Road Scholar : Home
Biking Canada’s Pacific Northwest: History, Culture and Wildlife

Program Number: 18887RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/7/2014 - 9/14/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Price starting at: $2,350.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Explore both Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island as you pedal through lush forests, home to stands of the world’s tallest pines, cedars and spruces — and azure waters teeming with life. Through bird sanctuaries, rocky coasts, woods and sandy beaches, retrace the views and steps of the First Nations and settlers. Experience stately gardens, wildlife and stroll through the streets of Victoria.




Highlights

• Bicycle portions of the picturesque Trans Canada Trail.
• Explore the renowned Salt Spring Market, where all vendors must “make it, bake it, or grow it.”
• Hear from a marine biologist in the Gulf Islands and learn about marine wildlife in a hands-on experience.



Activity Particulars

Riding 15-25 miles daily. Walking up to two miles daily.



Itinerary Summary

Independent arrival Victoria, 2 nights; coach to Sidney, 1 night; coach to Cowichan Bay, 2 nights; ferry to Salt Spring Island, 1 night; ferry to Victoria, 1 night; independent departure.




Victoria

This provincial capital on Vancouver Island is blessed with spectacular scenery and a mild climate year-round. Home to Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel, Victoria is rich in First Nations history, marine coastal ecosystems, cultural attractions and European charm that dates to its years spent under British colonial rule.



Accommodations
Victoria: Lovely hotel steps from picturesque Inner Harbour. Sidney: Hotel on northern tip of breathtaking Saanich Peninsula. Cowichan Bay: Luxurious, waterfront resort-style hotel in heart of Canada's "Napa Valley." Salt Spring Island: Eco-friendly hotel at head of Ganges Harbour, overlooking the marina.
Meals and Lodgings
   Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
  Victoria, British Columbia 2 nights
   Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa
  Sidney, BC 1 night
   Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
  Cowichan Bay, BC 2 nights
   Harbour House Hotel
  Salt Spring Island 1 night
   Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
  Victoria, British Columbia 1 night
 Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.
  Contact info: 425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 800-663-7515
web: www.royalscot.com/index.html
  Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.
  Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

 Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Nestled on the northern tip of Vancouver Island's breathtaking Saanich Peninsula, The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa anchors the coastal community of Sidney, British Columbia.
  Contact info: 9805 Seaport Place
Sidney, BC V8: 4X3 Canada
phone: 866-659-9445
web: www.sidneypier.com/
  Room amenities: Crisp white Egyptian cotton linen, wool fleece mattress pads, hypo allergenic duvets and pillows, professional spa and salon grade amenities, plush terry bathrobes, flat panel high-resolution TV with DVD, personalized voice mail, iron and ironing board, in-room safe (suitable for laptops), complimentary wired high speed Internet, complimentary local telephone calls, complimentary selection of Mighty Leaf loose leaf teas and Caff Umbria coffee.
  Facility amenities: Haven Spa, Salon & Fitness Centre, Haro's Restaurant + Bar, Georgia Cafe & Deli, and just a quick stroll away from over 100 boutique shops, bookstores and artisans.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Type: Resort
  Description: The Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay is an intimate, luxurious, waterfront resort-style hotel located only 35 minutes from Victoria! Located in the heart of the Cowichan Valley – Canada’s Napa Valley, guests are spoiled with choices of activities and adventures to choose from!
  Contact info: 1681 Cowichan Bay Road
Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0 Canada
phone: 800-663-7898
web: www.oceanfrontcowichanbay.com/
  Facility amenities: Resort amenities include a waterfront indoor heated pool, indoor hot tub, sauna, extensive fitness facility, conference and banquet space, Terrain Kitchen, and the Ocean Glo Wellness Spa.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Harbour House Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Salt Spring Island is the largest and most populated of the Gulf Islands, filled with people who see this 23-square mile island as akin to paradise. Every inch is filled with charm, from the rural Fulford Valley to the sparkling waters of St. Mary Lake to seashores of rippled rock. A haven of friendly elegance within walking distance of Ganges on beautiful Salt Spring Island, the Harbour House facilities include 35 recently renovated hotel rooms, many with ocean views. The hotel overlooks Ganges Harbour and features fine waterfront dining.
  Contact info: 121 Upper Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V5K 2A2 Canada
phone: 250-537-5571
web: www.saltspringharbourhouse.com/
  Room amenities: Most have balconies. Colour TV, coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: 35 newly renovated rooms, many with ocean views; waterfront dining, on-site beer, wine and spirits and snacks store; on-site hair salon. There are no elevators to the rooms which are on the second floor.
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent arrivals to program hotel in Victoria, BC. Check-in after 3:00 p.m. Dinner is at 6:00 pm. You will be staying at Royal Scot Hotel and Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is at 7:30 am. Independent departures from Victoria after breakfast. Check-out is 12:00 p.m. You will be staying at Royal Scot Hotel and Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. PASSPORTS: Visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html for up to date information.
  Parking availability:
Contact the hotel directly for parking details and rates at 800-663-7515.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Victoria, British Columbia
  Nearest city or town:  Victoria
  Nearest airport:  Victoria International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Victoria, British Columbia
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Victoria (YYJ)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
AKAL Airporter
phone: 250-386-2525
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $21 + tax
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 30 minutes 

   

The AKAL shuttle provides daily 1/2 hour service to/from the airport to all hotels and motels in Greater Victoria. Shuttles operate from 4:00 am until midnight or until last flight clears. Reservations are recommended. For more information visit www.victoriaairporter.com or call 877-386-2525. Victoria International Airport (YYJ) has many direct flights from Air Canada (Jazz) which offers connections from across North America via Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

 

Victoria (YYJ)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $55
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 30 minutes 

   

Taxis available from the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) to the hotel. Bus and taxi drivers will exchange US currency.

 

Vancouver (YVR)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Pacific Coach Lines (Coach and Ferry)
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Travel Time:

 

Total travel time is approximately 3.5 hours (subject to change) 

   

Pacific Coach Lines offers coach/ferry service from Vancouver, BC (including Vancouver airport) to the bus station in downtown Victoria. Contact PCL at 1-800-661-1725 or visit www.pacificcoach.com for up-to-date fares and schedules.

 

Victoria

 

From Ferry Landing

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $5-6
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 5 minutes 

   

Taxis are available from the inner harbour ferry landing to the hotel. The Victoria Clipper passenger ferry leaves Seattle once a day at 8:00 a.m. and arrives to Victoria's inner harbour just minutes away from the hotel. Travel time for the ferry is 2 ½ hours. For more information and current fares please call 1-800-888-2535 or visit www.victoriaclipper.com

 

Victoria

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $5 - 6
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

   

Taxis available from the bus station in downtown Victoria (or city bus). Pacific Coach Lines picks up at scheduled stops in Vancouver (including Vancouver Airport) and goes onto the ferry to Victoria, then on to the main bus station in Victoria. Contact PCL at 1-800-661-1725 or visit www.pacificcoach.com

 

Victoria (YYJ)

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
AKAL Airprorter
phone: 250-386-2525

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $21
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 30 minutes 

   

The AKAL shuttle provides daily 1/2 hour service to/from the airport to all hotels and motels in Greater Victoria. Shuttles operate from 4:00 am until midnight or until last flight clears. Reservations are recommended. For more information visit www.victoriaairporter.com or call 877-386-2525. Victoria International Airport (YYJ) has many direct flights from Air Canada (Jazz) which offers connections from across North America via Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

 

Victoria (YYJ)

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $55
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately $30 

   

Taxis available from the hotel to the Victoria International Airport (YYJ). Bus and Taxi drivers will exchange US currency. The hotel staff will be happy to arrange taxi service to the airport.

 

Vancouver (YVR)

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Coach and Ferry
phone: 800-661-1725
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Coach approximately $40.00 plus taxes; Ferry approximately $15.00 plus applicable taxes
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Total travel time is approximately 3.5 hours (subject to change) 

   

Pacific Coach Lines bus leaves from downtown Victoria and goes onto the ferry to Vancouver (including Vancouver Airport), then on to the main bus station. Contact PCL at 1-800-661-1725 or visit www.pacificcoach.com for up-to-date fares and schedules.

 

Victoria

 

To Ferry Landing

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$5 - $6 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 minutes 

   

Taxi (or walk) to the ferry terminal in the Inner Harbour to board the Victoria Clipper passenger ferry to Seattle, WA. Travel time is 2 ½ hours. For more information, schedules and current fares please call 1-800-888-2535 or visit www.victoriaclipper.com

 

Victoria

 

To Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $5-6
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately five minutes 

 

Distance:

 

Within walking distance from the hotel

   

Taxi service is available from the hotel to the bus terminal. The hotel staff will be happy to arrange taxi service for you.

 
Driving Directions
  From Seattle, Washington USA Board the Victoria Clipper (walk on only) at Seattle and disembark at the Inner Harbour Victoria, BC. Take a taxi to the hotel. (www.victoriaclipper.com)
  From Vancouver by Ferry BC Ferries operates daily, year-round ferry service between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Contact: 1-888-BCFERRY or www.bcferries.com Upon arriving in Swartz Bay you will automatically by on Highway 17. The highway will eventually become Blanchard Street and takes you to the Inner Harbour (Belleville Street). Pass the Legislative Buildings, turn left on Menzies Street and then right on Quebec Street. The Royal Scot Hotel & Suites will be on your left.
  From Victoria Airport Following the Airport Road to Highway 17, turn right and follow the signs to downtown Victoria. Highway 17 becomes Blanchard Street and takes you to the Inner Harbour (Belleville Street). Pass the Legislative Buildings, turn left on Menzies Street and then right on Quebec Street. The Royal Scot Hotel & Suites will be on your left.
  From the Anacortes From the Anacortes, WA ferry arrival in Sidney - via Hwy 17 into Victoria. Exit with all traffic from the terminal - take a sharp left to the corner, and left again, following the waterfront. Then take a right to enter the highway - left at that light on the highway - following the signs into Victoria. You are on Hwy 17 that leads straight into Victoria - it takes about 35 minutes. Follow into the city where Hwy 17 becomes Blanshard Street. Keep going straight through town. Highway 17 becomes Blanchard Street and takes you to the Inner Harbour (Belleville Street). Pass the Legislative Buildings, turn left on Menzies Street and then right on Quebec Street. The Royal Scot Hotel & Suites will be on your left.
  From the Port Angeles Ferry From Port Angeles MV Coho Ferry - cars and passengers. The ferry docks in Victoria's Inner Harbour are on Belleville Street. Travel up one block to Quebec Street and turn left. The Royal Scot Hotel & Suites will be on your right.
  From the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal Leaving Swartz Bay, you will automatically by on Highway 17. The highway will eventually become Blanchard Street and takes you to the Inner Harbour (Belleville Street). Pass the Legislative Buildings, turn left on Menzies Street and then right on Quebec Street. The Royal Scot Hotel & Suites will be on your left.
Equipment Requirements: Riding shorts, pull over pants and a light rain jacket is suggested. Hybrid bikes, helmets, water bottles, bike bags and other cycling related articles will be supplied and are included in the program cost - bikes will be equipped with water bottle cages, a rear rack and a kickstand. Bring your own seat and pedals if you have a particular preference. You are also welcome to bring your own bike.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Orientation
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals and transfers to the program hotel after 4:00 pm. Please note that rooms are not generally available until mid to late afternoon.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: INTRODUCTIONS: Following dinner, you will meet your program staff and fellow cyclers during an introductory session to review the itinerary for your upcoming cycling adventure, cover safety guidelines and answer your questions. You will be exploring Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island by bike as you improve your physical fitness. You will cycle through lush forests and along beaches teeming with life. From stately gardens to rolling meadows to rocky shorelines, your cycling adventure will introduce you to the rugged beauty of these world-famous islands.
   
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cycle Downtown and Greater Victoria/Guided Walk of Victoria
(Monday, September 8)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 15 miles (24 kms) on asphalt; rolling with some hills.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Cycle Greater Victoria and James Bay. Leaving directly from the Inner Harbour, your guides will lead you on an excellent ride around Greater Victoria, through the vibrant and historic Inner Harbour core, through historic James Bay. This quaint seaside village includes the childhood home of Emily Carr, one of Canada's most famous artists. From here we cycle along the spectacular Victoria waterfront, into gorgeous and idyllic Oak Bay neighborhoods. Enjoy sights such as Beacon Hill Park, Emily Carr House, "The Castle" and many serene island seascapes then return to downtown Victoria.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Old Victoria Historical Walk. Starting at the Inner Harbour, join a local expert for a guided walking exploration walking tour of Victoria. Walk through Old Town, the historic heart of Victoria. Discover why Victoria is the most "British" of all cities in Canada and boasts as you explore prominent reminders of its colonial past: elegant Victorian and Edwardian-era mansions, stately hotels and impressive architecture around every corner. Your guide will explain how state-of-the-art development projects also lead the way in New Urbanism, smart growth and sustainable community design.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own tonight to explore Victoria's vibrant downtown area where dining options are plentiful.
   
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Cycle Victoria's Trails/Butchart Gardens/Galloping Goose Regional Trail
(Tuesday, September 9)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 25 miles (40 kms) on a combination of hard packed trails (20%) and asphalt (80%); rolling hills. No significant elevation gain or steep inclines. Hills are not long (less than a kilometer) but there are several of them.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Saanich Peninsula. We begin by exploring a number of trails which make up Victoria's extensive cycling network, including the Colquitz River Trail, Glendale Trail and Interurban Rail Trail, a wide gravel path that follows the old British Columbia Electric Railway line. This leads us to the Highlands, on the Saanich Peninsula, a primarily residential community, rural in nature, and blessed with an exceptional abundance of scenic beauty, native plant and animal life, and public parkland.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own while at Butchart Gardens gives you the opportunity to experience the various coffee shops and restaurants at your leisure.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: Butchart Gardens & Galloping Goose Trail. A special stop at the Butchart Gardens will introduce you to a truly amazing abundance of horticultural mastery and enlighten you on the history of the gardens through the Gardens Historical Perspectives which are set up at viewpoints throughout the gardens. Each year over 1,000,000 bedding plants in some 700 varieties are used throughout the Gardens to ensure uninterrupted bloom from March through October. FIELD TRIP: Leaving Butchart Gardens we quickly meet up with the Galloping Goose Trail, the local cycling trail network, which will takes us through local farms, past bird sanctuaries and over trestle bridges. The Galloping Goose Trail was once a railway line from Victoria to Leechtown, where gold had been discovered in the river during the gold rush days. The trail passes through all types of classic British Columbian terrain; coniferous forests merge to streams and rivers, passing close to beaches, above roaring rivers, and around pristine lakes. We cycle on to our destination for the evening and the Gateway to the Gulf Islands, Sidney.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Sidney is a bustling seaside community boasting a beautiful waterfront, numerous museums, street statues and murals and a 420 foot fishing pier.
   
Accommodations: Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Cycle to Brentwood Bay/Ferry to and Cycling Cowichan Valley/Maritime Marine Centre Museum
(Wednesday, September 10)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 25 miles (40 kms) on paved roads. Mostly rolling hills with a few steep inclines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Cowichan Valley. This morning we set out and ride from Sidney to the beautiful Brentwood Bay via the Lands End Road. From here we board a ferry known as Vancouver Islands Most Beautiful Short Cut across the Saanich Inlet to the Cowichan Valley which offers cyclists the serenity of an ocean vista against an unparalleled and picturesque backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Winding gradually along the gorgeous eastern shoreline of Southern Vancouver Island, riders will enjoy the people, unique villages, seascapes, and aboriginal cultures of Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, and ultimately, our destination for the day at Cowichan Bay. Cowichan Valley, or "Quw'utsun", meaning "the warm land" in the language of the Cowichan's aboriginal people, offers spectacular views of Saltspring Island, Mt Tzouhalem and parts of the Finlayson Arm-Goldstream Park fjord. Cruise on your bikes through seaside to the village of Mill Bay or along the idyllic Shawnigan Lake. FIELD TRIP: Merridale Estate Cidery. A favorite stop is at BC's only estate cider maker, Merridale Estate Cidery. Your private guide will lead you through the unique production facility, taking you from harvest to bottling. Then make your way into la Pommeraie for a tableside tasting and learn about the delicious art of pairing food and cider.
 Lunch: Lunch at Merridale Cidery.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. Roll on through postcard-like scenic agricultural lands, grape growing country, and local farms where fruit growers and dairy farmers produce their fresh goods daily. This afternoon we will also explore Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. With a reputation for excellence, the Maritime Centre offers hands on courses in traditional boat building techniques and restoration. Skillfully hand-crafted models of historic ships are housed in the museum at the end of the pier.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Enjoy the many activities and amenities at your oceanfront resort or explore the scenic seaside village of Cowichan Bay, home to a host of artists, craftspeople, and cottage industries - including some fine local wineries.
   
Accommodations: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cycle from Shawnigan Lake along the Trans Canada Trial to Cowichan Lake and then into Duncan
(Thursday, September 11)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 32 miles (53 kms) on hard packed trails. A few rolling hills but no significant elevation gains or steep inclines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Trans Canada Trail – We begin the day with a van shuttle to the north end of Shawnigan Lake where we will join the Trans Canada Tail. The Trans Canada is the world’s longest network of multi-use recreational trails. When completed, it will stretch 23,000 kilometers from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic Oceans, through every province and territory, linking over 1000 communities across Canada. Along this part of the trail we will ride across five historic railway trestles one of them being the Kinsol Trestle which is one of the largest timber bridges in the world and the highest timber trestle remaining in Canada. The trail winds its way through the Cowichan River Provincial Park, following along the beautiful Cowichan River, and passes through the most spectacular parts of the Cowichan Valley, from lush rainforests to rural farmland.
 Lunch: Lunch is at a local café in Cowichan Lake.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Leaving Cowichan Lake we ride the Cowichan Valley Trail which was established in the spring of 2011. The Cowichan Valley Trail is a spectacular multi-use trail that is an integral part of the Trans-Canada Trail route. The trail follows the gentle (mostly downhill) grade of the former E&N railway line which was built in 1886 and saw its last train in 1982. The trail is nicely shaded by forest and is a very pleasant ride into Duncan where we meet the van for a shuttle back to the hotel for the evening.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening in Cowichan Bay.
   
Accommodations: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Chemainus Walk/Cycle to Crofton/Ferry to and Cycling on Salt Spring Island/Pacific Marine Wildlife
(Friday, September 12)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 20 miles (32 kms) on mostly asphalt; rolling hills. Hills are not long (less than a kilometer) mostly rolling, but there are lots of them and a few with steep inclines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Chemainus & Salt Spring Island. After a delicious breakfast we transfer by van to Chemainus, where artists from around the globe were invited to paint huge heritage murals on the sides of buildings, transforming a small coastal mill town into the world's largest outdoor art gallery. You will have the opportunity to walk through this delightful gallery before cycling north along the east coast of Vancouver Island to Crofton where we board a short ferry to Vesuvius on the northwest corner of Salt Spring Island, the largest and most famous of the Southern Gulf Islands.
 Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch en route to your Salt Spring Island hotel.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Following lunch, continue your ride on Salt Spring Island. En route, your guide will share some of the fables and folklore of the Island. After cycling the northwest loop via Mary's Lake we arrive into our destination for the evening, Ganges, which is named after HMS Ganges, the last British sailing battleship commissioned for duty in foreign waters (1857-1860) and is well known as a center for arts and crafts and has an impressive selection of shops and galleries.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: FIELD TRIP: Pacific Marine Wildlife. This evening, you will be transferred by van to Booth Bay where you will explore Pacific marine wildlife with an expert marine biologist. On an interpretive beach walk learn about the area's marine wildlife with regards to food from the ocean locally and the biological and related implications of various approaches to food harvesting and aquaculture.
   
Accommodations: Harbour House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Salt Spring Market/BC Ferry to Vancouver Island/Cycle the Lochside Trail to Victoria
(Saturday, September 13)

Note: Today's cycling will total approximately 25 miles (40 kms) on a combination of paved roads and bike trails. A nice easy ride today.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: EXCURSION: Salt Spring Market. Take the opportunity to individually explore one of Canada's famous markets. All vendors must follow a simple mandate: "make it, bake it, or grow it," and all products must be "vendor produced and sold". Visitors are treated to local creations stemming from Salt Spring's unique brand of "island ingenuity". Highest caliber creativity and production standards make Salt Spring Island home to the greatest collection of artists in Canada. Enjoy meeting more than 140 artisans and food producers who all contribute to Salt Spring's international reputation as a hotbed of world-class artists and organic farmers.
 Lunch: Enjoy many of the locally grown culinary delights found at the Salt Spring Market.
 Afternoon: Following lunch a van transfer will bring us to the B.C. Ferry, where we will set sail for our return to Vancouver Island. FIELD TRIP: Lochside Trail. Following our final ferry ride, we will cycle the Lochside Trail which is a part of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. This portion of Greater Victoria's network of reclaimed railway line and commuter trails has been transformed into a popular recreational corridor where cyclists will traverse bird sanctuaries, active farmlands, seaside trails and train trestles back to Victoria. Incredible views of the Coastal Mountains, including the massive Mount Baker volcano, make for unparalleled vistas and photo opportunities. Cruise through shoreline villages. Conclude your cycling journey in Victoria.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in Victoria.
 Evening: WRAP-UP SESSION: During our closing session we'll review our week's adventures and bid farewells.
   
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Independent Departures
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.
 Morning: Independent departures from Victoria after breakfast. Check-out of hotel is 12:00 p.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Victoria, British Columbia Empress Tea
Indulge in one of Victoria's grandest traditions - Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress. For almost a century, the majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual - the taking of Afternoon Tea. Award-winning Pastry Chef D'Oyen Christie works his magic, ensuring an authentic and memorable experience - from your very first sip of our secret Tea at The Empress blend tea, right through to his freshly baked raisin scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Served in the relaxing atmosphere of the elegantly restored Tea Lobby, overlooking Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbor in the stately Harborside Room or under the hand-painted ceiling of the Library, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria. For additional information, visit www.fairmont.com/empress/GuestServices/Restaurants/AfternoonTea.htm
  Legislative Tour
The Legislative Tour strives to provide an enjoyable and informative experience for all visitors focusing primarily on the role of the Legislative Assembly and MLAs and the history of both the province of British Columbia and the Legislative Buildings. The Legislative Tour Office staff promotes access to the Legislature and encourage a sense of pride and unity in the province. The goals are to foster an understanding of the legislative process, an awareness of B.C.'s political heritage and an appreciation for the beauty and significance of the Legislative Buildings. For additional information, visit www.leg.bc.ca/
  Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum Corporation is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. The museum was founded in 1886; the archives in 1894. Our archives, exhibits and galleries change and grow as our understanding grows, and we endeavor to share our knowledge in original and exciting ways. Each exhibit and gallery tells important stories about British Columbia and provides an engaging and thought-provoking window on the province's past, present and future. For additional information, visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/MainSite/
  Cowichan Bay, BC Cowichan River Provincial Park
The Park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known as a first class recreational corridor. The park is internationally recognized for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, and for the historic Cowichan River footpath that winds through dense Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. Stroll along the footpath - a sensational 20 km hiking trail following the river to Skutz Falls.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Canada


Author: Robert Bothwell


Description: HISTORY, 2010, PAPERBACK, 220 PAGES A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.



Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Katharine Berry Judson


Description: LITERATURE, 1997, PAPERBACK, 204 PAGES Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, the salmon and noted geographical features of the territory.



Victoria, Vancouver Island Map


Author: Map Art Maps


Description: 2002 MAP A folded map of Victoria, Vancouver Island, at a nice scale of 1:25,000. Two Sides. 40x27 inches.



The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia


Author: Jean Barman


Description: HISTORY, 2007, PAPER, 450 PAGES A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the many cultural and social influences that have shaped the region. (CND116, $43.95)



The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean


Author: Terry Glavin • Carl Safina (Introduction)


Description: TRAVEL NARRATIVE, 2003, PAPER, 244 PAGES A wide-ranging conservation history of British Columbia and the North Pacific ocean. Glavin lives in the Gulf Islands, where he writes frequently about fisheries and environmental issues facing the region. (PNW178, $14.95)





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