Total tour distance: 140 miles
Daily tour distance: 27 miles
Difficulty: 60 / 100
CycleTreks is offering this 4 night/ 5day cycle tour that lets you savour the picturesque beauty of three of our world famous Southern Gulf Islands: Mayne Island, Pender Island and Saltspring Island. This adventure begins and ends in Victoria, BC, the Cycling Capital of Canada. It uses only the best high-quality bicycles and combines trails, roads, BC Ferries and van escort. We carefully select comfortable accommodation and take care of the lunch and dinner arrangements at some of the best locations in the Pacific Northwest!
Day One: (approx 40 kms/ 25 miles) From downtown Victoria, we will ride our regional trail system, which traverses bird sanctuaries, active farmlands along seaside trails to the Saanich Peninsula. Along the way we’ll stop at a local winery and cidery for a tour and tasting. Lunch today will be at a local eatery. After lunch we will make our way north to Swartz Bay where will board a BC Ferry to Mayne Island. Mayne Island, once a Caribou gold-rush stopover (halfway between Vancouver Island and Vancouver Fraser River ports) has a colourful history dating back long before early Spanish and British explorers arrived there. When we arrive we have a very short ride to our accommodations for the evening and a delicious dinner.
Day Two: (approx. 35 kms/ 22 miles) 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 through the Gardens we’ll boarding 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 noticeable differences between the two islands today. The day’s end brings us to one of the most beautiful harbours in all of BC, Bedwell Harbour and the Poet’s Cove Resort and Spa. We’ll check in, get refreshed and ready for another great dinner and spectacular sunset.
Day Three: (approx. 15 – 30 kms/ 10 – 19 miles) 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 will have lunch and check into our warm and comfortable accommodations for the night. This afternoon offers you a choice 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 in Ganges. Dinner is at a popular local restaurant.
Day Four: (approx. 35 kms/ 22 miles) 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 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 on to our final destination and accommodations for the night in Cowichan Bay. Tonight’s dinner will be at a local seafood restaurant.
Day Five: (approx. 50km/30 miles ) After another great breakfast we’ll start our day with a ride through the Cowichan Bay area to Mill Bay. Cowichan, referred to as “the warm land” by the aboriginal people, is loaded with back-roads and lush and rolling landscapes and offers unparalleled seascapes and countryside. Once in Mill Bay we will board our last ferry of our riding adventure back to Brentwood Bay with a stop for lunch in the Saanich Peninsula. From here it is an easy ride along the Colquitz Trail back to Victoria and the end of our tour.