Canada: Prince Edward Island
8 Day Inn Tour
With its highest point at less than 500’, Prince Edward Island is a haven for bicycling. With its panoramic views of white sand dunes, red clay cliffs and never-ending ocean, it has some of the best coastal scenery in Canada. Its roads are quiet and meander through small farms, historic villages and woodlands. The surrounding Atlantic Ocean keeps the island warm well into autumn. Join us in the fall after the tourists have gone home and the children have returned to school. We should have PEI to ourselves.
A mix of gently rolling and flat terrain. Some of the route is on the well-groomed, but unpaved Confederation Trail, so hybrid bicycles are strongly recommended. Moderate cycling level.
7 nights lodging, 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners, snacks, guided kayaking, cue sheets, van support and trained guides.
Fly in and out of the Charlottetown Airport (YYG.) Take a 10-minute taxi to our starting hotel for about $15. Or drive and leave your car at the hotel during the tour.
"I was really surprised at the beauty of the scenery. Because we were at the tail end of the tourist season, many of the roads were virtually empty of traffic so the biking was a blast. I loved the entire itinerary."
DAY 1: We meet in Charlottetown, the capital city of Prince Edward Island, affectionately known as PEI or “The Gentle Island.” Charlottetown is a historical city and home of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference. It paved the way for Canadian Confederation, when three British colonies became the first four provinces of a new nation.
If you’re a fan of Anne of Green Gables, consider arriving early to rent a car. You can easily visit many of the sites that inspired the children’s books, including the Cavendish farmhouse, Avonlea Village and the author’s birthplace.
We’ll meet for an orientation and bicycle fitting at 2:00pm. Then we’ll take a short ride to test our bicycles and see many of the historical sites, including Victoria Row lined with unique shops and cafés, Province House, Founder’s Hall and Great George Street. We’ll end the evening with dinner together. 7 miles.
DAY 2: After breakfast, we’ll bike out of the city and be quickly on quiet roads with views of the red clay cliffs and sprawling coastline. We will stop to visit Orwell Corner Historic Village to view life in rural PEI as it was in 1895 and to enjoy lunch. The buildings, such as the one-room schoolhouse and the general store, have been meticulously preserved to reflect life in the former agricultural community.
Then we’ll continue to the picturesque small town of Montague that straddles the Montague River. You can unpack your bags because we’re staying at an inn and cottages overlooking the river for the next three nights. 29 miles.
DAY 3: Today’s lollypop ride will take us to the beach and sand dunes of beautiful Panmure Island. You’ll cycle across the sandbar causeway that is now a Provincial Park. With the bay on one side of you and the beach on the other, you’ll surely want to take a dip after visiting the historic lighthouse at the end of the small island. 30 miles.
DAY 4: After breakfast, we’ll set out on a portion of the Confederation Trail to Brudenell River Provincial Park. The rail trail crosses the entire island and is part of the Trans Canada Trail. It’s not paved, but is beautifully maintained.
Then we’ll trade our bikes for kayaks and enjoy a guided paddle along the wooded shore in the calm, sheltered waters of the confluence of three rivers and the sea. There should be great wildlife and bird watching, including seals and bald eagles if we’re lucky. Then it’s back on our bikes. You can cycle to the end of the trail to explore the tiny town of Georgetown before heading back to our inn. Lunch and dinner are on your own tonight. 15 or 21 miles.
DAY 5: We’ll cross the island this morning and realize why they call PEI a million-acre farm. Its unique red soil is ideal for growing wild blueberries, wheat and potatoes. There will be little to no traffic on most of our roads that cut through the farmland and forest.
Then we’ll head to our resort where we’ll stay for two nights. If you like shellfish, be sure to order mussels for dinner, as the nearby bay produces many of the mussels for which PEI is famous. 27 miles.
DAY 6: The scenery just becomes more and more beautiful today as we cycle along St. Peters Bay and head to Greenwich National Park. A true hidden gem, this small peninsula has a network of trails for exploring the thick forest, lush wetlands, huge sand dunes and beautiful beach. The huge parabolic dunes are extremely rare in North America, and the views from the floating boardwalk are simply spectacular. It will look very different from the beach we saw days earlier.
If you're feeling especially strong, you can add an extra cycling loop in the afternoon along the north shore, stopping for a photo opportunity atop the funky Naufrage Bridge. Otherwise, you can take a shopping stroll through the town of St. Peters and head back to our resort for the evening. 39 or 59 miles.
DAY 7: After a hearty breakfast, we head back to Charlottetown this morning. Nearly all of our ride will be on the Confederation Trail. The route is flat and traffic-free all the way into town. Once in Charlottetown, we’ll return our bikes and enjoy our last dinner together before saying our good-byes. 28 miles.
DAY 8: You will be free to take a taxi today to the airport at your leisure.