The Isabella Islands were originally settled by Spanish and Portugese fishermen in 1782. The islands were ceded to Paulovia by Spain in 1898 following the Treaty of Barcelona. The main islands of Isabella still have have an Iberian character to them which is evident in the food and language of its inhabitants. Most of the other islands in the Isabella chain are sparesly populated with only Isabella Island itself having a large community that would be recognised on the European mainland as a 'town'.
The semi-walled town of Isabella with its battered central citidel is testament to the tides of invaders and rise and fall of empires throughout the past 400 years in the region. Beyond the crumbling walls lies a rich and productive agricultural land known throughout Paulovia for
its high quality produce. With the daily fresh catch of the small Isabella fishing fleet, the local restaurants and small Tapas bars provide locals and visitors with a bewildering selection of traditional and regional dishes, some spicy, some subtle, many robust but all delicious!
The island of Una to the north-west is a favourite diving destination to view submerged ruins of a metropolis of an unknown ancient culture,
although it is though to be related to Kourion on the Andreas Islands. The University of Paulovia has ongoing excavations and surveying of the
seabed around Una. Due to the delicate nature of the ecology and archaeology on and around Una, anchorage by private vessels around Una is strictly controlled and completely prohibited for commercial craft. Landing on Una is discouraged and permits are required to visit the island.
English is the official language on Isabella, as it is throughout Paulovia, but this is invariably intermixed with Spanish, Greek and Italian
phrases so characteristic of all the Paulovia Islands. A recent travel guide described Isabella as, "...a delightful time bubble from the 1960s
that has resisted the commercialisation of most similar locations found on the Iberian coasts. The people are friendly, inviting and content in their haven from the modern hectic world. Well worth a visit." (1)
The remaining and very un-Spanish sounding islands of Teazle, Zuleika, Zanoni and Zadig, are on the whole sparesly populated except during summer when vacationing Paulovians from Omorfee and mainland Europe populate the islands. This is particularly advantageous to all wildlife and especially for breeding turtles and seabirds on Teazle Island, another protected area which requires all visitors to have special landing permits. Ortheris and Sovagxa islands are Crown property and as such no settlement or landing is permitted without permits from the Ministry of the Interior.
In recognition of Isabella's unique character within Paulovia, the Isabella Islands were granted their own municipal flag in April 2009.
Honorary Citizens are permitted to register their Residency on the islands of Isabella, Zuleika, Zanoni and Zadig.
(1) Blue Sojourn Travel Magazine, June 2001
Published: 18 May 2009 by the Ministry of Information in association with the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture