The name “Sointula” translates to “place of harmony” in Finnish. Early settlers chose the name because of the Utopian society they were hoping to create. But today the name is a good fit for the peace and tranquility that visitors to this special place continue to enjoy.
Maybe your idea of harmony is a restful vacation with plenty of long walks on the beach and some quiet birdwatching. Or perhaps it’s a fast-paced adventure with tons of fishing and wildlife spotting, there’s something for everyone in Sointula. No matter the case, you’ll find it in Sointula.
Ready to start planning your next visit? Check out these 4 ideas for ways to spend a day in Sointula.
One of the biggest activities that draw visitors to Sointula is off-shore fishing. Excursions carrying eager tourists looking to reel in their very own record salmon or massive halibut are a common sight on a nice summer day. If your visit to Malcolm Island is going to be short, you could book a short excursion for a few hours or a full day during your visit. But for a truly immersive experience, you’ll want to book a stay at one of Sointula’s famous luxury fishing lodges.
For instance, Sointula Lodge offers 4- and 5-day fishing excursions that balance time on the water casting a line with luxury lodging and five-star meals. You’ll only need to bring yourself and some clothing for your trip; the Lodge provides everything from your fishing gear and boat to rain gear, food, and more. Your time on the water will happen under the helpful eye of one of their experienced guides.
2. Whale Watching
Whether you’re hoping to cast a line and reel in a fish for yourself during your next visit to Sointula or not, another great activity to enjoy is whale watching. While many visitors do so from the water, either on fishing excursions or on dedicated wildlife tours, you can also spot whales from the shores of Malcolm Island.
Malcolm Island is home to the famous whale rubbing beach. This special beach is known as a gathering spot for orcas, which come close to shore and rub their bodies against the rocky bottom. While researchers aren’t sure why they do so, what is certain is that they continue to return to this beach — one of only a few in the world — year after year.
3. Visit the Sointula Museum
Whether you want to get away from a rainy day outside or simply want to learn more about the culture and history of the island and its earliest settlers, a visit to the Sointula Museum should definitely be on your itinerary. The museum covers over 100 years of history about the settlement of Sointula. From the dreams of a Utopia that brought the first white settlers to Malcolm Island to the recent growths in the tourism industry, the museum provides a great overview of this special place.
Sointula Museum is a hands-on museum, which means that kids of all ages will get to interact with exhibits, displays, and artifacts. You can pump the original foghorn that was used on the Pulteney Point Lighthouse or play the piano that once entertained scores of dancers on the town’s famous Saturday night gatherings. The museum is small enough to cover in an afternoon, making it a great addition to a day of exploring Sointula.
4. Take a Walk
If you’re looking to get active and enjoy some of the natural beauty that Sointula is known for, plan to spend a day hiking and exploring the island. There are a number of trails to choose from. Take a walk along the water, keeping your eyes peeled for whales and other wildlife off-shore. Or, stroll through town and do a little shopping.
For visitors with some time for a longer hike, head to the Mateoja Heritage Trail. This 6.4 kilometer trail is an easy hike, making it a great choice for families or anyone looking for a relaxing walk around the island. The trail will take you past a number of Malcolm Island’s must-sees. You’ll pass through a 1900’s pioneer homestead, spot birds on Big Lake, and more. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of this beautiful hike.
Planning Your Next Visit to Sointula
Sointula is truly a destination with something for every interest. Whether you’re hoping to relax and enjoy a tasty meal or two or want to pack your next trip full of outdoor adventures, these ideas are just a few of the ways to spend a day in Sointula.
Ready to start planning your next visit? One of the first things you’ll need to do is choose where to stay. Check out our Lodging guide to learn more about your options on Malcolm Island.