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The Gulf and Discovery Islands

BC Land for saleSouthern Gulf Islands: Snug in the Georgia Strait, between the mainland and the eastern side of Vancouver Island, are the Gulf Islands. Each of these islands seems to be a world unto itself; each has its own history, culture and colourful characters. There are seven major islands in the southern half of the Strait of Georgia. Each island has its distinctive charm, and deserves at least a day or two for exploring. A good way to do so is by bicycle, stopping at campgrounds or bed and breakfasts along the way.

Roadways and trails take you on a tour of natural beauty, leading you to hilltops for fabulous views and down to the beach for an afternoon swim. Around each corner is an artisan's gallery or a cafe, a row of unique little shops or a quiet marina. There's also camping, hiking, fishing, boating, all in beautiful surroundings and a friendly, relaxing atmosphere - truly what holiday memories are made of.

Saltspring Island is Canada's arts and crafts island. Because of its mild climate, mellow pace, beautiful landscapes and island isolation, artists and crafts people are drawn from all over the world. Although Saltspring is well known to boaters and may be reached by three ferries and scheduled air flights, it remains a quiet lesser-known paradise for most travellers. On Saturday mornings in the summer, the spirit of Saltspring can be caught in the local Market in Ganges, the biggest town in the Gulfs.

Rolling orchards and warm rock-strewn beaches abound on Mayne Island, a rustic 13 square-km spot. It's small enough for a day trip, but pretty enough for a lifetime. Drop by the lighthouse, watch the frantic activity as fishermen wait till the last minute to get out of the ferry's way in Active Pass, or stroll up the top of Mayne's mountains for a view of the Strait of Georgia - and you'll begin to discover what Mayne is all about. Gulf Islands real estate

Saturna Island is tucked away at the southern end of the island chain. Rural, sparsely populated, and difficult to reach, Saturna Island is easily the least spoilt of the Gulf islands. The Pender Islands are known as the 'Friendly Islands' and the 'Islands of Hidden Coves' - with over 20 public ocean access spots to visit along the beaches and coves. The mild climate and pristine wilderness make the Penders perfect for family holidays, romantic retreats, golfing, hiking, biking and nature-watching.

Galiano Island has always enjoyed the reputation of being the most welcoming to visitors. This is due in large part to the limited amount of farmland on Galiano in comparison to other islands. Of necessity, early settlers here opened their homes to tourists as a way of earning a living. Today, Galiano is a hub for sea-kayak trips and the site of the Montague Harbour Provincial Marine park, one of the largest provincial marine parks on any of the islands. This isn't to say that residents of the other islands won't be just as pleased to see you disembark at the dock. Indeed, tourism is important to the livelihood and economic well-being of most of the Gulf Islands, although some are better prepared for it than others.

Gabriola Island, the most accessible of the chain, features three provincial parks, quiet beaches and sensational ocean views. Perhaps the most interesting limestone formations on the Gulf Islands are located at Gabriola Sands Provincial Park. Explore the amazing cave-like sandstone formations called the Malaspina Galleries.

Decide in advance which island best suits your purposes, then consult a BC Ferries schedule to see if you can manage the connections in the course of a day's visit, or whether you'll have to seek overnight accommodation. Except in summer months, ferry service to many islands is restricted to one or two sailings a day. You may find that in order to catch a ride, you'll have to start your day well before dawn and return home late in the evening. The trade-off is that you'll find far fewer visitors sharing the roads, waterways and parks with you as you travel at off-peak times.

Northern Gulf Islands/Discovery Islands: These islands, part of a chain of 6,000 islands that shelter the British Columbia coastline between Washington and Alaska, lie beyond the quick-access range of Vancouver and Victoria. The wonderful silence that envelops these islands is characteristic of the ambience in remote central coast locales.

Landquest Coast and Island Gulf IslandsIt wasn't always this way. In the heyday of fishing and logging camps, the population on the more isolated islands was surprisingly higher than it is today. Evidence of this can be seen in the abandoned cabins, ancient villages, and overgrown logging roads. Explore by car, kayak, mountain bike or on foot. Find a location that appeals to you, and within this microcosm, experience the wonder and magic that pervades life here.

Quadra Island is a 10-minute ferry ride from Campbell River. Resident artists and craftspeople make the island a fine place to sleuth around for pottery and other wares. The Kwagiulth Museum and Cultural Centre contains an outstanding collection of authentic artifacts. Tranquil and bucolic, Denman Island and Hornby Island sits just off the east coast of Vancouver Island. Denman, the larger of the two is known for its pastoral farmlands and its population of talented artisans.

After going to the effort to reach Cortes Island, with its placid lakes, beaches rich in shellfish, and rugged gorges - your reward is finding a campsite on the southwestern corner at Smelt Bay Provincial Park, a heavenly setting on this picturesque island. Texada Island, originally home to a whaling station, is now the site of a working limestone quarry.

Hop aboard the foot passenger ferry from French Creek and cruise across the Strait of Georgia to Lasqueti Island. Largely undeveloped, Lasqueti is a worthwhile destination for a day trip or longer - not only for its natural beauty, but it is so distant from the mainstream. The fleet of BC Ferries that services the Northern Gulf Islands is not as large nor are the sailings as frequent. Others can only be reached by private transportation such as water taxis, kayaks, canoes, or powerboats and, occasionally, airplanes. Visitors will find that the further north in the Strait of Georgia that they explore, the fewer fellow travellers they'll encounter.

We would like to thank www.britishcolumbia.com and www.vancouverisland.com for giving us permission to use the above information . Any reproduction in whole or in part without authorization is strictly prohibited.

BC Land for sale

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