ca-Strathcona Provincial Park-bc-vancouver island
Tofino vancouver island places canada
ca-ucluelet-bc-vancouver island
ca-Strathcona Provincial Park-bc-vancouver island
Tofino vancouver island places canada
ca-ucluelet-bc-vancouver island
Discover an untamed landscape

Vancouver Island

Situated off the coast of British Columbia, Vancouver Island is a captivating destination that combines natural beauty, charming communities, and endless outdoor adventures. Picture yourself surrounded by rugged mountains, pristine forests, and a stunning coastline. Explore the breathtaking Pacific Rim National Park with its sandy beaches and dramatic waves to the majestic old-growth forests of Cathedral Grove. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking tranquillity, this island has it all.

A whales tail protruding from the waters in BC
Whale watching is a must-do in BC
© Luc Tribolet


Vancouver Island is not just about nature; it also boasts vibrant cities and towns brimming with culture and character. Victoria, the island's capital, exudes a unique blend of British charm and modern sophistication. Explore its historic architecture, wander through beautiful gardens, and indulge in afternoon tea at one of the delightful tearooms.

For those seeking a more laid-back vibe, head to Tofino, a surf town that embraces the art of relaxation. Sink your toes into sandy beaches, watch the sun paint the sky with vibrant colours, and savour delicious seafood while listening to the crashing waves.

A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts

Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise on Vancouver Island. Hike along endless trails, paddle through pristine waters, or embark on thrilling wildlife-watching adventures. You might spot orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, and eagles in their natural habitat.

Indulge your taste buds with the island's culinary delights. Vancouver Island is known for its farm-to-table cuisine, showcasing fresh seafood, locally sourced produce, and award-winning wines from nearby vineyards. From cosy waterfront bistros to bustling food markets, there's always something to satisfy your appetite.

A view of dense lush green forest on Vancouver Island
Explore the rugged west coast shoreline
© Jeremy Allouche

Things to do

Eat like a local in Victoria

Go on a culinary journey and discover the trendiest restaurants and bars as well as explore historic sites, unique architecture and remarkable neighbourhoods. Start at Fisherman's Wharf and spend a few hours tasting local seafood, maple syrup and poutine. Along the way, you’ll see famous attractions such as the Pendray Inn, the Parliament Building, the Empress Hotel and the waterfront area.

Go on a bear-watching cruise

Cruise through Browning Pass to the rocky coastline of Fortune Channel as the bears roam out of the rainforest and onto the shores to forage for food. Black Bears are abundant in Clayoquot Sound and are often seen turning massive rocks in search of crabs and clams. While on your cruise it is highly likely that you will spot other wildlife such as seals, porpoises, eagles, herons and more.

Grizzly Bear catching a salmon at Knight Inlet
Spot grizzly bears catch salmon for lunch
© Destination BC/Sean Scott

Hike the Pacific Rim Coast Trail

The Pacific Rim Coast Trail is considered one of the premier day hikes in Tofino and Ucluelet. The route includes four beautiful beaches and five of the National Park's hiking trails. Immerse yourself in the coastal temperate rainforest and discover the rich natural history of Vancouver Island's west coast.

Enjoy a scenic boat ride to Hot Springs Cove

Take a cruise from Tofino through Clayoquot Sound to the mystical Hot Springs Cove. Relax in the natural thermal pools surrounded by the towering rainforest. Look out for wildlife such as whales, bears, sea otters, eagles, seals, sea lions and much more. Once you arrive at Hot Springs Cove, it's a short 30 to 40 minutes hike along a raised boardwalk trail through the vibrant temperate rainforest to the hot springs. Soak in the natural thermal hot spring pools that have poured over the rocks and into the ocean for thousands of years.

A plane flying over the coast of Vancouver Island
Take a scenic flight from Tofino to the hot springs
© Shayd Johnson

Take a historic Mail Flight from Campbell River

Hop on a seaplane for a scenic flight over the British Columbia coast. Take in the spectacular views from the air as you fly along the Historic Mail Flight route between Gold River and Kyuquot. Relax and enjoy your flight as you witness the rugged beauty beneath you.

Explore secluded beaches

Vancouver Island is home to some of the most stunning and untouched sandy beaches in BC. Long Beach, at a stretch of 16 kilometres is the longest beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Chesterman Beach has been ranked as one of the best beaches to learn to surf in North America. Cox Bay has one of the area's best surf breaks and Qualicum Beach is great for bird watching.

Hidden beach along the westcoast of Vancouver Island
Hike along the west coast and discover hidden beaches
© Jan kronies

Places to see


Victoria is both the capital of British Columbia and one of the most beautiful cities in North America. It is situated on the southern end of Vancouver Island. You'll be kept busy with all the interesting museums, lush gardens, and medieval castles around! A must-see is the Inner Harbour, one of the most picturesque harbours in the world. Home to the Houses of Parliament, and the Royal British Columbia Museum, as well as cafes and restaurants with breathtaking water views.

After touring the city centre, take some time to relax at the renowned Butchart Gardens, take a stroll through Goldstream Provincial Park, or take a ferry to the nearby town of Sooke (and keep your eyes peeled for whales). Don’t forget to leave plenty of time for the Cowichan Valley, where dozens of small vineyards offer tours and tastings.

View of boats and architecturally designed houses in Victoria
Victoria is quintessentially quaint and sophisticated
© Jondolar Schnurr


On Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada, lies a little community called Tofino. It extends directly above a peninsula in Clayoquot Sound, with lakes, coves, and historic rainforests all about. Retreat into the laid-back atmosphere and feel like you are a world away from civilisation while sipping coffee in a cosy coffee shop. Tofino is a foodie's paradise because it is home to many of the nation's top chefs and best restaurants and breweries. During the summer, it is a hotspot for nature enthusiasts, hikers, surfers, and bird watchers. Surfing, hiking, kayaking, and spotting wildlife are all available year-round in places like Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach, and Long Beach.

Boats on the water in Tofino, a fishing village
Immerse yourself in to the laid-back atmosphere in Tofino and surrounds
© Thomas Lardeau


Occupying the east coast of Central Vancouver Island, Nanaimo has views of both the Coast Mountains and the Salish Sea. The city's hub, the harbour, is where ferries transport people, boats come and go, and seaplanes take off and land. The area is a popular holiday spot with a bustling inner city filled with shops, restaurants, and museums as well as a large amount of nearby natural beauty and hiking trails. Whale watching, wildlife spotting, and visiting the neighbouring parks are a few of the best things to do. Additionally, the nearly five-kilometre Harbourfront Walkway, which features several shops and cafes as well as breathtaking views of the lake, is impossible to miss.

Black birds perched on a rugged rock in Nanaimo
Soak up the spectacular views in Nanaimo
© Shlomo Shalev / Unsplash


The undiscovered gem of Vancouver Island is Ucluelet, also known by the locals as Ukee. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve partially encircles this historic fishing community, making it the perfect starting point for a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, and wildlife observation. Follow the Wild Pacific Trail if you want to see Ucluelet's breathtaking scenery. Journey through the unspoiled coastline and uninhabited beaches as well as into a temperate rainforest.

Rugged coast of Ucluelet
Experience an unspoilt coastline in Ucluelet
© Bannon Morrissy

Best travel time

Vancouver Island is the perfect destination to visit almost all year round. The summer months, June to August, have the longest days and can reach temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius. If you want to make the most of outdoor activities this would be a great time to visit. August is the driest month and January is the wettest. If you looking to maximise good deals then the shoulder season is the best time to travel. These are the months of April to early June and September to October.

Sunset over the beach in Tofino
Watch beautiful sunsets transform the sky at Long Beach in Tofino
© Corey Tran


A secluded cabin on the water

Ucluelet - Vancouver Island, Canada

A secluded cabin on the water

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Campbell River - Vancouver Island, Canada

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One step closer to your dream trip

More is possible than you may think

You probably already have ideas for your holiday to the United States and Canada. Nature tours through the Rocky Mountains, spotting orcas near the San Juan Islands, or exploring the streets of San Francisco on the iconic cable car?

For the best local tips and advice, visit one of our online presentations. Meet our travel specialists and have all of your questions answered.