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.
Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Galiano Island, Southern Gulf Islands, BC, Canada
Pender Island, Southern Gulf Islands, BC, Canada
Saturna Island, Southern Gulf Islands, BC, Canada
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
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)
Jul 26-Aug 1
Aug 23-Aug 29
Jul 25-Aug 31
Aug 22-Aug 28
Trip can start at any date. Self-guided and custom trips also available. Call or email for details.
ARRIVE / DEPART
3-7 hours hiking each day
*Prices are subject to GST (5%) in British Columbia.
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.
Salt Spring Island
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.
Hiking Distance: 3km
Salt Spring Island
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.
Hiking Distance: 17 km
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.
Hiking Distance: 4km
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.
Hiking Distance: 12 km
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.
Hiking Distance: 15km
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.
Hiking Distance: 10 km
Return to Swartz Bay near Victoria or Vancouver and depart for home or on to your next adventure.
Located on the shore of Fulford Harbour in a peaceful, rural setting, the Beach House is a perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy the sea. Savour delicious breakfasts with home baking, soak in the waterfront hot tub and wander out the private entrance for your room to one of the many garden pathways leading to the beach.
This oceanfront luxurious resort and spa features large guest rooms, each with a breathtaking view, wood burning fireplaces, and a casually elegant décor. The restaurant has been receiving rave reviews for its inspired west coast cuisine. Galiano Inn features intimate luxurious facilities, all thooughtfull designed and furnished to relax, refresh and inspire.
Overlooking a quiet cove, this elegant yet casual country inn offers guests comfortable and individually themed rooms, extensive wine cellar and fine dining.