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Vancouver Island holidays
See whales offshore and explore Victoria on your Kuoni holidays
An ideal getaway from the busy streets of Vancouver, reached by ferry or floatplane, is delightful Vancouver Island. Stray from the quaint streets of the island’s capital Victoria and wild landscapes await. One of Canada's most accessible wilderness regions, the island offers magnificent coastal scenery, a rugged hinterland, endless outdoor pursuits including some spectacular wildlife spotting opportunities.
- Victoria, situated at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is rich in culture and heritage and is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities
- The Vancouver Island coastline in the ideal place to spot a variety of marine life including orcas, Gray whales and Humpback whales
- From Tofino you can take a cruise to spot whales, learn how to surf, follow the trails along the coast, go out on bear watching trips
- The city of Campbell River is the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ and popular activities here include bear watching, fishing, hiking and biking
- A stay on the island is easily combined with a city stay in Vancouver or at the end of a Calgary to Vancouver itinerary
Vancouver Island holiday highlights
Just off the west coast of mainland Canada lies Vancouver Island. A scenic ferry or floatplane ride from the mainland will transport you to pretty Victoria, British Columbia’s historic capital city which is home to attractive colonial buildings and verdant gardens. The colourful Butchart Gardens in the north of the city are stunning, and in the summer months whale watching is extremely popular, with orcas inhabiting local waters. Some of the best food here includes freshly-caught salmon and trout.
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, on the tip of the Esowista Peninsula, is the settlement of Tofino, a popular summer destination. Tofino is the perfect choice for nature lovers, whale watchers and even surfers, and with its setting on the southern edge of the Clayoquot Sound, it offers stunning views of the water. From here you can take a cruise to spot whales, learn how to surf, follow hiking trails along the coast, head out on bear-watching trips and visit the beautiful Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Located approximately 25 miles along the south west coast of Vancouver Island from Tofino, is the district of Ucluelet (pronounced yew-kloo-let), affectinally know as Ukee. Much like the rest of Vancouver Island, the area is heaven for outdoor adventurers with a wide range of activities on offer allowing you to explore the beautiful Ucluelet Peninsula. As well as bear and whale watching, ocean kayaking is a favourite pastime in the region’s sheltered waters. Other activities include fishing and hiking the Wild Pacific Trail.
Set on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, the city of Campbell River is the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ and popular activities here include bear- and whale-watching, fishing and hiking. Knight Inlet, which is reached by float plane from Campbell River, is set in the far reaches of one of the main inlets of the British Columbia coast. This natural wilderness of lush rainforest shelters a diverse range of wildlife including bald eagles, grizzly bears and black bears.
The opportunity to see Vancouver Island and the Strait of Georgia from a floatplane is one of the most quintessential Canadian experiences. These operate between Vancouver and Victoria, Tofino, Campbell River or Port Hardy. Alternatively, you can cruise across the strait with BC Ferries. Routes include Vancouver to Nanaimo and Vancouver to Victoria (Swartz Bay). There are two departure points in Vancouver – Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay, the latter only serving Nanaimo.