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Gulf Islands 8 Day Tour

Victoria / Gulf Islands

This 8 day/7 night cycle tour lets you savour the picturesque beauty of the world-famous Southern Gulf Islands: Saltspring Island, Galiano Island and Pender Island. This adventure begins and ends in Victoria, BC, the cycling capital of Canada. CycleTreks uses only the highest quality bicycles for your riding comfort. We take a combination of trails, roads, BC Ferries, privately chartered zodiacs and van escort on our adventures. We carefully select the accommodations and take care of dining arrangements at some of the best locations in the Pacific Northwest.

Difficulty:moderate

Day 1 Victoria (approx 40 kms)

From downtown Victoria, we will ride our regional trail system to the Saanich Peninsula stopping at some of the local wineries for tours and tastings. Lunch will be at a local eatery. After lunch we will make our way north to Swartz Bay where we 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 arive we have a short ride to our accommodations for the evening and a delicious dinner.

Day 2 Pender Island(approx 35 kms)

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 throught the gardens we'll board 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 differences between the two islands today. The day's end brings us to one of the mosy beautiful harbours in BC, Bedwell Harbour and the Poet's Cove Resort and Spa. We'll check in, get refreshed and get ready for another great dinner and spectacular sunset.

Day 3 Salt Spring Island(approx 15-30 kms)

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 we will have lunch and check in to our warm and comfortable accommodation for the night. This afternoon offers you a chance 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 of Ganges.

Day 4 Cowichan Bay (approx 35 kms)

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 to 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 Cousteau's favourite diving spots. We will stop here for lunch and then continue to Cowichan Bay for overnight. Dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

Day 5 Lake Cowichan(approx 35 kms)

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 ride through pristine wilderness. By midday we find ourselves crossing the Cowichan River and arriving at out destination for the 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 joina beginners class for the afternoon. Other options include  a guided hike in search of Black Bear, or a leisurely afternoon by the pool.

Day 6 Port Renfrew (approx 33 kms)

It's on to our next destination: Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This little 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 logging roads (too 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 the Harris Creek Sitka Spruce. We continue on to Lizard lake for our lunch and perhaps a swim alog the shores of thisprstine wilderness lake. Afrter klunch it's on to Port Renfrew for overnight. Tonight we'll feast on a west coast meal prepared on the private beach of our host property.

Day 7  Sooke (approx 30-50 kms)

Today we will start the day with a visit to the amazing tidal pools and rugged rocky outcroppings of famous Botanical Beach. This is the west coast at its most spectacular. After our interpretative walk we'll start our ride down the West Coast Road to Sooke, again combining driving the more difficult sections and riding the best. Today's ride takes us along some beautiful coastline including  French and China beach and the surfing hotspot of Jordan River. We will end our ride at Gordon's Beach Farm Stay.

Day 8 Victoria (approx 50 kms)

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. End of our adventure in Victoria.