Located 1 km south of the Sturdies Bay ferry terminal is Bellhouse Provincial Park, a small but beautifully scenic piece of land that jets out over the water.I like coming here to look around whenever I'm on Galiano. The park is small as far as provincial parks go - you can walk around the entire property in less than 10 minutes. The land actually...more
Twice we've rented boats from Ralph and Rocky Moyle at Montague Harbour. They own a local cottage and the moped rentals. Really cool people and they have fantastic suggestions on where to go. Anyhow, for $40 an hour you can rent 17 foot motor boats to discover not only Galiano's coastline, but the splendour of the Gulf Islands in general. Within 3...more
Anyone who goes to Galiano Island sooner or later ends at Scoops. They've been around since at least the 80s, and it's the only ice cream and burger bar on the island. Scoops is a simple diner located at a tiny shopping plaza in Sturdies Bay. They sell various items like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, french fries, and ice cream. Their...more
This is a little shack located at the end of the Sturdies Bay ferry terminal parking lot. Half their menu revolves around traditional Indonesian dishes (like chicken in peanut sauce with noodles and vegetables, etc), and the other half features hamburgers, hotdogs and a few German dishes like schnitzel.Apparently they have really good Indonesian...more
The Daystar Market Cafe is a wonderful little restaurant located right next to the Daystar Market (an organic/health food store). The cafe, like its market, provides some healthy and tasty treats. It definitely suits Galiano Island's ecofriendly vibe. You can either sit inside or outside in their little garden. I had their fish special of the day...more
Located in the old "Burrill building" which has been a local meeting spot on Galiano since 1903, the Galiano Grand Central Emporium is kind of like a cafe and coffee shop blended in with a live music pub. It's kind of surreal because you're not quite sure what to make of it... whether it's going to be a wild kind of place or whether it's going to...more
Huguette Benger came from Avignon, France to Galiano Island in the 1980's. She started B&B and a restaurant called La Berengerie located in a cute French country style inn. This has to be the cutest restaurant on the entire island, and definitely my favourite restaurant on the island by far! It's located in a forested plot of land surrounded by a...more
We took BC Ferries from the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Galiano Island. Everything you read and everyone you talk to will tell you to make reservations on this ferry route. You can do, and buy the ticket on line at bcferries.com
The ferry ride takes about an hour, and it is not cheap. It costs close to $100 to go to the Island and around $50 for the return. Apparently it is a much less expensive but longer ferry ride to Victoria, so that's where more folks who live on Galiano go for off-island shopping / supplies.
During our discovery of the off-the-beaten-tracks of Galiano, we decided to go check Matthew's Point Regional Park out. I saw it on a map where the little blurb said "Warning - the last part of the trail is extremely steep and the only way back up is the same way you came down". I figured that what the heck, I've gone up and down steep trails in the past. I can do this.
We parked on the side of the road and walked through some blackberry patches and through a forest before getting to sign pointing down a cliff. It was almost humorous to see this trail, as it switchbacked along the cliffs without anything to hold onto. One wrong move and it would be a long way down. Apparently a beach was at the bottom, but it was high tide, so I couldn't imagine there being much of one during our visit.
But my warning is this: if you have a fear of heights and walking along cliffs, this might not be for you. As it turned out, it wasn't for me. The trail was so steep and the narrow dirt trail was so dry and dusty and slippery under my feet, my fear of walking along the cliff's edge kicked in and my legs started to freeze on me, and I couldn't walk without moving in slow motion in tiny baby steps. I just paralyzed. I know it's irrational, but it's how I get. I kind of laughed and said, "Nope. Not today".
As we departed the cliff's edge, a happy-go-lucky family - mother, father, and 2 young daughters came up. The youngest girl started to say, "No! No!" and started to cry at the sight of the trail... but her father took her hand the way down. The rest followed. Brave people.
Located along the northern end of Porlier Pass Road is an easily-missed scenic viewpoint. It looks like somebody's dirt driveway - common features along this stretch of road, and honestly, unless somebody told you about it, or unless you found it on a map, you'd drive right by it thinking nothing of it.Porlier Pass Road gains in elevation as you...more
After 5 days of exploring the better known sites on the island, we decided to be a bit more adventurous, using our official Galiano map as inspiration. The great thing about this map was this little pizza-slice looking icon (a sail boat, perhaps?) that signified “water access”. There's a lot of public water access on Galiano in the form of...more
Montague Harbour is my favourite spot on Galiano Island. I would gladly go to Galiano Island even for a day trip just to hang out at that beach - that's now nice it is.
For over 3000 years this particular piece of land was inhabited by the Coast Salish First Nations and it was along these shores where they had their shell middens. Middens are trash heaps, where discarded clam, oyster and abalone shells were thrown away. Over the thousands of years, erosion has turned these discarded shells into beautiful white shell beaches all up and down this coastline. At high tide when the coarse white shell sand is covered, the water becomes the most tropical blue - rare in this part of the world, but oh, so spectacular!
Fondest memory: We visited Galiano Island a few times throughout my childhood. The nostalgia certainly fuels my fondness for this locale.
My first camping trip was here at Montague Harbour. I was 7 years old. My dad took a photo of me, my sister and my mom at the beach at sunset. It turned out to be a beautiful silhouette. We framed the photo and gave it to my mom for Christmas that year. The photo then hung on the wall in our main hallway for years after.
2 years later we stayed with friends in their oceanfront house on Galiano. They had kids around our age (as seen in the photo) so we had quite a blast. We went back to Montague Harbour and posed in the same position as we stood in our famed silhouette photo. My dad took another photos again, but this time of us in the day time. And 3 years after that we returned again, staying with the same family friends. Again, we posed again for another recreation of our original silhouette photos.