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A Hiking Tour on Vancouver Island

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): British Columbia  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   Multi-activity  
Season: May - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1955 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2355 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia displays an eclectic mix of nature and rich cultural history. This collection of hikes will immerse you in its beauty. This journey takes you, first, to a secluded, protected island off the coast of Vancouver Island. The next day, the trail begins near Sidney, BC, crosses the Saanich Peninsula to Finlayson Arm, continues south to the Juan de Fuca Strait, then west along a coastal route to Sooke Basin. In seven 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. You will follow fern lined trails through old growth Douglas Fir stands to lakeside picnics and secluded bays. You will hike to exceptional views over the 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, but the fun doesn’t stop there; you will also have the opportunity to visit the Butchart and Glendale Gardens, both of which are spectacular in layout and plant diversity, not to mention color. You may even stumble upon a castle while visiting the Hatley Park National Historic Site. You will experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route - but you can count on the consistently welcoming hospitality of charming inns at the end of each day.

Day 1: 6.5 km hike.

Meet your guide(s) over lunch in Sidney at noon. Pick up at Victoria Airport or Swartz Bay ferry terminal can be arranged if necessary. Start your adventure with a water taxi from Sidney to nearby Portland Island, part of Gulf Island National Park Reserve for a moderate 6.5 km hike. Return to Sidney for an evening stroll along the Sidney waterfront and a well-deserved dinner. LD. Sidney Waterfront Inn, Sidney.

Day 2: 12km hike + options.

Today’s activities begin in John Dean Provincial Park, hiking through impressive old growth Douglas Fir and Arbutus forest to the 300 m peak of Mt Newton. After lunch, walk though the Newton valley to your accommodation in quiet Brentwood Bay. Further afternoon options include canoeing or kayaking in Finlayson Arm and secluded Tod Inlet, taking an eco-cruise, or visiting Butchart Gardens. You can arrive at the back entrance by boat! BL. Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Brentwood Bay.

Day 3: 3 km hike + options (yoga, sea-kayak).

Optional paddleboard yoga to start your day. After breakfast, shuttle to the Gowlland Tod Provincial Park entrance to embark on a somewhat challenging hike to McKenzie Bight, through a superb natural area with rainforest-like plant life, waterfalls, and a protected bay. Afternoon includes a visit to Observatory Hill, also known as “the Centre of the Universe”, home of the Plaskett Telescope and a national historic site of Canada. Continue an easy walk through woodlands and an agricultural area to Glendale Gardens. Situated in a peaceful setting, these gardens are a quieter alternative to Butchart, and contain an interesting mix of Japanese garden and native plant gardens, sprinkled with whimsical and funky artwork. BL. Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Brentwood Bay.

Day 4: 12-15 km moderate hike.

Start with a shuttle from Brentwood Bay to Francis King and Thetis Lake Park; where you will hike through old growth Douglas fir, sword fern, and other coastal flora. Easy trails lead to a picnic lunch on the lake. Walk along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail across Colwood, and finish the day at Hatley Castle & Garden National Historic Site, visiting the castle and gardens. Your accommodation is surrounded by green space, walking trails, and gardens for you to explore at your leisure. BLD
Birds of a Feather B&B, Colwood. Royal Roads University, Colwood.

Day 5: 12-17 km easy hike. Cycling option.

Start with a walk along the beach from Esquimalt Lagoon to Albert Head Lagoon (or visit to Ft. Rodd Hill). Then follow roads and trails through a coastal neighbor-hood to Witty’s Lagoon Protected Area. Enjoy the waterfall, the sandy beach, and bird watching opportunities. Have a picnic lunch on the beach, walk up to the coastal village of Metchosin for a coffee, and stroll around the historic church & cemetery to plumb local history. A short walk from Metchosin brings you to your accommodation for the next two nights. BLD Lodge at Weir’s Beach, Metchosin

Day 6: 5-10 km moderate to challenging hike. Sea-kayak option.

Optional morning yoga at the lodge. A 20 minute shuttle ride will take you to East Sooke Park. 50 km of trail provide many options. Popular hikes include the 10 km coastal trail; similar to the Juan de Fuca trail but much less known, or a shorter, but equally spectacular hike of 5 km, on coastal bluffs overlooking the Juan de Fuca Straight and Olympic Mountains, past petroglyphs, and back through forest. Picnic lunch on the bluffs. Return via shuttle to your lodge. BLD. Same lodging.

Day 7: 10 km easy hike & farewells. Cycling option.

Optional morning yoga, then walk from the lodge to the hidden historic ‘Barde Knockie Trail”, used by early settlers. Stumble upon a tiny observatory on a wind-blown hill top and discover the charming campus of Pearson College of the Pacific – an unexpected find in this remote area, otherwise known for its healthy cougar population. A pleasant hike along Matheson Lake offers opportunities for swimming on a hot day. Continue along bubbling Matheson Creek, almost hidden by bracken fern and the impressive Western red cedars all around it. Reach the deep green waters of Roche Cove. End the trip with farewell drinks/libations at the 17-Mile-Pub, the last of the roadhouses and a delightful mix between local pub and historic attraction. Return shuttle to Victoria and/or Sidney. BL

Supplemental Tour Information:
- Start: Sidney, BC, 12:00, Day 1. Optional pickup from Swartz Bay ferry terminal or Sidney (Victoria) airport available.
- Finish: Sidney, BC, 15:00, Day seven. Optional transfer back to Sidney airport or Swartz Bay.
- Guided Cost: US 2255 C 2355 (includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners, full-time guiding, necessary transfers, maps, luggage handling)
- Self-guided Cost: US1895 c 1995 (includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 self-prepared dinners, maps and route notes, necessary transfers, one day of wilderness guiding, luggage handling)
- Single Occupancy: TBD.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

7 days, 6 nights of hiking, showcasing some of British Columbia's finest coastal trails. Some cycling and sea kayak options.