If you are on a Vancouver bareboat charter, then probably one of the most well known of the Gulf Islands in beautiful British Columbia is Salt Spring Island.
Why go there?
We think this is a must visit place on your Vancouver bareboat charter due to it’s fantastic spirit of opting out of the fast lane and taking it easy, whilst enjoying the rich community spirit, the beautiful beaches, amazing scenery, and the largely unspoilt paradise only found on Canada’s west coast! It is a great place to visit by boat, as the island offers many boating options and amenities to suit your needs. As the island is surrounded by the sheltered waters of the Southern Gulf Island, the marine parks and marina offer idyllic conditions for viewing the spectacular scenery from the water side.
There are many docking and marina options to suit your needs, or if you prefer to enjoy the calm then choose one of the many sheltered anchorages for staying. Visit Saltspring Marina
About Salt Spring Island
Sometimes called the ‘coolest island in Canada’ and renowned for its creativity, Salt Spring Island is definitely worth a visit on your Vancouver Island bareboat charter.
It is the most populated of all the Gulf Islands, with a population of around 10,000 people and the bustling harbour town of Ganges Village as epicenter of the island. The island is an important source of natural resources and diverse environment, but took some clearing of the huge Douglas First that populate the island by the early settlers before the land could be farmed productively.
The island became known as Salt Spring because of the North End salt spring which still exist today, the village of Ganges was named after HMS Ganges, a Royal Navy battleship which visited the island in the mid 1800’s. Visit Ganges Marina
Things to do on Salt Spring Island
The natural beauty of this island, coupled with the mild climate means that it is a fantastic place to visit to enjoy the array of outdoor pursuits, sea kayaking, golf, cycling, swimming, birdwatching or just spending a relaxing afternoon on the amazing beaches. Visit Salt Spring Adventures
Take a hike up Mount Maxwell’s cliffside trails and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of Fulford Harbour and Burgoyne Bay at the various lookout points. For a more leisurely excursion, enjoy one of the many forest trails in Ruckle Provincial Park.
The island has a number of beaches to choose from, from the popular Beddis Beach to the smaller lakeside beaches and docks at St. Mary Lake or Cusheon Lake.
There is a plethora of restaurants, specialty food producers, bakeries and coffee shops for you to enjoy eating out. To fully experience island life, you must check out the farmers market on Saturdays, where the organic produce on offer has either been made, baked or grown on the island. If you miss the market, you can get your local produce fix at Salt Spring Coffee in the morning, located in Ganges Harbour. In the afternoon, you can venture out to the Salt Spring Island Ales tasting room, where you can sample the latest brews and pick up a bottle or growler for the rest of your journey. Visit Salt Spring Harbour House Hotel & Restaurant
If you are after some chill out or well being time, then take advantage of some of the first class spas on offer, with yoga and fitness classes to choose from. You can also check out the Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm and pick up some treats for your own at home spa experience.
If music and arts is your bag, then Salt Spring Island is a must visit due to the lively performing arts scene at ArtSpring where performances are staged throughout the year, as well as the many galleries and art shops that you can spend time browsing. Visit Pegasus Art Gallery
There is a Visitor Centre at Ganges, where you can find plenty of information on all the activities to do on Salt Spring Island, and they will also supply you with details on doing the North End and South End loop tours. Salt Spring Islanders are extremely eager to help you enjoy your visit too, so be sure to ask the locals where their favourite places are. Visit Salt Spring Tours
There are many community events that run throughout the year, including the Salt Spring Fall Fair, the Working Boat Festival, Annual Pride Festival, Ruckle Park Day, Round Salt Spring Sailing Race, among many others. There’s fun for all ages on this charming island, and never a shortage of new activities to check out.
When planning your holiday on the west coast, be sure to include a stop on Salt Spring Island in your charter itinerary!
Photo Credit: saltspringharbourhouse.com