Vancouver Island: Canada’s Ocean Playground

Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Exploring Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is easily one of the top travel destinations in Canada.  In this Vancouver Island travel guide, we help you discover the hidden gems and experiences that make the West Coast such an amazing place to visit. 

Vancouver Island is Canada’s ocean playground, but you may not know that it is also a vast mountain paradise as well!  The epic mountains and hiking opportunities make Vancouver Island one of the best places to travel in Canada.

Browse through our Vancouver Island travel guide to discover the best places to visit, along with the best things to do on Vancouver Island.  From surf towns to mountain lakes, we’ve got you covered on your ultimate West Coast trip on Vancouver Island.

Top Adventure Activities On Vancouver Island

Top Attractions On Vancouver Island

The Best Places To Visit On Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island Adventure & Travel Experts

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Explore Canada's wildest place with expert local guides at Fresh Adventures. Offering hotel based hiking tours and backpacking trips on the West Coast, Rockies and Yukon!

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Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Getting To/ From Vancouver Island:

Driving on Vancouver Island:

You can access most of Vancouver Island by driving, although the roads are windy and travel takes longer than the distances suggest.  Highway 19 travels from Victoria to the northern tip of the Island, and Highway 4 is the highway to get to the West Coast.  Highway 14 is a lesser travelled and rougher highway along the Southwest coast, which is a great scenic drive in the summer.

Flying To Vancouver Island

You can easily fly to Vancouver Island, usually through a connection in Vancouver or Calgary.  The largest airport on Vancouver Island is Victoria International Airport.  Since the bus companies offer pickups at Nanaimo Airport, I would recommend considering Nanaimo Airport if you are heading to the West Coast of the Island.  If you are planning a trip to the North Island, I would recommend flying into the smaller airports in Comox or Campbell River.  Pacific Coastal Airlines is a great choice to access many of the smaller airports, including Tofino.

 

 Vancouver Island’s Airports

  • Victoria International Airport- YYJ
  • Nanaimo Airport- YCD
  • Comox Airport- YQQ
  • Campbell River Airport- YBL
  • Tofino Airport- YAZ

Getting Around The Island By Bus:

Vancouver Island is actually the easiest area in BC to tarvel by bus with several bus operators offering daily service connecting various parts of the Island.

  • Tofino Bus offers a route between Victoria and Tofino
  • Vancouver Island Connector offers route between Victoria and the North Island
  • Island Link Bus offers routes between the towns on the East side of the Island

Vancouver Island Travel Information- FAQ

When are the best times to visit Vancouver Island?

Travelling to Vancouver Island is always a good idea, and with a bit of planning you can really nail it.  The weather on Vancouver Island is fairly straight forward and predictable, although it is often wetter than most people would prefer. 

That being said, there are several parts of Vancouver Island that experience different weather systems and climates than their neighbours.  Victoria, for example, gets a fraction of the rain that the West Coast gets, because Victoria is hidden behind the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.  

On the other hand Tofino gets more than three times the precipitation that Victoria gets, and is also ten degrees colder each year on average.  With all that rain comes the lush rain forests that we love to explore and photograph of course! 

The best time to visit Vancouver Island for summer weather is from June to mid October.  You can still get some grey and rainy days on the coast, but it is usually really hot and dry, surprisingly.  

Is Vancouver Island Really Worth Visiting?

Vancouver Island is a funny destination because those who have been there absolutely love and worship it, but if you haven’t been there it’s not as famous as destinations like the Rockies and Whistler.  

Vancouver Island hase an unbelievable amount of pristine wilderness, as well as wildlife galore.  It’s so common to see bald eagles and a variety of marine life that the locals barely turn their heads! 

Vancouver Island is the quintessential Canadian experience that so many travellers are looking for, but because Vancouver Island is a little less in the limelight it is often overlooked! 

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