Salt Spring Island British Columbia Canada
Salt Spring Island British Columbia Canada

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
Welcomes you

Truly Canadian
The Gulf Islands truly are jewels of America's Pacific Northwest and are a "must see" for visitors to Victoria, Vancouver, or Seattle. In the United States they go by another name: the San Juan Islands. But regardless of the name, with an area of 180 sq. km and a permanent population of around 10,000, Salt Spring is the largest and most interesting of the Gulf Islands. Salt Spring extends from 4843' to 4856' North Latitude and from 12322' to 12336' West Latitude. It is one of those rare parts of Canada that lies "below" the main US border. Salt Spring is just a short ferry ride north of Victoria, or a pleasant trip from Vancouver via a Gulf Island ferry or float plane.

Travel times for ferries can be obtained from the B.C. Ferries Schedule. A visit to the web site for BC Ferries is quick and easy.
Welcome to Salt Spring Island!
Photo: Chris Gosset, Salt Spring Island

Blessed with the best climate in Canada, with barely half the rainfall of Vancouver or Seattle, Salt Spring is a desirable destination no matter what the season. Temperatures rarely dip below freezing, and in summer the marine climate moderates the heat.

The island is idyllic in landscape and rustic in character. It offers both Ruckle Provincial Park and Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park, for those desiring seclusion and solitude or magnificent vistas. Salt Spring is known for its friendly village atmosphere; spectacular sunsets, warm swimming beaches and inspiring trails.

Salt Spring's picturesque countryside is put to many uses; farming, raising sheep, cheese production, exotic animals, homes of country gentry near the villages of Vesuvius, Fulford, and rolling million dollar estates.

Salt Spring is an art lover's dream with more than 40 galleries and studios dotting the countryside. Featured are paintings, woodworking, pottery, dried flowers, stained glass and much more.

Charter a boat or privately owned water-taxi to explore one of the marine parks located on the uninhabited islands near Salt Spring. Explore sunken wrecks at Princess Margaret Marine Park, one of several excellent diving locations accessible by boat.

Kayak from sunrise to sunset. Salt Spring Island has been chosen by Canoe & Kayak magazine editors as one of its top paddling locations. Salt Spring is described as a paddler's paradise - for beginners to the more advanced. Kayakers can become one with marine life like porpoise, seal and otters. Various outlets offer equipment and kayaking excursions.

Enjoy the setting!
Photo: Chris Gosset, Salt Spring Island
There are many lakes for fishing, sailing, wind surfing, or canoeing. Fish in freshwater lakes for trout or cutthroat. Salmon, halibut and cod reward salt water anglers.

Other activities such as camping, golf, tennis, bird watching or horseback riding are available. Salt Spring is one of the regions most popular cycling destinations however cyclists should be prepared to ride on narrow, winding roads. A recommended route is from Fulford Harbour to Ruckle Provincial Park. Stop to pick berries, bird watch or enjoy tempting treats at the various honour stands on the Island.

Abundant fresh water, lakes, and rich soil attracted Salt Spring's first settlers. Those who came in 1859 found an uninhabited island that Native Americans hunted and gathered on. Called "KLAATHEM" because of the salt springs on the island's north end, the English translation of the word has persisted. How the Gulf Islands remained Canadian when the borders were drawn up is a story in itself that includes international arbitration by Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany in 1872!

Anchor Point is at the junction of Beddis and Douglas Roads, and the town of Ganges is a short walk down the hill. An older property starting on Beddis Road and dropping down to the Salt Spring Sailing Club in a long triangular sliver of land, Anchor Point's views of the busy harbour and the neighbouring Gulf Islands make for an ever-changing vista.

While the traditional look of the building makes it seem older, the structure in fact is hardly a generation old. Reuse of heritage doors and fixtures from an old farmhouse add to the character of the B and B that has all of the modern conveniences. When exploring the property guests can search out the remnants of the original Island laundry from the 1880's that still lie across the creek on the lower part of the property.

Salt Spring Island has wonderful beaches
Photo: Chris Gosset, Salt Spring Island
The name Beddis is associated with the road as well as a beach and a heritage farmhouse. Originally, Samuel and Emily Beddis left Bristol, England as newly-weds seeking a new life in North America. After living in the U.S. for a time, they sailed with a family of five and a household full of goods up the west coast in search of a new home. In 1884 the Beddis family landed on the beach on Salt Spring that bears their name.

A farm and orchard were started and soon produced bountiful crops. The elder sons of the family built "Beddis House" in 1900 for the widow Emily Beddis. The farm, like many on the island still has heritage fruit trees providing varieties that are now almost impossible to find.

Salt Spring has all the prerequisite amenities, and the comforts of town abound.

Ganges, close to the Long Harbour ferry terminal, is the main shopping & cultural centre of Salt Spring Island. It has been chosen as one of the best little art towns in North America.

Ganges' harbour offers good facilities for boaters. Transportation for on the Island includes cycles, auto rentals, taxis, water taxis, and seasonal bus service and scooter rentals. Touring the Saturday morning markets and many quaint shops is a treasure. Sunshine and scenery make Salt Spring an artist's paradise and the Ganges' galleries and craft studios feature a variety of works from internationally renowned artists.
Marina on Salt Spring Island
Photo: Chris Gosset, Salt Spring Island

You'll find banks grocery stores, service shops, and art and craft galleries. Dining ranges from vegetarian and pub fare to fine dining and gourmet coffeehouses. The variety is excellent. The island has three government docks, two marinas and a floatplane dock. Ganges is a truly vibrant town, but the feel of the country is just a few minutes walk away at Anchor Point.

This Travel Guide was kindley made available by Ralph Bischoff of Anchor Point Bed & Breakfast on Salt Spring Island.

Please click here for the Salt Spring Island Newsletter of Sabine Swierenga of Daffodil Cove Cottage on Salt Spring Island.

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