Vancouver Island

Travel Guide
Tofino which includes a lake or waterhole and tranquil scenes
Feel the reinvigorating power of the great outdoors on Vancouver Island, a vast swathe of nature on the doorstep of metropolitan cities.

Although only a short journey away from one of Canada's largest cities and home to the regional capital of British Columbia, Vancouver Island feels a world away from urban life. Deserted beaches, forested mountains and rare wildlife cover the sparsely populated island, beckoning Victoria's visitors with its dramatic wilderness. Succumb to its call and experience it on skis, on bike or on foot.

Visit Victoria, the lively capital of British Columbia in the south of the island. A modern city that prides itself on its great food, drink and culture sits alongside beautiful heritage landmarks. The Royal BC Museum gives a compelling overview of the region's history. Wander the halls of two castles with elegant gardens: the Victorian-era Craigdarroch and Hatley Park, completed in 1908.

You can also tour the other towns on the island. Parksville is a charming collection of sandy beaches, heritage attractions and stylish dining spots. Port Hardy is a pocket of civilization surrounded by rugged wilderness that offers museums and sites of cultural significance for the island's First Nations.

Tie up your walking boots for energetic treks through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Waymarked trails run around the coastline, leading to spectacular views and quiet beaches. Experienced hikers can try the famous West Coast Trail, a 47-mile (75-kilometer) route along the southwest Pacific shores.

Scan the waters for a sighting of black dorsal fins. Families of orcas enjoy the waters around Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago between June and October. Inland, black bears can be seen around Clayoquot Sound on a bear-watching tour.

Hit the slopes in winter at the Mount Washington Alpine Resort. Boarding, skiing and tubing are all available for speedy ways to get down the mountain, on routes used by international athletes.

Victoria International Airport is reached by Air Canada, United and other airlines. Perhaps the best way to reach the island, however, is by ferry from Vancouver, which provides unbeatable views of the mountains, woods and lakes when arriving on the water.

Vancouver Island Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Vancouver Island

Red Lion Inn and Suites
Red Lion Inn and Suites
3 out of 5
3366 Douglas St, Victoria, BC, V8Z 3L3
The price is $69 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
$69
per night
Dec 7 - Dec 8
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Victoria. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,541 reviews)
"Nice to have a kitchenette."

Reviewed on Dec 1, 2022

Red Lion Inn and Suites
Strathcona Hotel
Strathcona Hotel
2.5 out of 5
919 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 2C2
The price is $83 per night from Jan 3 to Jan 4
$83
per night
Jan 3 - Jan 4
Stay at this hotel in Victoria. Enjoy free WiFi, 6 bars/lounges, and a nightclub. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,007 reviews)
"Terrific upgrades to this historic property. Great location to reach many parts of downtown. Very thoughtful design in the bathroom."

Reviewed on Dec 4, 2022

Strathcona Hotel
Fairmont Empress
Fairmont Empress
4 out of 5
721 Government St, Victoria, BC, V8W1W5
The price is $253 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 3
$253
per night
Jan 2 - Jan 3
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Victoria. Enjoy 2 restaurants, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,003 reviews)
"Great rooms and food"

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2022

Fairmont Empress
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
3 out of 5
462 South Island Highway 62087, Campbell River, BC, V9W 1A5
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly chalet in Campbell River. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
3.7/5 Good! (1,218 reviews)
"the ease of registration; cozy room. Just needed a microwave oven in room tho"

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

Ramada by Wyndham Campbell River
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
3.5 out of 5
810 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC, V8V5B1
Stay at this 3.5-star spa aparthotel in Victoria. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and a rooftop terrace. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the overall ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (2,286 reviews)
"Lovely attendants"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2022

The Parkside Hotel & Spa
Elk Lake Inn Suites Victoria
Elk Lake Inn Suites Victoria
3 out of 5
4670 Elk Lake Drive, Victoria, BC, V8Z 5M2
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Victoria. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and breakfast. Our guests praise the pool and the restaurant in our ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (1,039 reviews)
"A bit of reno construction going on but comfortable stay."

Reviewed on Nov 25, 2022

Elk Lake Inn Suites Victoria
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Cities near Vancouver Island