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