Great Explorations

(800) 242-1825
(604) 730-1247

National Geographic




“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”

– Kay & Jim D,
Burlington, VT

More testimonials


Trip Dates:


July 24-30

August 2-8

August 30- Sept 5

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.



June 23-29

August 1-7

August 29- Sept 4

Trip Size:

8-12 participants

Total Days:

7 days / 6 nights


Salt Spring Island /
Swartz Bay


The Beach House, Salt Spring Island

Galiano Inn, Galiano Island

Saturna Lodge, Saturna Island

Activity Level:

3-7 hours hiking each day


The terrain is hilly and there are climbs everyday


Land Cost (current year):
CAD $2680
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
CAD $530


Gulf Islands, Walking

Walking in an Archipelago of Natural Wonders

Get away from it all! Journey to a place where lush forests meet the deep blue sea. Sail away to the beauty and tranquility of the Gulf Islands. Explore four unique islands as you hop from one to the other. Follow peaceful trails and old logging roads to unspoiled coves, where seals and Orcas gambol and seabirds wheel overhead. Slow down and relax as you experience the natural wonders that these coastal enclaves have to offer. Your days will be filled with experiences you'll treasure forever.



Getting there :
Our tour begins on Salt Spring Island - Fulford Harbour. Day 1 of the tour is the day of arrival and your hotel is included on this day.

To reach Salt Spring Island, you can take a ferry from Vancouver Island at Swartz Bay (near Victoria) or from Vancouver Tsawwassen Terminal (via Swartz Bay) or by float plane from downtown Vancouver. We'll meet you on arrival to Salt Spring Island.

DAY 1:
Our tour starts at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands, and famous for its scenery, sunshine, and warm hospitality. It's also a haven for artists and everywhere you go you'll find galleries and studios. There's time for a short hike into the verdant Fern Valley, which has the lush feel of tropical a rainforest. Walking distance: 3km.

DAY 2:
Today's walk begins with a transfer to Beaver Point Hall, from where you 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, with an option to continue to Yeo Point, where you'll enjoy views of the Channel Islands, home to frolicking marine mammals and a colony of cormorants. Continue along the water's edge through the Tsawout Band Reserve. Then return to your accommodation. Walking distance: 17 km.

DAY 3:
Begin with a transfer by taxi to Ganges, don't miss the market every saturday! Then take the ferry to Sturdies Bay on the southeast tip of 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. Enjoy quiet roads and Douglas fir forests. Walk to Bellhouse Provincial Park, where the wind and the sea have carved and pocked the sandstone rocks of the beach. Watch for the many eagles that glide overhead. Walking distance: 4km.

DAY 4:
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. Walking distance: 12 km.

DAY 5:
Hop onto a private water taxi, which will take you to South Pender Island this morning. Start at the canal that separates the two Pender Islands and climb an old logging road to the edge of Mount Norman Provincial Park. Walk into Beaumont Provincial Marine Park, then up to the summit of Mount Norman, from where you can see part of the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Range in Washington. As you descend, you might be able to see the Vancouver skyline in the distance. Return to the canal, from where you'll be transferred back to Saturna for the night. Walking distance: 15km

DAY 6:
This morning, 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 head back to your accommodation. Walking distance: 10 km.

DAY 7:
Return to Swartz Bay near Victoria or Vancouver and depart for home or on to your next adventure.

  • What's Included
  • Weather
  • Ride Info
  • Map

Map of the Area

Ride Info

Victoria Weather

What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

  • Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
  • 6 nights lodging
  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
  • Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
  • Detailed map and route instructions
  • All baggage transportation
  • All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% must be charged on trips in Canada.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at or by telephone at 604.730.1247



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