First inhabited by Wsanec First Nations people, the Saanich Peninsula is a long finger of land that extends north from Victoria toward Sidney, a bountiful countryside where rural and urban lifestyles blend well together.
Flanked to the west by Saanich Inlet and Georgia Strait to the east, the Saanich Peninsula offers a fabulous choice of outdoor recreational activities, including golfing, hiking, cycling, canoeing and kayaking, windsurfing, and freshwater and saltwater fishing.
The Saanich Peninsula is criss-crossed by many country roads, ensuring an interesting and rewarding country drive past parks, bays, beaches, elegant country homes, farmland, and hobby farms. Roadside fruit and vegetable stands offer locally-grown fresh produce, dairy and poultry products for sale, and a number of marinas offer a host of activities of interest to visitors and locals alike.
The Saanich Peninsula is a cyclist’s paradise, with relatively quiet country roads and the Galloping Goose Trail, which runs from Leechtown near Sooke through Victoria and connecting with the Lochside Trail to continue north on the Saanich Peninsula all the way to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Combined with the Peninsula Trail system, this network of trails offers hikers and cyclists over 100 kilometres of scenic pathways to discover.
Golf Courses on the Saanich Peninsula include the Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club in Sidney, the Ardmore Golf Course in North Saanich, the Sunshine Hills Golf Course in Central Saanich, Cordova Bay Golf Course, Prospect Lake Golf Course, and Cedar Hill Golf Course in Saanich. Courses in and around Victoria are Gorge Vale Golf Club, Uplands Golf Club, and the Royal Victoria Golf Club.
Victoria Golf Vacations.
Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
Location: The Saanich Peninsula is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The Patricia Bay Highway 17, known as the Pat Bay Highway, runs the 20-mile (32-km) length of the Saanich Peninsula, from Victoria in the south to Sidney and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on the northern tip. From Victoria Downtown, travel north on Blanshard Road, which becomes the Pat Bay Highway that ends at the ferry terminal pay booths.
The following regions and communities are located on the Saanich Peninsula:
The rolling interior lands of North Saanich afford sweeping views of hills and valleys, and a generous feeling of open space and rapport with nature. Said to be the finest rural-residential area in all of Canada, North Saanich boasts a long coastline on three sides, enveloping agricultural farmlands, cosy bays and generous protected parklands. North Saanich enjoys unexcelled views of water, islands and mountains, along with close proximity to air and sea transportation.
Located in North Saanich is the town of Sidney, the Victoria International Airport, the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (links to Vancouver and the Gulf Islands), and the ferry terminal for the route from Sidney to the San Juan Islands and Anacortes in Washington. Parks in North Saanich include John Dean Provincial Park, Horth Hill Regional Park, Coles Bay Regional Park. Links are provided on the North Saanich page.
Central Saanich has a rich agricultural heritage, with farmland in the rural community comprising almost two-thirds of the municipality. While enjoying the benefits of a high-quality rural lifestyle, Central Saanich is within easy access of Victoria, the Victoria International Airport, and the BC Ferries’ terminal at Swartz Bay.
Located in Central Saanich are the communities of Saanichton and Brentwood Bay, the location of the ferry terminal for the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry route across the Saanich Inlet. Attractions in Central Saanich include Butchart Gardens, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens, the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society, and the Victoria Estate Winery. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Mount Work Regional Park, and Island View Beach Regional Park all offer great outdoor opportunities in Central Saanich. Links are provided on the Central Saanich page.
The largest municipality in Greater Victoria, Saanich offers the charm of country life mingled with the convenience of urban residential neighbourhoods and close proximity to the provincial capital of Victoria. For thousands of years the Coast Salish people inhabited the Saanich Peninsula. The Songhees and the Saanich First Nations used the area for hunting, fishing and gathering plants.
The Saanich municipal area is home to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (closed to the public) and the University of Victoria, and includes a number of great parks; Mount Douglas Park, The Francis/King Regional Park, Elk and Beaver Lake Regional Park, and Bear Hill Regional Park. Links are provided on the Saanich page.
Saanich Inlet is located between the Saanich Peninsula and the Malahat highlands. The inlet is 15 miles (24 km) long, extending from Satellite Channel in the north, which separates Saltspring Island from the Saanich Peninsula, to Squally Reach and Finlayson Arm in the south. Saanich Inlet offers excellent scuba diving, and has been of importance as a fishery to the Malahat and Saanich First Nations for centuries.
Bays and inlets on Saanich Inlet include Brentwood Bay, Coles Bay, Deep Cove, McKenzie Bight, Patricia Bay, and Tod Inlet. Attractions on Saanich Inlet include Butchart Gardens, Mount Finlayson, Goldstream Provincial Park, and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.
Victoria and Greater Victoria
The southern end of the Saanich Peninsula juts out into Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Vancouver Island from the Olympic Peninsula in the US state of Washington. At the extreme southern tip of the peninsula is Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Neighbouring Victoria are Oak Bay, James Bay, Esquimalt and View Royal. Also on the Saanich Peninsula, to the northwest of Victoria, is the rural community of Highlands, located along the eastern shoreline of the Saanich Inlet (Finlayson Arm).