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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

Beachfront at Vesuvius, Oceanfront vacation rental, Salt Spring Island
Beachfront at Vesuvius
Skipping Stone Beach B&B, Salt Spring Island
Skipping Stone Beach B & B

 

Renting a B&B or holiday home in the Vesuvius area is a great choice. The location is pretty much central, so almost anywhere you choose to explore on the island is no more than 20 minutes from Vesuvius. Then there’s the exposure… this area has been dubbed ‘Sunny Vesuvius’ for good reason. Nearly all day sun and spectacular sunset viewing potential! The beach is one of the best on Salt Spring. It’s shallow for a long way out and among the warmest of bays around the island for swimming.

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 delicious halibut, prepared either battered or grilled. Yum! 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.

A short stroll up the road from the terminal, you’ll find the Vesuvius Store. Their careful selection of local offerings is an homage to Salt Spring, tidily packaged in an historic character building: coffee, baked goods, hearty lunches and always something available for those on a gluten free diet.

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 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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