Nestled at the entrance to enchanting Desolation Sound, tranquil and friendly Cortes Island is one of the most beautiful of the Discovery Islands, with its placid lakes, beaches and rugged gorges. It's one of several islands that form the north end of the Strait of Georgia, between the glaciers of Vancouver Island and the Coast Mountain range of the mainland.
There are three settlements on Cortes: Whaletown at the ferry dock, Manson's Landing with its sandy beaches, and Squirrel Cove, an anchorage facing Desolation Sound. Originally inhabited by the Coast Salish people, the island today includes a small settlement of the Klahoose First Nation at Squirrel Cove.
Cortes Island is about 25 kilometres (18 miles) long, 13 kilometres (8 miles) wide and 13,000 hectares in area. Cortes lies in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, enjoying a moderate climate with plenty of sunshine. Most of the population lives on the southern half of the island, along with Arbutus and Manzanita trees that cling to the bleached granite bluffs.
Cortes residents are community-oriented. The island is an intriguing mix of old and new. Along with the early settlers and their descendants there are more recent 'settlers', people of all ages and backgrounds who have come here in search of a more independent and casual lifestyle. To find out more about the Cortes Island community click here.
Hollyhock sits on the sunniest southeastern beach of Cortes Island, British Columbia, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Vancouver. You'll find Hollyhock at the end of Highfield Road about 18 kilometres (11 miles) from the Whaletown ferry terminal and five minutes from the water taxi dock at Manson's Landing.