Out and About Galiano Island

The Gem of the Gulf Islands, Galiano Island combines outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities, a rich history, amazing  recreational pursuits, and all the visitor amenities you will need to make your trip as memorable as possible. 


Every Island has a story...

Galiano Island is the second largest of the Southern Gulf Islands, covering 57 square kilometres. It is also the closest island to the Canadian mainland. The island was named after Dionisio Galiano, a Spanish explorer, who came to the area in 1792. However, aboriginal peoples were inhabitants of Galiano long before this, making their livings from the rich variety of foods and resources of the island’s forests and shorelines.

Who lives on Galiano?

This island, its proximity to the mainland, its throng of facilities and services, and its quiet peace and tranquility, has charmed many. Thus, Galiano has long been favourite for the thousands of residents that call this island home.

Where is it and how do I get there?

There is easy access by BC Ferries from Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island or from Tsawwassen terminal located on the Canadian mainland to many of the Gulf Islands, including Galiano.
You can also reach the island by float plane. Private air service companies offer safe, efficient flights to the Gulf Islands from a variety of departure points, including Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Seattle. Daily scheduled service and chartered flights are available.
Find out more about BC Ferries service to the Gulf Islands, including fares, reservations on the Tsawwassen-Gulf Island route, and schedules, on their web site at www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-BCFERRY (BC) or (250) 386-3431 (Victoria).

When should I go?

Since rain before November is rare, why not head over to Galiano Island in the spring or summer? The temperate climate of the Gulf Islands makes this the perfect destination almost any time of the year. Here, it is drier than Vancouver and the islands are more protected than Victoria. Enjoy spring as early as February; warm, sunny, dry summers; and the vibrancy of fall, complete with the mildest temperatures in Canada. Winters are still mild enough (and frost free!) to enjoy a hike, cycle, or kayak. You really can’t go wrong no matter when you plan to visit! Pack layers. You may need clothing for all types of weather during your visit – warmth, wind, and water! Nights are always carry a pleasant chill in the air – especially if you are walking by the water – so bring a light jacket (and good walking shoes!) even in the summer. 

What should I do when I get there?

The island’s excellent facilities, mainly clustered at the south end near the Sturdies Bay ferry terminal (downtown Galiano), include stores, recreational activities, accommodations, and restaurants. An information centre operates during the summer months. The island has many choices for your dining pleasure - from casual dining and bistros and a pub, to more formal dining rooms. There are also a number of special events throughout the year, including the North End Jamboree in July, and the wine festival and the Lions Club Fiesta, both held in August. The Galiano Island Chamber of Commerce online is a great resource for those planning on visiting: http://www.galianoisland.com/index.html. Be sure to view the Calendar of Events before your visit!

What are some of the Island’s unique features?

Artistic Abundance ...

Visit the many private and public galleries and shops on the island. Galiano Island has several art galleries and artisan studios showcasing photography, pottery, art glass, watercolors, and much more.

Explore the Parks & Beaches ...

There are seven parks to visit, including a new 141-acre park at Dionisio Point Provincial Park, which is only accessible by water. A short drive or bicycle takes one from Sturdies Bay to sheltered Montague Harbour, the island's popular marine park. Those who seek more peace and quiet can head up the long narrow northern section, where parks and trails are less busy. Forgot a book to read when you reach your destination? No problem – head over to the local bookstore before you head out on the trails!

Recreational Pursuits ...

For the outdoor adventurers, activities on the island include hiking, kayaking, diving, and golf. Be sure to visit Montague Harbour Provincial Marine Park, Dionisio Point Provincial Park, Bluffs Park, Mount Galiano, and Bodega Ridge. Side roads lead to the golf course, Bellhouse Park, and Bluffs Park, with its spectacular overlook of Active Pass and busy ferry and marine traffic.

Where should I stay?

Galiano Island offers a good variety of lodging options for the traveler, including camping in Montague Harbour Provincial Park, a variety of bed & breakfasts, cottages and resorts.


Where should I stay? 

No matter what your budget will allow there are a number of  accommodation options available to you! Gulf Island Accommodations


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