Vancouver Island Holidays & Accommodation
Canada, North America
Vancouver Island, off the west coast of British Columbia on Canada's west coast may not be world renown, but it has certainly attracted a loyal following among people attracted to its natural beauty and scenic towns.
Vancouver Island Holidays Planner
The region does not just include Vancouver Island proper, it also includes the Gulf Islands, a network of smaller islands in the Georgia Strait, networked together by ferries. The Gulf Islands include many different islands, each featuring natural beauty, trails, or artist galleries like Pender, Saltspring and Gabriola.
Vancouver Island has some varied landscapes, including rainforests, marshes, beaches, rivers, and lakes. The Beaufort Mountain Range offers many scenic vistas and downhill skiing opportunities in the winter. The varied geography also draws a large variety of birdlife, and birdwatching is a popular activity on the Island at locations such as the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Refuge, the Courtenay River Estuary, and the Esquimalt Lagoon.
On Vancouver Island, you may want to visit the unique town of Chemainus in North Cowichan. To beautify their town and attract visitors, the city commissioned the painting of murals all over the town that feature aspects of the history of the region. The murals depict aboriginal culture, historical activities like logging, and steam engines. The city has also sunk a Boeing 737 off the coast for the pleasure of exploring scuba divers.
A big draw for vacationers in the province of British Columbia, and a well-kept secret are the southern towns of Tofino and Ucluelet. Tofino, with its access to Long Beach and its surfing opportunities, the Pacific Rim Trail, and various upscale eco-lodges, is particularly popular. Neighbouring Ucluelet has a lot of similar activities to Tofino such as kayaking and whale watching, but is a smaller scale resort community, and perhaps visitors would prefer to arrange bed and breakfast accommodation while staying there.
Whether you are interested in camping in Qualicum Beach, or taking the many examples of quaint architecture in the province's capital city of Victoria, there are plenty of activities to undertake throughout the island. Some notable cities on the Island include Nanaimo, Campbell River, and Tofino.
Victoria is a beautiful city that is also the capital of the province. Along with the capital buildings and legislature, this picturesque city boasts a world-class museum called the Royal BC Museum, and a sprawling manicured garden showcase called Butchart Gardens. Other towns on Vancouver Island are Nanaimo, known as the Harbour City, and Campbell River, known for its fishing.
The Gulf Islands offer many attractions to the visitor. Ferries operate to the islands from Vancouver Island or from the mainland of the province, and you can either walk on, take a bike, or a car. Most of the islands are easily toured by foot or by bike, and that is probably the most enjoyable option. They have beautiful coastlines, and trails to walk or ride. Many of the islands, Saltspring in particular, are home to a lot of artists, and you can visit their galleries or buy their works in various small shops that dot the main town of Ganges.