Meeting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Departs From: 1000 Wharf St., Victoria BC
Duration: eight days, seven nights*
$2,599.00 CDN/p.p. Double Occupancy
$2,899.00 CDN/p.p. Single Occupancy
Ride Difficulty: Moderate
This tour combines our Southern Gulf Islands tour with the remote and rugged wilderness of southwest Vancouver Island. This adventure allows participants to experience everything that makes Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands one of the most popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Departing from Victoria and utilizing our regional trails, quite country roads and sections of the Trans Canada Trail, this tour completes a full circle of the Gulf Islands and Southern Vancouver Island. Included are opportunities for hiking, white water kayaking, swimming in pristine wilderness lakes, beach combing and fresh pacific salmon and crab feasts on the beach.
This tour is a combination of B&B stays and nights of ‘executive’ camping using comfortable cots and spacious tents on private property. Upgrades to indoor accommodation are available on most camping nights and all meals are either prepared for you or are in local establishments and are always included.
As with all outdoor adventures, please allow plenty of additional time for your other connections. Times are approximate and may vary with each group.
- For reservations call: 1-250-386-2277
- Toll-free in North America: 1-877-733-6722
- Fax us at: 1-250-386-3370
Day One: (approx dist: 40 kms/ 25 miles)
From downtown Victoria, we will ride our regional trail system past bird sanctuaries and active farmlands to the Saanich Peninsula. Along the way we’ll stop at a local winery and cidery for a tour and tasting. Lunch today will be at a local eatery. After lunch we will make our way north to Swartz Bay where will board a BC Ferry to Mayne Island. Mayne, once a Cariboo gold-rush stopover (halfway between Vancouver Island and Vancouver’s Fraser River ports) has a colourful history dating back long before early Spanish and British explorers arrived there. When we arrive we have a very short ride to our accommodations for the evening and a delicious dinner.
Day Two: (approx dist: 35kms/ 22 miles)
After breakfast, we will set out to explore Mayne Island. Our first stop of the day is at the historic Lighthouse Park at Georgina Point with spectacular views of Active Pass and the Strait of Georgia. We’ll then set out for the Japanese Gardens and after a short stroll through the Gardens we’ll boarding another ferry for a quick 20-minute crossing to the Pender Islands.
Pender Island was just one island but in 1902 a channel was dredged to create a safe passage for steamships, creating the now two islands. It wasn’t until 1955 that a one-lane bridge rejoined the islands; a delay that may account for the noticeable differences between the two islands today. The day’s end brings us to one of the most beautiful harbour in all of BC, Bedwell Harbour and the Poet’s Cove Resort and Spa. We’ll check in, get refreshed and ready for another great dinner and spectacular sunset
Day Three: (approx. dist: 15 – 30 kms/ 10 – 19 miles)
We start the day with a ferry transfer to Salt Spring Island, the largest and most populated of the Southern Gulf Islands. Arriving in Long Harbour we’ll ride a scenic loop of the north end of the Island, around St Mary Lake, to the main township of Ganges. Here will have lunch and check into our warm and comfortable accommodations for the night. This afternoon offers you a choice of another great ride around the southern part of the Island; or a tour of some of the local galleries; or shopping the quaint shops in Ganges. Dinner is at a popular local restaurant.
Day Four: (approx. dist: 35 kms/ 22 miles)
After breakfast we’ll ride north to Vesuvius and take a short ferry ride to Crofton on Vancouver Island. From here we’ll ride south to the quaint seaside village of Maple Bay. Surrounded by smooth, pebbled beaches, Maple Bay is one of the finest natural harbours on the West Coast and one of Jacques Costeau’s favourite diving spots. We will stop here for lunch and then continue on to our final destination and accommodations for the night in Cowichan Bay. Tonight’s dinner will be at a local seafood restaurant.
Day Five: (Approx dist: 35 kms/ 22miles)
After a nice light breakfast we depart for the Kinsol Trestle where we’ll start our ride for the day on the Trans Canada Trail. This is one of the highlights as we are ride through pristine wilderness and over century old trestles where photograph and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.
By midday we find ourselves crossing the Cowichan River and arriving at our destination for the day. Here we lunch and decide what to do with the rest of our day. *Our hosts for the evening, Don and Rose, operate a white water kayak school on the Cowichan River, which makes this a perfect opportunity for those interested to join in a beginner’s clinic for the afternoon. The other options are: a guided hike in search of Black Bear, Roosevelt Elk and other wildlife; enjoy a leisurely afternoon by the pool; or perhaps take your bike and explore the river and the town of Lake Cowichan on your own. Dinner tonight is a pool side barbeque with all the fixings, a soak in the hot tub and perhaps some tall tales around the camp fire.
Day Six: (Approx dist: 33 kms/21miles)
After breakfast we’ll bid a fond farewell to our hosts and then it’s on to our next destination; Port Renfrew on West Coast of Vancouver Island. This little coastal fishing community is the gateway to the famous West Coast Trail and Pacific Rim National Park.
We start off with a van shuttle down some rugged active logging roads (to active to ride) to our start point. From here we ride a deactivated logging road with many river crossings and some amazing areas of old growth forest including a stop at the not so famous Harris Creek Sitka Spruce. This tree must be seen to be believed, it’s as big as a house, maybe two.
We continue on to Lizard Lake for our lunch and perhaps a swim along the shores of this pristine wilderness lake. After lunch it’s on to Port Renfrew and our accommodation for the night. Tonight we’ll feast on a West Coast meal prepared on the private beach at our host property.
Day Seven: (Approx dist: 30-50 kms/20-30 miles)
Today we will start the day with a visit to the amazing tidal pools and rugged rocky out croppings of famous Botanical Beach, this is the West Coast at its most spectacular. After our interpretive walk we’ll start our ride down the West Coast Road to Sooke, again combining driving the more difficult sections and riding the best, of course. Today’s ride takes us along some beautiful coastline including French and China Beach and the surfing hotspot of Jordan River. Todays lunch will be a picnic lunch on the beach. We will end our ride at a beautiful B&B with a relaxing hot tub and a short walk to spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Day Eight: (Approx dist: 50 kms/30 miles)
After breakfast today we head up to the Sooke River and the potholes. This is a beautiful watershed with huge trees and deep pools of crystal clear water. After exploring the area we depart on the Galloping Goose trail towards Victoria. This old railway right of way leads us through old growth forest, along the shores of the Sooke basin and on through uninterrupted park and pasture land right to the doors of our office in Victoria, and the end of our adventure.