The Gulf Islands are rugged, carpeted atolls, peppered with hiking and biking trails, kayaking routes among remote crags, and a buzzing arts and creative culture. Due to their chilly waters and somewhat remote location they don't draw in large crowds, meaning you'll be accompanied by far fewer tourists than in neighbouring Vancouver Island, whether you want to scuba dive, go fishing or sail its sprawling waters.
The Northern Gulf Islands
The Northern Gulf Islands are sometimes referred to as the Discovery Islands, a spectacular archipelago comprised of wonderful scenery, and an abundance of wildlife. View migrating whales along the Discovery Passage from Campbell River, learn of First Nations history in the Kwagiulth Museum in Quadra Island, and spot black bears, seals and eagles among dense rock-lined forests on Sonora Island.
The Southern Gulf Islands
At the southern part of the Strait of Georgia, The Southern Gulf Islands are accessible from nearby Vancouver and Victoria and include the popular Salt Spring Island, excellent for diving off Beddish Beach and kayaking among craggy inlets. Head to the neighbouring rural splendours of the Pender Islands, where a laidback way of life lies alongside historic farms, charming ports and undulating countryside. Wineries, exotic plant life and hiking trips abound, with both islands attracting a range of bird life for keen watchers. An almost Mediterranean climate attracts a whole host of different people to the numerous islands, from the buzzing community of Hornby Island to the remote Saturna Islands, featuring sandstone monoliths, untouched, old-growth forest, and panoramic Mount Warburton Pike.