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Canada: British Columbia

Vancouver Island Bike

Six nights; seven days of biking on some of British Columbia's finest coastal roads including an optional portion of the Cowichan Valley Trail.




Itinerary



Start: Downtown Victoria, Inn at Laurel Point or Abigail’s Hotel, 11:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary. Optional pickups from Swartz Bay ferry terminal or Victoria (YYJ) airport available upon request; note: YYJ is located in Sidney, ~32km from downtown Victoria!


Finish: Downtown Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30 to catch the 17:00 departure to Vancouver. Day seven.


Day 1

Introductions & 40 km Loop Ride

Spend your day becoming familiar with your bikes while you explore the stunning capital of British Columbia. This loop begins in the downtown area, taking you through several parks, and alongside the Juan de Fuca Strait. Beacon Hill Park in particular warrants extra time to explore its 200 acres of native flora and abundant wildlife. Ride past the lush greens of the Victoria Golf Club to sandy beaches, with magnificent views of the straits and Trial Islands along the way. LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips only. Self-guided trips include breakfasts only)
Inn at Laurel Point; or
Abigail’s Hotel; or
Optional upgrade ($150pp) to Fairmont Empress, Victoria

Day 2

Victoria to Cowichan Bay 43 km

Follow bike pathways out of Victoria to Brentwood Bay. Cyclists looking for a challenge will relish the opportunity to climb Mount Douglas, and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Victoria and the surrounding area. Stop for a short visit at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens to explore this tropical jungle or insectarium before a short and scenic ferry ride from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay. Cycle north along the coast to your lodging in the artistic seaside village of Cowichan Bay. B
OceanFront Suites at Cowichan Bay; or
Dream Weaver Bed & Breakfast, Cowichan Bay

Day 3

Salt Spring Island Loops: Easy: 30 km, Moderate: 55 km, or Difficult: 80 km

Spend the day exploring Salt Spring Island, the first - and largest - of the Gulf Islands, settled in 1859. Begin with a ferry to Vesuvius before cycling steep but short hills along a pretty section of ocean, with options for short hikes along the way. With easy, moderate, or challenging distance options for today’s route, there is plenty of accommodation for all abilities. An afternoon ferry returns you to your seaside retreat for a well-deserved rest. BLD
Same lodging

Day 4

Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew 60km

Start your day with a short 30 min van transfer to Lake Cowichan, deemed "Vancouver Island's best kept secret.", before riding one of the most beautiful stretches of the week. This quiet winding road offers incredible mountain views, and you will see first-hand why Port Renfrew has a rich history in forestry and fishing. Enjoy an independent dinner in the community that is considered one of the best locations for salmon and halibut fishing in North America. BL
Handsome Dan’s; or
Soule Creek Lodge, Port Renfrew

Day 5

Port Renfrew 6km + hiking, and/or 20km, optional activities

Today presents several options; depending on your energy level and preference, you may include one or all of the suggested activities. Cycle to Avatar Grove, a 50 hectare area of old growth forest famous for its mammoth cedar tree, or take a short loop ride south to the Botanical Gardens for a gorgeous hiking experience. Upon returning to Port Renfrew, you may want to take advantage of the many water sports available, such as kayaking, canoeing, surfing, fishing, or stroll the beach and enjoy the crashing waves. BL
Same lodging

Day 6

Port Renfrew to Sooke 80 km

Leave Port Renfrew as you cycle through Jordan River, a small settlement originally established as a logging camp that is now popular among surfers. An optional hiking detour leads to Sombrio Beach, an enchanting cobble beach that was occupied by several generations of hippies until the construction of the Juan de Fuca trail began in the late 1990s. Not surprisingly, today's destination, Sooke, is home to a vibrant arts community, well-known for its painters, potters, and writers. If time allows, visit the nearby Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. BLD
Arbutus Cove Guesthouse, Sooke

Day 7

Sooke to Victoria & Farewells 36 km

Cycle along a portion of the Galloping Goose Trail today, a rail trail that is part of the Trans-Canada Trail, as you make your way back to Victoria. A quiet alternate road will be an option for those preferring fully paved surfaces. If you have not spent a day or two enjoying the city before your tour, we recommend lingering in the province's capital. Known as "The Garden City," Victoria is home to many rare and native plant species, as well as an impressive number of historic buildings worth visiting. BL



Description



Note about the route:

Riding on a mix of paved roads and bike trails through rural towns. Some sections of the Galloping Goose Trail exist along the route, but these are optional.




Known for its mild climate and thriving arts community, the coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island displays an eclectic mix of nature and rich history. The island has been the homeland of indigenous peoples for thousands of years; abundant artistic, cultural, and historical monuments testify to the presence and influence of these cultures, and you will notice that many place names retain their indigenous origin. Immerse yourself in seven days of beauty, from the majesty of the rugged coast, to the vast wildlife of the myriad parks, lakes, and beaches you will encounter as you travel along bike pathways and quiet roads. Hiking enthusiasts will relish the chance to explore sections of Salt Spring Island by foot, and Lake Cowichan provides an opportunity to paddle board, surf, or kayak. You will foray to hidden swimming holes, dine on some of the freshest halibut and salmon North American has to offer, and rest in charming inns at the end of each day.



Map & Elevations





Click here for the elevation profile



Learn more



Rent a car in Victoria and explore other parts of Vancouver Island, its bigger than you think!

Drive to Nanaimo and take a ferry to the Sunshine Coast.

Visit the coastal community of Tofino for a surf or a lesson in stunt kites.

If you are into mountain biking, Vancouver Island is a top notch destination providing many options to suit any rider.

"The service is very personable, from the office to the guides. One has the feeling you really care!” – Andree B.

“Truly unbelievable care and thought…you gave us a superb holiday with many cherished memories” – Joan H. & Richard van S.

"Freewheeling is awesome and that is one of the reasons why this is our third trip with you and we are already looking at options for next year. I also tell everyone about your excellent service and the amazing trips that you provide." - Karen & Keith M.

"Honestly, I cannot say enough about how well we were tended to." – Eric G.



Costs



US 3495 C 4195 (tax included)

(per person, includes: 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide and van support, maps and route notes)

US 2825 C 3395 (tax included)

(per person, includes: 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, essential transfers, maps and route notes)

Single
Occupancy

US 995 C 1195 (tax included)


Bicycle
Rental

Hybrid: US 195 C 225
Racing: US 255 C 295
Electric-Assist US 435 C 495
(tax included)




All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 5% sales tax included.