Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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San Juan Islands Biking Highlights Self-Guided Biking Tour
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Highlights

  • Cycle the highlights of Puget Sound’s Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands
  • Island-hop via the Washington State Ferries
  • Watch for iconic Pacific Northwest wildlife: orcas, seals, otters & bald eagles
  • Taste local favourites, from hoppy craft beers to fresh oysters
  • Relax in boutique hand-picked inns on each island

Bike the highlights of the San Juan Islands over five days, spending a night each on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Island. Pedal the best of the region—a cyclist’s dream come true, complete with exciting bike rides, coastal views, and indulgent country inns.

From the port town of Anacortes, catch your first ferry to Lopez, where you’ll get a gentle start on the flattest terrain of the itinerary. The quietest of the islands, Lopez has bucolic farmland and friendly locals.

Next, you’ll test your mettle on Orcas island with a challenging ride up the 2,400-foot Mt. Constitution. Your third and final island destination will reward you with an exciting and varied ride around San Juan Island. Top it all off with a celebratory final night in the lively town of Friday Harbor.

 

Day 1: Arrive Anacortes

If you fly into Seattle, a direct shuttle will take you to the seaport town of Anacortes (2.5 hours). With an overnight on Fidalgo Island, savor your first taste of fresh Pacific seafood and enjoy the buzz of Anacortes’ shops, cafes, and marina.


Overnight: Anacortes


Day 2: Ferry to Lopez, Lopez Loop Ride

A quick rental bike orientation and a short ride to the ferry dock will prepare you for your first island loop, starting with the gentlest of the San Juan Islands. On the ferry to Lopez Island (approx. 45 minutes), keep an eye out for marine wildlife, including whales, seals and otters. Once you reach Lopez, also known as “The Friendly Isle,” you’ll bike the whole island clockwise, finishing up in the village for a relaxing evening at your boutique inn. Plan to make a stop at Iceberg Point to visit the San Juan Islands National Monument.


Cycle: 34 mi. (+/- 1780 ft.)


Overnight: Lopez Village


Day 3: Ferry to Orcas Island, Ride Mt. Constitution

Retrace your ride back to the ferry dock and cruise over to Orcas Island. Ride through the village of Eastsound, where you’ll stay tonight, before pedaling towards the lush hills of Moran State Park. A challenging ascent takes you through old-growth fir, spruce, and cedar giants to the 2,400-foot summit. On a clear day, soak in the views of the glacier-capped North Cascades. Atop the summit, explore the stone watch tower built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a replica of the 12th century Russian Caucasus watchtowers.


As an alternative to this heart-thumping ride, enjoy a walk along one of Moran State Park’s many winding trails, opt for a free afternoon in Eastsound to visit the eclectic art galleries and museum, or go on a wildlife and whale watching tour (separate booking required).


Cycle: 34 mi. (+/- 4140 ft.)


Overnight: Eastsound


Day 4: Ferry to San Juan Island, San Juan Island Loop Ride

After a morning ride back across Orcas Island to the ferry dock, take the next ferry to your third and final island destination: San Juan Island. The vibrant town of Friday Harbor boasts post-ride cafes, restaurants and shopping opportunities, but first, take a spin around the island.


With a variety of highlights to catch your attention, choose to stop at a lavender farm, an alpaca ranch, or a vineyard. Don’t miss Lime Kiln Point State Park and it’s iconic lighthouse, as well as a chance to spot  orcas just off the point. On the northern end of the island, re-fuel with a stop in Roche Harbor before returning to the bustle of Friday Harbor.


Cycle: 40 mi. (+/- 2425 ft.)


Overnight: Friday Harbor


Day 5: Ferry to Anacortes & Onward Travel

Relax for one last morning on ‘island time,' before you ferry back to Anacortes (approx. 1 hour 5 minutes). From there, you may opt to take a direct shuttle to the airport or continue your adventures in the Pacific Northwest. 


Cycle: 5 mi. 


Accommodation

Carefully-selected, charming, and characterful inns will be your home on the San Juan Islands. All offer a warm welcome to cyclists and will help make your stay smooth as well as memorable. Due to the small, family-run nature of the lodging we choose, we may at times have to accommodate you at an alternative location due to availability. Any alternative will be similar in style and level of comfort to the properties listed here.


Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms

This trip is priced based on two people sharing a room. If you’d like separate rooms, a single supplement is required. This trip is also available to solo cyclists and a supplement is required.  The San Juan Islands’ welcoming and slow-paced atmosphere makes it a great place for solo cycling.


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. All inns serve a filling, fresh, and plentiful breakfast; some include a hot dish while others provide coffee, juice, yogurt, granola, fruit, and baked goods. Please notify us of dietary restrictions at the time of booking.


Lunch and dinner are not included, so you are free to choose from available nearby options. Depending on your timing, it may be easier to pack a picnic lunch, while some days your route will offer dining options along the way. For dinner, be sure to sample some fresh seafood at a nearby restaurant—see your info pack or your hosts for suggestions.


Extra Nights

You can easily add extras nights during this itinerary. For further details, please ask us at the time of booking. 



 



Nantucket Inn



Nantucket Inn

An updated and elegant colonial home, the Nantucket Inn is run by Jessica and Mike, Skagit Valley experts. The property has unbeatable views and location, within walking distance to town, and your stay includes signature hot breakfasts.



 

 

 



Edenwild Inn



Edenwild Inn

Located in Lopez Village, the Edenwild is run by Anthony, Crystal, and their family. Feel easily at home in their gorgeous, award-winning B&B and fuel up on hearty homemade fare in the morning.



 

 

 



Outlook Inn



Outlook Inn

This historic landmark property in the center of Eastsound offers hospitality down to every last detail, including outstanding views, service, and dining. With an emphasis on ‘deep rest,' innkeeper Sara and her team strive to provide a restorative experience, including the fresh-focused French restaurant on site.



 

 

 



Tucker



Tucker House Inn

Unique, indulgent, and well-located in Friday Harbor, this inn offers historic rooms, peaceful gardens, and gourmet meals. Friendly hosts Anna and Dave will answer any questions you have about the island.


Availability


This tour is available from May to October. This tour is available to start only on Sundays and Mondays. The San Juan Islands are a popular vacation destination with limited lodging capacity, so it is best to book as far in advance as you are able.


When To Go?

The best months to visit the San Juan Islands are May to October. May, June, September and October will typically be less busy than July and August. Whale sightings are most common between May and September. Annually, the San Juan Islands boast 247 days of sun and about half the rainfall of Seattle due to the rain shadow created by the Olympic Mountains. Temperatures in the region are moderated by the Pacific Ocean and rarely rise above 70 degrees (F) or below 45 degrees (F) during our operating season, making it the perfect destination for an active adventure.


Navigation

Navigating is easy using the Macs Adventure Navigation App. All daily routes with GPX tracks are available to download for use offline. Along with this app, you will also receive turn-by-turn directions and maps in your pre-departure information pack.


You'll be provided with local bike shop information in addition to 24/7 telephone support from Macs Adventure should you require assistance. However, cell phone service is not always reliable in parts of the San Juan islands.


Experience, Fitness & Grade

This tour is moderate with daily distances varying from 34-40 miles, and an average of 36 miles. This route follows a combination of coastal and rural roads, as well as busier roads entering and exiting towns. You should be comfortable sharing the road with other users and be considerate of traffic regulations.


Most of the riding is rolling terrain with many short ups and downs. However, the middle day of riding includes a sustained, steep ascent/descent of Mt. Constitution. For those looking for a little extra assistance, e-bikes may be an option, but are subject to availability. The distances and ascents/descents listed are approximations of the recommended routes.


Equipment

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice on what to bring. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, including but not limited to, proper rain gear, sunscreen, and appropriate biking clothing, as the weather can vary greatly. If you have any questions, we'll be happy to share our tips and advice.


Please limit your baggage to 1 bag per person of no more than 50 lbs. Your bag will be transported between your inns and the ferries.


Bike Rental

A bike renal is included in the cost of this trip. This rental includes a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid bike, helmet, lock, rear rack, waterproof bag, flat repair kit, water bottle cage, and bell. If desired, Specialized Rubaix carbon road bikes are available for an additional charge. If you would like them, please provide your own clipless pedals, shoes, and saddle. These can be installed and adjusted for you when renting your bike.


There are a limited number of e-bikes available should you want a little extra assistance. These are subject to availability and require a supplementary payment.


Please supply us with your height for your bicycle rental.


Travel Insurance

Travel insurance helps protect your travel investment, your belongings and most importantly you, from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip. For more information, please visit our travel insurance page by clicking this link.



 




Getting to and from Anacortes



If you fly into Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA), you can easily take a shuttle directly to Anacortes (2.5 hours, 11 departures daily, $39 one way). You may also choose to rent a car at SEA and drop it off when you reach Anacortes (1 hour 45 minutes drive).


If you fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you may also choose to rent a car. There is also train service from YVR via the Canada Line and Expo Line (30 minutes total, $9) which connects to the Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Bellingham (2 hours, from $16). Alternatively, there is Greyhound bus service between Vancouver and Bellingham (2 hours 15 minutes, from $7). Once in Bellingham, you will need to get a private transfer to Anacortes (45 minutes, between $70 and $150).


Take note if you rent a car from either airport, the only car rental operator in Anacortes is Enterprise. You may opt to rent a car here after your tour for further adventures.

Included

  • 4 Nights in B&Bs/inns
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • Bike rental
  • Washington State Ferry fares
  • Baggage transfers between inns and ferries
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Route notes with maps
  • Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • 24/7 US telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to/from Anacortes
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during, or after your trip
  • Single room or solo cyclist supplement (if required)
  • Road bike or e-bike upgrades

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate with daily distances between 30 km—57km. Once you have left the towns and cities much of the cycling is on quiet roads or cycle ways along rivers and through the countryside. You will encounter some stretches of very shallow hills on the first day of cycling, but these usually don't last for too long. .

It's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your trip so you get used to riding back to back days. However, it’s not all cycling. Each day there are plenty opportunities to visit historic sights and sample locally produced food and wine.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this region is extremely popular especially May to June and September.

Can I take my own bike?

Of course! We understand the relationship between rider and bike and know many cyclists would never consider riding another steed. If you are unsure, we are happy to discuss bike hire options with you.

When is the best time of year?

April can be fresher with cooler evenings and are generally much quieter in the cities and towns. In May and September the days are beautifully warm, as the piazzas and lake towns buzz with life. During June, July and August you may encounter one of the regions many music or lake festivals. During these months days are gloriously long and hot so you may decide to cycle earlier in the day or take an extra long lunch to savour the local foods and avoid the midday heat!

San Juan islands biking highlights

4

Beautiful area

Kay 2

Florida

true

San Juan Islands Biking Highlights

5

We had a wonderful trip! Everything from start to finish was perfect. Great communication with Jess throughout. The accommodations were perfect. The schedule of everything was great! This was our third trip with Macs Adventure and there will be a fourth! Thank you!

Pam

San Diego

true

San Juan Islands,(Three Island Tour) Highlights

5

What a fabulous tour we had of the San Juan Islands, WA, USA. The accommodations were top notch. The staff at hotels, bicycle shop and baggage handlers are all first class in customer service and transferring was seamless. The apps provided gave us everything we needed making our self-guided more like a personal guided tour. After a little incident on my bicycle on day one, Macs staff went above and beyond to meet my days the next day. Chase and Lauren answered their phones and made arrangements for me outside of business hours and on their personal time. They made sure my vacation continued smoothly! I have used other companies for tours in the past, but the customer service at Macs adventure is stellar and they have become my tour company of choice. In fact, I am so confident with Macs adventures, I am now planning our next year's vacation, and bringing friends.

Chef V

LV, NV, USA

true

san juan cycling great experience very well organized

5

very well organized trip although don't attempt if not some level of fitness especially Mt Constitution

poppie

vernon bc canada

true

San Juan Islands Biking Highlights

4.8 4

100.0

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