Grape Harvest in Kelowna
Sunset in Oliver
S Purewal (Flickr.com)
Greata Vineyard, Okanagan Valley
Lake Breeze Vineyards
Tourism British Columbia
Gallagher lake, Oliver
K Itanik (Flickr.com)
By Catherine Frechette
Visitors and locals with a hankering for light activity will get a real kick out of a guided cycling tour through the Okanagan Valley, as I did recently.
Just a four-hour drive or a short flight from Vancouver, Monashee Adventure Tours in Kelowna, offers guided cycling tours around points of interest in the Okanagan Valley, alongside orchard country and unforgettable lookout points over the expansive lake and valley. Ed Kruger, guide and owner of Monashee Adventure Tours regales his clients with facts about how Kelowna got its name, how orcharding has changed, how the surrounding mountains got their names, and a host of other fascinating facts.
The bicycles are available to small or large groups, and range from comfortable hybrid mountain bikes to the endlessly clever Electronic Assist Bike, which functions like a regular bicycle but gives the rider an extra boost with its small and soundless motor. Hills are no longer a chore!
Typically Ed stops at a winery or two along the way to enjoy a tasting and meet the personalities behind the business. Ed ends his bicycle tours at a nearby winery so that visitors can linger on the patios overlooking the vineyards and lake, take a winery tour, and then indulge in the menu. I love The Vibrant Vine, a lovely boutique winery along the East Kelowna Wine Trail (there are exactly 5 distinct wine trails in the Kelowna area of the Okanagan Valley). Sample the delicious aromatic white wines – Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay and in summer you could be lucky enough to catch their free live music Saturdays.
Tucking our wine into our bike’s thermally-insulated soft cases, we continued on to The Harvest Grill, a great stop for lunch. Mind you, we could easily have added on the additional three wineries on the East Kelowna Wine Trail. Only 4 more trails and 19 more wineries to go!