Introducing the best of the west on Vancouver Island

There’s nothing quite like Canada’s south-west coast, with snow-capped mountains on the city skylines, top notch hiking and that fresh, crisp British Columbia air. See it at its best on this six-day adventure across Vancouver Island. Cruise over the Strait of Georgia and enter a world of possibilities – the seaside paradise of Tofino, the up and coming food and drink scene in pristine Victoria, and some of the world’s best waters for whale-watching. Vancouver Island is often thought of as overwhelming in size, but this tour will make you feel like you’ve covered all you need.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Vancouver, Canada
Finish
Vancouver, Canada
Destination
Canada
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSOV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • The beauty of this trip is that it covers the best of Vancouver Island in a fairly short space of time – a perfect trip to combine with our longer Canadian Rockies tour.

  • The island is best experienced outdoors, and this trip ensures that you have the freedom to take your adventure off the beaten track, or out onto the water.

  • Compact Victoria is perfect for exploring on foot, and its younger population is reflected in the thriving bar and dining scene of the city.

  • Spend two nights in Tofino and discover why this is one of North America’s most talked about coastal destinations, with year-round surf breaks and sandy beaches.

  • Vancouver Island is an ideal viewing point on a whale migration route as they head north to Alaska for the summer or down to Mexico for the winter.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter.

  • This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

  • The diversity of the seasons here makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. Even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.

  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities. Some of the best scenery is found on hikes.

  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately CAD $90 per week to cover the cost of meals. This means you don’t have to worry about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night or s’mores by the campfire! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out to purchase (and cook) your own food.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vancouver, Canada. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early in Vancouver, why not take a walk around the city's historic Gastown neighbourhood, or wander through Stanley Park to see the carved totems and scenic views of the city and beyond.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
To start the Vancouver Island trip, you’ll have to get over to the Island! Take a ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria BC (approximately 3.5 hours). With its landscaped gardens and preserved historical buildings, it is one of the most British-influenced cities in North America. However, with a recent injection of hip bars, shops, restaurants and young residents, the city is evolving into something more cosmopolitan. Wander through Victoria’s abundant parkland and make your way into town to kick back with the young locals in a bar or restaurant. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ferry to Vancouver Island
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Victoria is known for its outdoor activities so on your free day here, perhaps indulge in a spot of whale watching or take a tour of the famous Butchart Gardens. If that isn’t your thing, check out the excellent Royal BC Museum to learn about the natural and human history of the area. The city has also been hit by the craft beer revolution, and is home to Canada’s first brewpub, so why not meander your way to one to relax and experience the Canadian hospitality for yourself.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Victoria BC - Butchart Gardens - CAD34
  • Victoria - Whale Watching - CAD115
  • Royal BC Museum - CAD28
  • Victoria - Parliament building - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
On your way out of Victoria, have a quick stop in the eastern port of Nanaimo before heading on to Cathedral Grove for a walk around the majestic Douglas fir trees, which are more than 800 years old and untouched by the modern world. A picnic lunch will be needed to admire this towering forest. You’ll continue on your drive to the relaxed seaside town of Tofino (total journey approximately 4.5 hours, not including stops). As well as being named the best surf town in North America, Tofino is also a perfect spot for storm watching and outdoor activities such as kayaking, whale watching and hiking.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free for you to explore Tofino and its surrounds, with many possible optional activities. Take a kayak out on Clayoquot Sound, relax on one of Tofino’s sandy beaches or take a stroll and go tide pooling. Alternatively, you have the option to sign up for a whale watching tour. Tofino lies along the route of the annual grey whale migration. Each year, up to 20,000 grey whales leave the waters of the Baja Peninsula and head north to the nutrient-rich feeding grounds of Alaska and the Bering Sea. This 20,000 kilometre round trip is thought to be the longest migration of any creature in the world. Whale-watching trips can often be combined with wildlife viewing and hot springs tours. A bear-watching trip by boat through the calm waters of Clayoquot Sound near Tofino is another popular option.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tofino - Zodiac whale watching adventure - CAD120
  • Tofino - Clayoquot Sound kayaking tour - CAD69
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
From Tofino, you’ll travel to a ferry port and cruise back to Vancouver. The total travel time from Tofino on this day is around 5.5 hours. There may be time for an activity with your group leader in the afternoon, however there is no included accommodation for the night.
Included Activities
  • Ferry from Vancouver Island
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you decide to fly out on this day, it's best not to book a flight for before 8 pm, as this will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Ferry, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (2 nights), Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Ferry to Vancouver Island
  • Ferry from Vancouver Island

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Vancouver in the afternoon on day 6.

2. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 2 & 3 (Victoria) where you will be in shared accommodation.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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