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 Mayne Island, the smallest of the inhabited southern Gulf Islands. Once a stop over for rowdy miners with Gold Rush fever, the island is now a quiet getaway of farms and orchards, sandy beaches and deep bays. Explore some of the island before arriving at tonight's accommodation, where you settle in for two nights.
You have many options today. 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