Must Visit Islands in British Columbia

Other than Victoria and Nanaimo, do you know that there are more than 40,000 islands in the province of British Columbia? Have you got a chance to explore some of the islands? Read this blog and we will tell you 8 BC ferry accessible islands. You may also want to read our previous post about beginner-friendly hikes in Vancouver.

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Hornby Island, known as the Hawaii of BC, is filled with forest and coastline. As a hidden gem, the island has less than 1,000 residents, its minimal light source also made the island an ideal place for astronomical observation. A trip to Hornby Island will not be completed without walking a trial at the Helliwell provincial park. It is an easy 5 km trial along the seashore and forest.

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Direction: Take BC Ferry to Nanaimo, then drive an hour north to Buckley Bay, take the second ferry to Denman Island and take another 15 minutes to sail to Hornby. 

Not to mention it is one of the largest Southern Gulf Islands, Saltspring island also has lavender farms, artisan shops, breweries and provincial parks. If you are a nature lover who enjoys organic food and indie art crafts, you will not want to miss the Saturday farmer markets. There will be more than 140 vendors selling everything from produce, paints to furniture, which 98% of are planted and made on the island.

Pro tip: If you are a big fan of Lavender, July and August will be the best season.

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Direction: Take the BC Ferries from Tsawwassen terminal.

When you arrive at the sunshine coast terminal, you will first land on Gibson, a big town with the main grocery stores, restaurants and 100+ artist studios. Heading north, you will enter the town of Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay, in which you can explore lots of water sports, coves, trails, golf playgrounds and stunning coast side houses. A trip to sunshine will not be completed without activities on water. Therefore, you can either rent water sports equipment by Schelt or simply book an Airbnb yacht experience.

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Destination: Take a 40 minutes ferry from Horseshoe Bay terminal.

When you think of scuba diving, you will probably think of Southeast Asia or Central America. However, do you know that Texada Island (nearby the Powell River) offers world-class diving opportunities? Other than that, you can also go hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and playing tennis with your friends and family.

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Horseshoe Bay – Sunshine Coast (Drive to Earls Cove) – Take ferry to Saltery Bay – Drive to Powell River – Take ferry to Texada Island. The island is more accessible by private yachts.

If you only have one spare day, you can access one of the 14 beaches on Mayne island, pay a visit to the Miners bay, which was considered as a popular tourist attraction place during the gold rush. You can finish the day by visiting the Japanese Garden and Lighthouse.

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Directions: 70 minutes from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to Village Bay, or 90 minutes from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to Village Bay (with a stop at Galiano)

If you are visiting Vancouver Island (Nanaimo), why don’t spend an extra hour to visit Gabriola Island? It is a small island with sandstone cliffs.

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20 mins BC ferry from Nanaimo Harbour (Vancouver Island) to Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay)

Do you like animals? How about deers, eagles, beavers? You may be able to see all of those animals by taking a hike (Mount Galiano, The Bluffs, Bodega Ridge) on Galiano Island. 

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Directions: Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay), 50 minutes

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