Out and About Saturna Island

Whether visiting for the wildlife, the splendour of a shoreline hike, or a taste of the vintages at the local winery, Saturna Island really has a mix of attractions for every type of visitor. The island has a rich history, friendly locals, and unbelievable wildlife so make sure Saturna is on your island tour! 


FACTS FOR THE VISITOR

Every Island has a story ...

The earliest settlers of this southern most Gulf Island were from Spain and Britain. The Saturnina, a Spanish schooner, was the first to explore this hilly island in 1791 and thus lends its name to the island. As the island did not have the fertile soils found on the neighbouring islands, early settlers developed orchards and raised sheep instead. The longevity of these sheep can be attributed to the lack of predators on the island. As the British landed and began to build their homesteads in the late 1800’s, the development of the East Point Lighthouse, a school, and a post office followed. 
Horrible massacres marked the history of this southern Gulf Island, especially between Tumbo Island, off East Point and Narvaez Bay, and Saturna. Tumbo Island was recently purchased as part of the Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy, thereby ensuring that Saturna's rural character will be preserved. 

Who lives on Saturna?

There are currently about 300 people living on Saturna Island, the southernmost Gulf Island. If you are visiting around Canada Day you can hope to see most of these residents at the annual Canada Day barbecue, the biggest event of Saturna’s year. 

Where is it and how do I get there?

Getting to Saturna, while still just a ferry ride away, can be more difficult than getting to some of the other Gulf Islands. However, while the ferries do run daily, they can be rather infrequent, so make sure to check the schedule before setting out. As with the other Gulf Islands, access is from Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island or from Tsawwassen terminal on the mainland.
You can also reach the island by float plane. Private air service companies offer safe, efficient flights to the Gulf Islands from a variety of departure points, including Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Seattle. Daily scheduled service and chartered flights are available.
Find out more about BC Ferries service to the Gulf Islands, including fares, reservations on the Tsawwassen-Gulf Island route, and schedules, on their web site at www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-BCFERRY (BC) or (250) 386-3431 (Victoria).

When should I go?

The temperate climate (the mildest in all of Canada) makes the Gulf Islands the perfect destination almost any time of the year. Here, it is drier than Vancouver and the islands are more protected than Victoria. Enjoy spring as early as February; warm, sunny, and dry summers; the vibrancy of fall; and, frost-free winters perfect for hiking, cycling, or kayaking. You really can’t go wrong no matter when you plan to visit! 
A tip for packing: bring layers. You may need clothing for all types of weather during your visit warmth, wind, and water! Nights are always a little chilly especially if you are walking by the water so bring a light jacket even in the summer. 

What should I do when I get there? 

Saturna Island is most renowned for its abundant wildlife. The island maintains a ruggedness that is unparalleled. And, like the other Gulf Islands, Saturna is perfect for enjoying by bike! On Saturna Island, your reward for meeting the challenges of the hilly roadways can be a taste of the vintages at the Saturna Island Vineyards, Winery, and Lodge. Learn more at http://www.saturnavineyards.com 

What are some of the Island’s unique features?

Be Entertained ... 

Saturna Island, while known for its rural nature, also has many of the comforts a visitor could want. Here you will find art galleries, two general stores, a pub, café, and bakery. But please note that there are no banks on the island. However, debit and credit cards are accepted at most shops and services.

Enjoy the Farms ...

If you want country life, you’ve got it on Saturna! From sheep and goats Saturna has some of the best farm lands of the Gulf Islands. 

Unspoiled Beauty ...

Saturna maintains some of the most beautiful rural character and scenery in the Islands. If you are looking for a beautiful and unspoiled landscape as the backdrop for your next adventure, look no further! Winter Cove Marine Park and East Point Park, in particular, are great places for a hike, boating, picnicking, bird watching, and, of course, ocean views. 

 

Where should I stay? 

No matter what your budget will allow there are a number of  accommodation options available to you! Gulf Island Accommodations

 

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