British Columbia’s Gulf Islands include both the major populated islands and hundreds of small islands in the archipelago at the southern end of the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the BC Mainland. The Strait of Georgia is part of the larger Salish Sea, which owes its name to the islands’ original inhabitants: the Coast Salish First Nations.
The region, known for its stunning combination of unique culture and beautiful coastlines, are most popular throughout the warm BC summer. The climate is sub-Mediterranean, which means warm and dry summers with plenty of sunshine. This also makes the region rich in agriculture; so organic farms, hobby fromageries, and wineries are all common sights along the rolling terrain of the islands.
While it is possible to tour one, and sometimes two, islands in a single day, many visitors opt to spend a weekend or more hopping between different islands. The communities are renowned for their eclectic lifestyles of artists, musicians, and retirees; however, each of the major islands – Galiano, Mayne, North and South Pender, Saltspring, and Gabriola - has its own unique personality.
Ferries to the main islands are all managed by BC Ferries from ports in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Vancouver.