Cortes IslandDesolation Sound is very popular with boaters and the warm and sheltered waters are ideal for kayaking. Lying at the entrance to Desolation Sound is the large Cortes Island. Cortes is an outdoor recreation paradise, with beautiful lakes, lagoons, forests, and white sandy beaches. The island currently has about 1000 full-time residents, and most live on the southern portion.

Cortes is approximately 25 km long and 13 km wide. A ferry from Heriot Bay on Quadra Island can be taken to reach Cortes' dock at Whaletown.  

Cortes Island Ferry
  From there, roads lead to Manson's Landing and Squirrel Cove, a well-known anchorage that faces Desolation. BC Ferries On the southwestern tip of the island is Smelt Bay Provincial Park.. Swimming, fresh and salt water fishing, and nice sandy beaches can be found at Mansons Landing Provincial Park. Explore Whaletown and the area's gardens.

Cortes Island is one of the most beautiful of the Discovery Islands and if you wander down Manzanita Road you will find one of the island's most unique attractions, Wolf Bluff Castle. The CBC television program 'On the Road Again' did a show on the castle six years ago, and it has also been used as a location for school film projects.

Cortes also has a thriving arts and crafts industry. Drum makers, potters, painters, carvers, and other artisans live and work on the island. Cortes Craftshop in Squirrel Cove, a co-op of island artists and craftspeople, showcases local work. sunset The Cortes Island Museum is  situated on Beasley Road next to the firehall.

The Gorge Harbour Marina underwent major upgrades in 2008/09 and now features new docks and improved facilities throughout. Cortes Day, an annual festival held in Smelt Bay Park, is a fun event for the whole family with a parade, competitions, games, and food booths. 

Another event to watch out for is the sandcastle competition. For more info on the island see Discovery Islands Realty Cortes Island
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