On this tour you will have the opportunity to explore two very different islands in the Gulf Islands - Mayne and Salt Spring. Your tour starts at Swartz Bay. There you'll hop on the ferry that will take you to Mayne Island, the smallest of the inhabited southern Gulf Islands. Once a stop over for rowdy miners with Gold Rush fever, the island is now a quiet getaway of farms and orchards, sandy beaches and deep bays. Explore some of the island before arriving at tonight's accommodation, where you settle in for two nights.
You have many options on Mayne Island today. Browse in the shops of Miners Bay and learn about the history of the area in the museum, which was once the jail. Bike along meandering roads to tree-lined shores, picnic at Georgina Point Lighthouse, which has overlooked Active Pass since 1885, and watch seals and Orcas gambol in the waves while seabirds glide overhead. Take some time to hike through the forests of Mount Parke Regional Park, the highest point on the island.
Ride to Village Bay, from where the ferry takes you to Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands, and famous for its scenery, sunshine, and warm hospitality. It's also a haven for artists and everywhere you go you'll find galleries and studios. This could be where you find that perfect souvenir, then ride north in a loop taking you through the hills to the shore of Trincomali Channel and back to Ganges.
This morning, you can stroll through Ganges, the island's main town, where a splendid market is held every Saturday. Today explore the southern end of Salt Spring Island. Wind through the hills to Ruckle Provincial Park, named after the family who came to farm here in 1872. The family's ornate Victorian house still stands and some of the park is still a working farm. Watch for the sheep wandering in the orchards, explore hiking trails among huge old trees, and enjoy a picnic on the beach. Pause at Fulford Harbour set deep in narrow inlet, then climb over the shoulder of Mount Maxwell on your way back to your accommodation.
You'll be transferred to Long Harbour ferry dock, where you'll catch the ferry back to Swartz Bay. Depart for home or onward to your next adventure.
"[Randonnée] offered what we wanted, where we wanted, when we wanted" and "Tour was excellent. Organization good (riding instructions were almost too detailed). Island hosts and managers were all great."
- R & D Foster