Ascension and Falkland Islands
Island exploration and wildlife
This is a very special tour which allows us to enjoy some time on Ascension Island before heading down to the Falklands for a week. Often folk are frustrated by the fact that they get off the aircraft on Ascension en route to the Falklands but are now allowed the opportunity to see anything of this fascinating place. It's just a tiny dot in the Atlantic Ocean, seven degrees south of the Equator and forms part of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. With no permanent or indigenous population it's home to air force bases for both Britain and the United States, employees of the BBC World Service and Cable & Wireless plus civilian personal, mostly from St Helena.
It is only in recent years that this secretive island has been opened to tourism. Its strategic importance is now understated and, instead, we can enjoy its wonderful scenery – 40 volcanoes and 32 sandy beaches, and its superb wildlife including breeding Green Turtles and large colonies of seabirds, some of which are now re-establishing themselves on the main island following an intensive project of cat and rat eradication.
For the Falklands part of the holiday we're including Darwin, Sea Lion Island and Pebble Island as well as a visit to Volunteer Point to spend time with the King Penguins and a boat trip from Stanley to get a better look at the seabirds. All in all it's a super introduction to these fascinating islands.
Travel is with the Royal Air Force from RAF Brize Norton and accommodation is in comfortable hotels, lodges or cottages.
If you are a single traveller but would like to share a room we will do our best to accommodate you although we can't give any guarantees.
- Ascension and the Falkland Islands: Island exploration and wildlife
- Fully guided group tour
- 2018 departure: 14 February
- Nights: 14
- Fully inclusive cost: £7,740
- Single room supplement: £450*
- Deposit: £850
- Meal Basis: Full Board
- Activity level: Easy
- Tour leader: TBC
- Maximum Group Size: 8
- Travel: Royal Air Force
- Departs: Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
- Included in cost: Air fare, entry permit, accommodation, all meals and excursions as described in itinerary, Island Holidays tour leader.
- Not included in cost: Travel insurance, drinks & other items of a personal nature.
- * If you are a single traveller but would like to share a room we will do our best to accommodate you although we can't give any guarantees. If you are willing to share on the Falkland Islands no supplement will be charged whether or not we find you a room-mate.
- Ascension & Falklands 2018 detailed itinerary
Your tour leader
To be confirmed…
Our flight leaves RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in the late evening.
Days 2 – 5: Ascension Island
Upon arrival we're met and driven to nearby Georgetown where we will be staying at Hayes House, part of the Obsidian Hotel. Having settled in we'll get together for an orientation stroll in the town before an early lunch. Over the next couple of days we'll see as much as possible of the island in the company of folk from Ascension Conservation. A trip up Green Mountain – the island's National Park – is a must and we'll also visit English Bay and Comfortless Cove (both opportunities for a swim if you so wish) plus lots more. With around 40 volcanoes and 32 sandy beaches, Ascension is an island of surprises round every corner. The beaches make perfect nesting sites for Green Turtles which comes ashore at night to lay their eggs. We'll go out one evening with the folk from Ascension Island Tourism to see them – without creating any disturbance of course.
Day 6: Darwin
After an early breakfast we head off for the airhead to await the arrival of the RAF flight from Brize Norton which will take us down to the Falkland Islands. Upon arrival we transfer to Darwin where there should be time for a stroll around before dinner as we begin to discover the wealth of wildlife on these extraordinary islands. Dinner and overnight is at Darwin Lodge.
Day 7: Darwin
Our tour today takes us to Goose Green, scene of one of the major battles in the Falklands War and one of the larger settlements on the islands. As well as learning more about what happened in 1982 we'll also begin to hear what life is like on the islands and, of course, we'll be looking at birds and flowers all the while. We return to Darwin for dinner and overnight.
Days 8 & 9: Carcass Island
Travel between the islands is by 10-seater Islander aircraft, itself a terrific experience.Today we leave Darwin and head north west to Carcass Island, one of the gems of the Falkland Islands. Our short stay includes a boat trip (weather permitting) to West Point, home to a wonderful mixed colony of Black-browed Albatross and Rockhopper Penguins. Carcass is also renowned for its teas and its English-style garden.
Days 10 & 11: Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island, with its amazing array of spectacular wildlife, is the most southerly of the Falkland Islands. As nature is so close at hand here we will spend our time on foot exploring pools and coasts of the island. The majority of all Falklands breeding birds can be found here, including three different species of penguin, and it is also home to one of the rarest birds of prey in the world, the Striated Caracara. One of the great sights of the holiday are the Elephant Seals hauled up on the sandy beach as they moult. The lodge has views right across the island to the sea and the occasional pod of Killer Whales can be seen. After exploring by LandRover every day up until now, it is a delight to spend our time walking over easy terrain on this small and very special island.
Day 12: Stanley
Our last port of call is the islandsï¿½ capital, Stanley where we will be staying in the excellent Malvina House Hotel. This afternoon thereï¿½ll be free time to explore the city and perhaps indulge in a little retail therapy (depending on whatï¿½s open on a Sunday!) before we reconvene for dinner.
Day 13: Stanley (Volunteer Point)
To many people a visit to the King Penguins at Volunteer Point is the highlight of their Falkland holiday – and that's saying something! We travel off-road by LandRover and really experience the Falklands landscape and atmosphere. We'll have plenty of time with the penguins which are both fascinating – and fascinated by us. We stick by the rules and keep our distant but nobody told the penguins and they are highly likely to come right up to inspect you. It's magical. We have to tear ourselves away to return to Stanley for our last evening together.
Day 14: Falklands – Ascension Island – Brize Norton
We have a relatively early start for our transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport for our flight to the UK via Ascension Island.
We arrive back at Brize Norton at 0730 hours, filled with memories.
Please note that the itinerary can be changed without notice at the sole discretion of Island Holidays or your tour leader.