Sointula, Malcolm Island

What to see and do in Sointula:

Visit the Sointula Museum
Visit the lovely, little volunteer-run museum and learn more about the Finnish settlers who built Sointula as a utopian community. While the museum is small it is packed with interesting items from their past and enthusiastic volunteers who will answer your questions about the community’s history.
Info about the museum here.
Take a hike!
There are several scenic and diverse hiking trails including the Beautiful Bay Trail which starts at Bere Point. Here you will see soaring old cedars and expansive ocean views.
Info about the Beautiful Bay Trail here.
Take a side-trip to Alert Bay
The ferry which takes you from Port McNeill to Sointula also visits Alert Bay. Use it to take a day trip there; there’s lots to see!

Wander the boardwalk  through town and you will see some amazing First Nations art at rest stops along the way. Drop by the Visitor centre for a guide to totem pole sites in the area. It is a very walkable town.

Be sure to visit the U’mista Cultural Centre. There you will see beautiful works of art and learn more about the Kwakwaka‘wakw people. The crumbling building of the residential school next door stands as a sad reminder of that tragic chapter in our history.

More info here:

Getting there:

To visit Sointula you will first need to take the ferry to Vancouver Island, drive north to Port McNeill then take another short ferry ride to Sointula (on Malcolm Island).
Ferry info here.
The drive from Nanaimo to Port McNeill is about 4 hours.
Driving directions here.

Where to stay:

Sointula has a limited amount of rental accommodation, consisting mainly of cottages and B&Bs. We stayed at the Sea4Miles Cottages. They have two self-contained cottages (both two bedroom). The cottages are bright and modern and have wonderful views of the ocean. The cottages are just out of town on a quiet stretch of road. There is a nice little walking trail along the beach that takes you in either direction and has rest points and lookouts along the way. It is also a short walk to the town cemetery (where some of the early settlers are buried) and the community garden. It is about a twenty minute walk to the village centre.
More rental accommodations can be found here.

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