Vancouver Island west coast tours are the perfect way to experience the magnificence of the Pacific Northwest with as much - or as little - outdoor adventure as you want. One of the best things of booking with a local private guide is they are able to customize your excursion exactly to your request. If you want a total driving tour and just see the sights – they can do that. If you want to get out and explore and stick your foot in the Pacific Ocean – they can do that too!
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West coast tours of the island from Sooke to Port Renfrew are a popular day trip from Victoria. And for good reason! You will be transported to a world away, where towering trees meet the mighty Pacific. Awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping super natural beauty all within an easy, scenic drive from Victoria. In fact, this part of the island is exactly where the local adventure seekers go when they want to get out of the city.
Your guide will pick you up from a mutually-agreed upon location such as your hotel or the Port of Victoria if arriving by cruise ship. Within just a few minutes you’ll leave the city behind and start heading west towards the coast.
A recent visitor from Ontario commented that everything was so “vertical” here. And you may notice that too. Soaring trees and rising mountains everywhere – there’s nothing flat except the odd farmer’s field. You’ll enjoy an incredibly scenic drive of Vancouver Island back country roads. If you're doing this trip on your own, we highly recommend a backroads map - especially if you decide to venture off onto logging roads. We don't leave home without it.
Before long, sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean will appear before your eyes and at times your coastal drive will take you right along the shoreline. Continue on through old growth forests and don’t be surprised if you get alerted you have entered the United States – we’re that close!
Remember that you can tailor your tour to meet the adventure level of your party to do as much or as little as you want. Even if you choose to make only a few stops, French Beach is a popular destination not to be missed. The crashing waves will call you as soon as you step out of the vehicle and you will be drawn to the rocky beach just a short hike away.
On my last visit to French Beach, I spent about 4 hours just watching Mother Nature and for about 45 minutes, I was thoroughly entertained by a group of about 60 harbour seals as they barked and swam their way across the bay.
You may be lucky enough to see other marine life such as orcas and grey whales swimming past the beach or feeding just off the points. Your best chance of seeing grey whales is during their migration during March and April. California and northern sea lions can be seen in the area from late August through May. If you want to see whales, then your best bet is to book a whale watching tour.
Jordan Beach is another beautiful spot and is very popular with local surfers. The waves aren’t quite as high as you might expect in the Tofino area but then again, Tofino is about a 5-hour drive from Victoria and not exactly a day trip.
Other popular attractions are China Beach, Mystic Beach, Botanical Beach and Port Renfrew. If you have budgeted your time well, you may also include Avatar Grove on your west coast tour – home of Canada’s “gnarliest tree”.
Again, depending on the tour you requested, you may circle up through the Cowichan area or return on the same route you traveled earlier. Either way and whatever stops you choose; you are going to fill your camera with breathtaking photos and will be so happy you chose this west coast tour. With thousands of visitors in Victoria every day, these tours book up quickly. Book yours today!
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