Of all the islands that make up beautiful British Columbia, there are a few that stand out as exceptional vacation destinations. Obviously I'm not talking about Vancouver Island. Not to say it isn't an absolutely gorgeous place, but this list will be looking at some of the smaller islands that you can resign to for a few days of rest and relaxation.

So kick back this summer with a beer in your hand and find your own little piece of paradise right here in our phenomenal province:

1. Saltspring Island

An Island for an Island. Sometimes considered an extension of Victoria, this beautiful Island makes for a great vacation spot if you don't want to remove yourself too far from the action.

2. Pender Island

Found in the Southern Gulf Islands, Pender enjoys a sub-Mediterranean climate, rolling hills, lakes, and beautiful beaches. Explore the coves that line the coast and make sure to travel to both South and North Pender if you have a longer holiday.

3. Hornby Island

A tiny island in the Salish Sea makes for a great place to escape the chaos of your regular routine. Find a nice little lodge, or cute cottage on the coast and fall into a simpler time, if not only for a short weekend. The island offers hiking, swimming and a charm that will not be forgotten.

Photo cred - @kat.costain

4. Denman Island

In the Northern Gulf Islands, Denman Island awaits your arrival. Stepping off the ferry will fill you with joy as you arrive in a quaint and humble community. There are many great swimming holes and fantastic places for fishing. The island is even home to tasty chocolate factory!

5. Quadra Island

Off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, near Campbell River, the impressive island of Quadra makes for the perfect getaway. Whether you want to hike, bike, swim, kayak, or would prefer to casually stroll farmers markets and tan at the beach, this destination will not disappoint. The island is divided by the Rebecca Split where the island thins out to 2 km which is very scenic.

6. Cortes Island

An alcove not far from Quadra, this island proudly lives in harmony with nature. If it is peace and quite that you seek as you cozy up in the lush costal wilderness, this may be the spot. Find a lovely B&B and wake up every morning to strong smelling coffee as the sounds of the forest and the gentle break of waves erase your everyday stresses.

7. Haida Gwaii

Of all the places you can travel in BC, Haida Gwaii is among the most special. The landscape is lush, the beaches are heaven and you'll have the opportunity to learn a lot about aboriginal culture. In the national park and heritage site, there is one of the last authentic examples of a west coast First Nations village. The island is also a great place to camp if you want to avoid the costs of lodging.

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