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Vancouver Island Explorer


Vancouver Island is a rugged gem, a bite of Canada unlike no other where the friendly populace lives on island time, the weather is mild (for Canadian standards) and the maritime culture is strong. Don’t get confused- Vancouver is NOT on Vancouver Island but rather on the Canadian mainland, and you must ferry or fly to get to the island whose flagship city is the quaint and beautiful Victoria. From there you circle the island’s quiet getaway spots before hopping back to Vancouver.


Immerse yourself in beautiful and British-y Victoria, where microbreweries are only outnumbered by flowers and there seems to be a festival and museum for every day of the week. Rent a bike and hit the hills or go for a day hike in gorgeous Nanaimo, and book a whale-watching tour in Courtenay. Ride an old-timey steam engine train in Port Alberni and then get away from it all, really away from it all, in Ucluelet and Tofino and spend your days kayaking or wandering along the seashore and pondering life. Return to the big city of Vancouver and treat yourself to a fantastic meal or just explore the city’s many offerings from gigantic Stanley Park to boutique shopping to the club scene.

Suggested Route

Starting Point: Vancouver
Ending Point: Vancouver
Time Frame: 7-14 Days

Start your trip on the edge- of Canada, that is, in Vancouver. Spend a few days in the big city at the beginning or end of your trip (and spend time in Victoria on the other end). Take a ferry or a flight from Vancouver to Victoria, and then head up the Trans Canada Highway up the eastern coast of the island, stopping in Nanaimo, Courtenay, then looping back to Port Alberni. Cross to the more rugged and isolated western part of the island and visit amazing Ucluelet and Tofino, before traveling back to Nanaimo and catching a flight back to Vancouver.

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