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Covered from head to toe in emerald rainforest, Vancouver Island lies just off Canada’s west coast. Far from the cityscape of Vancouver, just over the water, the island has retained a landscape wild enough to sustain black bears, an endemic subspecies of grey wolf, and bald eagles. Our Canada specialists will use their first-hand experience to help you plan where to go on your trip to Vancouver Island. You could take a Zodiac from Tofino in search of foraging bears, explore First Nations culture in northern Vancouver Island, or hike through old-growth forest trickling with waterfalls along the island’s mountainous spine.

A pod of orca off Vancouver IslandWhale watching trips give you an opportunity to see pods of orcas, which are permanent residents off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia’s capital. During the summer, you can also spot migratory humpback and Pacific grey whales in Clayoquot Sound, where you might be joined by dolphins, sea lions and otters. In the north, Campbell River is one of the best places for salmon fishing, while Port Hardy is a gateway to remote bear lodges.


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Start planning your tailor-made trip to Vancouver Island by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Places to visit in Vancouver Island

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Vancouver Island, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travellers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring Vancouver Island

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Vancouver Island, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Vancouver Island

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around Vancouver Island

    Our expert guides to exploring Vancouver Island

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Vancouver Island, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Vancouver Island at its best.

    • Highlights of Vancouver Island
      A pod of orca off Vancouver Island

      Highlights of Vancouver Island

      Highlights of Vancouver Island

      Canada specialist Jamie shares the best things to see and do on Vancouver Island. You could observe black and grizzly bears in temperate rainforests. Look for orcas on boat trips from Victoria. Or hike to secluded beaches in the remote north.

      7 min read

      Read this guide
    • In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada
      Grizzly bear, British Columbia

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      Canada is well-known for its wildlife, but the stars of the show are arguably its resident bears. These often solitary creatures can be difficult to find, but our Canada specialists can recommend intimate bear-watching experiences that allow you to see them in their natural habitat.

      11 min read

      Read this guide
    • Honeymoons in Canada
      Lake Louise

      Honeymoons in Canada

      Honeymoons in Canada

      Country specialist, Caroline, picks some of her top places to stay and things to do on honeymoon in Canada. Her highlights include where to spot Canada’s wildlife, taking a food tour in Vancouver, finding seclusion in the Rockies and staying on an authentic ranch.

      11 min read

      Read this guide
    • Self-driving in western Canada
      Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park

      Self-driving in western Canada

      Self-driving in western Canada

      Canada specialists Kerry and Annie share their tried-and-tested self-drive routes in western Canada. You might want to follow a lesser-known loop through the Canadian Rockies, detouring to the Okanagan wine region. Or, take in British Columbia’s coastline and Vancouver Island.

      9 min read

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    Accommodation choices for Vancouver Island

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Vancouver Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.