Paddle Boarding Saanich Peninsula, B.C., Canada

Photo courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures Photo courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

With our love of spending time outdoors and enjoying the water, paddleboarding in the Saanich Peninsula is something that is highly recommended. There are countless reasons why we love the Saanich Peninsula so much, but here are just a few of our favorites. The views are a big one! The area is incredibly beautiful, with its lush green forests and stunning coastline. It's easy to access the southern gulf islands and BC Marine Trail from canoe cove, making it the perfect spot for paddleboarders, kayakers and other water sports enthusiasts. We love the fact that if you're looking for a little adventure, there are plenty of beginner to advanced routes available for all skill levels. Finally, the area is filled with wildlife, from whales to dolphins to seals - it's truly a nature lover's paradise!

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada 1 paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada seasons

Photos courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Seasons - The Best Time to Visit the Saanich Peninsula

The best time to paddle the Saanich Peninsula is from July to September, as the waters are warmer and there are more animals around. This is also the ideal time to explore the kelp beds and enjoy white shell beaches in between paddles. To be completely transparent we recommend avoiding this area in June. It’s cold with lots and lots of rain (locals call it Junuary) which doesn't equal lots of fun in our opinion.

In July, you may be lucky enough to see Bioluminescence in the water. This is an amazing natural phenomenon where the water lights up with a blue glow when it is disturbed. So if you're looking for an incredible outdoor experience, make sure to visit the Saanich Peninsula during summer!

Hot Spots - Where to Paddle in Saanich Peninsula

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada hot spotsPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

There’s plenty to see and do on the Saanich Peninsula, no matter what your interests are. But if you’re looking for some recommendations on where to go, we’ve got you covered! Below are our top picks from a locals perspective.

Top 4 places to Paddleboard

Known to be the ‘Paddlers Paradise,’ the Saanich Peninsula is surrounded by the Gulf Islands and on the leeward side of Vancouver Island. The peninsula officially starts at Millstream on the west and Cordova Bay on the east. It’s about 28 km long and 13 km wide at its widest point. So let’s look at where we recommend you get out on the water.

For Beginner Paddlers

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada brentwood bayPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Brentwood Bay

Difficulty: Easy
Paddle Access Points and Parking: Pacifica Paddle Sports in Brentwood Bay.
Paddle Route Distance: 2.6km
Paddling Hazards: Moderate congestions
What else to see and do: Butchart Gardens, picnics, whale watching.

*This is our favourite location for learning! We use it for all our SUP lessons and many of our Learn to Paddleboard programs.

Sawluctus Island Loop

Level of difficulty: Easy
Paddle access points: Millstream Launch
Parking: Available at Goldstream Boathouse, parking and launch fee $20/vehicle includes the launch of 2 boards
Paddle route distance: 3.2 km from the marina, around the island, and back
Paddling hazards: cannot paddle south of marina - restricted access, don’t paddle too close to seals on docks, do not land on private island.
What else to see and do: Hike in Goldstream Provincial Park, snorkeling and diving.

For Intermediate paddlers

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canadapaddle boarding saanich peninsula canada fjordPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Finlayson Arm Fjord

Level of difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced.
Paddle access points: Pacifica paddle sports in Brentwood bay.
Parking: Available.
Paddle route distance: 12km from Brentwood Bay to Millstream.
Paddling hazards: This is a 12km unsupported paddle so conditions may vary.
What else to see and do: Eagles and Seals.

For Advanced Paddlers

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada piers islandPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Circumnavigate Piers Island

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced
Paddle Access Points and Parking: Pacifica Paddle Sports Swartz Bay.
Paddle Route Distance: 4.8km
Paddling Hazards: Ferry Traffic, crossing main channels, must be familiar with marine traffic rules, winds can pick up
What else to see and do: Pat Bay Air Floatplane Tours, Book an overnight stay on Piers Island.

This is just a brief overview of places we recommend for people at different levels. For a more extensive post about places to paddle in the area check out: A Local's Guide: 10 Best Paddleboarding Spots on the Saanich Peninsula.

Other Paddlers

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada localsPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

The best thing about paddling is that you get to meet new and interesting people. You can chat with them about all sorts topics! If you are keen to talk paddling check out Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures, Pam is always up to something new and creating great local content about paddleboarding in the area.

Paddleboarding tours & Multiday Trips.

A great way to meet new people and interact with local paddlers is by booking tours. If you're looking for a new and interesting way to explore the sights and sounds of the Saanich Peninsula but are feeling a little overwhelmed consider joining a paddleboarding tour. These tours offer an up-close perspective on the area's geography, wildlife, and culture that can't be found anywhere else.

Most paddleboarding tours last between four and six hours, making them the perfect way to spend an afternoon or morning. You'll be able to see everything from hidden coves and quiet inlets to bustling harbours and iconic landmarks. Plus, with a guide leading the way, you'll be able to learn more about the region's history and mythology.

If you are looking for great paddleboarding tours check out Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures, or Pacifica Paddle Sports. Both of these companies have been serving the Saanich Peninsula for many years, and have a wealth of knowledge to share.

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada tours paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada victoria

Photos courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

SUP Meetup Victoria

Another great way to meet paddlers in the local area is to attend a SUP Meetup. Hosted by Pacifica Paddle Sports and Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventure these meetups are a laid-back and relaxing way to spend your evening exploring the bay with fellow paddlers. This SUP Meetup is free if you bring your own gear, and happens once a week all summer long.

Interact as you Birdwatch!

Saanich Peninsula is a haven for bird watchers. So why not meet people who enjoy the same interests as you! Interacting with other bird watchers can be a great way to learn more about birds and their behaviour. You can exchange tips and stories, and learn from each other's experiences. It can also be a lot of fun! There are often local birding groups that get together to go birding. It’s a great way to make new friends and learn about birds in your area.

Check out a full guide on paddlebirding (yes we may have made that word up). In this BC Bird Guide for Paddlers we focus on bird watching on Vancouver Island in places like bird sanctuaries, provincial parks, and estuaries. Expect to learn about which birds you can see from your stand-up paddleboard, which birds are seasonal, get access to some resources PLUS we will be sharing our very own BJF paddlebirding checklist.

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada oceans weekPhoto courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures

Oceans Week Victoria

Did you know Oceans Week Victoria was launched in 2020 to foster connection and engagement within the community? By providing a platform to support ocean-inspired events on southern Vancouver Island, we help facilitate and promote inclusive and accessible community events, no matter how large or how small, with a focus on education, conservation, and fun! We invite residents, businesses, Indigenous groups, scientists, educators, youth… everyone to get involved! Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures is honoured to volunteer on the organizing committee and we encourage you to check out the Oceans Week Victoria website to discover a full roster of events and activities both virtual and in-person that are happening this year, for the entire family.

paddle boarding saanich peninsula canada 2Photo courtesy: Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures


If you're looking for an incredible paddleboarding experience the Saanich Peninsula is the place for you. The lovely locals and the sheltered waters of Brentwood Bay serve as an amazing place for paddlers of all levels. The weather in the summer and the sites to be seen from your board makes the Saanich Peninsula a must for any paddling enthusiast exploring Vancouver Island.

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Last modified onFriday, 08 April 2022 11:56
Pamela Martin

Pam is a certified Paddle Canada SUP Flatwater Instructor, as well as a Coastal Touring 1 Instructor. She studied Marine Biology at the University of Guelph & Commercial Photography at Sheridan College. Her love of the water has led her to many aquatic pursuits - canoeing as a child, competitive sailing, sprint canoe/kayak racing and long-distance Outrigger Canoe racing before discovering the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding. This love for the water has led to her starting Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures with the hopes to share her knowledge and passion for the ocean with as many people as possible.

Website: https://www.bluejellyfishsup.ca/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.