Nestled between Vancouver
Island and the British Columbia
mainland is Gabriola Island, a place of spectacular natural beauty. Gabriola is home to a population of 4,200 people, including dozens of world renowned and emerging artists. Because of the high density of artists and the boutique shops selling artisan crafts, Gabriola is often called "Isle of the Arts."
Gabriola is connected to the city of Nanaimo
by a twenty-minute ferry ride, so amenities are easily accessible, yet the island is distant enough to have a relaxed, small town vibe.
Various restaurants, coffee shops and groceries are available at Folklife Village, near vacation rental and condo rental accommodations. With garden tours, film festivals and all sorts of music and artistic displays, there is truly something for everyone on Gabriola Island.
Nature lovers will delight in the chance to observe deer, eagles, seals, whales
and other wildlife. Visitors can rent a kayak to get up close and personal with playful otters or take a tour by powerboat to experience island forests and cliff views
. Fishing, golf and sailing are popular ways to spend a day among the breath taking panoramic views and fresh ocean breezes that characterize this natural paradise. Accommodations and vacation rentals offer a chance to see magnificent coastal vistas and lush, green forests.
The Gabriola Sands and Sandwell provincial parks on the island feature stretches of sandy shores, perfect for building sand castles or going for a peaceful walk
. With over 30 beach access points on the island, there is always a chance to hop in for a swim. Acres of quiet trails are available for hiking or biking including the 27 km trail circling the island.
A must-see venue on Gabriola is a unique limestone formation known as the Malaspina Galleries. This rock overhang was carved out over thousands of years by surf and frost and today resembles a large wave, mid-roll
. The dramatic rock formations can be viewed by kayak or by foot, within close reach from vacation rental accommodation.
The Gabriola Museum provides a glimpse in to the history of the island, featuring petroglyphs carved by aboriginals, the discovery by Spanish explorers and its settlement by European immigrants. The information on local wildlife and the 70 known petroglyphs around the island make this a great first stop.
Accommodation such as vacation rentals, condo rentals and other lodging offer easy access to Gabriola Island’s clean, green, scenic and tranquil atmosphere.