Salt Spring Island to Nanaimo – Day 5 of a 5-Day Trip on Vancouver Island
Day 5 on Vancouver Island ends with taking the ferry back to Vancouver from Nanaimo. It includes a few stops between Salt Spring Island and Nanaimo. Vancouver Island is always a nice getaway from the hustling and bustling of the city. I also enjoy how little traffic there is (unless you’re in Victoria during rush hour).
If you are continuing from my Day 4 itinerary, you would have stayed overnight in Salt Spring Island. To start your day, make some breakfast at the campsite or head into Ganges for a sit down meal. Energized from your meal, head to Mount Maxwell Provincial Park. I believe there are plenty of trails to hike up Mount Maxwell, but we opted to drive up. The views are spectacular!
After the visit to Mount Maxwell, head back to Crofton via ferry and have lunch at Alderlea Farm and Café. The farm/café is a 20 minute drive from the Crofton, and specializes in farm-to-table meals with a country-side ambience.
Next stop, head to Merridale Cidery & Distillery for an afternoon cider/distillery tasting. Merridale also has food and is an alternative choice to Alderlea Farm and Café for lunch. They also offer distillery tours, but I believe these need to be booked ahead of time.
After the cidery, head to Kinsol Trestle for an afternoon walk. Kinsol Trestle is one of the tallest free-standing wooden rail trestles in the world. It has a length of 187m and a height of 44m. Its grandeur is definitely worth a visit.
Next, drive to Neck Point Park in Nanaimo for the afternoon. The park has rocky beaches, multiple walking trails, and waterfront views.
After our visit to Neck Point Park, it was time for dinner. We headed to Gina’s Mexican Café, located Downtown Nanaimo. The restaurant is easily recognizable with its pink exterior. They serve delicious classic Mexican dishes and drinks. We ordered the enchiladas and quesadilla meals. The mole sauce was exceptional!
Next, head to White Sails Brewing for an evening drink. White Sails Brewing is an award-winning brewery which opened in 2015. We shared a flight – blonde, porter, cider, and sour.
To end the day, head to the ferry to return to Vancouver. Here’s a photo of the sunset from the ferry:
Complete Day 5 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps and BC Ferries Schedule for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Visit Mount Maxwell Provincial Park (36 minute drive from Ruckle Provincial Park).
11:00am: Take the 20 minute ferry back to Crofton from Vesuvius Bay (29 minute drive from Mount Maxwell Provincial Park).
12:00pm: Have lunch at Alderlea Farm and Café (21 minute drive from Crofton Ferry Terminal).
1:00pm: Visit Merridale Cidery & Distillery (18 minute drive from Alderlea Farm and Café).
2:00pm: Go for an afternoon walk at Kinsol Trestle (16 minute drive from Merridale Cidery & Distillery).
3:00pm: Visit Neck Point Park (1 hour and 18 minute drive from Kinsol Trestle).
5:00pm: Have dinner at Gina’s Mexican Café (15 minute drive from Neck Point Park).
6:00pm: Have a drink at White Sails Brewing (2 minute drive from Gina’s Mexican Café).
7:00pm: Head to the ferry terminal to return to Vancouver (15 minute drive from White Sails Brewing).
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!