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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. Enjoy the choicest bits of oh-so-British Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Explore world-famous Butchart Gardens. Ferry to rugged Galiano, Pender and Mayne islands to bicycle tranquil roads overlooking dramatic coastlines. Hike to heart-stirring viewpoints. 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.
Meet in Seattle, then catch a ferry to Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. Ride the charming waterfront. Victoria has a beautifully festive downtown core centered around its Inner Harbor: overflowing flower baskets bedeck old-fashioned lampposts; upscale shops and restaurants beckon from wide sidewalks; reminders of a British heritage invite passersby to delve a bit deeper. Spend tonight at the gorgeous Inn at Laurel Point on Victoria’s Inner Harbor.
Route: 19.9 mi +652 ft / -650 ft
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.
Route: Hotel to Butchart – 24.9 mi +1469 ft / -1427 ft; Butchart to Ferry – 21.4 mi +787 ft / -838 ft
Hike up Mt. Galiano. Ferry to Mayne for an afternoon of riding and exploration. Watch for killer whales!
Hike up Mt. Galiano this morning. Then board a ferry to tiny, rural, Mayne Island, home to a mere 900 residents. Stop for a break at a scenic park. sit on the shore watching ferries, seals, birds, and - if you are lucky - orca (killer) whales. Take your pick of the restaurants in the village, as lunch is on your own today. Ride aboard the ferry back to Galiano Island for another night at the Inn.
Route: 15.3 mi +1323 ft / -1413 ft
Ride Galiano Island. Have lunch at Lover's Leap. This afternoon, ferry to Pender Island and Poets Cove Resort.
Ride Galiano this morning: this narrow island's roads wind through woods and pastures and along the rocky shoreline. Picturesque water views of the peaceful sound and nearby islands are punctuated with short hills, elegant vistas and secluded coves. Bicycle to lunch at Lover’s Leap. Catch an afternoon ferry to Pender Island. Shuttle to tonight's lodging at Poets Cove Resort, where you'll spend the next 2 nights.
Route: 43.1 mi +3838 ft / -3838 ft
Kayak Pender Island this morning. This afternoon: do as you choose: ride, play golf or tennis - or get a massage at the spa at Poets Cove.
This morning, take a guided kayak trip in a quiet harbor (no prior experience necessary; lessons and all equipment are included). This afternoon is your own: go for a bike ride; play golf or tennis; bliss out with a hot-stone massage at Susurrus Spa, onsite at Poets Cove Resort. Plenty to choose from today!
Route, should you choose to ride: 23.8 mi +2320 ft / -2328 ft
Ride Pender's North and South Islands this morning. Enjoy the views from Mt. Norman, then ferry to the city of Vancouver, on the mainland.
Pender is actually two islands - North Pender and South Pender - connected by a one-lane bridge. This morning, cycle past artists’ studios, pastures and rocky coves to lunch atop Mt. Norman, just a short (1.6k) climb above Mortimer Spit. The views are incredible! Later, ferry east to the mainland and the Vancouver airport for the end of your trip.
Route: 19.8 mi +1912 ft / -1965 ft
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.