While the warm weather and long days are here, it’s important to get out there and enjoy it! There’s lots to see while you’re on Vancouver Island – the gorgeous architecture, the gardens, the ocean and the wildlife all make our Island one of the most stunning places on Earth. One of the best ways to see and experience everything while the summer lasts is to jump on a bike and head out for a ride. There are lots of cycling options on the island from multi-day tours to well-loved routes and trails for all skill levels, no matter what you’re looking for, we have you covered. All you have to do is get those stretches in and get ready to roll!
One of the best ways to really experience the beauty of the island is a cycling tour! On these multi-day excursions, you will be able to cycle some of the best routes on lower Vancouver Island, eat incredible food and rest each night in comfort. There are many companies that offer cycling tours, so we’ve made a shortlist of the best of the best!
Cycle BC: The Highlight City Tour
Coming into Victoria from the Cowichan Valley or Nanaimo for a day trip? This one-day tour is perfect for anyone who wants to quickly zip around and see all the highlights of Victoria by bicycle! On this three-hour cycle, you’ll be taken to all the best parts of Victoria that showcases both Victorian history as well as modern life in Victoria. Beginning downtown, you’ll pass all the well-known landmarks of downtown, get to know why Victoria is known as a foodie destination, tour all the most notable, quaint streets, ride through the iconic Beacon Hill Park and end at Victoria’s stunning, historical Chinatown.
Backroads: Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Bike Tour
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or someone who just enjoys cycling and wants an adventure, this 6-day, 5-night, tour is worth checking out. On this excursion, you’ll be able to explore Vancouver Island’s wild coastline, lush forests and extensive farmland as well as cycle through the pristine gulf islands. Experience life on the coast with glimpses of marine life, endless seascapes and incredible farm-to-table dining at some of the best restaurants on the island(s). This is the perfect tour for anyone staying in Victoria and looking for an adventure! Beginning in Victoria, this tour rambles through the pastoral Cowichan Valley, island hops from Salt Spring Island to your destination on Galiano Island. With incredible accommodations, excellent food and lots of bike rental options (including e-bikes), this is a top-notch tour for adventure seekers.
Freewheeling: Vancouver Island
Unlike the Backroads tour, this 6-day, 7-night tour takes guests from Victoria, up the Peninsula and then West to explore the wilderness of the Sooke area. Leaving Victoria, you’ll ride through Saanich and then hop on the ferry that crosses the Saanich Inlet to Mill Bay and explore the pastoral beauty of the Cowichan Valley. From there, you’ll take a short van transfer to Lake Cowichan and cycle down to rugged Port Renfrew to discover the far west coast of Vancouver Island, then cycle through the stunning, quiet town of Sooke and back to Victoria. This tour will allow you to really explore everything the South Island has to offer and experience cycling from the Salish Sea to the Pacific Ocean. If you’re staying in Nanaimo or Parksville and want to explore Victoria and more of the south island, this is absolutely the best tour for you!
Looking to get out there on your own? It’s easy to be intimidated trying to navigate a new route on a bike. That’s where we come in. We’ve made a shortlist of our favourite routes on the South Island thanks to our friends at komoot.
Johnson Street bridge – King George loop from Swartz Bay
This route is excellent for cyclists who are looking for a challenging ride that takes you from the top of the Saanich Peninsula, loops through Victoria and back up the Peninsula. This is an especially perfect route for anyone staying near Sidney, or in Victoria because you can just walk out your door, jump on your bike and you’re on your way to a perfect cycling adventure.
Thetis Lake – Rail Trail along Sooke Inlet Loop from Westhills
This incredible route takes you from Westhills in Langford all the way to Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. Along this challenging 90km ride, you will be able to ride through the urban development of Langford and follow the Galloping Goose trail through Metchosin, around the edge of the beautiful Sooke Basin and then follow along the Sooke River to the Provincial Park. Guests in Sooke or Metchosin will be able to access this route just steps from their front door and be able to modify it to their needs.
Cowichan Valley Trail – Kinsol Trestle Loop from Berkey’s Corner
This is a lovely straight out-and-back route that takes you along the well-loved Cowichan Valley Trail. This multi-use trail takes visitors across the stunning Kinsol Trestle, one of the tallest, free-standing wooden trestles in North America. This route is perfect for those staying in the Cowichan Valley or anyone wanting an intermediate ride to explore a new part of the island!
Howl Brewery Loop from Swartz Bay
This ~25km loop around the top of the Saanich Peninsula is one of our favourites as it gives you beautiful views of the Salish Sea to the East, the Saanich Inlet to the West and stops at the ever-popular Howl Brewery for a refreshment break. This route is perfect for anyone staying in an EMR rental at the top of the Saanich Peninsula so you can jump on your bike and enjoy this loop around the top of the Peninsula.
Howl Brewery Loop from Sidney
This easy 24km ride loops around the airport and follows the beautiful Lochside Trail to take you back to Sidney. If you’re looking for an easy-going ride with lots of ocean views, this is a must. This ride is the perfect way to spend a relaxing summer day exploring the area.
Howl Brewery Loop from North Saanich
This easy 16km ride can be done in just under an hour and takes you along the paved trail that circumnavigates the airport. It’s a flat, pretty trail through forest and farmland with views of Victoria International Airport. This route is a perfect way to spend an hour getting fresh air and enjoying the summer sun no matter where you are staying near Sidney!
While cycling tours offer rentals to their guests, if you prefer heading out on your own to explore, you’ll need the perfect bike to make every adventure comfortable. Each one of these bike shops offers a variety of bicycle types including e-bikes!
Get out there and enjoy!