You won’t need to be in Galiano long to understand why it calls itself the “Gem of the Gulf Islands.” Watch whales gliding gracefully through the ocean and climb to the top of a forested peak in untouched wilderness. The few people who live here welcome visitors to the beauty of their island home with lively festivals and year-round entertainment.
Spend your day on a secluded beach lined by forests of pine and cedar. Measuring 17 miles (27 kilometers) from end to end, Galiano Island offers plenty of quiet coastline to discover. Take your camera along to Pebble Beach Reserve and Dionisio Point for photos of tranquil shores.
Experience adventure in the island’s interior. In spite of its size, Galiano is sparsely populated, which means that much of the island remains undeveloped. Hike through the protected parklands of Mount Galiano and Bodega Ridge for spectacular, untouched scenery. Take a mountain bike into the hills or sail a dinghy along the island coastline.
Step aboard a chartered boat departing from Montague Harbour Provincial Marine Park to go whale watching in the ocean. Minke, orca and humpback whales are among the different species that visit these waters as they migrate through at different times of the year.
After you’ve had enough nature, explore the village of Sturdies Bay. Browse literature in independent bookstores and wander through charming art galleries. Rejuvenate in one of the island’s spas, where saunas, pools and flotation therapy will relax every muscle in your body.
Galiano is a hub for the network of ferries connecting the various Gulf Islands. Take a boat from here to Salt Spring Island, Mayne Island and other Gulf Islands destinations. To get to Galiano, book a ferry from Tsawwassen or Swartz Bay on Victoria Island.
Plan your visit to coincide with one of Galiano’s lively festivals. August has the Wine and Beer Tasting Festival, February offers a lively Literary Festival and in spring you can witness the unusual celebration known as Nettlefest.