A Salt Spring Island Getaway

Experiencing the Best of Salt Spring Island

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer, make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

When coming from the Mainland, people often comment on how much more calm life is on Vancouver Island. It also seems the more islands you hop the more relaxed you feel. Even though out of all the Gulf Island it is the most frequented, as well as the most populous, you will find an extra dose of stress relief when visiting Salt Spring Island.

My husband and I booked a weekend getaway to beautiful Salt Spring to celebrate our Anniversary. While this charming island with its lovely beaches, mountain views, and rolling countryside is a haven for romance, it can also be a wonderful place to take the family.

What to Do

Salt Spring Island truly is a nature lovers paradise. You could easily spend your entire time utilizing the various options of outdoor recreations. This can include, but is not limited to, strolling the beaches, hiking and/or biking the multi-leveled trails, golfing, swimming, sailing, or kayaking in the calm semi-protected waters. But if you spend the whole time ogling the tranquil beauty, then you might miss out on all the other great things this island has to offer!

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

The Market

For instance, exploring the famous Saturday Market, which is an absolute must!

Every Saturday from Easter weekend through to the last Saturday in October, Canada’s best-loved market is open from approximately 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, rain or shine. This is where you will meet over 140 artisans and food producers that either “make it, bake it or grow it” themselves.

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

The Wineries

And then there are the wineries!

There are three wineries on Salt Spring Island, and we can attest that they all make really good wine (we happened to come home with several bottles from each stop).

Garry Oaks Winery – This award-winning wine is 100% grown and made in the vineyard.

Mistaken Identity Vineyards – Enjoy a glass of this award-winning wine in the licensed picnic area.

Salt Spring Winery – This lovely spot is also home to a B&B. So if you happen to have too many samples you can always see if there is a room available. 😉  Make sure to try the Blackberry “Port”. It is especially delicious!

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

The Cheesemakers

Now you need some great cheese to accompany your newly purchased wine! Well you are in luck, for the island has two cheesemakers, which produce delicious cheeses of all kinds.

Salt Spring Island Cheese – this charming place, which produces both goat and sheep cheeses, not only has a tasting room (to die for), but you are also able to view the cheese making process.

Moonstruck Cheese – makers of certified organic cheese from a small herd of purebred Jersey cows. You can find these flavorful cheeses at the Saturday Market, or at the farm store (Mon-Sat from 11- 4)

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

Other Points of Interest

Take the drive to Beaver Point Road. There you will find Ruckle Heritage farm, the oldest working farm in BC, as well as Ruckle Provincial Park – “one of the most beautiful parks in the Southern Gulf Islands”.  Please note: if you plan on camping at Ruckle Provincial Park there are only 8 vehicle accessible spots available, and they are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.

While on the ferry (or pretty much anywhere on Salt Spring) make sure to pick up the Salt Spring Island Adventure Map. This map is a very good travel companion, (hubby and I referred to it frequently while there) and a fun way to experience the highlights.

Where to Stay

For a small island, Salt Spring has plenty of accommodation options.

If you are looking for luxury, stay at the Hastings House. It was a bit over our budget this time around, but I am determined to stay at this five-star, waterfront resort full of old world charm at some point.

The Harbour House Hotel has 38 lovely appointed rooms, most of which have harbour views. If you can, splurge on the Deluxe room to enjoy your own private balcony with an outdoor gas fireplace! This hotel also has an on-site organic farm with daily tours available.

There are also plenty of other options to check out here: Salt Spring Island Accommodations

If neither of those suits your fancy I am sure you will find something in your budget and taste among the 21 Bed & Breakfasts the island has to offer.

And of course, you can always camp! Salt Spring has 5 campgrounds to choose from.

So if you are looking for a truly unique getaway, look no further than Salt Spring Island.

Getting There

Salt Spring Island is served by BC Ferries at 3 ferry terminals. Additional ferries are available in the summer months.

Via BC Ferries

From Victoria

Take the Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour ferry (approx. 35 minutes)

  • Departs BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal (near Victoria) and sails to Fulford Harbour at Salt Spring’s south end.
    Note: ticket price from this terminal includes return fare.

From Nanaimo

Take the Crofton to Vesuvius Bay ferry (approx. 20 minutes)

  • If you’re coming from anywhere mid-north Vancouver Island, or from the Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver North Shore) to Nanaimo ferry, it is then a 45-minute drive from Nanaimo to Crofton.
  • Departs BC Ferries Crofton terminal and sails to Vesuvius Bay at Salt Spring’s north end.
    Note: ticket price from this terminal includes return fare.

From Vancouver

Take the Tsawwassen to Long Harbour ferry (1hr 15mins to 3.5hrs depending on the number of stops)

  • Departs BC Ferries Tsawwassen terminal and sails to Long Harbour, Salt Spring’s mid-island terminal.
    Note: ticket price from this terminal DOES NOT INCLUDE return fare.

By Air

For the fastest way to get to Salt Spring Island, your best bet is to travel by seaplane.

  1. Saltspring Air http://www.saltspringair.com/
  2. Harbour Air http://www.harbour-air.com/
  3. SeaAir http://www.seairseaplanes.com/

Have you been? What is your favourite spot to visit while on Salt Spring? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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If you are heading to Vancouver Island this Summer make sure to visit Salt Spring Island for a truly unique experience.
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on Dec 08, 2015

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