Salt Spring in Canada’s Gulf Islands
Canada and the specifically British Columbia is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world although not the stereotypical white sandy beach and bright blue water type. No, indeed the Gulf Islands of British Columbia have a much different beauty, of thick fir forests and rocky outcrops. Taking the large ferry through the many islands one gets a real sense of wilderness and if you are lucky you may spot a pod of orcas (killer whales). Heading to Salt Spring Island in winter I wondered how good the experience would be but by the time I left, I realised these islands offer something in every season.
I admired the million dollar homes dotted along the rocky shores of the islands and discovered Salt Spring in particular is a popular secluded escape for more than one celebrity. Since one of these famous actors said the first rule of something is to not talk about something I will not mention his name. That and the fact he could probably kick my arse. But he is not the only one who has found this island to be a great retreat. Many talented artists and musicians also call Salt Spring home and looking around the town it is easy to see why they love it. There is a casual bohemian vibe here and nothing is too fast paced.
Exploring the island we found not only the strong art influence but also great hikes for nature lovers. Mt. Maxwell provides spectacular views of the surrounding islands and if you know what you are looking at you can actually see right down to the United States toward Seattle. Even with my contact lenses in though, I could not see that far but I smiled and nodded in the general direction.
Salt Spring has a small town centre where I’m sure all the small town gossips keep up to date with who has arrived and departed. There are also many boat moorings and jetties which make for great photography and places for the artists to draw inspiration from. There is a cool little veggie store and a little fire department and the locals are friendly and happy to show their little piece of paradise.
For anyone staying on the mainland in Vancouver, a stopover to Salt Spring or the large island of Vancouver and its city Victoria is a must, even in winter. Salt Spring would make a great day visit and Victoria is deserving of a few days. Victoria offers more shops, cafes and bars and some great history including totem poles from the Native Americans. The gulf islands of British Columbia offer something of a different variety of island getaway and are top of my list on a west coast Canadian adventure. If you are sick of the pristine beaches of the Bahamas or the Maldives 😉 then check them out!