Vancouver Island Travel Options

Victoria is a great starting point for your Vancouver Island travel dreams. 

French Beach, Vancouver Island BC

With an international airport and international and domestic ferry terminals, and all the amenities, services and supplies you need, Victoria provides a natural base camp for your Vancouver Island travel adventure. 

A "wilderness dock" at Caycuse, Vancouver Island BC

The Island is 460 km long and 50 to 120 km wide. It is located parallel to west coast of British Columbia in Canada with the southern tip dipping below the 49th parallel and separated from the United States by the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

Experience wild adventure on the island!

The Island’s topography is highlighted by a rugged coastline with a heavily forested, mountainous interior sprinkled with lakes, rivers and streams that are bursting with marine life and begging to be explored. 

Room with a view at Tofino, Vancouver Island BC

With this varied terrain comes an incredibly diverse range of activities to participate in. Some of the most popular activities that people visit the Island for are:

Hiking to caves at Horne Lake, Vancouver Island BC
  • Hiking the West Coast Trail (WCT) – 7 days of punishing yet exhilarating trekking; requires advance preparation
  • Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail – 3-5 days, not as gruelling as the WCT
  • Strathcona Provincial Park - largely an undeveloped wilderness park, most of which requires hiking or backpacking into alpine regions 
Reeling in the big one
  • Storm watching in Tofino – with no landmass between Tofino and Japan, the wind has plenty of time to build up and unleash its fury on the coast with crashing waves up to 20 feet high. Storm season is November through February
  • Surfing in Tofino – rentals and lessons available or come to town for the Surf Canada National Championships
  • Sand Castle Competition in Parksville 
  • Salmon and Halibut guided fishing charters
  • Mountain biking at the Bear Mountain Bike Park, home to The Canadian National Mountain Biking Team   
Find Things to Do in Downtown Victoria
  • Camping– find the campsites nearest to Greater Victoria here
  • Caving at Horne Lake
  • HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens Rugby Tournament – held annually on Mother’s Day weekend at Westhills Stadium in Langford (guaranteed non-stop, heart pounding excitement)
  • Vancouver Island Golf Trail – 250 km of golfer’s paradise with 12 championship courses all capitalizing on the spectacular natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest
  • Skiing at Mount Washington – an alpine ski resort located approximately 3 hours north of Victoria (245km)
Catch of the day following a salmon fishing charter for my father-in-law's 80th birthday.
  • Wine tours and tastings – half day or full days tours from Victoria to the Southern Island wine regions
  • The BC Ale Trail – three to choose from on the island: Victoria, Vancouver Island Part I (Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo) or Vancouver Island Part II (Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley)
Perfect reflection at Kennedy Lake, Vancouver Island BC

Another very popular Vancouver Island travel option is to stay in the Victoria area and take day trips throughout the southern island region. Common day trips include:

French Beach

Experience the rugged beauty of our coastline at French Beach Provincial Park - easily accessed and located approximately one hour west of Victoria. 

Discover Attractions & Landmarks in Greater Victoria

Chemainus 

A seaside community renowned for its 40 murals on various buildings throughout the community. Also, home to a professional theatre.

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove is home to massive Douglas Fir and Red Cedar, some of which are estimated to be 800 years old, towering to heights of 250 ft and 29 feet in circumference. It is an awe-inspiring place that every tourist and resident should see.

Really big trees - at Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island BC
Same tree about 10 years later

Butchart Gardens

Over 100 years in the making, the gardens are of lush oasis of colourful blooms and greenery covering 55 acres. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada and could possibly be Victoria’s most popular tourist attraction with over a million visitors annually.

Goldstream Provincial Park 

Hiking the Goldstream Trestle is popular throughout the year but what attracts most tourists to Goldstream Provincial Park is the annual Salmon Run beginning mid October followed by the Eagle Extravaganza a few weeks later.

Eagle watching at Goldstream Park, Vancouver Island BC

As you can see, the Vancouver Island travel scene is incredibly diverse and we know you’ll enjoy your time here. We look forward to welcoming you to our piece of paradise.

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