Visit Vancouver Island, Canada
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 gray 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.Whale 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 gray 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.
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 travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Suggested itinerary featuring Vancouver Island
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Vancouver Island, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this 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
- Campbell River Vancouver Island
- Northern Vancouver Island Vancouver Island
- Port Hardy Vancouver Island
- Tofino Vancouver Island
- Victoria Vancouver Island
- The Sunshine Coast & Desolation Sound 43 miles away
- Salt Spring Island 108 miles away
- Vancouver 110 miles away
- Whistler 120 miles away
- Bella Coola 200 miles away
- Naramata & Okanagan Valley 265 miles away
- Princess Royal Island 273 miles away
- The Cariboo 279 miles away
Photos of 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
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.Read this guide
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.
The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort sits atop a cliff overlooking the rugged Pacific Ocean. The clever use of rock, wood, glass and steel in its construction means it blends in beautifully with its rugged surroundings.
The April Point Resort and Spa offers its guests the chance to escape and enjoy the pine forests, quiet waters and wildlife of this peaceful part of the world. Easily accessible from Campbell River on Vancouver Island, the April Point Resort is a fantastic alternative for guests looking for a remote retreat.
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort is located in the middle of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. Guests here will find themselves exploring the beautiful pristine wilderness either on land, on water, or by helicopter.
Hidden Cove Lodge is set in a stunning wilderness environment where great cedars overlook the idyllic tidal inlet. Wildlife is prolific and you are likely to have encounters on a daily basis with black bears, otters, deer and eagles.
Bright, modern and spacious, the business-like rooms at the Comfort Inn & Suites offer a comfortable base for exploring the beaches, forests and wineries of northern Vancouver Island. The indoor pool, gym and hot tub are an added bonus.
Kwa’lilas Hotel offers both a conveniently central location and a sleek, modern design that complimented with bold First Nation accents, making this a great option for your stay at Port Hardy.
Great Bear Lodge overlooks a quiet inlet in the heart of the untouched Great Bear Rainforest, offering a real wilderness experience for those wanting to get up close to nature and Canada’s wildlife.
Knight Inlet Lodge is a floating village of buildings, providing comfortable rooms and an amazing wilderness experience.
In a beautiful locations surrounded by ocean and Japanese-style gardens, this hotel is a good base for a stay in Victoria. The onsite restaurant offers some of the best cuisine in the city and the outdoor patio gets the morning sunshine.
The Oswego Hotel is a modern boutique hotel with a sophisticated charm. Located minutes from Victoria’s downtown and the Inner Harbour, it makes a great base from which to explore the city's historic downtown area.
Abigail’s Hotel is a boutique property located just three blocks from Victoria's picturesque Inner Harbour. The heritage Tudor-style architecture of the building and colorful English gardens will enchant you, evoking the spirit and old-world charm of this beautiful city.
Set in a beautiful location overlooking the Tofino inlet, this is a great choice for those looking for a quiet hideaway but remaining close to the facilities and amenities of the town.
Located on the remote fringes of Vancouver Island, this glamping resort offers a wilderness escape. You’ll stay in safari-style luxury tents among old-growth temperate rainforest, and have access to a range of outdoor activities, including horse riding, fishing and outdoor yoga.
The Wickaninnish, a member of the luxury Relais and Châteaux association, offers utter comfort and sophistication within a beautifully rugged oceanfront setting.
Perched on a rocky headland in full view of the Pacific, Middle Beach Lodge offers you a cozy home from home in the laid-back village of Tofino.