Galiano is a long narrow island on the eastern outer edge of the Gulf Islands. At 57 square kilometres, its the second largest of the islands, and it gets less than 60 cm of rain a year. It has secluded beaches and quiet harbours, which suits both residents and visitors just fine. There is a road that goes up the spine of the island, making all of its attractions very accessible. You can also hike along the stunning
Bodega Ridge which runs the length of the island. Ferries from both the Mainland and the Island arrive at Sturdies Bay at the island’s tip. The Island’s information centre (250-39-2233) is beside the ferry terminal.
The island was named in 1859 by Captain George Richards for Dionisio ALcala Galiano, who as the commander of the Spanish vessel Sutil, which explored the Strait of Georgia waters in 1792.
Sturdies Bay overlooks Active Pass , the busiest waterway in the area, with all of the Mainland ferries passing by. Bellhouse Provincial Park, to the south side has great views and fishing. Galiano Bluffs Park rises 120 metres above Active Pass and is home to eagles, seabirds, sea lions and seals. You also have great views of both Galiano and Mayne islands. Nearby is a 9-hole public golf course.
Up the highway are a number of parks and attractions. Montague Harbour Provincial Marine Park is 8 km up the road, and has a popular set of campgrounds, one for vehicles one for boaters and cyclists. There are warm sheltered beached and great hiking at the site of a former native village. Along the highway you’ll pass Retreat Cove (12 km) and Spanish Hills (25 km) and end up at Race Point Lighthouse, overlooking Porlier Pass. Dionisio Provincial Park at Coon Bay has limited facilities but does not allow open fires.