The Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands delight in juxtaposition, blurring the horizons between Antarctic wilderness and rural character. Look one way and it's serene and surreal, landscapes dominated by quartzite peaks and a patchwork of low-rising endemic plants. Gaze the other and drama is delivered by ice-sculpted mountains and breeding penguins.
Cast adrift in the South Atlantic, the Falklands provide a haven for five penguins species, including the gentoo and king. Huge seal populations bask on the coastal rocks before comically slipping into the icy waters. Albatross and storm petrels are amongst the stunning array of seabirds that nest amidst these rural and wild lands.
While the Falklands are inhabited by tiny hamlets and sheep stations, a sense of wilderness occupies most of the terrain, particularly around its remote bays and beaches. This makes the islands a popular addition on many voyages.