Vancouver Island may not be a continent but it is still overwhelmingly large landmass, which has lots in store for visitors who love the outdoors. Measuring 100 kilometers wide and 500 kilometers long, the island is known for its diverse habitats, wilderness parks, clear coastal waters and traditional communities.
This Canadian island on the Pacific Northwest boasts nice sandy beaches, snow-capped mountain in the distance, huge surfing waves, wineries, mountainous trails and centuries-old rainforests. It is truly a nature lover’s dream come true! At the same time, Vancouver Island also has cosmopolitan cities and sophisticated harbors suited for those who like to travel in style, comfort and modern living.
The island is composed of seven geographic regions, each of which has its unique characteristics. They can all be conveniently accessed through transit networks. The South Vancouver Island area where the province capital of Victoria is located, is the most densely populated. The North Vancouver Island region, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is remote and least populated, but here, there are many outdoor and recreational opportunities in store for the most adventurous travelers. Central Vancouver Island is home to popular places like Tofino and Nanaimo. The island has two airports; Comox and Victoria that receive year round international and domestic flights. From the city of Vancouver or Seattle, you can easily take the ferry to reach the island.
Once you step foot on Vancouver Island, a plethora of activities will greet you and keep you occupied throughout your stay. For one, the island is packed with so many hiking trails, both going inland or to the coast. You have the option of charting your own hiking adventure or signing up for a walking nature tour. Either way, do not miss the chance to see giant trees in ancient rainforests like the ones at Cathedral Grove.
Other viable hiking destinations include the alpine meadows, sea side tide pools and lakes such as the Spider Lake Provincial Park. If you really would like to get close to the outdoors as possible, you can arrange for wilderness camping and wildlife watching excursions. If you like to keep your adrenaline pumping, activities like kayaking, cycling, rock climbing and ziplining on Vancouver Island will certainly do the trick!
Vancouver Island is home to the First Nation’s people, who have been residing on the island for a thousand years. There are places throughout the island that celebrate their rich heritage. You can visit restored mills, coal mine replicas, museums, heritage homes to learn more about the First Nations people.
The wonderful and compelling 50-acre country estate called Butchart Gardens has become a tourist staple with magnificent flora and fauna and even night fireworks. Make it a priority to visit these gardens – you will not be disappointed. If you adore scenic sandy stretches, organize a trip to the Rathtrevor, Comox and Parksville areas. Here, you can find the Qaulicum Beach, which is also a lovely and quiet small town on the eastern section of Vancouver Island.
Need some souvenirs or gifts? Shop till you drop at Vancouver Island’s big-named retail malls and shops or book a lovely vineyard tour in the countryside. Because of the warm Pacific Ocean currents, Vancouver Island experiences the mildest climate in the country. Although it rains here, most areas of the island do not receive the fury of heavy snowy downpour. But during winter, some sections are still conducive for snowboarding and skiing.