Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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San Juan Islands Biking Relaxed Self Guided Biking Tour
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Highlights

  • Bike two of Puget Sound’s San Juan Islands: Lopez and San Juan
  • Travel via ferry between islands, keeping an eye out for marine wildlife
  • Experience vibrant, island villages full of character
  • Indulge in fresh seafood at farm-to-table style restaurants
  • Relax in boutique accommodations at the end of each day’s ride

Bike the San Juan Islands the relaxing way as you spend six days exploring the crown jewels of the Pacific Northwest. Pedal Lopez and San Juan Island, hopping from one to the next on a ferry.

Start your tour in the charming port town of Anacortes - the perfect jumping-off point for the islands. The next few days of riding will immerse you in island culture, from marinas and boat slips to idyllic farm fields and fresh local food.

You’ll spend two nights on Lopez Island and two on San Juan Island. Both islands boast bike-friendly roads that roll along the coastline. You’ll have plenty of time to stop along the way for a walk to a driftwood-strewn beach or simply enjoy the afternoon with a craft beer or unique locally-made wine.

 

Day 1: Arrive Anacortes

From Seattle, hop on a shuttle directly from the airport to Anacortes (2.5 hours). Once you arrive in this historic port town, spend the afternoon exploring the main street or just relax at your boutique inn. All within an easy stroll, enjoy the town’s restaurants, cafes, shops, and bustling marina.


Overnight: Anacortes


Day 2: Ferry, Ride to Lopez Village & Fisherman Bay Preserve

With a  short orientation to your bike and a warm-up ride to the ferry terminal, you’ll be on your way to the next island. Kick back and experience the adventure of traveling by ferry as you go from Fidalgo Island to Lopez Island (approx. 45 minutes) . Once you reach Lopez, also known as “The Friendly Isle,” it’s a short ride to Lopez village, where you’ll spend the night. There's plenty to explore this afternoon with a recommended ride to Fisherman Bay Preserve.


Cycle: 10-18 mi. (+/- 600 ft.)


Overnight: Lopez Village


Day 3: Lopez Island Loop Ride

There's a reason hundreds of cyclists flock to the tiny island of Lopez every spring for the Tour du Lopez. Follow their route as you wind past postcard-perfect farms overlooking the sea. Be sure to take a break from pedaling to walk to Iceberg Point, a peninsula encompassed by the San Juan Islands National Monument. At the end of your ride, indulge in local seafood at one of the island’s northwest-inspired restaurants. 


Cycle: 25 mi. (+/- 1450 ft.)


Overnight: Lopez Village


Day 4: Ferry to San Juan Island, Ride to Cattle Point

Retrace your ride back to the ferry dock and cruise over to the largest of the San Juan Islands. Friday Harbor provides a distinct contrast to sleepy Lopez Village, with a bustling downtown of shops, art galleries, and mesmerizing restaurant options. Spend the afternoon exploring the southern half of the island with a ride to Cattle Point and False Bay. On a clear day, enjoy a south-facing view of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains rising straight up out of the Salish Sea.


Cycle: 36 mi. (+/- 2316 ft.)


Overnight: Friday Harbor


Day 5: San Juan Island Loop Ride

This day ride checks all the boxes, with a wide variety of destinations along the route. Pedal away from the buzz of Friday Harbor and soak up the peace and quiet of the island. You’ll have a chance to watch for resident orcas off the coast of Lime Kiln Point State Park, stop by a lavender farm and visit the island’s vineyard. Take a lunch break in Roche Harbor, or opt for an ice cream before you roll back into town.


For your final night in Friday Harbor, you’ll be challenged to choose only one place to dine, but with options for all tastes, make it a celebratory final meal!


Cycle: 29 mi. (+/- 1320 ft.)


Overnight: Friday Harbor


Day 6: 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 this 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.



 

 

 



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. You can start on any date subject to availability. 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 a 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 will 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 easy to moderate with daily distances varying from 18 – 29 miles, and an average of 25 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 at sea level. There are no sustained climbs or descents as this route covers only the two flattest of the San Juan Islands. Most rides ride offer flexibility due to circular routes that return to their starting point. For those looking for a little extra assistance, e-bikes may be an option but are subject to availability. The distances and ascents/descent 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 cycling clothing, as the weather can vary greatly. If you have any questions, we would 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 includes a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid bike, a 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 upon rental.


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

  • 5 Nights in B&Bs/inns
  • 5 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!

Everything went as scheduled!

4

Felt San Juan island had too many hills and too much traffic for a relaxing ride. So we made do taking the trolley. Had no problem with Lopez Island. Our group had 3 recreational bikers and 1 experienced. Even the experienced (retired) biker commented it was too much for him. Beautiful area. Scheduling worked well, luggage pickup on time and very congenial people. Being able to change up the ride and go at our own speed worked well!

DD

Nebraska

true

Lopez & SanJuan biking

4

This is a fun trip as we discovered ferry riding with a bike to our various island destinations. Friday Harbor is quite touristy so be aware that there is a lot of traffic along with the hills! Not much for shoulders so one hopes the tourists, trolley, & bus drivers are paying attention. With breakfast fairly late at Friday Harbor, we would have been forced to ride along the other tourists. we chose the bus to be safe.

Always the adventurer

Nebraska

true

San Juan Islands Biking Relaxed

4.0 2

100.0

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