BC Gulf Islands Cycling Tour
“A WARM CANADIAN WELCOME, THE FRESH PACIFIC AIR, AND TOURS ALONG THE WATERS EDGE AND QUIET ROADS MAKE THIS TRIP SPECIAL AND UNIQUE”
Fully supported trip with cozy B&B style accomodation.
You should be comfortable and have experience riding road bikes over moderate distance.
Want to explore more? This tour features optional ‘long ride’ days for those after some extra distance.
We can have a maximum of 12 guests. A great option for a team-building activity, or a family getaway.
EXPLORE THE BEAUTIFUL GULF ISLANDS.
Our Gulf Islands tour will take us to three of the most beautiful islands in the Gulf Island archipelago as well as exploring the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island.
Ferries deliver us to Salt Spring, Mayne and Galiano Islands for some wonderful riding along coastal roads where views of the water are never far away.Because the trip is fully supported, we are free to stop in the small villages along the way to savor the local lifestyle.
The rolling hills on these gorgeous islands will help us work up an appetite for the sumptuous dinners and desserts to be followed by a good night’s sleep in comfortable bed-and-breakfast accommodations.
The world-class cycling is interrupted only by opportunities to hike, sea kayak and observe the local area wildlife.
Our Gulf Islands Cycling tour also includes the use of a new Specialized road bike or if you prefer to bring your own bike we are happy to accommodate that.
The Day-to-Day Plan
BC Island Hopping by Bike
Day One - Victoria
Today we meet at 4:00 PM in Victoria, BC. In a survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Victoria was judged to be one of the world’s best cities, topping the list in the categories of environment and ambience. After a trip briefing, safety talk, and bike fitting we will take a very short ride on the seawall and through some quiet neighborhoods. Tonight we will dine at Canada’s oldest Brewpub Spinnakers Restaurant, tour the Brewery and then retire to our intimate ocean side guesthouses.
Riding Miles: 2-5
Day Two - Mayne Island
After breakfast today we will mount our bikes and head out of Victoria on the Galloping Goose bike pathway, Lochside Trail and take the Seaside Touring Route with astounding views of Mt. Baker, the San Juan Islands, and Olympic Peninsula. As we continue to roll north along paved paths, dirt trails and country lanes the scenery will transform from the bustle of Victoria to serene farmlands, beaches and wildlife rich estuaries. Stops will include Matticks Farm – Adrienne’s Tea Garden, Island View Beach and the seaside community of Sidney. Next we board our first ferry for the crossing to Mayne Island, then ride the short distance to the historic Mayne Island Resort. Here we will settle in and enjoy dinner at this pastoral waterfront setting as the sun dips into Bennett Bay.
Riding Miles: 23 – 30 (Optional longer rides available)
Day Three - Mayne Island
Today we soak in the natural beauty of Mayne Island’s seascapes, farmlands, forests and apple orchards. We begin the day with a circumnavigation of the island with stops at the famous Active Pass Lighthouse, Miners Bay, shell and pebble beaches, plus a glass blowing demo at Mayne Island Glass Foundry. The ride is hilly and challenging, but only 19 miles and the unique ecology of the island makes for fascinating rest stops.
In the late afternoon you may choose to hike to the tip of a remote peninsula or explore the surrounding waters by Sea Kayak (guided tour available for an additional charge). On either activity keep an eye out for sea lions and Bald Eagles hunting near shore. Tonight we return to the Mayne Inn for a Bocce tournament on the lawn and another relaxing evening.
Riding Miles: 21 – 48 (Optional longer rides available)
Day Four - Galiano Island
After an early breakfast and a short warm up ride we will board the ferry to Galiano Island. Often referred to as the “gem of the gulf” Galiano is as rich in history as it is in natural beauty. After another hilly ride you will soak in the luxury of tonight’s destination – the world-class Galiano Inn and Spa. Another reward for your hard work will be the fabulous contemporary Canadian cuisine served in the oceanfront dining room.
Riding Miles: 26 – 40 (Optional longer rides available)
Day Five - Galiano Island
Three-thousand years ago the aboriginal Coast Salish people explored its forests, watched as eagles rode thermals and shared their fishing grounds with sea lions, killer whales, and otters. Today you will ride in their ancient foot steps on trails and roads through mature old growth forests and along white-shell beaches stopping at scenic overlooks and tidal lagoons. Tonight we again enjoy the hospitality and serene environment of the Galiano Inn
Riding Miles: 29 to 50
Day Six - Saltspring Island
After Breakfast we will once again board a ferry to a new Island. Named for its 14 cold mineral laden springs, Salt Spring Island’s residents are an eclectic mix of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs – they even have their own monetary currency! Farming is paramount on this island, which bills itself as the Organic Gardening Capital of Canada. Farms include sheep and lamb products, poultry, llamas, cheese, fruit orchards, and certified organic growers.
One of the day’s highlights is a side trip to the beach at Southey Point. We wind through old growth forest to a magical beach where hot sandbars warm the rising tide, often allowing for balmy swimming. Tonight we celebrate our week of accomplishments and fun with a festive dinner at Calvin’s Bistro back in Ganges.
Riding Miles: 37 to 50 (Optional longer rides available)
Day Seven - Victoria
After breakfast we will visit the world Renowned Saturday Farmers Market then ride through the Fulford Valley with gorgeous vistas of Mount Tuam and Mount Bruce to the southern tip of Salt Spring Island. Revel in the lightness of your spirit, wind whistling through your helmet, and your improved fitness as you sail down the final hill to our last Ferry to Swartz Bay. All too soon it is time to bid your guides a fellow travelers goodbye as we approach Victoria.
Riding Miles: 31 – 35
Discover the Arbutus Routes Advantage.
A QUALITY NIGHTS SLEEP
Relax in sumptuous style with Spinnakers at our Heritage Guesthouse and Garden Suites. As our guest you’ll enjoy pleasures borne of plate and pint glass, and an array of in-suite luxuries and unique gifts – all while basking in the peaceful and private luxury of one of the region’s finest Victoria BC Accommodations.
Mayne Island Resort
Our boutique oceanfront resort and spa on Mayne Island in British Columbia’s southern Gulf Islands, combines modern luxury of our 18 newly designed cottages, with the history of the century-old inn and natural beauty of the island’s surroundings. The spa is located on the ground floor of the century old inn overlooking Bennett Bay.
Galiano Inn & Spa
From the moment you walk through the door of your room, the welcome of a calm, tranquil spa experience envelopes you. Drink in the view of the ocean from your terrace and, as the ferries and sailboats pass by, breathe deeply, clear your mind and you may be rewarded with the sight of whales cruising the waves or eagles soaring the skies.
Salt Spring Harbour House
The Harbour House Hotel, Restaurant & Organic Farm on Salt Spring Island offers a warm relaxing atmosphere, friendly staff and 38 comfortable guest rooms, most with great harbour views. This eco-friendly Salt Spring hotel is located at the head of Ganges Harbour, overlooking the Marina and just walking distance to the Ganges Village area local attractions, market and activities
Frequently asked Questions
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Arrival & Departure Information
Airfare is not included in the cost of our trips. For air reservations, we recommend you contact the airlines directly, either by phone or the Internet. We recommend your airline flights be scheduled to arrive the day prior to your trip start date and depart the day after your last trip date. Flights can be booked to arrive and depart from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Vancouver or Victoria International Airport, British Columbia. Before purchasing your ticket(s), please check with our office first to insure that your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. Arbutus Routes cannot be responsible for penalty fees or additional airfare costs as a result of trip cancellations or changes to tour itineraries.
All itineraries start from Victoria, BC unless otherwise requested.
You will return to Victoria between 2:30pm and 3:30pm on the last day of your trip. Please do not schedule return flights before 5:00pm, as we can always be delayed on the ferries. If you must schedule a flight out earlier than specified, please notify our office and we will do what we can to accommodate and assist you in getting to the airport on time. We can always help with planning if unsure of how to best structure your arrival and departures into the area.
What if I'm a single Traveler?
All trip prices are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement of $450.00. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate of the same sex if one is available.
What if I have medical needs?
If you have any physical or psychological medical conditions, it is very important you let us know well before departure by filling in the appropriate spaces in the medical information portion on your personal information form. Trip leaders have the right to deny participation to anyone at any time during the trip if they feel the trip member is mentally or physically incapable of continuing and/or if a trip member’s continued participation jeopardizes the group’s or his/her own safety. Under either of these circumstances, refunds are not given.
All guides carry a basic first aid kit for emergencies. Please be aware that hospital facilities for serious medical problems may at times be a long way away, that a doctor may not always be available, and that evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Your guides do not carry prescription medications, and no refunds are given if you have to leave the trip.
I have my own pedals and shoes?
You’ll always be more comfortable on your own setup, pedal tension can be a very personal setting. The bikes come equipped with Flat pedals or SPD clip ins. We do not rent cycling shoes but we do sell a range of Giro mountain bike shoes and other pedals in store.