DescriptionOriginally called Chuan Island, then Admiral Island, Salt Spring Island is the largest of the Gulf Islands and a popular spot for yachting, cycling, fishing and golfing. Bicycle and kayak rentals are available.
Although it is one of the most developed of the islands, it retains a rural feel. Mount Maxwell Park has a scenic drive leading to 610-metre (2,001-ft.) Baynes Peak. Ruckle Provincial Park offers 7 kilometres (4.3 mi.) of shoreline and has walking trails; bicycling, fishing, kayaking and picnicking are permitted.
The island also features popular Saturday farmers markets and arts and crafts, and is home to many fine artists such as Robert Bateman and Carol Evans.
Ganges is the island's largest village and its commercial hub. Much of the seaside community's charm is the result of its status as an artist's colony. Visitors are welcome at many artists' studios, and locally made arts and crafts such as ceramics, jewelry, furniture, stained glass and woodcraft, are sold at many village shops.
A local Ganges landmark is a retired buoy that has been painted with a marine-themed mural. Marine life such as salmon, orcas, cod and octopus seals—all creatures that can be found near Salt Spring Island—join a Coast Guard cutter and kayaks as the mural's focal points.
Ferries operate daily from the island's three ferry terminals—between Swartz Bay and Fulford Harbour, between Crofton and Vesuvius Bay and between Long Harbour (the largest of the terminals) and Tsawwassen. For schedules and information phone BC Ferries, (250) 386-3431 from the Victoria area or outside British Columbia, or (888) 223-3779 from elsewhere in the province.
InfoOfficeSalt Spring Island Visitor InfoCentre 121 Lower Ganges Rd. SALT SPRING ISLAND, BC V8K 2T1. Phone:(250)537-5252 or (866)216-2936
Self-guiding toursMaps describing self-guiding tours to the studios of more than 30 resident artists are available at the island's visitor infocenter as well as at lodgings, the marina and on BC Ferries.