The Gulf Islands lie in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island and get about 1/3 the rainfall of the Island's west coast. There are some 200 different islands here, but most are small and uninhabited, and without ferry access. The larger ones, also the ones with more varied landscape, are home to about 11,000 residents, a quarter retirees, a number who commute to work on the Island or the Mainland, and the rest serving the tourist visitor. There are plenty of vast, sweeping ocean vies, some form shoreline, some from a hill top. The islands also have a number of hotels, and beds & breakfasts to accommodate the visitor (just be sure to reserve ahead, especially in the summer). There are even some provincial campgrounds on the islands. If you do not have reservations, be sure not to miss the last ferry at the end of the day! You should also conserve drinking water, since it is in short supply on the islands. Fires are prohibited in most areas on most islands, since it is extremely dry. Please exercise caution with campfires and cigarettes.