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Salt Spring Island

Famous for its artisan markets, vibrant creative community and beautiful pastoral landscapes, it’s easy to understand why Salt Spring Island was dubbed one of the ‘prettiest artist towns in North America’ by the New York Times. Nestled between Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver on the mainland, it’s the most popular of all the Gulf Islands thanks to its spectacular scenery and rich culture.

Salt Spring Island is a year-round destination and each season comes with its own unique charms. Spring and summer is when the famous farmers markets are in full swing, autumn marks the much-anticipated Harvest Food and Drink Festival and winter rounds off the year with fun-filled festivities. The island’s main activity centres around the town of Ganges with its charming selection of shops, galleries and restaurants.

There’s also a talented population of artists, musicians, performers, and more recently, a surge of health and wellness professionals. When you’re not getting your culture-kicks or being pampered at a spa, take the time to explore the island’s stunning scenery with thrilling outdoor activities. Kayak along the coast, pedal your way along the winding country roads or hike up a mountain for panoramic views of the island and ocean.

Whether you go for the food, the nature or the culture, the magic of Salt Spring Island will leave you wanting more.

why add Salt Spring Island to your itinerary

If you want to immerse yourself in the scenery, you can choose from a variety of hiking trails and cycling routes through the forests, meadows and mountains. Alternatively, try your hand at kayaking or paddle boarding and see the coastal scenery from a unique perspective. If you’re looking to enjoy some downtime, there are plenty of sandy beaches where you can soak up some sun and enjoy the ocean views. One of the most popular places for sunbathing and swimming is Vesuvius Bay with its calm waters and a sun-kissed beach. During the summer you can snorkel and dive, and there’s also the chance to embark on a thrilling fishing trip or whale-watching tour.

No trip to Salt Spring Island is complete without checking out the cultural attractions. Learn a new skill at a creative workshop, take a tour of an artist’s studio, browse local art at one of the galleries or catch a show at the theatre. Foodies will be in their element too. The island is famous for its organic produce and has a flourishing farm-to-table food scene. Pick up a picnic of fresh fruit, cheese and bread from the farmers markets, tuck into succulent seafood in a waterfront restaurant or take a tasting tour of a brewery or winery. If there was ever a place to ditch your diet, it’s here.

End your trip to Salt Spring Island with a relaxing stint in one of the spas or wellness retreats. Unwind with a rejuvenating massage, practice yoga by pristine lake or get in touch with your spiritual side. We guarantee you’ll leave feel well rested and re-energised.

Want to visit Salt Spring Island? Vancouver is automatically included as part of our Canada Western Self Drive base itinerary and is just a short boat journey from the Gulf Islands. Head over to our itinerary builder now to start creating your tailor-made trip.

Salt Spring Island Essential Information

Where

Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

Opening times

The island can be visited year-round but it’s at its busiest during the summer months. Make sure to check the ferry times to and from the island to avoid being left stranded!

Getting in

The easiest way to get to Salt Spring Island is via ferry from the mainland or from Victoria on Vancouver Island. The main ferry terminal serving the Southern Gulf Islands is Tsawwassen, which is just a short drive from Vancouver city.

Dress code

The island enjoys a moderate climate, so shorts and t-shirts are ideal during the summer. You’ll need some good walking boots for the more challenging island hikes, and don’t forget your swimwear if you want to take a dip in the ocean.

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