Welcome to our "Islands in the Wild" bicycling tour. This trip has been designed to help you get the most enjoyment out of your visit to the Canadian Southwest Coast: a place so full of beauty and natural splendour that it defies description - where every day brings fresh discoveries and renewed awe. Lush, evergreen rainforests, shimmering emerald sea, secluded bays, fjords, towering mountains with snow-capped peaks and the beautiful city of Vancouver are the backdrop for our island hopping adventure. Small ferries connect islands and coast across waterways and inlets. Witness the dramatic natural beauty and abundance of marine life while riding on peaceful roads or hiking to remote beaches. For one day we will embark on an introductory level sea kayak excursion to see the islands from a whole new perspective. After days filled with adventure, bicycling and discovery you will be treated to cozy Bed & Breakfasts where you may relax in an ocean side hot tub and will enjoy excellent West Coast cuisine.
Learn more about our TourzPlus™ partner tours and how they differ from regular ExperiencePlus! bicycle tours.
Day 1: Vancouver
Highlights: Sunshine Coast, the famous coastal Hwy 101After meeting at Canada Place on the Vancouver waterfront we shuttle to Horseshoe Bay, where we board the ferry and take a 45-minute ride across Howe Sound to the Sunshine Coast. We'll hop on our bikes and begin our ride in Gibsons, famous from the TV series "Beachcombers". This is the northern most part of world famous Hwy 101, which takes us along the ocean and through evergreen forests toward Pender Harbour. In the evening we take a harbour ferry to a beautiful seaside restaurant. Distance: up to 65 km (40 miles).
Day 2: Desolation Sound Resort
Highlights: Tidal rapids, Fjord cruise, Desolution Sound ResortWe start the day with a hike to Skookumchuck Narrows to witness one of the most powerful tidal rapids in the world or with a bike ride to Jervis Inlet. Afterwards we are treated to a 50-minute mini-cruise across this spectacular Fjord. On the following stretch of Hwy 101 we ride through some of the most pristine marine wilderness on the West Coast. We will settle into luxurious Desolation Sound Resort, our home for the next two nights, before we top off the day with a gourmet dinner at the Laughing Oyster restaurant. Distance: up to 90 km (55 miles), 2 hours hiking optional.
Day 3: Desolation Sound
Highlights: Sea kayakingDesolation Sound is famous for its coastal wilderness, warm waters and an abundance of marine wildlife. The best way to explore this area is by sea kayak. This will be our mode of transportation today. The kayak, dubbed the "bicycle of the ocean", will allow us to explore the coastline of Desolation Sound with its cliffs, beaches and coves from a totally new perspective. Kayaking is easy and beginner friendly. Our guides will help you get settled into your new mode of transportation. There is plenty of opportunity to sample the famous Malaspina Oysters right off the beach while kayaking. 6-7 hours kayak trip
Day 4: Salt Springs
Highlights: Salt Springs one of the best little art towns in North America, Mediterranean microclimateAnother day, another cruise. This time it's 80 minutes across the Strait of Georgia toward Vancouver Island. With a little luck we should encounter orcas or dolphins while onboard. Once we land we'll shuttle to Crofton where we take another short ferry ride to Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands. The warm Japan current, the protection of encircling islands and the Olympic Mountain rain shadow, all contribute to a temperate Mediterranean microclimate - the best weather in Canada! Salt Spring is not only Canada's most famous artist haven, it was chosen as one of the best little art towns in North America. In the afternoon we bicycle along the coastline around the northern part of this beautiful island, before settling into our lovely B&B. In the evening you have the opportunity to sample local fare on your own. Distance: 35 km (22 miles).
Day 5: Ganges
Highlights: Beaver Point, beautiful ride and optional hikeToday we cycle south on quiet winding roads toward Beaver Point in Ruckle Park. On our way, you may stop at one of more than 30 home studios (potters, painters, sculptors, candle makers and more) that are hidden among the hills, farms and forests. After a delicious lunch with awesome ocean views at Beaver Point you have two options: You can hop on your bike again and take the coastal route back to Ganges or you join our guide for a little hike in Ruckle Park and take the shuttle afterwards. Distance: 40-80k (24-48 miles), optional hike
Day 6: Back to Vancouver
Highlights: Views from Mt. WilcoxToday we hike through some beautiful old growth forest to the highest point in the Gulf Islands. The view from 680-meters-high Mt. Wilcox is breathtaking and stretches as far as the Olympic peninsula and the Juan de Fuca Strait to the West and Vancouver and Mt. Baker to the East. After a mountaintop lunch we will return by van to Ganges where you will have some more time to explore artists studios. In the afternoon we will have to say goodbye to our Island paradise and return by ferry to Vancouver. Arrival in Vancouver around 6.00 p.m. Distance: 2 hour hike
HighlightsSunshine Coast, Desolution Sound, Sea kayaking, Salt Spring, Beaver Point, Mt. Wilcox, Coastal Hwy 101
IncludesUse of a 27 speed lightweight hybrid bike, 5 nights accommodation in spectacular lodges and B&Bs, 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners (no alcohol), snacks, Sea kayak rental and lesson, ferry tickets, professional guides
Arrive/DepartVancouver Int'l Airport (YVR)
Total Distance141 - 166 miles (230 - 270 km) plus hiking and kayaking
Daily Distance14 - 34 miles (22 - 55 km)
What to ExpectWonderful bicycling, cozy B&Bs, excellent cuisine
|Jun 16 - 21, 2013||CAD$2645||CAD$550||Prices are subject to 5% GST. Save CAD$150 if you bring your own bike.||Book It|
|Sep 09 - 14, 2013||CAD$2645||CAD$550||Prices are subject to 5% GST. Save CAD$150 if you bring your own bike.||Book It|
|*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.|
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
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