Salt Spring Island – Day 4 of a 5-Day Trip on Vancouver Island
We headed to Salt Spring Island on Day 4. We were invited to a friend’s wedding in the evening, but we had the morning to explore Salt Spring Island! Salt Spring Island is small – you can drive from one end to the other within 45 minutes – but has so much to explore and discover! Despite the breeze, it was a hot summer day.
From Maple Bay, it is a 9 minute drive to the Crofton Ferry terminal and then another 20 minute ferry to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. Note: There is also a ferry that goes between Salt Spring Island and Victoria (Swartz Bay). We were aiming for the 10am ferry, but unfortunately it was full (it is first come, first serve). That was on us though, we did not leave very early for the ferry. The next ferry sailing was around 11:30am. So once we were directed to the correct line, we parked the car and looked for a lunch spot in Crofton. We had originally wanted to go to Salt Spring Island Cheese for lunch, but due to time constraints with missing the ferry, we settled on Cedrick’s Coffee House in Crofton. I ordered the grilled turkey brie panini and an iced London fog to go. I found the London fog to be extremely sweet, but still good.
There is a park by Crofton Harbour, right beside Crofton Ferry Terminal, which we ate at. It has open views of the ocean and is a nice spot to stretch your legs while waiting for the ferry. The beige building in the photo is the Crofton Old School Museum. It has exhibits depicting Crofton’s history.
After our 20 minute ferry to Vesuvius Bay, we headed to Ganges to check out the Salt Spring Saturday Market. Before heading to Ganges, make a stop at Lavender and Black. Lavender and Black is a family-owned lavender farm. It looked like we were a bit late for blooming season, but it still smelled great. Note: We actually visited here as our last stop of the day because it was close to the wedding venue. I would suggest doing this as your first activity on Salt Spring Island as the farm is on the north end of the island. Then you can make your way south for the rest of the attractions.
Lavender and Black
The Salt Spring Saturday Market is both a locals’ and visitors’ favourite. It is only open on Saturdays from April to October and features local artisans products. Definitely worth a visit! Ganges itself is a cool spot to explore due to its artsy vibe, ocean views, and fun shops.
After the market, check out Salt Spring Island’s amazing selection of artisan cheese and wineries. Suggestions are Salt Spring Vineyards, Garry Oaks Estate Winery, and Salt Spring Island Cheese. We did not have time to go to all of these this time, but they are definitely on our list for next visit! For the evening, head back to Ganges for dinner at Tree House Café. The restaurant incorporates the plum tree in its walls and ceiling and has live music on select evenings. After dinner, head to Salt Spring Wild Cider House for some cider. They have a great variety of ciders (although, Vernon’s BX Press Cidery remains my favourite cidery) and is a great spot to hang out. They also serve food. We ordered their special blend flight to share which consisted of bitter orange rosemary, elderberry, apricot, pineapple amaro, and ginger root.
After the wedding, we caught the ferry back home to Maple Bay. However, Salt Spring Island has plenty of options for accommodation and you definitely should stay the night. Note: Day 5 of this Vancouver Island trip starts assuming an overnight stay in Salt Spring Island. A good camping spot is Ruckle Provincial Park, but it can be busy, so reserve a spot or go early in the day to grab a camp site. Here’s the view from our campsite (morning and evening) from when we went a few years ago:
Side Note: Here are some photos from the wedding. The ceremony was outdoors, but the reception was in the barn. The charcuterie spread was delightful!
Complete Day 4 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Head to Salt Spring Island (20 minute from Crofton or 35 minute ferry ride from Swartz Bay).
11:00am: Stop by Lavender and Black (8 minute drive from Vesuvius (via Crofton) or 29 minute drive from Fulford Harbour (via Swartz Bay)).
12:00pm: Have lunch at Salt Spring Island Cheese (23 minute drive from Lavender and Black). Alternative suggestion: If you are waiting at the Crofton Ferry terminal, Cedrick’s Coffee House is a good option.
2:00pm: Visit Salt Spring Vineyards (11 minute drive from Salt Spring Island Cheese).
3:00pm: Visit Garry Oaks Estate Winery (5 minute walk from Salt Spring Vineyards).
4:00pm: Explore Ganges (9 minute drive from Salt Spring Island Cheese). Visit Salt Spring Island Saturday Market if it is open.
5:00pm: Have dinner at the Tree House Café (3 minute walk from Ganges).
7:00pm: Have a drink at Salt Spring Wild Cider House (5 minute drive from Tree House Café).
8:00pm: Camp at Ruckle Provincial Park (24 minute drive from Salt Spring Wild Cider House).
5-Day Vancouver Island Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 5-Day Vancouver Island Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in the Vancouver Island!