Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
Dubbed the 'coolest island in Canada' by the Washington Post, Salt Spring is home to 10,000 free spirits, artists, writers, alternative therapists and a sizable Buddhist community. It is awash with rocky inlets, kayak-friendly rivers, evergreen forests and a tradition of tolerance. Also, thanks to liberal Canadian laws, a faint whiff of marijuana still tends to waft on the breeze. Salt Spring's lifestyle fest reaches its zenith at the market in the main town of Ganges, which sells crafts and organic food. There are many B&Bs on the island, including Cloud 9 Oceanview (001 250 537 2776; www.cloud9oceanview.com), where doubles start at £75 a night, including breakfast. The easiest way to reach Salt Spring is to fly to Vancouver, from where you can get a seaplane. Companies include Sea Air Seaplanes (001 604 273 8900; www.seairseaplanes.com), Kenmore Air (001 866 435 9524; www.kenmoreair.com) and Harbour Air (001 604 274 1277; www.harbour-air.com).
Now the Guardian and its related enterprises are banging the drum for sustainability, but once again neglect to mention that you can get to Saltspring by a much more environmentally friendly ferry service