4 to 8 days
best part about travelling BC's
Gulf Islands is that you can set the
itinerary yourself and "island hop" according
to your preference and interest. The Gulf
Islands are comprised of 14 islands,
and each are unique. Many of them host artist colonies,
others are distinctive for their cultural, ecological
and historical attractions.
BC travellers need to be aware of the ferry schedules
to and from their destinations (some routes have only
2-3 sailings per day), "island hopping"
can be the perfect circle tour. The following itinerary
is just a sample of some of the sights you will see
on a tour of BC's island coasts.
begin your trip at the Tswwassen Ferry Terminal, approximately
35 km/22 miles south of Vancouver, BC. Take a morning
ferry to Mayne Island. Sailing time is 1 hour, 25
minutes. Spend the morning browsing the shops in Miners
Bay and check out the museum, located in and old jailhouse.
After lunch, charter a cruise around the island waters,
or hike Mount Park Regional Park for a sensational
view of Active Pass and the nearby islands.
Photo Courtesy of Tourism BC
the afternoon take the ferry to Pender Islands (25
minutes), where you will have reserved accommodation
at one of the bed and breakfast homes.
next day, kayak or swim at Mortimer Spit. Or drive
the two islands which are connected by a bridge and
enjoy the tranquility of island countryside.
third day take the ferry to Salt Spring Island (Long
Harbour - 40 minutes), one of the Gulf Island's best
known artist enclaves. Visit the many small artist
shops and galleries. If you enjoy diving, you will
find plenty of opportunity at Princess Margaret Marine
Park. Camp at Ruckle Park, or stay in one of Salt
Spring's restful inns or hotels.
from South Pender Island
Photo Courtesy of CRD Parks
you are ready for a change, drive to Vesuvius Bay
and take the ferry to Crofton, at the south end of
Vancouver Island (20 minutes). Spend some time touring
the coast. Check out Nanaimo's impressive listing
of heritage buildings, and dine in one of its fine
restaurants (approximately 25 km/16 miles north).
Highway 19 north to Buckley Bay (approximately 76
km/48 miles north of Nanaimo),
where you can catch the ferry for Denman Island (a
15 minute ride).
near the beach at Fillongley Provincial Park, enjoy
the shoreline, or hike and swim. Rent a bike and tour
Denman. When you are ready for a change of scenery,
take the ferry to Hornby Island, 15 minutes away,
and scuba dive at Fords Cove. Or hike Helliwell Bay
Provincial Park, where you can take in a breathtaking
view from Helliwell Bluffs.
Photo Courtesy of Salt Spring
Chamber of Commerce
to Vancouver from Denman Island, or if you are not
ready to leave the islands yet, take the ferry back
Island, and proceed up the coast to
River (66 km/41 miles), where you can
catch the ferry for Quadra Island and Cortes Island
from Quadra. Cortes offers unspoiled lakes and beaches
- one of the Northern Islands more popular marine
to Vancouver by any number of ferries. The sailing
(46 km south of Campbell
River) and Powell
River gives you an excellent opportunity
to see BC's
Sunshine Coast as you wind your way
back to the Vancouver Mainland. Or return to Nanaimo
or Swartz Bay (32 km/20 miles north of Victoria)
for a more direct route.
sure to browse the Points of Interest:
BC Ferries Information