The Best Cycling on Vancouver Island

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! 

Tours

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 Malahat Mountain House or Hammond Bay Executive Stay 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 Tou

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 town at Barkley Manor Executive or Beach Drive Manor and looking for an adventure as this tour begins in Victoria, 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 at White Heron and Nanoose Bay and want to explore Victoria and more of the south island, this is absolutely the best tour for you! 

Routes

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

Difficult 

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 at Oceanfront Escape, Miraloma 209, Resthaven Cottage, Heron View Cottage or Bazan Bay Beach House, or in Victoria at Beach Drive Manor, Barkley Manor Executive, James Bay Studio Stay, Reef Executive Condo, or The Corazon as it passes right by these incredible properties so 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 right nearby Station Villa Executive Condo 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 at Arbutus Hill will be able to access this route just steps from their front door and be able to modify it to their needs. 

Intermediate

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 area at Malahat Mountain House, Lake Cowichan Escape, or Marble Bay Lakefront House 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 passes right by Patricia Bay Beach House, Heron’s Landing, Pendray House, Oceanside Lodge on Saanich Inlet, Miraloma 209, Resthaven Cottage, Heron View Cottage and Bazan Bay Beach House so you can jump on your bike and enjoy this loop around the top of the Peninsula. 

Easy

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 a easy-going ride with lots of ocean views, this is a must. Guests at Dalmeny Farm Estate, Bazan Bay Beach House, Patricia Bay Beach House, Heron’s Landing, Miraloma 209, Resthaven Cottage, and Heron View Cottage will find that this route is just a short ride at most from their front door making 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 – make it a longer ride if you’re coming from Oceanside Lodge or Dalmeny Farm Estate or even Prospect Lake Country Cottage. Guests staying at Patricia Bay Beach House or Heron’s Landing can make this loop their daily ride to enjoy some exercise and fresh air. 

​​Rentals 

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! 

Victoria 

Downtown:

Cycle BC Rentals 

Trek Bicycle Store

Oak Bay:

Oak Bay Bikes

Sidney

Cycle Sidney

Get out there and enjoy! 

Leave a Reply