Olympic & Vancouver Island In-Depth
Discover two of the most beautiful places on earth
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Washington State and British Columbia are two of the most beautiful places on earth, so it makes perfect sense to combine them. The rugged beauty and old-growth forest of Olympic National Park salute its equally dramatic and rugged coastline. Visit the Hoh Rain Forest and explore a walking trail in search of deer, but also to see what this ‘Lord of the Rings’ style wilderness looks like. Drive out to Rialto Beach on the wild Pacific Coast and walk one of the beach trails to see the gigantic sea stacks protruding from the water. Take to the water to explore the area surrounding idyllic Lake Crescent by kayak. The mountains mirror image casts a beautiful reflection as your paddle cuts the water. Vancouver Island in British Columbia also shares the Pacific coastline which is frequented by Orca Whales and bear. Victoria in BC, is well-known for being one of the finest places in North America to observe Orca Whales so we’ve included a Zodiac tour in search of these magnificent creatures.
* 2 luxury yurt nights, 2 historic lake cabin nights and 2 hotel nights (please see accommodation section)
* 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout, group normally 1 to 13, plus local leader. Min age 16 years.
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Orca Whale spotting boat trip in Victoria, British Columbia
- Bear viewing Zodiac tour around protected beaches and inlets of the Tofino coastline
- Hoh Rainforest, one of Washington State’s most beautiful wilderness areas
Welcome to the city of Seattle in Washington State. You’re in a city that oozes cool, from sophisticated coffee shops to endless markets, not forgetting the iconic Space Needle. From here you can gaze across the beautiful Puget Sound, and on a clear day see the snow-capped peak of Mount Rainier. Spend your afternoon sampling local specialties and watching traders ‘tossing the fish’ at Pike Place Market before having a meeting at 18:00 hrs. Included is a welcome dinner so you can become better acquainted with your tour leader and fellow travellers.
Olympic National Park
With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is what makes Olympic National Park one of the most unique in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning almost a million acres, the park protects old-growth rainforests, wildlife and several distinctly opposing ecosystems and is, for the most part, an untouched wilderness area. Let’s not forget about the 70 miles of wild and rugged Pacific coastline with sculpted sea stacks.Our first visit is the Hoh Rain Forest, an old-growth forest located in the stretch of the Pacific Northwest rainforest which once panned the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to the central coast of California. A visit to this temperate forest is like walking into a Lord of the Rings film set. Moss drips from the trees, dense trees camouflage deer seeking refuge and it is perhaps the perfect example of a forest which constantly renews itself from fallen trees. You’ll overnight in cabins by beautiful Lake Crescent, the ideal place to watch the setting sun.
Olympic National Park
In the morning, you head off to Rialto Beach on Olympic’s wild Pacific coast. Think rocky beaches, giant drift logs, pounding waves and views of small islands called ‘sea stacks’, and that is Rialto. You begin your hike at the car park for the two mile trail along the beach to Hole-in-the-Wall. You’ll notice immediately the huge array of trees and gigantic pieces of drift wood which have reached their final resting place near the top of the beach. They gather up like beached whales, rising from the sand. As you continue along the beach, you’ll see all number of different creatures from whales, sea lions and otters offshore to birds circling overhead and starfish lining the rock pools. When the tide is out, you can scramble through the rocky arch for panoramic views of the other side. In the afternoon, you take to the water only seconds from your cabins to head out on kayaks. The calmness of the water, peacefulness and mountain reflections make for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon./Optional Activities://Sol Duc Hot Springs US$15/
Port Angeles - Victoria, British Columbia
This morning you make your way to Port Angeles to board the ferry for Victoria in Canada’s British Columbia. Victoria is well-known as an ideal place to spot Orca Whales, so it seems fitting that we include an Orca viewing Zodiac tour designed to search for these magnificent mammals. Zodiacs are rigid-hulled inflatable boats and respected worldwide for their safety and superior design. With two engines and seating for twelve, they’re perfect for people who want to experience an exhilarating ride in the open air. What an introduction to your first day in Canada!
MacMillan Provincial Park - Pacific Rim National Park - Tofino,British Columbia
You make your way around the coastal road before heading inland and up to Cathedral Cove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Here you will find the rare and endangered remnants of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem. The oldest trees date back roughly 800 years and can grow as tall as 75 metres with a diameter of around nine metres. This area is a testament to nature’s ability to survive, which it did during a fire that ravaged the area some 360 years ago.Continue inland until you reach Pacific Rim National Park where you walk the Schooner Cove Trail. This is a short but popular two kilometre hikewithin the national park and relatively manageable for most fitness levels. The trail meanders through lush rainforests and over streams beforearriving to the beachfront and serving up magnificent vistas. From here you continue onto the Tofino area where you check into the WAY Point Resort Yurts – a unique platform tenting experience. Set just steps from the ocean, this glamping accommodation and sound of the water will lull you to sleep over the next two nights./Optional Activities://Sea kayaking – Tofino CA$75- $90/
Tofino, British Columbia
Even though today is all about bears, don’t be surprised if you also see whales and Bald Eagles, which are commonly spotted from the Zodiacs. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on waters of the Clayoquot Sound inlets whereby it won’t be long before you’re exploring the protected wilderness beaches and inlets which the bears call home. From late spring to October, it is common for bears to come down after hibernation, to feed on shellfish and crustaceans. The benefit of travelling by Zodiac is this allows us to get close enough without disturbing or causing them distress, or upsetting their natural feeding patterns. It is here you have the chance to witness mothers teaching their young cubs, and can observe them climbing trees and playing on the beach.
It’s time to say goodbye to Vancouver Island as you set off from Nanaimo on a scenic ferry to the mainland across the Salish Sea, admiring small islands and the breathtaking panorama of the city of Vancouver as it comes into view. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is a real contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight. Enjoy a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland with authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s; and stop by Prospect Point, a scenic lookout where you can gaze out at spectacular views of Lions Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver./Optional Activities://Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – Vancouver CA$43 (post tour without the tour leader)/This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
Yurt, Cabin & Hotels
Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable boutique hotels and unique overnight stops that bring the flavour of the areas to life. They will all be in close proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple. Each hotel used is listed within the itinerary so you are comfortable with the standard at the time of booking. They are subject to change for a similar style/standard , although we endeavour to stick to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible.
On the Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington we stay at Historic Lake Crescent Lodge, it was built in 1915 and is ideal for experiencing the charm of a turn-of-the-century resort. The comfortable, spacious guest rooms are nestled among the giant fir and hemlock trees on the shores of beautiful Lake Crescent. You’ll stay in cabins on the lodge grounds.
A unique platform yurt experience on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast awaits you. Set just steps from the ocean, you will enjoy stunning daytime vistas and be lulled to sleep at night by the waves of the Pacific. The yurts have direct access to private beaches within the WYA Point Resort.
Single supplement on request, please call your sales consultant for prices and availability.
There are a number of meals included on this in-depth tour, and others where you will eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.
Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty, this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Leaders will explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.
Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of North America certain food types can be limited.
This active tour is suitable for people of most levels of experience and fitness. If you intend to hike within the national parks whilst on tour, it is recommended to engage in some physical preparation for this trip. Active tours are about exploring the places your visit, whether by sightseeing, hiking or by kayak. Walks, hikes and activities cater to everyone from beginner to expert, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous.