Your tour starts on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands, and famous for its scenery, sunshine, and warm hospitality. If you arrive early enough take the time for a short hike into the verdant Fern Valley, which feels like a rainforest.
Today's walk begins with a transfer to Beaver Point Hall, where you will begin your exploration of the southeast corner of Salt Spring Island. You'll follow well-marked trails to Ruckle Provincial Park, named after the family whose homestead this was in the 19th century. Walk along the shore to King's Point, and continue on to Yeo Point, where you'll enjoy views of the Channel Islands, home to seals and cormorants. Follow the water's edge through the Tsawout Band Reserve before returning to your hotel or B&B.
Cycling is on the agenda today. Pedal to Ganges, the island's main town as you explore the southern portion of Salt Spring Island. You won't be able to resist the shops - this could be where you find that perfect souvenir. Every saturday, there is a splendid Market in Ganges. From Ganges you'll hop on the ferry to Galiano Island, named for the Spanish sea captain who explored the surrounding waters in
1792. Galiano Island is home to more than 130 species of birds and a
haven for naturalists. Explore some of the island before arriving at tonight's accommodation, where you settle in for two nights.
Today's walk takes you to three great viewpoints. Climb up Mount Galiano
where there's a wonderful view of Active Pass and the southern Gulf
Islands. Head into Bluffs Park, where you hike amongst cedars and ferns
to the top of the bluff, where there are stunning views of Prevost
Island and the south face of Mount Galiano. From Galiano Cemetery you'll
see seals sunning themselves on their private island. 12 km.
You have many options today. You could walk or ride on Galiano Island or go to Mayne Island, the
smallest of the inhabited southern Gulf Islands, for a day trip. On
Mayne Island explore Miners Bay and learn about the history of the area in the museum, which was once the jail. Bike along meandering roads to tree-lined shores, picnic at Georgina Point Lighthouse, which has overlooked Active Pass since 1885, and watch seals and Orcas gambol in the waves while seabirds glide overhead. Take some time to hike through the forests of Mount Parke Regional Park, the highest point on the island. Enjoy a whole new perspective of the islands as you take to the sea in your kayak. You'll receive everything you need at Blue Vista Resort, including a lesson to get you started and a guide, who'll accompany you today. Paddle to Winter Cover Marine Provincial Park, once a quarry and now meadows and wetlands sheltering migratory waterbirds. Head into Boot Cove below steep hills descending to the water and arrive at Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island, which will be your home for the next two nights.
Start with a transfer to the end of Narvaez Road, where today's walk begins. Follow old logging roads and goat trails to the top of Mount Warburton Pike, then descend to the Saturna Winery, in a spectacular setting near the water, and the pebbly beach at Thomson Park. Then it's back to you comfortable hotel or B&B for a relaxing evening.
Catch a ferry back to the mainland, where you depart for home or set off on a new adventure.
"We were in Gulf Islands Heaven! … [the area managers] were wonderful - very accommodating and helpful - and our kayaking experience was superior."
- Janie, California