Pair

Day 5 began with an alarm wake up at 4am which, after getting to bed at midnight the night before, was something of a rude awakening to say the least!

However, when there’s a promise of orca sightings on the menu, one really can’t afford to sleep!

The sun was lighting up the sky with the most magnificent pink and orange display as I made my way on foot, in the faint light, from Sea Lion Lodge down the track to the infamous Orca Pool.

Layered up to the max against the wind and fresh temperatures, I didn’t have to stand for long on the side of the rocks however, before I spotted the distinct outline of a dorsal fin, then 2, then 3, then more, riding the waves behind the pool of seals infront of me.

The waiting game was on!

I’d learnt that the matriarch of this orca pod has learnt to navigate the shallow opening to the pool at high tide and grab a seal or 2 for breakfast to feed her hungry troupe.

But whether I would get to see this incredible phenomena, just metres away, was another thing!

The natural world follows its own rhythm of course and, out here, nothing is guaranteed.

I needn’t have worried however.

Over the next 20 minutes, I got to witness nature in all her raw and wild force as Queen Orca and her new calf, successfully navigated the shallow pass to find themselves in a pool of fresh seals, ready for the taking.

Behind, the rest of the orca pod thrashed around, obviously ecstatic about the incoming meal, while mother and baby successfully took out not 1, but 2 seals it seemed, their dorsal fins racing madly above the water as below, a couple of seals breathed their last.

Successful in their mission, they then judged the waves to make it back to the rest of the eager pod, who were stationed, ready and waiting, to enjoy the catch.

With much commotion, they tucked in wildly, circling and splashing in front of me for another 10 minutes to enjoy the feast, before slowly cruising away, their dorsal fins sliding into the distance as they moved on for another day.

It was an hour I’ll never forget and something I can only really describe as a full Attenborough event!

And for the umpteenth time on this Falklands trip I was left reeling

The day was just beginning…

After returning to Sea Lion Lodge from the orca affair, packing up my stuff, grabbing some breakfast and then hopping on the first flight back to Stanley, I was met by my guide Tony.

I was on my way to Volunteer Point… and it wasn’t even lunchtime!

It takes 3 hours to reach Volunteer Point from Stanley and, once again, this is a largely off road journey, so I sat up front in Tony’s 4WD.

Like many of the places in the Falklands, Volunteer Point was named after a ship and is privately owned land, so we needed permission and a ticket to access it.

Situated on East Falkland, and a great day trip from capital, I quickly learnt that we were heading to one of the more popular spots on the Falklands tourist trail but, when we finally arrive, I still only find 5 other tourists besides me there!

On the days when the cruise ships aren’t in town, Volunteer Point is still very quiet.

Stepping out of the 4WD however, I instantly realise why this place is so “popular”.

The longest, whitest beach I’ve possibly ever seen stretches before me and, all along the sand, are dozens and dozens of King Penguins – looking resplendent in the light of a bright, blue sky day.

Some are waddling up the beach back to their chicks, others are in groups at the water’s edge and many more are swimming and surfing in the waves beyond.

At this time of year, Volunteer Point’s most famous residents also have chicks that are beginning to shed their fluffy brown jackets and, between them and the tuxedos of penguins all along the beach, you can imagine my camera was going berserk!

National Geographic eat your heart out!

I walked and snapped and filmed and gasped for 3 hours here, before it was finally time to begin the long journey back to Stanley.

Thank goodness for the long daylight hours the Falklands experiences at this time of year!

Once back in Stanley, it was then time to check in to my new accommodation for the night – the charming Tu Guesthouse situated at the end of Jersey Road!

Named after the small British island where I was born and raised, I immediately felt at home!


Day 6 – Stanley

Falklands, Stanley, Me with Welcome Sign

With my last full day in the Falkland somehow here, it was time to explore the capital, Stanley.

This is where most travellers spend the majority of their time across the islands and I hadn’t really spent any!

The excellent museum here was a great place to begin, and I spent 2 good hours wading through the wonderful exhibitions here, learning about local life and the fascinating history of the islands.

After that, it was time to tick off some other bucket list experiences, including heading to see the most southerly cathedral in the world and sending a few good old postcards, complete with Falklander stamps of course!

Then it was time to grab the essential penguin merch souvenirs before heading to the local craft brewery – Beerworks – for a pint with the locals… well it was Friday after all!

Learn about the top things to do in Stanley here.


Day 7 – Home!

Falkland Islands, Hill Cove, Landscape

And all too suddenly, it was time to leave!

I’d barely been online in 7 days, but had flown on a plane every day bar 1 and had seen more new things and met more new people than I usually do in a month!

Somehow time had both flown by and it felt like I’d been here forever!

In the Falklands you’re made to feel part of the furniture so quickly, that new colleagues feel like friends after days, and after 1 night, people begin waving to you and calling you by your first name in the street and the pub!

So familiar and yet so foreign, suffice to say the Falkland Islands is like nowhere else on earth on visiting here to meet the amazing people of the islands and witness the spellbinding wildlife feels like one of the greatest privileges this job has ever afforded me.

While you have to check in at the international airport a crazy 5 hours before your flight out of the Falklands, it doesn’t diminish what an epic trip this had been!

Real once in a lifetime stuff.

Unless I’m lucky enough to return…


Mini Travel Guide to the Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands, Sea Lion Island, Elephant Seal on Ground

When to Visit the Falklands?

It’s best to visit the islands (including West Falkland) during the spring and summer season, which runs from November to February.


How Long to Spend in the Falklands?

I recommend 7-14 days across the archipelago.


Recommended Falkland Island Tours

If you’re keen to travel to the Falkland Islands, check out these amazing tours!


Top 5 Packing Items for the Falklands


Travel Insurance

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money

There’s only 1 bank in the Falklands – in Stanley – so it pays to have some British cash on you, as well as a debit and credit card.

Most island lodges allow you to pay on card, which is what I did, using my Wise card.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, my Wise card works just like a debit card… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.




So there you have it, my personal travel diary following 7 amazing days in the Falkland Islands.

Are you planning to adventure to this amazing archipelago?

Have questions about travelling here?

Then don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments box below and I’ll get back to you…


My trip to the Falkland Islands was kindly sponsored by Falkland Island Tourism but, as  always, all views are my own.

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


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