Tucked between the mainland of southwestern British Columbia and Vancouver Island is an archipelago of islands known as the Canadian Gulf Islands. Each has its own charm, with natural history and coastal scenery unique in North America.
Starting from Victoria on Vancouver Island, we visit the smaller islands of Salt Spring, Galiano and Mayne as we explore the pastoral island life. Whether by bike, on foot, or by kayak, you will be seduced by this unique island charm. We’ll stay in inns and hotels that are welcoming and dine on inspired Pacific Northwest cuisine.
Only Great Explorations:
- Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
- Local guides, who know the region intimately.
- Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
- Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
- We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
“Our guides WERE EXCELLENT! They were patient, helpful, cheerful, attentive and accommodating to our constant diverse needs, requests and demands. To be quite honest, we don’t know how you find guides like this…THEY WERE GREAT. The restaurant and lodging choices were terrific. The whole trip was good – Good fun. Good food. Good rooms. Good guides. Really good time.”
“The guides were terrific, very personable and looked after our group very well! All the hotels were lovely. The scenery was spectacular.”
“I enjoyed the trip – the activities were varied and the guides were great. The hills made the routes more challenging than anticipated, but I enjoyed the challenge. The guides exceeded my expectations and were terrific. Providing snacks each morning for the day’s ride was very welcome.”
“We had amazing guides who were able to pivot constantly to ensure that everyone in the group enjoyed their trip. They really made the whole trip enjoyable and were able to modify planned activities to suit the needs of our group.”
“I enjoyed the good weather, daily exercise, not having to do any planning, lovely accomodations and great food that I didn’t have to cook myself! Very nice choices of restaurants. Favs were 10 Acres in Victoria and the place with the tree in it in Ganges. Very nice choices of hotels. Amount of time riding most days was a bit shorter than expected. Wasn’t expecting that hilliness so distances were easier than expected and elevation harder than expected. I had been on a previous trip with Great Explorations and was happy with the experience- that’s the reason I chose GE again.”
“We wanted to experience the Gulf Islands by bicycle. This tour allowed us to experience both the natural wonders of the islands, as well as the towns on the islands, the city of Victoria and its suburbs. Since this was our first trip to North America, we had little idea what to expect. Our guide suggested options and took note of our responses. She then tailored the whole experience around our preferences. We did appreciate and make use of, the hot-tub and spa-bath on Galliano Island. We enjoyed all the meals as they were in a varity of venues, in particular the resturant after the walk through the Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, as well as the bus trip back to our hotel. Being a small group of five, plus a guide, we were offered many choices of events. Since we were mainly after the cycling experience, we opted for no Museums and wine tastings, but we did enjoy the visit to Salt Spring Cheese, the walk through the Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, and Kayaking from Salt Spring Island. The rental bikes performed adequately.”
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