Roughly 1,000 miles from the coast of Africa in the mighty Atlantic, raises a remote archipelago, part of a British Overseas Territory including the islands of Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Islands. Sparsely populated and close to nothing, this unique archipelago is most famous for its most remote island, Ascension Island. Named after the day of its recorded discovery, Ascension Day, this volcanic island has a long history, is known for its remote beauty and is a home to unique species of plants and animals.
First discovered by Joao da Nova, a Portuguese navigator in 1501, it was re discovered by another navigator and named in 1503. Not realizing its full potential, the island remained unclaimed by the Portuguese and the islands remained remote, being used only as a source of food as numerous seabirds lived around the islands and were easy prey. Later, these same mariners introduced goats to the island as a source of food later on as well.
Over time the island continued to play an interesting roll. A resting place, a gathering place and even an open prison, the island remained unpopulated and virtually unvisited until Joseph Hooker arrive in 1843 to study the area. Garrisoned by the British in the early 1800’s, by the 1850’s, trees had been planted, a cloud forest had grown up and the island become connected to the UK by underwater cable and a Governor appointed. A staging area for British forced during the Falkland War, the island made its place in history. Mysterious and beautiful the island is now a unique subtropical paradise in the South Atlantic offering wildlife, activities, beautiful beaches and lush vegetation as well as a variety of sports and activities. From beaches to special cultural and historic events and destinations, come with us and explore the lovely Ascension Island.
What to See and Do
From golden sand beaches to beautiful walking tours of the bays and inlets, museums, shopping areas, restaurants, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing charters and sports, these are just a taste of all the island has to offer. It is good to spend some time talking to the locals or even taking a tour to get to know the area and its sites. For example, while Long Beach is a site most don’t want to miss, it isn’t for the swimming as this beach is known for its strong undercurrents. This being said, the beach is still popular for nature lovers as it is one of the most important green turtle nesting sites in the world.
English Bay is a popular swimming beach which visitors tend to visit. Snorkeling is popular here as well as are the many coves surrounding the island.
Fumeroles are natural lava caves found on the island. For the adventurous, these are interesting places to explore.
No trip to the island is complete without a trip to the museum to learn more about the area’s history and culture. In addition, a number of other heritage sites are also offered around the island.
Note: Before visiting Ascension, you must have permission to visit from the government in addition to comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Accommodations are available from the Obsidian. To request permit applications, plan at least a month in advance of the trip.
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