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Ganges, British Columbia

Vesuvius Village on Salt Spring Island

approaching-saltspring-island
Approaching Vesuvius on Salt Spring Island

Vesuvius village is a picturesque seaside community on the west side of Salt Spring Island.

If you’re coming to the island from Crofton on Vancouver Island, you’ll arrive at the Vesuvius ferry terminal.

This crossing takes only 20 minutes and there is no ferry fee for departing from this terminal when leaving Salt Spring, heading back to Crofton. (BC Ferry details)

Aside from the ferry terminal though, Vesuvius village has a few attractions worth a mention. This page highlights the best reasons to visit this quaint corner of Salt Spring Island.

LODGING IN VESUVIUS

Beachside Cottage Waterfront Home

AMENITIES

Vesuvius storeAlong the main road, there is a small (and adorable) general store which carries a tiny stock of groceries, baked goods and necessities. There’s also fresh produce, coffee and tea, and a deli counter offering assorted edibles.

Take a seat at one of the cafe tables, either indoors or out, to enjoy your snacks before continuing on your adventure.

BEACH ACCESS

Beach access stairway to Vesuvius BeachVesuvius Bay (accessed from Langley road) is a fantastic beach to swim and play in the afternoons. Great for kids. There’s a small ‘beach access’ sign and a long, steep set of stairs leading down. Parking is limited to a few patches of roadside.

The water is warm and shallow and the bay is surrounded by rocky outcroppings, so it’s well protected from the powerful currents of the outer channel. Due to the western exposure, this is the beach to be at for a stunning sunset view!

EATS

The Seaside Kitchen restaurant, which is right across the road from the ferry parking, is the very deserving unofficial title-holder of the ‘best fish and chips on the island!’ Beginning around May, when the Halibut return to our waters, Seaside Kitchen offers fresh halibut, prepared either battered or grilled. Yum!

I’m fairly sure they make other stuff too, but I’ve never been able to resist the fish. There’s also a take-out window, which is handy if you’re in the ferry lineup and need a quick bite. Also perfect for grabbing an ice-cream on a hot day.

MORE TO EXPLORE

View of a colorful lane in Vesuvius village.A stroll through the tiny maze of roads that make up the village is a delight in itself. Colorful historic homes nestled in charming postage-stamp yards. Flowering fruit trees, climbing vines, exotic tropicals, and wild berries are a feast for the senses.

There are several Bed & Breakfast accommodations in and around Vesuvius, along with a few home based art studios to visit. Nearby Duck Creek Park (accessed from the west at Sunset/Monteith roads and from the east side at Broadwell Rd) is a great spot for an easy hike through the woods. A favorite spot for dog owners to bring their furry companions.

HISTORY

  • The village is named after HMS Vesuvius, which was assigned to the Royal Navy base Esquimalt in the 19th century.
  • The first Canadian settlers to arrive on Salt Spring were a group of 9 black slaves who had managed to buy their freedom and flee from the US in 1857. They settled in Vesuvius.

For more on the rich history of this island, have a look at… Salt Spring: The Story of an Island by Charles Kahn

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