Galiano Island is a place to visit, to be sure!
Galiano Island is one of my favourite Gulf Islands and it can be reached by BC Ferry from Victoria or Vancouver. The island is long and narrow and has some of the most beautiful scenery available. My favourite place to see spectacular views is Bold Bluff Park on the south shore facing Active Pass with views past Victoria to the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. Let me suggest you go there late in the afternoon to get the effect of the setting sun. It is amazing to watch the marine traffic that goes through the strait. Most of it is BC Ferries but there is more. The Orca whales often go through the pass in search of seals, sea lions and fish. Another great spot to view the activity in the strait is Bellhouse Park, within walking distance of the Ferry Dock.
The south end of the island is where most of the commerce is. The island has some good bed and breakfasts, and a great resort (Galiano Inn and Spa).
One of the coolest things to see on the island is the sandstone caves near Retreat Cove. If you take the road to the Retreat Cove dock, you have just passed the gate that gives you shore access. It is private property, but at last visit by me, no one seemed to care. Or you can kayak there from Retreat Cove.
Another special place to visit is Stone World. In addition to the great gallery there, the stonework on the property is like a visit to a “Stonehenge” wannabe”. It is amazing to see. Check it out.
The last time I was there, there was no road access to Dionisio Provincial Park on the north end of the island. Check out boat rentals or local water taxis to see if they can take you there. It is in Porlier Pass and it is spectacular.
Here is a link to some routes to other special places on Galiano, courtesy of the Galiano Inn.
Like everywhere else restaurants come and go and Galiano Island is no exception. A few have been around for some time but that is not always a recommendation. The Atrevida restaurant at the Galiano Inn serves up fine dining and they also serve up wood-fired pizza on the property. Max & Moritz Spicy Island Food, the Market Café, Babes in the Woods and the Hummingbird Pub have been around for some time and seem to do a pretty good job. The Hummingbird Inn pics people up in their bus and the Marina and Campsite at Montague Harbour. This restaurant serves up pub style food in a funky, home-style environment often frequented by locals. We have never been disappointed there, but have not been there for a few years. We highly recommend asking locals where to go for good food!
The ocean, particularly on the Georgia Strait side facing Vancouver has always been warm enough to swim in. Again ask the locals where to go. Bringing water boots will help you with access.
The main activities available on Galiano are boating, hiking, kayaking, mopeding, attending local festivals, art shows and markets, whale watching, golfing, sailing and fishing. For help with you needs for these activities visit the Galiano Web Site.