Saturday, November 7, 2009

Galiano Island, British Columbia

A couple of years ago on a dreary rainy day in November we decided to spend a weekend on Galiano Island. Galiano is one of the southern gulf islands located half way between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay accessed by BC Ferries.


While the Gulf Islands are very close proximity to Vancouver, there are reasons that conspire against you in your quest for exploration. You will find that "Islanders" are very protective of their land and like to keep to their idyllic lifestyle. I would be safe to say that all of these islands are very busy with tourists during the summer months, but now that we are nearly in the grips of winter we find that we are probably the only travellers ambling about. I am usually very thorough in finding information about proposed destinations and with only 5 eating establishments on Galiano it was our thought to have a meal at each of them.

We found our way to the Marina and discovered that the waterfront restaurant had closed for the season. It looked well kept so we walked about on their boardwalk snapping a few pictures of the boats.


The Harbour Grill: we will have to savour their offerings on a future visit


We were hoping to get a mid-day meal somewhere so we drove over to the Galiano Island Oceanfront Inn & Spa, where they have a gourment restaurant. As with any upscale resort with all the luxury amenities, we noticed that the grounds had been immaculately groomed. We didn't notice very many cars in the lot and made our way inside only to be told that their Chef was on vacation this month so their restaurant will be closed until his return


No such luck here either with a moped rental even if that was your desire but the rates were posted on a sign affixed to their door.

The main shopping area is located just as you come off the ferry. There is a general store with gas station, bakery, gift store(s), artists shop, and restaurant that was OPEN. (Sorry if I left anyone out)


This was where we had most of our meals as it was the only place open all day. There was another pub/restaurant that opened in the evenings for dinner only


Another sign for the Galiano Mopeds. I would have thought that they should be available for rental here as it is more convenient as you walk off the ferry, instead of having to walk for an hour up to Montague Harbour


Our dining plans were thwarted as out of 5 places to eat, all but 2 were closed for the season.


There is one road which runs up the spine of the island through the forest without any views of the water. The main road is 2 lanes and paved. This road to the park is more or less single lane


There is limited accommodation options on the island. Except for the Luxury Oceanfront inn, you will have to find yourself a B&B (Bed & Breakfast) which we arranged before arriving. Also during the peak summer months most will only rent for 1 week min periods, or 3 day weekends. It would be difficult to find a place for only one night.


Access to our B&B is via this gravel road on the side of a cliff


We finally catch sight of "The Treehouse" which will be our home away from home for the next 3 days.


This particular property has 2 cabins for rent. One is the Treehouse, and the other is the Cliff House, which was my original desire.

(The Cliff House)

It is a neat place perched on a cliff with a sundeck virtually overhanging the water. I could imagine myself just sitting there reading a book and watching the water.

They also had a "shared" sauna which was constructed Underground


Here is another view showing the owner's residence directly above. The Treehouse is located further up the hill in the trees, and the Cliff house is directly to your left so there is a lot of privacy here.


Galiano Island is a place to energize and refresh your batteries, relieve the stresses of the world. There is nothing to do here except relax and enjoy life, breathing . . . a place to slow down and gather your thoughts. We did not find any public beach areas as there are mostly cliffs that make their way down to the shore. Here is the scene from the cliff showing you the typical shoreline.


Galiano Island, BC requested by Mr Conchscooter, Key West Diary


  1. Bobskoot

    I really like the last shot the best....

  2. Great looking B&B. How did you find it?

  3. Did you find the mystical source of the spring from which Harvey Wallbangers emerge?

  4. Cliff House looks fab.........
    Great photos - as usual! :D

  5. Totally cool. I want a victorian in Vancouver and a tree hous eon galiano island.

  6. what an incredible serene place!!! thank you for sharing this ride with us Bob. i loved it. you must have both had a fantastic weekend there, it looks breathtaking. i can only imagine how much better it was in person...

  7. Dear Bobskoot:

    I am so envious of this trip... The Cliffhouse would have been my first choice too. The solitude of the location, and depth of the surroundings, woods, sky, and ocean, must hsve come with a palpable silence, all the beter to hear your own thoughts.

    Good for you.

    Bob, what was the condition of the gravel roads? Did you come across anyrhing that would have challenged your competence on the big bike?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Tisted Roads

  8. Charlie6:

    thank you. a lot of my images are done in the photojournalistic style (snapshots) but I try to keep a lookout for scenery too


    me three


    All of the gulf islands have an official website. check out I try to find out all I can before I get there. If you wish to go back to the 60's check out Lasqueti Island where all the hippies went, or Hornby Island.


    No, there was too much snow on the 2nd day.


    If we go over again I want to stay at the Cliff House.


    I was lucky to be there just as the sun was setting so I managed to get the magic light.

    Mr Conchscooter:

    Sell your gold mine in KW and come on up. We can put a space heater in each room and internet radio to make you feel at home

    Ms M:

    There is nothing to do there except to relax and contemplate your next move. I have a hard time staying in one place too long. I have to be moving all the time.

    Jack "r":

    This was BB. (Before Blog) I searched high and low for these photos as requested by Mr Conch. The Gulf Islands are in the rain shadow so they don't really get much rain nor snow, except this particular year we nearly got stranded in the snow storm. Narrow winding roads with ditches on both sides. If I post up Part 2 you will see.

    That gravel road would take some navigating. Loose gravel and veers right down a steeper gravel road. We brought our WRX with AWD and even then we nearly didn't make it back for the evening.

  9. That treehouse looks amazing!
    Is that your Subaru?
    And I object to the word moped. My scooter got called a moped recently, and I don't have pedals as far as I know.
    Fantastic pictures!

  10. What a lovely place! Your pics really convey the place well. Is it as relaxing during hi-season? I'd love to spend a long weekend there during non-tourist time and just read the weekend away....ah.....