Fenualoa, Solomon Islands, with the active volcano Tinakula in the backgroundhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fenualoa_lagoon_2.jpg
is a group of islands to the east of Papua New Guinea. A former British colony, it is today a constitutional monarch with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. The country covers 28,400 sq km (10,965 sq mi) and has a population of 525,000 (2011 estimate). Its capital and largest city is Honiara.
Solomon Islands comprise almost a thousand islands of varying sizes. They have been inhabited by Papuan-speaking people for thousands of years. Other waves of people arriving there included the Austronesians, who introduced outrigger canoes around 4,000 BC. Later on, Polynesians also arrived, settling in the Bismarck Archipelago.
Guadalcanal American Memorial, Honiara, Solomon Islandshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guadalcanal_American_Memorial.jpg
The first European to arrive at the Solomon Islands was Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira. He came upon the islands on his journey from Peru in 1568, and found that the islanders were engaged in headhunting and cannibalism.
The Soilomon Islands became a British protectorate in 1893. During that time, missionary activities converted most of the islanders to Christianity. The Solomon Islands gained self-government in 1976 followed by full independence in 1978. However the post-independence period was marred by ethnic tension and civil unrest, leading to a civil war between rival groups.
Gizo waterfront market place, Solomon Islandshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gizo_Water_front_3.jpg
Planning your visit to Solomon Islands
Visa on arrival is available for citizens of American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Cook Islands, Curaçao, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Montserrat, Nauru, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
The only international airport in the Solomon Islands is Honiara International Airport (HIR), located about 7 miles to the east of the capital. You can fly there on from Brisbane on Our Airline, Strategic Airlines and Virgin Blue (operated by Pacific Blue).
Major Cities in Solomon Islands
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