There are many self-catering cottages dotted around the Falkland Islands which make excellent destinations for weekend getaways from Stanley, or maybe for visitors returning to the Islands wanting to really travel off the beaten track ...
This remote settlement is one of four settlements in the area known as Lafonia and is one of the largest sheep farms in the Falklands; a visit here is a real opportunity to experience traditional camp life in the Falklands. For those with off-road driving capabilities (not permitted with hire vehicles so a vehicle with driver guide is recommended) a stay at some of the outside/shepherds houses at North West Arm, Fanny Cove or Danson Harbour will provide the ultimate get away from it all experience with excellent wildlife, walking and beachcombing. From these houses it is possible to explore the wildlife rich area of Bull Point. Gentoo penguins and sea lions can be seen on the sandy beaches around the Point, whilst Magellanic penguins, Black-necked swans and the usual selection of geese may also be encountered on the greens and ponds slightly further inland. Dolphins are often seen offshore. North Arm settlement also has a couple of self-catering cottages for those that prefer not to be quite so isolated. This area provides an excellent opportunity for trekking tours, camping out at a different house each night.
Port San Carlos
In the northwest of East Falkland, some two hours drive from Stanley, or less by plane, Port San Carlos offers magnificent scenery, fishing on the San Carlos River and fine selection of wildlife at Paloma Beach and Fanning Head, and further afield at Cape Dolphin.
There are two options for accommodation at this destination. A self-catering cottage operated by Smylies Farm can sleep up to 8 people in one double and two triple rooms. Race Point Farm, also operating out of Port San Carlos settlement (sometimes known as KC locally), offer full board accommodation, and in the summer a rare opportunity to do some horse-riding Falklands style.
Just over two hours drive from Stanley by road, San Carlos became a household name during the 1982 Conflict as the place where the British Task Force first landed, and today is the site of the British Cemetery which overlooks San Carlos Water (dubbed Bomb Alley after the concentrated Argentine air attacks on the British fleet). There is a small museum containing photographs and relics from 1982, as well as a display prepared by Falklands Conservation about their work and the Islands wildlife, and a section about rural life in the Falklands prior to 1982.
Two self-catering cottages operated by Kingsford Valley Farm offer cosy retreats from which to explore this area.
A newly built all-weather track over the mountains allows access to Port San Carlos as well.
Full-day guided excursion in 4x4 vehicle. Approximately a 2¼ hour drive will get you to the white sandy beach and turquoise waters of Volunteer Point, a destination with almost a Caribbeanesque feel to it, but the King, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins will bring you back to the Falklands. In addition to the largest accessible King penguin colony in the Islands there is a host of other wildlife to be seen along the beach and on the lagoons, as well as spectacular scenery as you traverse the north of East Falkland.
Alternatively enjoy the superb photographic opportunities that the tranquillity and great light that the evening and early morning will provide at Volunteer Point … basic full board accommodation is available at the Wardens Cottage for individual and very small groups allowing visitors to overnight at Volunteer Point.
Explore the south-west of the Falkland Islands from the comfort of Port Stephens Farm Cottage. The cottage sleeps 5 people in 2 bedrooms and provides all the amenities of a self-catering accommodation and meals cam be provided on request.
Wood Cove, just an hours scenic coastal walk from the cottage provides access to Rockhopper and Gentoo penguins. Further around the coastline lies the strange rock formations known as Indian Village. Calm Head, about two hours walk from the settlement, has superb views of the jagged shoreline and powerful South Atlantic.
Combine this destination with Roy Cove (Crooked Inlet Farm) to provide a West Falkland Discovery itinerary!
On the road between Port Howard and Fox Bay, Little Chartres offers the ultimate in Falklands hospitality under two thousand acres of sky. There is excellent fishing literally at the bottom of the garden in the Chartres River - one of the Falklands best trout fishing rivers. 4x4 tours to some of the neighbouring farms and wildlife spots, or walking tours closer to home are also on offer. This is an excellent destination for children with a playground and plenty of wholesome home cooking.
Main photo courtesy Mark Spicer