Premier Listings for the Southern Gulf Islands

There are seven major islands in the southern half of the Strait of Georgia (also referred to as the Gulf of Georgia, a holdover from an erroneous assumption on the part of early English explorers). Among them, Galiano Island has always enjoyed the reputation as being the most welcoming to visitors. This is due in large part to the limited amount of farmland on Galiano in comparison to other islands. Of necessity, early settlers here opened their homes to tourists as a way of earning a living. Today, Galiano is the hub for sea-kayak trips and the site of Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, one of the largest provincial parks on any of the islands.

This isn’t to say that residents of other islands won’t be just as pleased to see you disembark at the dock. Indeed, tourism is important to the livelihood and economic well-being of most of the Gulf Islands, although some are better prepared for it than others. Decide in advance which island suits your purposes best, then consult a BC Ferries schedule to see if you can manage the connections in the course of a day’s visit or will have to seek overnight accommodation. Except in summer months, ferry service to many islands is restricted to one or two sailings a day. You may find that in order to catch a ride you’ll have to start your day well before dawn and return home late in the evening. The trade-off is that you’ll find far fewer visitors sharing the roads, waterways, and parks with you as you travel at off-peak times.

Location: A variety of BC Ferries vessels sails to Salt Spring, Galiano, Mayne, and Pender Islands from Tsawwassen on the Lower Mainland and Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. In addition, BC Ferries sails from Village Bay on Mayne Island to Saturna Island, from Crofton on southern Vancouver Island to Vesuvius on Salt Spring Island, as well as from Nanaimo on southern Vancouver Island to Gabriola Island. If you’re in a car, don’t expect simply to arrive at the terminal and drive aboard. The perplexing web of schedules, routes, and fares makes advance planning (and, often, reservations) a must. Or spare yourself the stress and expense by leaving your car at home; most inns and B&Bs will pick you up at the dock. Interisland ferries ply the waters of the southern Gulfs, operating on a first-come, first-served basis. You can reserve a space for your vehicle in advance of departure on the most popular runs by calling BC Ferries toll-free in Canada at 1-888-223-3779, or 250-386-3431. Kayaks and canoes are considered hand luggage while a small fee is charged for those bringing bicycles. Most Gulf Islands have maps and tourist information available at the ferry dock when you arrive. It’s best to orient yourself from these locations.

The following islands are located in the Southern Gulf Islands (in alphabetical order):

Saltspring Island
Saltspring Island is the largest and most populated of the Southern Gulf Islands. Forested islands, wide meadows and beautiful landscapes are surrounded by emerald ocean and wonderful vistas. Saltspring Island residents include an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs, while vacationers enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and soak in the quiet island lifestyle and spirit.

Mayne Island
The natural beauty of Mayne Island offers picturesque seascapes, pastoral farmlands and rich west coast forest. Rolling orchards and warm rock-strewn beaches abound on Mayne Island, a rustic 21-square-kilometre friendly island that is small enough for a day trip, but pretty enough for a lifetime. Miners Bay and nearby Active Pass throb with a steady stream of marine traffic, and Village Bay has several old buildings to intrigue the history buff.

Saturna Island
Saturna Island is a remote and sparsely populated rural hideaway, with bountiful wildlife and tremendous natural beauty, featuring a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Visitors to Saturna should plan ahead, as there are no campsites on the island, and accommodations are limited, so lodging reservations are recommended.
Pender Islands
North and South Pender Islands are separated by a canal, and united by a bridge. With a combined area of about 34 square kilometres, much of the land is green and rural, with a balmy sub-Mediterranean climate, seven parks, and over 20 clearly marked public beach accesses. These friendly rural islands are fabulous for family vacations, romantic escapes, seminars and retreats.

Galiano Island
A long, narrow island, and the driest in the Gulf Island chain, Galiano Island is the second largest of the Gulf Islands, after Saltspring Island. Galiano Islanders move at their own easy pace, respecting and protecting a fragile environment which is home to over 130 species of birds and many rare and protected plants. Rich in history and beauty, Galiano has been called The Jewel of the Strait of Georgia.

Gabriola Island
Known as Petroglyph Island, a nickname acquired because of its wealth of ancient native stone carvings, Gabriola Island offers a pleasant rural setting of forested parks and quiet beaches. Gabriola’s residents enjoy a mild temperate climate, a relaxed lifestyle and a strong sense of community. Picturesque roads lead to sensational ocean views, and the sandstone shoreline can be walked almost indefinitely.

Thetis Island
Island life on Thetis Island is relaxed, rural, peaceful and crime-free, with delightful rural scenes, beautiful shoreline, crystal clear waters, and wonderful views. A Mediterranean combination of mild winters and warm, dry summers supports a unique ecosystem and provides an ideal environment for outdoor recreation that includes scuba diving, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and hiking.

Penelakut Island (Kuper Island)
Although located in the Strait of Georgia, the 8.66 square kilometre Penelakut Island, formerly Kuper Island, which belongs to the Penelakut First Nations Tribe, falls under the Cowichan Valley. Situated in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, a Mediterranean climate of mild winters and warm, dry summers supports a unique ecosystem and an ideal living environment. There are no commercial establishments on Penelakut Island.

De Courcy Island
De Courcy Island is located in Northumberland Channel, between Nanaimo and Valdes Island. De Courcy Island is about 300 acres in size and is heavily forested in most areas. There are several middens on De Courcy Island that indicate native use of the land going back over 3,000 years.

Valdes Island
Valdes Island is located in the Strait of Georgia, sandwiched between Gabriola Island and Galiano Island. The island supports a small community of residents at Starvation Bay on the north shore, but the majority of the population of the island consists of part-time vacationers. A third of Valdes Island is a First Nations Reserve for the Lyackson First Nation at Shingle Point.

Newcastle Island
Accessible by foot-passenger ferry from Nanaimo, Newcastle Island is a nature reserve, and a delightfully adventurous location for a picnic, with sandstone cliffs, forests, gravel beaches, caves, caverns and prehistoric native middens. Newcastle Island was once the site of the Hudson’s Bay Company coal mines before being purchased by Canadian Pacific Railway, who turned it into a pleasure island.

Premier Listings

Photo of BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River 972 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5 Work Phone: 250-286-3293Work Fax: 250-286-1932Work Phone: 1-888-286-1932Cell Phone: 1-250-287-0011 Ed CellCell Phone: 1-250-830-4435 Shelley CellVisit Website

Biographical Info

Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” – ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in marketing and selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. Our real estate listings include homes to small oceanfront and lakefront recreational lots, private islands, remote island acreages, fishing lodges, wilderness / adventure resorts and vacation homes, oceanfront / lakefront cabins, marinas, remote & timbered acreages, and development investment properties on the west coast of BC and Vancouver Island – BCO has the Coast covered!

As an experienced BC realtor, Ed Handja successfully markets and locates real estate on the British Columbia coast for his clients. He’s lived and worked on the coast all his life, traveling from Indian Arm and the Gulf Islands on the southern BC coast, to the Khutzeymateen Valley in the northern most part of British Columbia. Ed is familiar with the west coast of Canada and understands the logistics and considerations required when dealing with the remote and unconventional real estate on the islands and west coast of BC.

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Sidney Whale Watching
#105, 2537 Beacon Avenue Sidney BC V8L 1Y2 Home Phone: 250-656-7599Work Phone: 1-888-656-7599Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Biographical Info

Sidney Whale Watching offers whale watching and wildlife sightseeing Tours and charters for killer whales (Orcas), sea birds, seal colonies, and other marine life. Three to three and a half hour tours start right from Sidney’s waterfront, near the highest percentage of Orca sightings and porpoise and dolphin feeding grounds. The seas in Sidney are much calmer than Victoria or Vancouver due to it being protected by the Gulf Islands. Waterfront kayak tours, kayak rentals, and kayaking lessons. Five minutes from ferry terminals and airport, with free airport and ferry pick up.

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Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Home Phone: 604-980-3800Work Fax: 604-980-1800Work Phone: 1-888-877-1770Visit Website

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Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

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EMR Vacation Rentals
Vancouver Office: EMR Vacation Rentals Inc. #1118 Richards Street Vancouver BC V6B 3E6 Victoria Office: (Mailing address) #106-1016 McCallum Road Victoria BC V9B 4C6 Home Phone: 604-628-4435Home Phone: 250-483-6790Home Fax: 530-660-3079Work Phone: 1-866-800-8880Work Phone: 0-800-520-0932 UKHome Phone: 0-800-181-8907 GermanyVisit Website

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EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more.

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Quarrystone House
1340 Sunset Drive Saltspring Island BC V8K 1E2 Home Phone: 250-537-5980Work Phone: 1-866-537-5980Visit Website

Biographical Info

Quarrystone House is located on five country acres on the crest of a ridge on the north end of enchanting Salt Spring Island. Four beautifully decorated spacious suites are separate from the main house, with complete privacy and tranquility, private fireplace and jacuzzi tub, and expansive ocean views from your secluded balcony. Romantic and tranquil setting perfect for weddings, honeymoons, vacations and weekend getaways.

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Mowhinna Creek Campground
515 Fulford-Ganges Road Saltspring Island BC V8K 2K1 Home Phone: 250-537-7861Visit Website

Biographical Info

Mowhinna Creek Campground is located in the heart of Saltspring Island, 1 km south of Ganges. Convenient central location from which to explore the island. Accessible by local bus. Nestled in the woods, the easy-access RV sites have full hookups. Tent sites vary in amount of shading. Pets welcome. Camp hosts on site. Reservations recommended.

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Waterfront West Real Estate
1080 5th Street Courtenay BC V9N 1L4 Home Phone: 250-897-8781Home Fax: 250-703-2902Home Phone: 1-866-799-9378Visit Website

Biographical Info

Waterfront West is the first and only marketplace dedicated exclusively to buyers and sellers of waterfront and water view real estate in British Columbia. Advertising Realtors’ listings, private sales and developments, we are pioneering the market for this prime real estate. Featuring private and brokered sales, waterfront developments and a complimentary Buyers’ Club.

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Fairview Farm Bed and Breakfast
601 Bell Bay Road Mayne Island BC V0N 2J0 Home Phone: 250-539-5582Work Phone: 1-866-539-5582Visit Website

Biographical Info

Fairview Farm Bed and Breakfast offers two charming rooms overlooking Campbell Bay on Mayne Island for year-round enjoyment. Hike, bicycle, kayak, fish, or swim in the superb natural setting of the beautiful Gulf Islands, and then come back to Fairview Farm to stay and relax in our comfort-filled home. Delicious breakfast of healthy, local and and organic food is served in your room or on the sunny terrace.

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Cusheon Lake Resort
171 Natalie Lane Saltspring Island BC V8K 2C6 Home Phone: 250-537-9629Work Fax: 250-537-9692Work Phone: 1-866-899-0017Visit Website

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Listen to the quiet or sometimes the frog chorus or children’s laughter. With 14 one & two bedroom log cottages & 2 cedar loft cabins, the resort is a destination for all. Couples wanting to spend a relaxing time with each other. Families ready to enjoy time together inside and out – playing board games or swimming and boating. Beautiful, well-maintained cottages with lake frontage, fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens & TVs. The resort grounds are surrounded by the lake on three sides, with 2 docks, a swimming beach with raft and a boat beach for lake access. Canoes, rowboats and outdoor hot tub are here for your use.

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Silver Blue Charters
210 Decourcy Drive Gabriola Island BC V0R 1X1 Home Phone: 250-247-8807Home Fax: 250-247-9700Visit Website

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Silver Blue Charters offers excellent year-round salmon fishing charters available on beautiful Gabriola Island aboard a 25.5 foot SeaRay Amberjack that carries 6 people. Captain Bob Meyer has spent 25 years as a charter fishing guide, and has extensive fishing experience in Gulf Island waters, having performed over 3,000 charters and consistently has the highest salmon catch rate in the area. Fishing packages and wildlife tours available on request.

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Classic Yacht Charters
1-5765 Turner Road Nanaimo V9T 6M4 Home Phone: 250-668-2220Work Fax: 1-888-284-7735Visit Website

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Craving a change from the ‘everyday’? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical ‘Mission Ship’. Design your private voyage into BC’s coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching… Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.

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Poets Cove Marina
Poets Cove Resort & Spa 9801 Spalding Road Pender Islands BC V0N 2M3 Home Phone: 250-629-2100Work Phone: 1-888-512-7638Visit Website

Biographical Info

Poets Cove Marina is located in beautiful Bedwell Harbour on Pender Island, one of the top ten anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. Contained within North America’s largest designated marine park, the Marina at Poets Cove offers 110 deep water slips for boats up to 100 feet, with fuel, power, water, and a Canada Customs office right in the Harbour. Heated pool, hot tub, laundromat, and showers.

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Vancouver Whale Watch
12240 Second Avenue Suite 210 Steveston Richmond BC V7E 3L8 Home Phone: 604-274-9565Home Fax: 604-274-9575Visit Website

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Vancouver’s Most Experienced Whale Watching Company offers 3 to 5-hour tours and is the only company from Vancouver with zodiacs. First-class vessels: choose between the open or the semi-enclosed style of zodiac. For the adventure of a lifetime, travel through the spectacular Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands to watch the magnificent Orcas. Professional naturalists interpret each trip. We emphasize science and conservation while maintaining a fun and professional atmosphere. Shuttle service available from Vancouver to the departure point in Steveston.

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Photo of Steveston Seabreeze Adventures
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures
12551 Number One Road Building 43 Richmond BC V7E 1T7 Home Phone: 604-272-7200Home Fax: 604-272-7999Work Phone: 1-888-272-7203Visit Website

Biographical Info

Steveston Seabreeze Adventures offers exciting Westcoast ecotours from historic Steveston, 30 minutes south of Vancouver – you don’t have to go to Vancouver Island to see the whales! Travel the scenic Fraser River and tranquil Gulf Islands; Go whale watching, wildlife viewing and bird watching around beautiful Vancouver; embark on a guided fishing adventure; or rent a bike and discover by bicycle tour the magical beauty of historic Steveston fishing village. Book your whale watching or Eco Tour today.

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Photo of Ecosummer Expeditions
Ecosummer Expeditions
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 156 Clearwater BC V0E 1N0 Ecosummer Orca Camp Warden Beach Vancouver Island BC Home Phone: 250-674-0102Home Fax: 250-674-2197Work Phone: 1-800-465-8884Visit Website

Biographical Info

Awaken to the song of the Humpback whale. Fall asleep beneath the hushed canopy of a temperate rainforest. Fill your days whale-watching, kayaking with Orcas, observing sea lions romp through an underwater forest of kelp, and eagles fishing along the shore. Linger over lunch on a deserted island, scanning the horizon for signs of Orca activity.

Sign up for Ecosummer’s guided Orca Camps to kayak in the realm of Killer Whales. Explore the rainforest, hiking to waterfalls, or along ancient First Nation trails. Marvel when dolphins swim so close you wish you could reach out and touch them. Tune in to the rhythm of the tides. Escape the hubbub of your everyday world and restore life’s equilibrium on the shores of BC’s Johnstone Strait, one of the best places to whale-watch in all of British Columbia. Paddle the same waters as these gentle giants on three, four, or six-day kayaking adventures with Ecosummer Expeditions for a family vacation you’ll always remember.

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Practicar Nanaimo
227 South Terminal Avenue Nanaimo BC V9R 5C7 Home Phone: 250-753-6461Home Fax: 250-753-4355Work Phone: 1-888-296-8888Visit Website

Biographical Info

Practicar Nanaimo offers low rates on daily, weekly and monthly rentals for cars, passenger vans, and trucks; ferry and airport pick-up and delivery, cars also available in Parksville/Qualicum and Gabriola Island; no charge for additional drivers; minimum driver’s age 21; special packages, including self-drive vineyard tours, Tofino/Pacific Rim, Gulf Islands available.

Nanaimo is the Gateway to Vancouver Island, with convenient and frequent ferries from Vancouver as well as float plane service from both Vancouver airport and downtown Vancouver. Walk on – walk off – drive away – with Practicar rentals – free pickup at Departure Bay ferry terminal, and downtown Nanaimo float plane docks.

Practicar provides discount car rental prices with top of the line auto rental customer service. At Practicar we believe that cheap car rental can be accompanied with excellent service. With airport locations and convenient neighborhood locations Practicar strives to meet all of your car and truck rental needs; whether you are looking for airport car rental, an insurance replacement vehicle or a van or minivan to take on vacation. Drive a Good Bargain…Practicar!

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Susurrus Spa at Poets Cove Resort
Poets Cove Resort & Spa Bedwell Drive RR2 Pender Islands BC V0N 2M2 Home Phone: 250-629-2100Visit Website

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Susurrus Spa is dedicated to the care and rejuvenation of the whole person – body, mind and soul. It is a sensory voyage of health, wellness and pampering in our luxurious oceanfront haven of tranquility. Indulge yourself at Susurrus Spa at the Poets Cove Resort & Spa on Pender Island, the Gulf Islands’ premier luxury resort.

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Cedar Beach Resort
1136 North End Road Saltspring Island BC V8K 1M1 Home Phone: 250-537-2205Work Fax: 250-537-5509Work Phone: 1-888-537-4366Visit Website

Biographical Info

Cedar Beach Resort is located on beautiful St. Mary Lake on Salt Spring Island. Our 5 acre resort offers 17 cabins and suites as well as 23 fully-serviced RV/camping sites. We have our own private, sandy beach right on the lake. Our heated, outdoor swimming pool (open mid-May to mid-September) and hot tub offer fabulous lake views. All cabins and suites are fully furnished with cooking facilities, and the adjoining Beach House offers indoor and outdoor recreation space. An exceptional venue for family reunions, gatherings, and small group weddings.

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Hastings House Country House Hotel
160 Upper Ganges Road Ganges Saltspring Island BC V8K 2S2 Home Phone: 250-537-2362Home Fax: 250-537-5333Work Phone: 1-800-661-9255Visit Website

Biographical Info

Hastings House Country House Hotel is a small luxury country resort, spa and restaurant on 22 acres on the waterfront of Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island. Enjoy luxury lodging, fine dining, wellness and relaxation in a casually-elegant atmosphere. Whether your accommodations are in the stately Tudor-style Manor House, the restored historic Post Cottage, or any one of 18 distinct suites, you’ll be captivated by the ambiance of this pastoral estate.

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Photo of Poets Cove Resort & Spa
Poets Cove Resort & Spa
9801 Spalding Road Pender Islands BC V0N 2M3 Home Phone: 250-629-2100Work Phone: 1-888-512-7638Visit Website

Biographical Info

Poets Cove Resort & Spa is the premier luxury resort on the Gulf Islands, hidden away in a secluded bay on Pender Island, offering 15 cottages, 9 villas, and a lodge with 22 rooms looking west toward ocean sunsets. Amenities include a stunning ballroom, an elegant restaurant, world-class spa, heated pools, and a Marina.

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Salt Spring Island Golf & Country Club
805 Lower Ganges Road Saltspring Island BC V8K 2N5 Home Phone: 250-537-2121Home Fax: 250-537-2126Visit Website

Biographical Info

Located in the heart of beautiful Salt Spring Island, and just minutes from the downtown core, the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club is truly a memorable experience. Established in 1928, and since remodelled and improved, this nine-hole, par-36 course is open year round to members and the general public. The club includes a 250-yard driving range and practice putting green. Twilight rates available. Treat yourself to an island getaway!

Tee times are required 7 days a week, and times can be booked 7 days in advance by contacting the pro shop or booking online at saltspringgolf.com. The practice range is open daily, and you can rent clubs and power carts as needed.

Treat yourself to an island getaway!

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Photo of Page’s Resort and Marina
Page’s Resort and Marina
3350 Coast Road Gabriola Island BC V0R 1X7 Home Phone: 250-247-8931Home Fax: 250-247-8997Visit Website

Biographical Info

Page’s Resort and Marina on beautiful Gabriola Island welcomes you with secluded fully-equipped seaside COTTAGES, a pristine CAMPGROUND nestled in the woods, a full service MARINA providing quiet nightly moorage with fuel dock, showers and laundromat, BOOKSTORE featuring local authors as well as charts and the best of marine publications, and mountain bike and scooter RENTALS. Located on five acres overlooking Silva Bay on beautiful Gabriola Island, minutes from golf and restaurants, Page’s offers spectacular kayaking and sailing, incredible diving and fishing, scenic hiking and cycling, and simply relaxing with a book in our picnic grounds and gardens. Arrive by land, sea or air: now with direct service to our docks with Van City Seaplanes.

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Salt Springs Spa Resort
1460 North Beach Road Saltspring Island BC V8K 1J4 Home Phone: 250-537-4111Home Fax: 250-537-2939Work Phone: 1-800-665-0039Visit Website

Biographical Info

This highly acclaimed seaside spa resort features ocean and forest view chalets, each with their own wood burning fireplace, kitchen and 2 person mineral water jet bath. Canada’s most complete organic health spa offers a full range of traditional Ayurvedic and Modern holistic body, beauty and fitness therapies including customized herbal, diet, weight loss, yoga and cleansing programs and retreats.

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