Floatplane Arriving at Salt Spring Island Boat During Sunset

Visit The Gulf Islands Off Vancouver Island

The Gulf Islands are located off of Vancouver Island, between the Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada.  They have been named one of the best coastal destinations and Top 52 Places to Visit in 2016 by the New York Times.

The Gulf Islands region has a surprisingly mild climate for being so far north.  The climate is almost Mediterranean.  It is home to beaches, swimming, fishing, scuba diving, sailing, wineries, and holistic farms.  Plus, it is home to many artists.

Gulf Islands (highlighted) and surrounding region.

Gulf Islands (highlighted) and surrounding region. Courtesy Wikipedia

There are over 200 islands, accessible by float plane, private boat, or ferry.  The major islands all deserve a day or two each to explore.  Bicycles are a good way to tour the islands.  To get to an island you will have to pre-plan a ferry trip which only runs at certain times of the day and night.  If you plan on staying overnight, you will have to plan accommodations as well.  There are 14,000 people scattered throughout the various islands.  Different islands offer different possibilities, so you will need to think about and pre-plan what you want to do.

Here are a few descriptions of some of the islands.

Salt Spring Island

Mild climate, laid back lifestyle, most popular island, home to the most people, wineries, organic farming, food artisans, cheesemakers


Bounty of Salt Spring at the 2014 Salt Spring Island Fall Fair

Bounty of Salt Spring at the Salt Spring Island Fall Fair | Image: Salt Spring Market





Art community, parks, beaches

Tribune Bay Beach on Hornby Island

Tribune Bay Beach on Hornby Island | Image: HelloBC


Gabriola Island

Art, parks, beaches, limestone formations

Eastern shore of Gabriola

Eastern shore of Gabriola | Image: Source


Denman Island

Parks, wilderness, wildlife viewing

Denman Island Nature Tour

Denman Island Nature Tour | Image Courtesy Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours

Mayne Island

Mayne Island – 19th century buildings, kayaking opportunities, lighthouse, mountain climbing

Orca whale sightings

Orca whale sightings | Image Courtesy Mayne Island Resort



This article contributed by Cheryl Jones, a free lance writer and blogger.

Originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime media producer, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, technology and being a Dad.

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