Canada, British Columbia: Vancouver Island Hiking Tour
Four nights; five days of self-guided inn to inn walking on the Salish Shores of Vancouver Island, through impressive old growth forest and along coastal trails.
“We have done 7 other self-guided trips…This was on par with the best!…” – Linda B.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- The sheer beauty of the rugged coast and the temperate rainforest is enough to leave you awestruck.
- You will visit a plethora of interesting and unique places.
- You can count on the welcoming hospitality of charming inns.
- Experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route.
- Inn to inn walking on the Salish Shores of Vancouver Island.
- DAY 1: 12 to 20 km
- DAY 2: 14 km
- DAY 3: 12 or 15 km
- DAY 4: 12+ km
- DAY 5: 15 km
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Sidney, Beacon Inn 09:00, 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.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Sidney to Brentwood Bay 12km to 20km
Start with a morning pick up in Sidney or Victoria. The long walk begins at Sidney while the shorter distance starts with a transfer to John Dean Provincial Park where you’ll hike through impressive old growth forests to the 300 meter peak of Mt Newton. Enjoy glorious views of the Saanich Peninsula and its deep inlets, scenic farmlands, and views of the nearby southern gulf islands. Afternoon options include a side trip to a rural historic site, a visit to Butchart Gardens.
Francis King & Thetis Lake 14km
Start your day with a brief morning shuttle to the trailhead at Francis King Park. You will hike through more old growth forests and wetlands and past a picturesque lake in Francis King and Thetis Lake Regional Parks. After leaving the park, consider lunch at the historic 6-Mile Pub then follow the Galloping Goose Trail to Hatley Park and Castle National Historic Site on Esquimalt Lagoon.
Birds of a Feather B&B, Colwood
Colwood to Metchosin 12km or 15km
Walk along the beach and through quiet neighbourhoods, enjoying the views of the Olympic Range across the Juan de Fuca Straight. The trail at Witty’s Lagoon Protected Area will take you through a diverse landscape of woodlands, a freshwater creek, salt marsh, and sandy seashores providing habitat for diverse plant and animal life. From there you will stroll into the tiny village of Metchosin, an old farm community where open fields dotted with sheep and horses border the pebbled beaches before a 15-minute transfer your lodging for the next two nights.
Sooke Basin 12km plus options
During today’s walk you’ll experience the diversity of this increasingly remote landscape. You will hike past picturesque Roche Cove where the low-tide sands can reveal little-neck clams and barnacles. At high tide, look for starfish moving over broken shells in search of food. Your hike will continue along to Matheson Lake, following a creek hidden deep in the forest with lush bracken fern and a grove of western red cedars.
Sooke Potholes 15km
The Galloping Goose Trail takes you up into the hills to where the Sooke River waterfall and famous ‘potholes’ are located. These geographical formations in the river serve as ideal swimming holes in the summer months. At the end of your walk you will be met at 14:30 and returned to Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30, in time for the 17:00 departure.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Self-Guided available any dates!
Self-Guided: C 2595 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, welcome briefing, on-call support, inn to inn luggage transfers, ground transportation as indicated in the itinerary, detailed maps, route descriptions, 5% sales tax
Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 1395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
|Difficulty||This route is rated easy (green circle).|
|Optional Extras||Fishing, Swimming, Golfing|
|Best Months||June (early flowers), July & late-August (warm weather, whales, more people), September (cooler and quiet).|
Before & After The Tour:
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 coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island displays an eclectic mix of nature and rich cultural history. This collection of hikes immerses you in its beauty. The journey takes you along the Salish Shores coastal route to Sooke Basin. In five days, you will visit a plethora of interesting and unique places, most of which are only accessible by foot, and are best enjoyed at a walking pace. Follow fern lined trails through old growth Douglas Fir stands to lakeside picnics and secluded bays. Hike to exceptional views over the Juan de Fuca Strait, and visit seven different parks and protected nature areas. The sheer beauty of the rugged coast and the temperate rainforest is enough to leave you awestruck, yet the fun does not stop there: you will also have the opportunity to visit some of Canada’s national heritage sites or one of the region’s famous gardens and you will be spoiled to fresh west coast cuisine. Experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route. You can count on the welcoming hospitality of charming inns at the end of each day.
“I spent the day before and after in Victoria. The most fun was going down to the waterfront and watching the “Ferry Dance” on Sunday morning – the water taxis put on a musical show on water – delightful” – Barbara M.
“The service is very personable, from the office to the guides. One has the feeling you really care!” – Andree B.
“I had a wonderful time” – Barbara M.