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Serene, wild and surprisingly balmy, the Canadian Gulf Islands are the northern length of an island ribbon ending in the San Juans to the south. We’ll treat you to choice bits of oh-so-British Victoria, on Vancouver Island, then ferry to enjoy rugged Galiano, Pender and Mayne islands, where you’ll cycle tranquil roads overlooking dramatic coastlines, hike to heart-stirring viewpoints, and kayak beside jagged cliffs. Lodging and dining are exceptional, ranging from the world-class Inn at Laurel Point to the destination resort of Poet’s Cove.
Meet in Seattle. Ferry to Vancouver Island for an afternoon ride.
We meet in Seattle, then catch a ferry to Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. You'll do a charming ride along the waterfront, then spend tonight at the Inn at Laurel Point on Victoria’s Inner Harbor. Victoria has a beautifully festive downtown core centered around its Inner Harbor: overflowing flower baskets deck old-fashioned lampposts; upscale shops and fine restaurants beckon from wide sidewalks, and reminders of a British heritage invite passersby to delve a bit deeper. It’s the perfect place for walking.
Savor magnificent Butchart Gardens. Ride to Swartz Bay. Ferry to Galiano.
Today, ride to Butchart Gardens, a world-famous, lavishly landscaped private park. After a tour of the gardens (entry fee included) and a picnic lunch, cycle through farmland and attractive residential neighborhoods overlooking the water to the ferry to Galiano Island. Stay tonight and tomorrow at the Galiano Inn, an intimate hideaway on its own private beach. Enjoy its beautiful accommodations and views of the harbor and lighthouse, award-winning dining room, gourmet wine shop and the luxurious onsite spa.
Ride Galiano Island, where early Coast Salish peoples lived.
Narrow Galiano's roads wind through woods and pastures and along the rocky shoreline. Picturesque views of the tranquil sound and nearby islands are punctuated with short hills, elegant vistas and secluded coves. Stay one more night at the Galiano Inn.
Kayak Pender Island. In the afternoon, ride, golf, play tennis, get a massage or go for a swim.
Ferry to Pender Island this morning. Take a guided kayak trip of a quiet harbor (no prior experience necessary; all equipment included). In the afternoon, you may wish to go for a bike ride, play golf or tennis, or bliss out with a hot-stone massage in the onsite spa at Poets Cove, where you'll spend the next 2 nights. Plenty to choose from!
Ride to Mortimer Spit and Mt. Norman.
Pender is actually two islands - North Pender and South Pender - connected by a one-lane
bridge. Cycle past artists’ studios, pastures, and rocky coves to
lunch atop Mt. Norman on South Pender Island, just a short (1.6k) climb above Mortimer Spit. The views are incredible!
Ferry to Mayne Island. Ride from Campbell Point to Dinner Bay, then ferry to the city of Vancouver, on the mainland.
On Friday, bicycle around Mayne, a tiny rural island with only 900 residents. Stop for a break at a scenic park, where you can sit on the shore watching ferries, seals, birds, and, if we are lucky, orca (killer) whales. Later, ferry east to the mainland and the Vancouver airport for the end of your trip. Or, should you prefer, take a ferry from Mayne Island west back to Victoria for a few extra days on Vancouver Island.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.