Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Thunderbird Park, Victoria
Some Highlights of this Tour:
Vancouver Island, British Columbia is both wild and sophisticated. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia is our starting point on this tour. This cosmopolitan city has loads to see and do starting with a visit to the Inner Harbor, described as one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The heart of the city, the Inner Harbor, is home to the BC Parliament Buildings and the magnificent Fairmont Empress Hotel. Tour Cragidarroch Castle, one of Victoria's most stately historic mansions. Butchart Gardens offers the visitor 55 acres of stunning gardens. Bastion Square in the heart of Old Town has a lively craft brew scene. Visit the oldest Chinatown in Canada where you'll find Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest street in Canada, and no visit to Victoria would be complete with a look at one of the world's tallest totem poles in Beacon Hill Park. And that's just the start of our tour! Highlights include:
- Cycling through quiet forests, rural landscapes and wild coastal roads of Vancouver Island
- Visiting marvelous Victoria, capital of British Columbia
- Wine tasting in the Cowichan Valley, called the "Napa of the North"
- Whale & Dolphin Watching (included in your tour price)
- Sea Kayaking (included in your tour price)
Here's a day-by-day tour description:
Wednesday (Arrival Day): Meet at the Seattle Airport
We'll greet you at the Seattle Airport this morning and shuttle you (about 2 hours) to Anacortes, gateway to Puget Sound. We'll assemble bikes, as needed, and have time to enjoy Anacortes prior to our first night's welcome dinner.
Lodging: Ship Harbor Inn
Thursday: Ride Anacortes, Ferry to Sidney
20 miles – 1.000 ft gain & 1,000 ft loss
This morning we'll go for a warm-up ride around Anacortes. After lunch we'll enjoy a breathtaking 2-hour ferry ride that snakes past Washington's Sand Juan Islnds and Canada's Gulf Islands as we make our way to our primary destination for the week, Vancouver Island.
Lodging: Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa
Friday: Ride Sidney to Lake Cowichan
55 miles – 2,500 ft gain & 2,000 ft loss
This morning we will ride along the Saanich Peninsula to another ferry waiting to take us to Mill Bay. The ride continues along part of the Cowichan Valley Trail and over the Kinsol Trestle, a stunning wooden structure that is one of the highest railway trestles in the world. Built for the trains that carried old growth timber, they have been repurposed on this rails-to-trails path. Today’s ride takes us through the region’s wine country and you’ll have the option to stop and sample some of the local specialties along the way.
Lodging: Riverside Inn
Saturday: Ride Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew
39 miles – 2,700 ft gain & 3,200 ft loss
Today we ride along a logging road that was first paved just over 10 years ago. Pacific Marine Road takes us out to the ocean and our home for the next night, Port Renfrew located on Port San Juan bay. Tonight enjoy another group dinner including many local delights such as fresh, local, wild salmon.
Lodging: West Coast Lodge Trail
Sunday: Wildlife Cruise & Hike Botanical Beach
This morning, we’ll split the group in two. One group will take a wildlife cruise while the other group will enjoy a 2-hour hike nearby Botanical Beach Provincial Park known for its tide pools rich in aquatic life. The wildlife cruise will be in a 12-person Zodiac where if we’re lucky we’ll see whales spout, dolphins race alongside, glimpse eagles in the air and black bears playing hide and seek in the majestic old growth forests that fringe the coastline. After lunch the groups will switch so everyone gets to enjoy both activities before we shuttle to Sooke.
Lodging: Prestige Oceanfront Resort
Monday: Kayak Sooke, Ride Sooke to Victoria
31 miles – 1,800 ft gain & 1,900 ft loss
This morning you’ll kayak a protected bay near Sooke learning about the ecosystem from our kayaking guides. After lunch you’ll lace up your cycling shoes and take to the Galloping Goose Trail on your way to our home for the next two nights, the impressive Fairmont Empress in Victoria.
Lodging: Fairmont Empress
Tuesday: Bike Saanich Peninsula, Visit Butchart Gardens & Cider Tasting
54 miles – 2,700 ft gain & 2,700 ft loss
For our final full day on Vancouver Island we’ll bike to the famed Butchart Gardens, built upon the founder’s limestone quarry with Japanese and Italian design influences. You might like to visit a local cider producer, to sample some of their delicious nectar. Tonight we’ll enjoy our final group dinner of the trip and talk about where to go next!
Lodging: Fairmont Empress
Wednesday (Departure Day): Ferry Sidney to Anacortes and Shuttle to Seattle Airport
For our final day, we head back to Seattle via ferry. We’ll plan to arrive at the Seattle airport in time for late afternoon flights home.
We are now taking bookings for this tour. If you are interested in this tour and would like us to send you a booking form, please Contact Us for more information or check out our info page to see what's included on a Tandem Bicycle Tour.
Tandem Bicycle Tours strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads/bike paths for cycling and to avoid busy roads as much as possible. The description listed here is a very good approximation of our trips but hotels and routes may change marginally to improve the trip experience.