Bicycling British Columbia's Islands in the Wild (TourzPlus™)
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.
Tour Dates & Prices
Sep 9-14, 2019
Bike rental not include in price: Hybrid CAD$150; Road bike CAD$300. Prices are subject to 5% GST.
* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
- Length / 6 Days
- Total Distance / 141 - 166 miles (230 - 270 km) plus hiking and kayaking
- Avg. Distance / 14 - 34 miles (22 - 55 km) per riding day
- Tour Level / 3.0
- Countries / Canada
- Begin/End / Vancouver
- Price / From CAD2695
Sunshine Coast, Desolution Sound, Sea kayaking, Salt Spring, Beaver Point, Mt. Wilcox, Coastal Hwy 101
Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Wonderful bicycling, cozy B&Bs, excellent cuisine
Use 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 / Depart
Vancouver Int'l Airport (YVR)
Overall Tour Level
Daily Ride Summary
Tour Level Note:
**We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications
DAY 1: Vancouver
Highlights: Sunshine Coast, the famous coastal Hwy 101
After 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: 64km (40mi)
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 2: Desolation Sound Resort
Highlights: Tidal rapids, Fjord cruise, Desolution Sound Resort
We 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: 90km (56mi)
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3: Desolation Sound
Highlights: Sea kayaking
Desolation 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.
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4: Salt Springs
Highlights: Salt Springs one of the best little art towns in North America, Mediterranean microclimate
Another 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: 35km (22mi)
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 5: Ganges
Highlights: Beaver Point, beautiful ride and optional hike
Today 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: 80km (50mi)
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6: Back to Vancouver
Highlights: Views from Mt. Wilcox
Today 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.
Mostly Flat Terrain
Mostly flat terrain has just a few rolling hills that rarely require you to change gears. It might contain a bit of climbing, but those climbs will be short and at a very gentle slope with little need for increased pedaling or downhill breaking.
Rolling hills refers to multiple gentle slopes (3-4% grade) with minimal need for changing gears or increasing in pedal power. Elevation gain should be less than 100m per hill and braking may not be necessary to control speed on downhills.
Hilly terrain has repeated hills and some of them may be require more pedal power as it has steeper inclines (up to 5%). You will change gears throughout the day and braking may be necessary to control speed on descents.
Very hilly terrain includes multiple hills on your ride, some of which can be steep or long climbs. You will change gears and need to use your brakes to control speed on your descent.
Mountainous terrain includes one or more sustained (more than 5km) climbs with frequent steep grades (over 7%). Mountainous rides may also feature multiple steep grades (greater than 6%) for extended periods of more than 5km. You will need to shift gears and brake on descents to control your speed.
Level 1 - 1.5 Rating
Based on today's distance and elevation gain (or lack thereof), it will be a very comfortable ride for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Level 2 - 2.5 Rating
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is ideal for riders newer to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. You will likely be riding on rolling terrain.
Level 3 - 3.5 Rating
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, we suggest riders spend some time in the bicycle saddle before joining this tour so they you can enjoy the views at the top of some of the climbs you'll face.
Level 4 - 4.5 Rating
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is best described as a great day on the bike for passionate cyclists or very active individuals.
Level 5 Rating
This day is not for a casual cyclist but for riders looking to push their limits. Suffice it to say your delicious meal at the end of the day will be well earned!
These are the definitions...
Level 1 - 1.5
- Average Daily Mileage: 15-30km (10-20 miles)
- Gain: 0-400m (0-1200ft)
- Terrain: Mostly flat with occasional gentle climbs at a grade of less than 3%, that are sustained for a maximum of 3km. There might be a steeper but short climb.
Level 1 tours will be mostly flat and daily distances will rarely exceed 30 km. Level 1 tours are suitable for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Level 2 - 2.5
- Average Daily Mileage: 30-50km (20-30 miles)
- Gain: 400-600m (1200-2000ft)
- Terrain: Mostly rolling terrain around 3%. Presents multiple 3% to 4% climbs. May present an occasional steeper climb.
Level 2 tours are a great option for those new to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. The average mileage on level 2 bike tours is 30-50 km on mostly rolling terrain. There will be multiple climbs at 3-4% grade throughout the tour, but only an occasional steep climb.
Level 3 - 3.5
- Average Daily Mileage: 50-70km (30-45 miles)
- Gain: 600-900m (2000-2800ft)
- Terrain: Multiple Climbs with grades of 4 - 6%. li>
Level 3 tours are for active individuals (who run, bike, swim etc. on a regular basis) with the desire to cover longer daily distances on the bicycle. These tours are a great workout when you’re riding as you will average 50-70 km daily with total gain of 2,000-2,800 ft. There will be multiple 4-6% climbs throughout the tour.
Level 4 - 4.5
- Average Daily Mileage: 70-90km (45-55 miles)
- Gain: 900-1000m (2800-3600ft)
- Terrain: Presents multiple steep climbs (6% to 8% grades), 1 to 3km long. Alternatively, 4 – 6% grades for 6 kilometers or more. li>
Level 4 tours are for passionate cyclists or very active individuals. This level tour is great for cyclists looking to stay in shape and pedal hard they travel across regions or countries. Level 4 tours cover 70-90km daily with 2,800-3,600 ft of gain. Cyclists on a level 4 bicycle tour can expect multiple climbs, some climbs might be short and steep (6-8% for 1-3 km) while others may be sustained (6+ Km) at a 4-6% grade.