Salt Spring Island

Travel Guide
Photo provided by Landon Sveinson Photography/Tourism Vancouver Island
Travel the length of Salt Spring Island and find woodland walks, picturesque beaches and thrilling adventure sports options.

Life moves at a different pace on Salt Spring Island. The forested landmass just off the coast of Vancouver Island demands that you slow down to appreciate its beauty. Boutique shops and bustling markets dominate the towns, while the wilderness hides wildlife and walking trails. Escape from the bustle of everyday life and embrace the sense of peacefulness that characterizes this idyllic destination.

Step into the venerable halls of the Bittancourt House Museum. This fascinating 19th-century house documents the farming history of the island. See a large-scale model of the HMS Ganges, a military ship that sailed the Pacific during the 1850s.

Explore the village of Ganges, where you’ll find many of the businesses on the island. Watch boats bobbing in the pretty harbor of Centennial Wharf and admire the nautical mural that adorns a buoy at the entrance.

Haggle with traders at one of the island’s famous Saturday Markets. These take place between March and October and offer everything from locally grown vegetables to intricate artisan jewelry. Most items sold here have usually been made or grown by the people selling them.

Take camping gear to the island and spend some time out in the great outdoors. Pitch your tent in Ruckle Provincial Park beside 4 miles (7 kilometers) of spectacular coastline, where you may spot sea lions frolicking in the water. Hike around the little-populated coast to find your own secluded spot of shoreline.

If you want more excitement, Salt Spring Island can provide that too. Rent kayaks and launch them into the ocean to explore the island’s coastline. The slopes of the island’s rolling interior are well suited to cyclists looking for demanding but rewarding routes to pedal along.

Ferries to Salt Spring Island run from the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island. Rent a car to explore Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands. Don’t worry about traffic even the main roads here are still quiet, winding countryside routes.