Islands around Vancouver Island

Last Update: 2021-07-10

Vancouver Island is considered the largest island on the Pacific coast of North America. It counts as the jewel of the Pacific Northwest – Victoria, Nanaimo, Ucluelet, Parksville, Campbell River city, and Tofino – matched only by vibrant communities on the splendid Gulf Islands and Discovery Islands; Saltspring, Mayne, Quadra, Cortes, Saturna, Denman, Hornby, and Gabriola which has round trip services (BC Ferries) to the lots of nearby bays.
There are many small islands around Vancouver Island. The Gulf Islands alone has more than 200 small islands, and some are only accessible by private boats. Still, the others offer excellent opportunities like parklands, camping areas, art galleries, and beautiful accommodations and rustic lodging in the cozy villages.
Available activities such as whale watching and hiking, incredible scenery, and exciting local attractions to discover are among the reasons to visit these islands and around areas.
These islands, incorporating Vancouver Island and the BC Gulf Islands and Discovery Islands, offer magnificent rain forests, mountains, quiet and remote beaches, and secluded bays and harbours. The pleasant silence that envelops these islands is unique to the ambiance in remote central coast locales.
The location of these islands around Vancouver Island is terrific because of accessibility to the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound, known as the Salish Sea and where hundreds of rivers flow into the sea.

The Best Islands off Vancouver Island

1. Salt Spring Island
2. Galiano Island
3. Pender Island
4. Savary Island
5. Thetis Island
6. Nootka Island
7. Cormorant Island
8. Malcolm Island
9. Broken Island Group
10. Sandy Island

The Biggest Islands around Vancouver Island

The biggest islands around Vancouver Island are Salt Spring Island, Galiano Island, Pender Island, Saturna Island, Flores Island, Nigei Island, Nootka Island, Malcolm Island, Quadra Island, and Texada Island. Take a visit to the stunning area of each one and their splendid access way.


The Best of Gulf Islands (Vancouver Island) to Visit

There are hundreds of islands around Vancouver Island, but the Gulf Islands are extraordinary, and each one is a special gift. Mayne Island is renowned for its history and is considered a commercial and social center of the Gulf Islands. Gabriola Island is a hot spot for art lovers. Pender Island is best-known for nature, and Galiano Island has a fantastic hiking area in unique green nature with a view of the ocean. Salt Spring Island is famous for its arts and crafts center and offers different tours like weave, sculpt and glass blow, paints, and pottery tours. And New Castle Island, with cycling trails, numerous beaches, and great views, is a lovely place to visit. There are many about the best islands of the Gulf Islands, but the islands mentioned earlier are the best of them.


The Best of Sunshine Coast (Vancouver Island) to Visit

The Sunshine Coast is about 180 km (111.84 miles) paradise area on the east and north coast of Vancouver Island. The area's charming islands and seaside playgrounds offer every kind of recreation activity at a very relaxed pace, from fancy games like golf to sea kayaking, salmon or fly fishing, or just a peaceful walk through some of the most stunning scenery in the world.
The name "Sunshine" is really fit to it, with an average of 1,400 and 2,400 hours of sunshine per annum. So it is an ideal destination in the summer months when the brilliant sun shines on countless cataracts that the sheer-sided slopes.
The Sunshine Coast is divided into two portions on either side of Jervis Inlet. The Pacific Ocean deeply indents the coastline at Howe Sound, Jervis Inlet, and Desolation Sound. The access to Sunshine Coast from the Lower Mainland is by boat, seaplane, or plane.
The best islands of the Sunshine Coast are as follows.
1. Keats Island
2. Gambier Island
3. Bowen Island
4. Savary Island
5. Texada Island

Islands on North of Vancouver Island

Almost all islands located in the north of Vancouver Island are excellent spots for whale watching; you can see the best of these islands below. Different varieties of marine life, such as grey whales, killer whales, seals, in addition to waterfowl, bald eagles, black bears, wolves, and deer, make these islands a fantastic place for nature lovers.
The Nootka Island is unsurpassed in mountain scenery; beauty has a great trail that features miles of sandy beaches flanked by old-growth rain forest, crashing open Pacific surf, sea caves carved by high tides, and stunning west coast sunsets to end the day with. It is not very strange if you see black bears, sea otters, river otters, wolves, or views of migrating grey whales, as well as First Nations artifacts. Like the other islands in the north of the island, Catala Island and Malcolm Island are great for nature viewing, but Malcolm Island has something more superb, here where it's common to spot dolphins. The area around Cormorant Island is also known for Humpback, Minke, and Transient killer whales. Nature viewing at Bunsby Island while low tides create tide pools is a great occasion for observing the local inter-tidal marine life.


Islands on Pacific Rim Area of Vancouver Island

The Pacific Rim area of Vancouver Island offers unique islands here; we want to introduce some of the best of them; these islands offer amazing sandy beaches for tens of kilometres and are accessible by boat, seaplane, or even kayak. Two groups of islands are so famous in this region: Brocken Group Island and Deer Group Island, which shares Barkley Sound. The Broken Group of Islands is nestled in the Alberni Inlet and close to one of the best parks in Canada, the Pacific Rim National Park. It is a wonderful spot for pursuits like paddling, mountain biking, hiking, boating, and diving. Deer Group Island is known for its sea caves and sea stacks, and paddling is one of the most favoured activities here.
Some other splendid islands in this area are Vargas Island, Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, and Tzartus Island. On the shorelines of Vargas Island, you'll see an exposed rocky coast, sandy beaches, private channels and bays, an intertidal lagoon. You will find the seasonal or intermittent waterfall on Tzartus Island. Paddling, camping, and wildlife viewing are all available in the Flores Island Provincial Park; you will also have an ideal lookout for Gray whales around Ahous Bay in the spring.

Islands around Vancouver Island Common Question and Answer

The islands around Vancouver Island are part of a chain of 6,000 islands that shelter the British Columbia coastline between Washington and Alaska and lie beyond Vancouver and Victoria's quick-access range.
BC Ferries is the best year-round ferry service for getting to Vancouver Island from the mainland or Gulf Islands by sea. You can walk on or drive straight on BC Ferries with your RV, car or semi-truck if that's how you roll.
Galiano Island is the most beautiful island of the Gulf Islands. It is located in Southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. It is considered a gem of the Gulf Islands and home to ancient forests, sandstone and pebble beaches, wonderful views, and entertaining water activities.
Savary Island is the warmest island of the Gulf Islands and has many visitors when the sun is shining.
Yes, you can use BC Ferries to take your car because the Gulf Islands have minimal public transport.
The two stretches of coastline closest to Vancouver are known as Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast coastline is lined with vibrant coastal communities and framed by mossy temperate rainforest and the coastal mountain range with stunning views of Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea.
Salt Spring Island is the largest island on the Gulf Island and is linked with Galiano, and Pender, Mayne, and Saturna islands by ferry.