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Saltspring Island

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Largest of the Southern Gulf Islands, Saltspring or Salt Spring Island is located in the sheltered waters of British Columbia, Canada. Saltspring is the most accessible of the Gulf chain of islands and owes its name to the cold briny saltwater springs found on the northern end of the island.


Saltspring Island

Referred to by many as the 'artist sanctuary' of Canada, Saltspring Island is home to potters, weavers, sculptors, painters, gardeners and photographers. They open up their studios for tours and showcase ceramics, woodcraft, jewellery, furniture, metal craft, stained glass, molded candles, wool and fleece products and many other unique island products.

There are several country house hotels which are small luxury resorts providing spa and restaurants in Saltspring Island. Other accommodation facilities include Manor houses overlooking the peaceful beaches of Saltspring Island. The country inns provide breathtaking views of the harbor with acres of vibrant lawns, gardens, forests and abundant wild life to enjoy.

There are several ferries from Vancouver Island or the mainland to Saltspring Island. Ferries leave from Crofton in Vancouver to Vesuvius or from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal in Victoria to Fulford Harbor and Long Harbor in Saltspring. Float planes also link the village of Ganges to Vancouver and Seattle.

The farmer's market in Ganges's Centennial Park has treats to discover for the discerning visitor. The Saturday market here is active for over thirty years where one can pick up home made and home grown ware. Visitors flock to this market to buy foods, crafts and arts that symbolize Saltspring's idyllic lifestyle. Colorful events including musical performances and occasional theatrical or dance exhibitions are also held in the Farmer's Market.


Touring Saltspring Island

Saltspring's shoreline is varied and beautiful with rocky shores and tidal pools. Arbutus beach is known for the great variety of intertidal rocks; this beach has long flat rock outcrops with exquisite sandstone lace rock formations. For fun-filled pleasant outings, Fernwood point is the best bet. One of the best beaches in Saltspring Island, this beach has low summer tides with sandy mud flats to walk along in the coast. Saltspring is well known for its many fresh water lakes with popular swimming spots throughout the summer.


Outdoor adventure on Saltspring Island

Kayaking: Kayaking through the spectacular coastlines, through the inlets, archipelagos and ancient forests is truly awesome! You can catch glimpses of seals and marine life or the killer whale reserve in the exceptional Orca sightings from a distance. Sea kayak expeditions on the biologically diverse waters at the southwestern end of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve which is a Unesco World Heritage Site can be an intimate experience; with idyllic beaches, rhythmic ocean swell and rolling fog.

Golfing: Saltspring Island is for fine golf and the course is open year round not only for members but to the general tourist as well. Many of the golf courses have smaller than average greens to challenge even the advanced players to come up with precision golf shots. Most of the golf courses are conveniently located mid island and south of the Ganges around the Blackburn Lake.

Hiking: Ruckle Provincial Park is best known for hiking and is the second oldest operating farm in British Columbia. Established in late 1800s, today this park features beautiful and well serviced campground with barbecue pits and walking trails. Mount Maxwell Provincial Park is probably one of the most popular tourist sites.


Tourist spots on Saltspring Island


  • All roads in Saltspring lead to the village of Ganges mid island which is the biggest town in the Gulf islands. Ganges is crammed with shops and services, restaurants and galleries.

  • The Fulford village at the southern end of the island houses the historic Fulford Inn which is a grocery store, the Mexican cafe and crafts shops which all combine to add to the unique atmosphere of the Fulford Harbor and the ferry terminal. A native artifacts museum functioning from a beautiful log building is worth a visit.

  • Fernwood is good launching spot for those wishing to cross Houston Passage to visit Wallace Island Provincial Marine Park in Trincomali Channel.

  • The Akerman Museum in the Fulford valley is full of artifacts from local history dating back to several hundreds of years. This private museum is open to the public and is well worth a visit.


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