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Tour of Vancouver Island

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Tour of Vancouver Island

Hi Everyone

I hope that you can help with our short itinerary on Vancouver Island, we dock from our cruise on 29th May 2011 and want to come over to Victoria via the Ferry, we would like to spend 2 days in Victoria sightseeing and then we are considering hiring a car and driving to Nanimo and towards Tofino to capture the beauty of this island, before returning 3 days later to get the ferry to Vancouver and the airport, In total we have 5 nights. My questions are:

1. Is this a good route for sightseeing?

2. Where would be the best possible locations to stop overnight?

3. Is car hire cheap on the island

4. Should we consider the sunshine coast tour or would this be expensive with ferry crossings

Many thanks for all your time and replies

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Tour of Vancouver Island

Welcome back to the forum, johnwalton.

It does look like you've done some great homework for your trip.

1. Hwy 19 and Hwy 4 are the main routes for going from Victoria to Tofino. There is the West Island Highway, which cuddles for some of the way alongside Hwy 19 between Nanaimo and Comox, and is slower, more scenic. And there is the Chemainus Road, Hwy 1A, for a very short disance between Duncan and Ladysmith, which is very rural and scenic.

2. You could drive Victoria to Tofino in about 5 hours. If you wanted to break that journey up for some reason, people often stay in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area, and even Nanaimo. Parksville to Tofino, one way, takes about 3 hours.

3. Not sure what cheap means to you. The rental companies are fairly competitive. Some offer little perks e.g. Enterprise will come to get you to return to the office to sign the papers, and presumably would deliver you back to a hotel afterwards.

4. With 5 nights, I think you would have to sacrifice something from your time either in Victoria or in Tofino. You would want to spend an overnight somewhere on the Sunshine Coast before heading back to Vancouver.

For the Sunshine Coast, you would likely want to consider 2 nights in Victoria, 2 nights up Island, 1 night on the Sunshine coast then back to Vancouver. If those two nights up Island were at Tofino, you would have quite a bit of driving to continue to Vancouver via the Sunshine Coast.

Victoria, up Island, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver


Tofino to Sunshine Coast to Vancouver


BC Ferries offers a Circle Pac of savings. This discount applies only to exactly the following routes: either one of the big ferries from the mainland to the Island, Comox-Powell River, Earl's Cove-Saltery Bay and finally Langdale-Horseshoe Bay.


Edited: 02 March 2011, 20:16
Victoria, Canada
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2. Re: Tour of Vancouver Island

Congratulations on your upcoming trip to Vancouver Island! I know that you will have a wonderful time. I definitely know that you have selected a perfect itinerary for your brief stay here which will give you a taste of everything Vancouver Island has to offer.

Although the sunshine coast is beautiful, it would get expensive with ferry crossings. I think it's best to stick to one region as Canada is vast and it's best to take your time and enjoy the places and people rather than trying to rush everywhere. I guess you'll just have to come back one day!

Car hire should be reasonably priced in May but it's definitely best to shop around. I would avoid a car in Victoria as you don't need it so just get one for the days that you are travelling on the island to save money.

As for hotels, since you are from the UK, I know that you will be familiar with the Travelodge brand. There are many Travelodge locations on Vancouver Island including Victoria and Nanaimo. They offer great rooms and a very reasonable and affordable price. Check them out at www.travelodge.ca I would definitely recommend Travelodge Victoria as it has beautiful views of the Upper Harbour in Victoria and free parking if you do choose to get a car.

Tofino does not have any Travelodges but there are many wonderful hotels there although expensive. My personal favourite in Tofino is the Best Western Tin Wis resort which is located right on Mackenzie Beach. The rooms look out onto the beach and you can also get kitchen suites which would save money on eating out. The resort is also run by the local First Nations band which means that you are supporting the local community and their culture is introduced into many elements of the hotel creating a unique experience for the guest.

3. Re: Tour of Vancouver Island

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