There are hundreds of picture-perfect islands off the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island, including the spectacular Gulf Islands. They are characterized by rocky, moss-covered bluffs, sheltered bays interspersed with sandy beaches, and dense stands of cedar, fir, shore pine, and arbutus. The area is prime cottage country because of its setting, easy access by boat from Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and protected waters for swimming, boating, and salmon fishing.
The larger islands have good amenities and regular ferry service. Saltspring Island, the largest and most populous, is also the most expensive. Other islands with regular ferry service include North and South Pender, Mayne, Galiano, and Gabriola. As with the Sunshine Coast, ferries are busy on summer weekends. Most properties on the larger islands have road access and electrical service. Many small islands are off-grid, but that doesn’t translate to bargains.