Vancouver Island

Travel Guide
Tofino which includes a lake or waterhole and tranquil scenes

Feel the reinvigorating power of the great outdoors on Vancouver Island, a vast swathe of nature on the doorstep of metropolitan cities.

Although only a short journey away from one of Canada's largest cities and home to the regional capital of British Columbia, Vancouver Island feels a world away from urban life. Deserted beaches, forested mountains and rare wildlife cover the sparsely populated island, beckoning Victoria's visitors with its dramatic wilderness. Succumb to its call and experience it on skis, on bike or on foot.

Visit Victoria, the lively capital of British Columbia in the south of the island. A modern city that prides itself on its great food, drink and culture sits alongside beautiful heritage landmarks. The Royal BC Museum gives a compelling overview of the region's history. Wander the halls of two castles with elegant gardens: the Victorian-era Craigdarroch and Hatley Park, completed in 1908.

You can also tour the other towns on the island. Parksville is a charming collection of sandy beaches, heritage attractions and stylish dining spots. Port Hardy is a pocket of civilization surrounded by rugged wilderness that offers museums and sites of cultural significance for the island's First Nations.

Tie up your walking boots for energetic treks through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Waymarked trails run around the coastline, leading to spectacular views and quiet beaches. Experienced hikers can try the famous West Coast Trail, a 47-mile (75-kilometer) route along the southwest Pacific shores.

Scan the waters for a sighting of black dorsal fins. Families of orcas enjoy the waters around Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago between June and October. Inland, black bears can be seen around Clayoquot Sound on a bear-watching tour.

Hit the slopes in winter at the Mount Washington Alpine Resort. Boarding, skiing and tubing are all available for speedy ways to get down the mountain, on routes used by international athletes.

Victoria International Airport is reached by Air Canada, United and other airlines. Perhaps the best way to reach the island, however, is by ferry from Vancouver, which provides unbeatable views of the mountains, woods and lakes when arriving on the water.

Where to stay in Vancouver Island

Red Lion Inn and Suites
Red Lion Inn and Suites
3 out of 5
3366 Douglas St, Victoria, BC
The price is ¥6,996 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Uptown Center and Government Street. Chinatown and Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre are also ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,390 reviews)
"Very Clean...Very good value for the price"

Reviewed on Jan 18, 2022

Red Lion Inn and Suites
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1175 Beach Dr, Victoria, BC
Located in South Oak Bay, this luxury resort is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Victoria Golf Club and within 3 mi (5 km) of University of Victoria and Cadboro Bay. Oak ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (993 reviews)
"Sam at checkin was on point. Answered all our questions, was efficient and gave great suggestions."

Reviewed on Jan 8, 2022

Oak Bay Beach Hotel
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
4.5 out of 5
623 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
The price is ¥21,596 per night from Feb 21 to Feb 22
Located in Downtown Victoria, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Government Street and Victoria Conference Centre. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Harbour ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (981 reviews)
"Great"

Reviewed on Jan 15, 2022

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
3 out of 5
462 South Island Highway 62087, Campbell River, BC
The price is ¥6,144 per night from Feb 6 to Feb 7
Situated in Campbell River, this chalet is within 1 mi (2 km) of Campbell River Museum and Torii Gate. Maritime Heritage Centre and Discovery Passage Aquarium ...
3.7/5 Good! (1,063 reviews)
"Front desk was very helpful and a nice clean room"

Reviewed on Jan 8, 2022

Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
3 out of 5
1175 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC
The price is ¥12,560 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Situated by the ocean, this condo resort is within a 10-minute walk of Parksville Visitor Centre and Craig Heritage Park and Museum. Riptide Lagoon Adventure ...
4/5 Very Good! (329 reviews)
"Felt luxurious, nice decor, access to beach...although if would be nice to have some steps down to the beach from the trail"

Reviewed on Jan 4, 2022

Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
Reef Point Cottages
Reef Point Cottages
3 out of 5
1012 Peninsula Road, Ucluelet, BC
Situated near the beach, this cottage is within a 5-minute walk of Terrace Beach and Little Beach. Amphitrite Point Lighthouse and Ucluelet Aquarium are also ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (365 reviews)
"We had a wonderful stay. We appreciate the soft tub after a day of hiking trails and rainforest, although it would have been better if the temperature could have been turned up a wee bit- it was freezing temperatures outside. The bathroom was a bit rough around the edges but the soaps and hair soaps ..."

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2021

Reef Point Cottages
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Vancouver Island

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