Gabriola Island Offers a Wonderful Retreat for World-Weary Travelers

Sight Seeing

Guest Blog:

Without a doubt, Vancouver Island, BC boasts some of the most spectacular views and stunning natural configurations in Canada. Its unadulterated beauty and a plethora of great outdoor activities and adventures make it one of the greatest tourist destinations across the globe.When visiting the Island, make sure to include Gabriola Island in your itinerary.

Discover Gabriola Island

Gabriola, which is located in the Strait of Georgia is the number one choice of many locals and tourists and a popular all year round destination.Found in the northernmost tip of the chain of the southern Gulf Islands, this gem has an area of 57 square kilometers with glowing sapphire waters hitting the magnificent sand beaches; elegant accommodations for bed-and-breakfast are cozily set amidst tree-ringed meadows; and, wonderful small harbours and protected coves.

Arbutus and oak trees shade its sunny expanse and beautiful yet small parks invite swimming, hiking, bike riding and beachcombing.

With a population of about 4,000 residents, this island can be travelled via ferry, which is especially convenient when jumping off from Nanaimo, with a downtown area that can be commuted for just about 15 minutes from the north tip of Gabriola.  That 15-minute travel serves like a doorway into a different awe-inspiring world of its own.

The largest “place” of the island consists of a small group of stores, cafes and services which are just a 5-minute drive from the dock. This place is widely known because of its friendly and charming locals who give warm, welcoming nods to every passing driver as they tour around the island on its loop road, which is about 30 kilometers.

Explore the Island’s Nook and Crannies

The Descanso Bay, a regional park, is just near the ferry landing. It has excellent facilities for camping, which are just  above its namesake inlet.The Malaspina Galleries, which is located nearby, is the island’s best-known feature.It is a shelf made out of sandstone engraved into a fantastic waterline “verandah” by the waves and wind over the centuries.

The Gabriola Sands Provincial Park is just five minutes away from Malaspina where it is a pleasant preservation on a little peninsula with both sides composed of sandy beaches and a broad lawn between.Every morning, the sun warms the waters of the eastern beach and then the western beach by the afternoon.And yes, the water is warmed just enough for you to enjoy an invigorating swim in both shallow bays.

At the other side, southeast tip of the island, the Drumbeg Provincial Park offers a good view on an awesome tidal channel from the top of a small headland holding an oak prairie, a vanishing and rare ecosystem of the Strait of Georgia.

Gabriola Island Accommodations

There are no hotels on the island, not even inns or motels larger than just a few rooms. Lodging is offered in artistic B&B’s or farmhouses which are set within the countryside; a big portion of the central island had just been preserved in a large park with biking and hiking trails.

And that’s how ardent fans of Gabriola really like it.Tourists here get the chance to know their hosts, spend time to slowly explore the island and expect to be able to find nature, beauty, peace and quiet.

For the different transportation options in getting around Nanaimo, check out our Vancouver Island travel page.

Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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