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Vancouver Island Holiday

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.

Guide to Exploring Vancouver Island

Top Hotel Deals

See all 540 Hotels in Vancouver Island
Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites

Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites

345 Quebec St, Victoria
of 5, from 1,312 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites is 3 blocks from the Parliament Building, 4 blocks from the Royal BC Museum, and 2 blocks from Undersea Gardens.

Ramada Victoria

Ramada Victoria

123 Gorge Rd E, Victoria
of 5, from 761 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Burnside, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from MayFair Shopping Centre and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from British Columbia Parliament Building. Topaz Park and Uptown Center are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Hotel Grand Pacific

Hotel Grand Pacific

463 Belleville St, Victoria
of 5, from 1,495 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Facing the Inner Harbour and adjacent to the Parliament Buildings, Hotel Grand Pacific is 2 blocks from the shops along Government Street and 5 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf.

Howard Johnson Hotel - Victoria City Centre

Howard Johnson Hotel - Victoria City Centre

310 Gorge Rd E, Victoria
of 5, from 439 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Burnside, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from MayFair Shopping Centre and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from British Columbia Parliament Building. Topaz Park and Westside Village Shopping Centre are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Capital CityCenter Hotel

Capital CityCenter Hotel

1961 Douglas St, Victoria
of 5, from 685 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Victoria, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and British Columbia Parliament Building. Chinatown and Market Square are also within 15 minutes.

Cox Bay Beach Resort

Cox Bay Beach Resort

1431 Pacific Rim Hwy Tofino, Tofino
of 5, from 157 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Offering direct access to the beach, this Tofino resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach, and Mackenzie Beach. Tofino Botanical Gardens is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

740 Burdett Ave, Victoria
of 5, from 622 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated on a rise overlooking the city and harbor, this hotel is 3 blocks from Government Street, 3 blocks from the Royal BC Museum, and 4 blocks from Beacon Hill Park.

Days Inn Nanaimo

Days Inn Nanaimo

809 Island Hwy S, Nanaimo
of 5, from 271 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Nanaimo Museum and within 3 mi (5 km) of Bastion and Vancouver Island University. Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).