About the Southern Gulf Islands

Southern Gulf Islands

Bowen Island

Make a quick getaway to Bowen Island. The short ferry ride puts you in the charming port of Snug Cove, with its array of unique shops, art galleries, historic sites and 600-acre Crippen Regional Park. Island beach activities include swimming, beachcombing and skin-diving.


Chemainus, Thetis Island and Kuper Island

Chemainus is one of the oldest European settlements on Vancouver Island. Here you can see 33 colourful murals depicting the early settlement and industry in the area. These beautiful works of art are larger-than-life and vividly illustrate the history of the valley. There are tempting shops and galleries featuring everything from local crafts to renowned art and antiques.

From Chemainus, BC Ferries operates a service to Thetis Island which offers hiking, marinas, fishing, cruising and relaxation.

Prior to visiting Kuper Island, permission must be obtained from the Penelakut Band Council.  Please telephone 250-246-2321.

Gabriola Island

Gabriola Island really lives up to its name as the Isle of the Arts, with a wonderful variety of studios and galleries to browse through. You'll also enjoy Gabriola's beaches, ancient petroglyphs, abundant wild life, and Island hospitality.


Galiano Island

Charming Galiano Island welcomes visitors with its refreshingly relaxed and serene atmosphere. Tucked away in the predominantly Douglas fir forest are cottage resorts, country inns, bed and breakfasts, art galleries, craft shops, oceanfront parks, casual cafes, and several excellent restaurants.

From the moss-covered shores of Bellhouse Park at the south end of the Island, to spectacular Dionisio Point Provincial Park on Porlier Pass at the northern tip, there is plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy. Sail, kayak, or fish local waters. Picnic at a scenic viewpoint, enjoy a round of golf, or explore the beautiful island.


Mayne Island

Mayne Island is a small, quiet place with a colourful past. During the Fraser River/Cariboo Gold Rush of the mid-1800's, Vancouver Island miners gathered at Miner's Bay before rowing across the Strait of Georgia. Today, boaters find docking facilities at the government wharf and can walk into the village of Miner's Bay.

On Mayne Island, visitors find a unique selection of accommodations, including delightful bed and breakfasts, country inns, cabins with fireplaces, and resorts in a variety of settings. There are plenty of recreational opportunities; kayak, canoe or scuba dive in the bays; bask in the sun at Bennett Bay Beach; cycle the Island's roadways past bays and along the coastline. You can also hike through the forest in Mount Park Regional Park, the highest point on the Island, for great views of Active Pass and the surrounding Gulf Islands.


Salt Spring Island

Sunshine and scenery make Salt Spring, the largest and most populated of the Gulf Islands, an artist's paradise. Salt Spring Island's galleries and craft studios feature a variety of works from internationally renowned artists.

Shop in Ganges at Artcraft, the summer-long arts and crafts fair, the Saturday morning market, quaint retail shops, and galleries. The Island offers a full range of quality accommodations, excellent restaurants ranging from vegetarian, ethnic, and pub fare to fine dining and a gourmet coffee house, and activities such as golfing, kayaking, wind surfing, fishing, sailing, and more.


Saturna Island

Saturna Island, the most southern of the Gulf Islands, features a small but vibrant community, abundant wildlife and forests, spectacular and quiet parks, beaches, view drives, and a large ocean side vineyard with accompanying winery.

Quality accommodations range from a fine dining lodge to excellent B & B's and self-contained cottages. (Sorry, no public campgrounds). Services include two well-provisioned general stores (including post office and gas bar), an ocean side pub, bakery, art gallery, gift shop, boat and kayak rentals, tennis courts and a reservation shuttle service.

For short visits or long stays, Saturna is the perfect rural getaway for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking or bicycling, offering quiet and natural surroundings with all the necessary amenities.


The Pender Islands

Known as the friendly Islands and the Islands of hidden coves and beaches, the Penders are actually two islands joined together by a bridge. The Penders are perfect for family vacations, romantic escapes and retreats, and offer an intimate and pastoral setting popular with nature lovers. Hike various trails that range in degree of difficulty from novice to experienced. Swim, kayak, or boat at Mortimer Spit, just one of more than 20 public ocean access points. Play a game of tennis or a round of golf. Annual craft fairs, poetry readings, and exhibitions are held througout the year.