By: Susan Gerle

The Sunshine Coast of BC is well named. The main mountain range on Vancouver Island actually protects the coastline north of Vancouver and precipitation is much less as a result. It’s a wonderful area to go to for a Spa Vacation.

The trip begins in Horseshoe Bay, a small fishing village situated 20 minutes out of Vancouver. Take time to have some of the famous chowder or fish and chips available at one of the local restaurants while you wait for the ferry.

The first part of the trip is a relaxing journey on the Langdale Ferry to Gibson’s Landing. During the 60s a popular weekly drama called The BeachCombers was filmed in Gibson’s. Molley’s Reach, the program’s main set, is still a popular place to stop.

You can then drive further up the coast as far as Egmont.. There are many stops in between like Robert’s Creek and Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay. The whole area has gained a great reputation for B& Bs with spa facilities in the last few years. With the fantastic scenery and mild temperatures, it is the perfect place to enjoy a weekend away and relax totally.

What should you expect on a spa vacation if you’ve never experienced one before?

Many places that advertise spa getaways usually offer some type of massage, often proceeded or followed by a nice soak in a hot tub. If you’ve never had a massage before it might be a bit of a shock.

The first thing you might want to know is that whoever is doing the massage is going to ask you take off all your clothes. If you’ve got an issue with being nude in front of a stranger, you really do not have to worry! It is like going into a doctor’s office. The massage therapist will give you time to prepare on your own and will also give you something to drape yourself in. The next thing that is going to occur is they will ask you to lie down face first on a fairly high padded table. There will usually be an open place to put your face so you will be comfortable during your massage. Take all your jewelry off before you have your massage.

There are different ways the massage therapist prepares you for your massage. Some like to start by placing warm towels on your body and just allowing you to relax completely. There will often be soft music playing in the background. There are a number of oils that are used for the actual massage and the therapist will ask what scent you prefer. The oil is usually heated to a comfortable temperature.

A massage will normally take about an hour. Whoever is giving the massage will often start with your shoulders, neck, and your back. This is the least sensitive part of your body and is probably a place you are used to having someone touch. The next area that will probably be massaged is your lower legs and your feet. Let them know if you are very sensitive in the foot area because many massage therapists will do reflexology.

As you get more relaxed with the massage you are receiving, the therapist will begin to massage areas that are a little more sensitive. This will include the buttocks and the upper thighs. After about half an hour they will ask you to turn over on the massage table so they can massage the front of your body. The private parts of your body will be kept covered at this time. The therapist will work on your arms, hands, upper chest area, and abdomen. Having your abdomen massaged is very good for your digestive system, and is something that you can learn to do at home. They will continue working on your legs and finally on your feet.

The last part of your body the massage therapist works on is normally the face. This is totally voluntary and you can ask that they not massage it, especially if you have issues with acne. After you have received your massage, you will normally be given about 10 minutes to just lie and relax and enjoy.

There are sometimes a few different types of massage offered. You may want to try deep muscle massage if the therapist is fully licensed. A couple of other types of massages use hot stones or salt scrubs.

No matter what you decide for your spa vacation, you will enjoy every moment of it on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC!

About the author:

Susan Gerle lives in British Columbia and one of her favorite areas to visit by boat and land is the Sunshine Coast.