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The Islands
Salt Spring Island
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  The Islands
The Islands
Spectacular scenery is what first draws visitors to the islands, a peaceful haven from the bustle of nearby Victoria and Vancouver. Sparkling blue sea, idyllic scenery, beautiful communities, and majestic fir forests are some of the things that can describe the Islands. Yes, a beautiful paradise exists right off the coast of Vancouver Island. The Gulf Islands lie on the Canadian side of the border and the San Juan Islands (US Territory) lie direclty offshore from Victoria across Haro Strait and the Strait of Georgia. There are 13 major islands and some 450 smaller islands in Georgia Strait. There are six main islands in the southern Gulf Islands group, all with easy access by ferry, seaplane, and private boat from Vancouver Island or the mainland. The Gulf Islands include: Gabriola Island, Salt Spring Island, Galiano Island, Mayne Island, Pender Islands and Saturna Island.
Driving Directions

Denman Island:
Denman Island is located in the northwest corner of the Georgia Strait, approximately 2 1/2 hours north of Victoria, 1 hour north of Nanaimo, and 20 minutes south of Courtenay. The Island is connected to Vancouver Island by a ferry service that has been operating for over 70 years. The 2 km ferry ride provides wonderful views of Denman, as well as Vancouver Island's Beaufort Mountain range. 19 km long and 5 km wide, Denman offers plenty of outdoor adventures: Hiking, walking, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, and scuba diving. Visit Fillongley Provincial Park on Denman. Stroll through the museum and art gallery in Denman Village.  
Gabriola Island:
Is easily accessed from Nanaimo via ferry, with a crossing time of 20 minutes, and floatplane from Vancouver. The endless list of activities will bring you back to Gabriola Island time and time again: - Relax on the many beaches, dive in crystal-clear water, fish, cycle, ride horseback, hike, beachcomb, kayak, canoe, cruise, play tennis, and golf. Enjoy the beautiful view of Entrance Island Lighhouse from Olebar Point. Enjoy visiting Brickyard Beach, Drumbeg Provincial Park, and Sandwell Provincial Park. Visit Gabriola's museum and learn about the community. Tour local craft galleries and private studios. Gabriola Island offer all amenities, including two local shopping centres, fine dining and excellent accommodations from campgrounds to lodges, inns, and cottages. It is recommended that visitors obtain accommodation reservations in advance before travelling to Gabriola Island. 
Galiano Island:
The closest to the mainland, is a long, narrow island of 57 sq km, with a population of nearly 1,000 residents, that welcomes visitors with its relaxed atmosphere and natural beauty. Galiano Island offers a wealth of recreational choices: - Bluffs Park in the south is a hikers haven with views of Active Pass, the other Gulf Islands and the Olympic Peninsula. Visit Dionsio Point Provincial Park in the north, and see its fabulous sandstone rock formations at Coon Bay. Stroll along the trails at Gray Peninsula in Montague Harbour Provincial Park. Get to the top of Mount Galiano and have a panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains. Try hiking Bodega Ridge. Experience fishing the waters of Trincomali Channel and camping in Dionisio Provincial Park, accessible only by boat. Enjoy kayaking all year-round. Drive through country roads which lead you to arts & craft galleries, eateries and excellent accommodations. It is recommended that visitors obtain accommodation reservations well in advance before travelling to Galiano Island. 
Mayne Island:
Is a quiet getaway Island with a rich, colourful history, which measures 21 sq km and has a population of approximately 900 people. The community centre is the heritage Agricultural Hall, a charming building which hosts a variety of island activities. This Island has much to offer the visitor: - Kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, hiking, swimming, picnicking, cycling... to just mention a few. Visit the newly created provincial park at Georgina Point. Hike Mount Parke Regional Park, the highest point on the Island, for stunning views. Visit Campbell Bay and enjoy the swimming beach or just relax in the sun. Take a sightseeing cruise and enjoy wildlife, or experience a sport fishing charter. Visit Bennett Bay Beach and enjoy the swimming. Browse through the small shops in Miners Bay and learn local history at the museum. Although there are no provincial campsites on the island, Mayne Island offers affordable accommodations, as well as private campsites and fine dining. 
Pender Island:
Well known as the "Friendly Islands", South Pender and North Pender, originally one island, are actually two islands joined together by a busy bridge over a canal which links the two, and is home to about 2,200 residents. The Pender Islands is a perfect destination for family vacations and wellness retreats, offering many delightful sights and attractions: - Boat rentals, great sport fishing, cruises along the coastline, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, golfing, tennis, hiking trails, and nature watching. Boat or swim at Mortimer Spit, just one of many public ocean access points. Stroll around Brooks Point on South Pender, a 4-hectare waterfront conservation area. Experience hiking Mount Elizabeth, Mount Norman Regional Parks and Enchanted Forest Trail. Take a plunge in one of the outdoor pools at Port Browning or Bedwell Harbour, or from the public wharf at the south end of Magic Lake. The Pender Islands offer a wide variety of accommodations, including campsites at Prior Centennial Provincial Park and Beaumont Marine Park, as well as resorts, B&B, and fine dining. Also browse through the art & craft shops and galleries. 
Quadra Island:
A ten minute ferry ride from downtown Campbell River brings you to Quadra Island, the largest of the Discovery Islands. This popular, getaway island destination of 3000 residents, primarly known for sport fishing, offers many guided and self-guided outdoor adventure excursions: - Chartered boats, guided salmon fishing tours, cycling, kayaking, conoeing, diving, sailing, and hiking. Stroll the trails at Rebecca Spit Provincial Park. Hike up Chinese Mountain for a panoramic view of the Island. Visit the Kwagiulth Museum with an impressive collection of masks, crafts, and artifacts from First Nations culture. Browse the art and craft shops, and art galleries and studios. 
Salt Spring Island: Video
The largest of the Gulf Islands, conveniently located between Victoria and Vancouver, is readily accessible from either city, and is home to about 10,000 residents. Salt Spring Island has a spectacular scenery, a mild climate and a reputation for artistic flair. Along the country roads exist galleries and artisan studios, offering paintings, sculptures, and prints, to weaving, pottery, stained glass, basketry, and jewellery. Numerous yoga and mineral spa retreats are popular on Salt Spring Island. This beautiful Island offers plenty of recreational opportunities: Kayaking excursions, sport fishing adventures, guided wildlife, scenic boat tours, charter boats, cycling, birdwatching, hiking, tennis, golfing, and other activities. Explore sunken wrecks at Princess Margaret Marine Park. Hike to the top of Mount Maxwell for an impressive view. Enjoy seeing Native artifacts at Fulford Harbour's museum. Hike the trails along the coast at Ruckle Provincial Park on the edge of Swanson Channel. Enjoy theatre and live entertainment year-round at the new Art Spring Theatre in Ganges. Visit Ganges, the business hub of the island. Salt Spring Island offers excellent accommodations and fine restaurants. Commercial areas are also located at Vesuvius Bay, Fulford Harbour and Fernwood. 
Saturna Island:
Is the southerly and most rural of the Gulf Islands with a population of nearly 330 residents on 31 sq km. This quite and pristine island, with a moderate climate, offers scenic walks, stunning views, and tremendous natural beauty. Saturna has something for everyone: Boat rentals, great fishing excursions, kayaking, swimming, hiking trails, ocean-side parks, and beautiful beaches. Visit Thomson Park and take a stroll along the sandy beach. Hike up all the way to the top of Mount Warburton Pike and enjoy a panoramic view and wildlife beauty. Experience on-shore whale watching and basking in the sun at East Point Park. Visit Winter Cove Provincial Marine Park and enjoy its beaches and hiking trails. Saturna Island boasts an easy-going pace that makes it a perfect getaway destination, offering few amenties, most within a few miles of where the ferry lands at Lyall Harbour. There's a local shuttle and tour van service available. 
Sonora Island:
Known as one of the Discovery Islands a.k.a. the Northern Gulf Islands. The Sonora Island area offers all types of outdoor recreation and sport activities - fishing, boating, diving, and wildlife viewing, and the availability of seafood such as crab, prawns, clams & oysters are all within this region. Thurston Bay Marine Provincial Park is located on the northwest side of Sonora Island, in Johnstone Strait off the east coast of central Vancouver Island. This park is accessible by boat only. There are no developed facilities at the park, although random camping is allowed. Visitors can go swimming, fishing, hiking or paddling, or explore the small, pretty beaches dotting the rocky shoreline. An unmaintained trail leads to Florence Lake, ideal for peaceful swimming, fishing and paddling. The Octopus Island Provincial Park is only minutes away. The park is located on the northeast side of Quadra Island at the southern tip of Sonora Island and the junction of Quadra, Sonora and Maurelle Islands. Access to this marine park is by boat only.  
Stuart Island:
Known as one of the Discovery Islands a.k.a. the Northern Gulf Islands. The main islands in the Discovery Islands group are Quadra Island, Cortes Island and the Outer Islands, the largest of which include East and West Thurlow Islands, Sonora Island, Stuart Island, Maurelle Island, Read Island, Raza Island, East and West Redonda Island, and the Rendezvous Islands. Visitors from around the world are attracted to the Discovery Islands for their scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. The Discovery Islands are located between Campbell River on Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. The temperate climate, spectacular scenery, wildlife habitat, quiet rural lifestyle and endless year-round recreation opportunities combine to make the Discovery Islands a highly desirable place to live and visit.  
Texada Island:
Just across Georgia Strait from Powell River. Texada is known for its richest limestone quarries. Enjoy camping, kayaking and beachcombing the area. Served by BC Ferries from Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. A distance of 8 km (5 mi) by sea, with a crossing time of 35 minutes. It is recommended that visitors obtain accommodation in advance before travelling to Texada Island. 
Thetis Island:
Thetis Island is located in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC. Population: 350. A relaxing retreat, especially popular in the summer, the permanent residents of Thetis Island welcome visitors to enjoy the diverse recreational opportunities, including scuba diving, fishing, swimming, boating, cruising, kayaking, beach exploration, golfing, bird watching, and hiking.  
Women´s Getaway
Gulf Islands Bed & Breakfast
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