The Gulf Islands lay scattered between the rugged coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Rain forests, granite walls, fjords, 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, hiking to remote beaches or on a sea kayak excursion. After a day of adventure you will be treated to some of the most beautiful accommodations in this part of the world where you may relax in an ocean side hot tub and enjoy excellent West Coast cuisine.
Day 1: After meeting at the Vancouver waterfront we board a ferry for a 45 minute ride across Howe Sound to the Sunshine Coast. At Gibsons, made famous by the TV series “Beachcombers", we hop on our bikes and ride along the ocean through evergreen forests toward Pender Harbour, the "Venice of the North". After a relaxing soak in the waterfront hot tub at Sunshine Coast Resort we are off to dinner - by motorboat. Distance 70km/40miles.
Day 2: We start the day with a hike to Skookumchuck Narrows to witness one of the most powerful tidal rapids in the world or a bike ride to Jervis Inlet. On our return we are treated to a 50 minute cruise across this spectacular Fjord. On the following stretch of Highway 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 2 nights, before we top off the day with a dinner at the award winning "Laughing Oyster" restaurant where you may sample the world famous Malaspina Oysters right at the source. Distance 45km/30 miles, 2 hours hiking optional.
Day 3: Desolation Sound is famous for its pristine 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 beautiful coastline with its coves, islands and beaches from a totally new perspective. Kayaking is easy and beginner friendly and our professional guides will help you get into it very quickly.
Day 4: Another day another cruise. This time it's 80 minutes across the Strait of Georgia towards Vancouver Island. With a little luck we will encounter Orca whales or dolphins during our passage. On shore we shuttle to Crofton where we will board another ferry to Saltspring Island, largest of the Gulf Islands. Salt spring has not only some of the nicest weather in Canada, it was also chosen as one of the best little art communities in North America. This afternoon we will cycle around the North Shore of the island before settling into our "out of this world" Oceanside B&B at the Ganges harbor. Tonight you get to sample some local fare on your own. You might want to finish the day in the hot tub soaking under the stars. Distance 30km/18miles.
Day 5: Today we cycle south on quiet winding roads toward Beaver Point in Ruckle Park. Along the way you may want to check out some of the more than 30 arts and crafts studios. After a delicious lunch with striking ocean views you have two options: Hop on your bike and take the coastal route back to Ganges or join our guide for a little hike in Ruckle Park and take the shuttle afterward. This evening we will take a rowboat to dinner at the harbourfront. Distance: 30-50km/19-35miles, optional hike.
Day 6: Early in the morning we take another ferry to Galiano Island. Here we ride to the foot of Mt Galiano. Then we lace our hiking boots and take a beautiful rain forest trail up to the 1000ft summit. You will be rewarded with striking views across the entire Gulf Island archipelago and on to the Olympic peninsula. Once back on the bikes it is a short ride to Montague Harbor where we will have lunch and enough time to enjoy one of the beautiful beaches. Finally we will take a last ferry back to Vancouver. It is time to say good bye. Those who wish to visit Victoria can take a ferry and bus directly from Galiano. 25 km/15 miles, 90 minute hike.
Also see tour packages in:
Canada British Columbia Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Multi-activity
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