A turn around the island
Among the island’s most popular activities, a festival dedicated to walking takes place in March. In 2016, it comprised 12 routes through the island. In November, walking is replaced by running, with challenges in the hills and precipitous peaks, and marches along the coast.
Until now, getting there has been a real challenge: five days on-board the Royal Mail Ship, which departs from Cape Town. 2012 saw approval of construction of an airport, to open in 2016, with flights from London to Johannesburg, and a weekly connection to the island. Private transport is already operating, and regular lines with capacity for 120 passengers are expected to be incorporated. This will improve communications for the 4,200 inhabitants of St Helena, but will primarily increase the number of tourists, who today represent just 1,500 visitors per year.
These travellers are attracted by its natural spots and the former presence of Napoleon. St Helena was discovered in 1502 by Spanish sailor João de Nova, who was serving the Portuguese crown, but it was covered up for strategic reasons—some time later, they would dock 1,000 ships a year at this location—until, in 1588, Captain Cavendish arrived, becoming the first English person to visit the island.