I’m the first to admit that I have not made the most of living in British Columbia or Canada for that fact, and have hardly seen any of this stunning country. Every year I make a promise to myself that I am going to do something about it, but the truth is, it’s pretty expensive to travel within Canada, especially if you want to go from one side of this massive country to the other. Therefore, I have yet to really explore Canada. I finally made it to Galiano Island this past week whilst my mum is here visiting, and I can’t believe I haven’t been there sooner, especially considering how close it is to Vancouver.
Stay and Eat:
We stayed at the Oceanfront Inn and Spa, which is very conveniently located about a minutes walk from the ferry terminal. There aren’t too many hotels to choose from on the tiny island, but there are B&B’s and rental cabins all up for grabs too. The hotel itself is small and beautiful. Our room had an oceanfront patio, and was both spacious and comfortable, as well as that our room had the BEST bathtub I have ever been in in my entire life!
We stayed pretty local with our eating (partly because we’re lazy, and partly because the island is so small) and had a delicious dinner at the Attevida restaurant which is part of the hotel, and offers stunning views of the water. We also tried the Sturdies Bay Bakery, located a two minute walk from the hotel, for a coffee and croissant for breakfast the next day, and then went back to the hotel and had some of their fire roasted pizza for lunch that was absolutely scrumptious. Finally, because it was lovely and hot it seemed like the best excuse to indulge in an ice cream at Scoops.
Things to do:
Galiano Island is tiny (27.5 km’s or 17miles) so most things to do there are either nature related – hiking, kayaking etc. – or based upon relaxation. We definitely leaned towards the relaxation side of things. Our hotel had a spa attached which we didn’t take advantage of this time (but would definitely do on a return visit) and this is definitely one of the main draws. I’m not going to lie, both of us are easy to please and were excited to have a look around and just relax.
Luckily for us, our hotel also offered Smart Cars for hire, which we took advantage off and set out to explore the island from one end to the other. There are some points of interest on the island, which include Montague Harbour as well as Bellhouse Provincial Park, Bluff’s Peak and Bodega Ridge. You can also pass right through the 49th parallel which is kinda cool. I definitely recommend embracing the adventure and “getting lost” because honestly, the island is so small you can’t really go wrong. We stumbled upon a lovely little secluded oceanfront area that was just a short walk along a flat trail.
As I already said getting to the Oceanfront Inn and Spa is beyond easy. Getting to Galiano Island is equally easy too. BC Ferries run a route to and from Tsawwassen daily, and depending on what time of year you visit there are more or less departures, the route takes about an hour. Galiano is tiny, and I don’t think a car is necessarily an essential, depending on where you’re going on the island and what you want to do. Taking a bike might be a better option, especially when you take into consideration how much the ferry costs jump up for taking a car. Walking and hitch hiking are pretty common on the island, so don’t be surprised if you see someone with their thumb in the air at the side of the road.
Galiano Island was absolutely beautiful and I honestly cannot believe I haven’t been there in the five and a half years I have been living in Vancouver, especially considering how close it is. I would definitely like to go back and do some more exploring, and maybe even some hiking. Because of it’s proximity to the mainland it is a great option for a weekend break as well as a day trip. It is is the sort of place where there is a stunning view around every corner, and a great place to relax and unwind. Happy exploring!