EXPLORING VANCOUVER ISLAND
Welcome to Canada’s island wonderland, filled with majestic wilderness parks and surrounded by white-capped coastal waters. Explore old-growth rainforests that sit beside endless sandy beaches and soak in Vancouver Island’s varied and remarkable regions. Laid back “island life” is characterized by leisurely days enjoying beaches, forests, lakes, rivers and of course celebrating with local food and drinks!
Vancouver Island enjoys the warmest climate in Canada with a huge range of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, swimming and surfing. Snow-bunnies get their fix snowboarding or skiing in the winter at Mt Washington or Mt Cain.
Known to most Canadians as the west coast, locals know it as the “best coast” and you’ll soon see why this name is so fitting! Millions of visitors pass through Victoria on the popular Pacific Northwest cruise ship passage en-route to Alaska. However just a short stop over will leave you wanting more. From the southern tip of Victoria, to the northern fishing town of Port Hardy, from Nanaimo on the east coast, to the west coast oasis Tofino, you’ll want to experience as much as possible. Vancouver Island is a travellers dream!
Rugged hiking trails line the west coast through ancient forests and onto deserted beaches. The most famous hiking trail on Vancouver Island is the 3 week long “West Coast Trail”. Nature lovers amuse themselves along Vancouver Island’s many inland waterways with kayaking, canoeing, rafting and tubing – a local summer favourite is floating down the river in an inflatable tube.
Vancouver Island is one of the best whale watching destinations on the entire west coast of North America. Thousands of visitors and locals venture out to watch grey and humpback whales migrate through BC waters between March to October. Orcas, aka Killer Whales, are much more rare, but impressive displays of breeching and diving make this an unbelievable summer activity.
Vancouver Island is filled with iconic Canadian wildlife so have your cameras ready! Keep your eyes peeled while traveling along mountain passes and forested roads for black bears, cougars, wolves and eagles. When along the ocean-front, try to catch a glimpse of seals, sea lions and whales.
HIGHLIGHTS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND
- ride the wild waves on a surf board in Tofino
- hike through pristine old growth forests
- take a whale watching boat tour
- enjoy the ferry ride from Vancouver through the scattered Gulf Islands
- discover BC’s colonial history wandering the harbour front of Victoria
- soak in rustic, rocky hot springs
- taste local produce and beers at Vancouver Island’s many markets and breweries