The Solomon Islands are a collection of nearly one thousand islands in Oceania that form a sovereign country. They lie to the east of Papua New Guinea in Melanesia and cover a land area of 28,400 square kilometres . The country’s capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón.