We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

Which Victoria hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

We are planning to rent a car in Sidney while visiting Vancouver Island the first week in July. We'll be staying at Brentwood Bay Lodge for 3 days and would like to explore some of the Gulf Islands before driving on to Tofino. We've made reservations on the Clipper to get from Seattle to Victoria, but need advice regarding whether or not to take the car via ferry to see Salt Spring, Pender, Galiano etc. Thanks in advance for your help.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
Level Contributor
8,396 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

If you're at all inclined cycling is the best way to see the Gulf Islands.

Last I travelled inter island the fare for pedestrians was $4.00 or less and the bicycle an additional $0.75-a bargain anywhere-unheard of in BC.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
7,069 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

There's really no other way to explore the Gulf Islands without a car, but if you have the chance to visit them, I'd certainly go for it! The Gulf Islands are some of my favourite places in BC.

Keep your eye on the ferry schedule, however, because there are less ferries to the Gulf Islands than there are between Vancouver Island and the Mainland.

I spent 3 nights on North Pender this past summer and 2 nights on Galiano. Galiano has always been my favourite Gulf Islands, especially for its white shell beaches at Montague Harbour. The view from Bluffs Park is also spectacular, especially on a clear day.

Saltspring has more to see and do in terms of artist-run studios and markets, but it's more of a pastoral type of island. Regardless, each island will give you a unique experience.

Keep in mind that the first week of July will be super busy because it's both the national holidays of Canada and the USA. Ferry reservations will be crucial.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
7,069 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

... of course, as SamSalmon said, there are always bicycles. I completely forgot about that. I was assuming you would not have bicycles. Just be prepared for hills.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Should we take a car via ferry to Southern Gulf Islands

Thank you both, Robyn and SamSalmon for your quick response! I'll make ferry reservations for us and the rental car. Bikes would have been a great option prior to both of us having back surgery several years ago. We're really looking forward to this trip. Thanks again for your advice.