Help with Vancouver Island Itinerary

Feb 9th, 2008, 01:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 98
Help with Vancouver Island Itinerary

Hi all,
My husband and I are planning a trip for 11 nights over the last week of May/1st week of June '08.
Here's what I have so far.
We're flying in from L.A. for 4 nights in Vancouver. It's our first trip to that city. I'm leaning toward the Blue Horizon hotel downtown.
Then, we'll take the ferry over to Victoria and spend 3 nights there. Haven't decided on lodging yet. Leaving Victoria, we were thinking of taking a train up the coast of Vancouver Island up to Courtenay. There's a scenic train called the Malahat. I found a nice B&B called Two Eagles that looks very peaceful which is exactly what we want on the island. If anyone has any other recommendations for peaceful wooded or watery locations I'll gladly take them. I want to see stars at night. Campbell River looks too big to stay in for the peaceful part of this trip but I do want to take the Aboriginal Wildlife tour for bear, eagle and Orca viewing. It sounds great! I know I want to do this but wasn't sure if we should do both this and the whale watch out of Victoria. Does anyone know if my chances of seeing orcas are pretty good this far north for this time of year? We'll probably stay 4 or 5 nights on the island My main interests for this part are relaxing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. I see lots of people glowing about Tofino but I don't want to spend too much time traveling around. Maybe we should just go to Tofino instead of the east coast of V.I.? Any help is gladly appreciated.

magicvoice is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
I would strongly suggest that you go to Tofino rather than staying in Courtenay or elsewhere on the east side of the island. PLan on staying 3 nights or more if you can (I personally think 2 nights is plenty in Victoria). It's a very relaxing place, once you get there.

Best to see orcas from Victoria that time of year rather than further north.

NWWanderer is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,121
I personally don't find the train trip to Courtenay very scenic.
April is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,883
Well, here's a bit of a dissenting voice - and I will admit right off the bat that I haven't taken that E&N train myself, but my partner has, and he loves it. It's a small train and quite a fun (and, he says, scenic) trip.
Have you looked at Quadra Island? We were there a couple of years ago - stayed at Tsa-Kwa-Luten resort. They have a website. The Aboriginal Wildlife tour operates from there, I think. We've been to Tofino as well and it's lovely, so either would be a good bet and would meet your criteria.
Meesthare is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 98
Now I'm leaning toward Ucluelet for the relaxing part of the trip. I looked up all the recommendations on Tofino and Ucluelet seems a little cheaper and quieter. I've found a few lodging choices that look promising but if anyone has a place they love, I'd like to hear about it.
Also, my route will be changing. I'm thinking Vancouver for 4 nights, ferry to Nanaimo, drive to Ucluelet.
We still want to see Victoria for a couple days. Should we fly there from Tofino?

magicvoice is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,916
I don't think there are flights from Tofino/Ucluelet to Victoria and dropping off a rental car out in the Tofino area will be very expensive.

It's a five hour drive to Victoria from out there--I'd just drive.

I personally prefer staying on the water in the area south of Tofino rather than in Ucluelet so you get the crashing waves--Middle Beach Lodge has some small rooms in their original lodge that are pretty reasonably priced for the area.
NWWanderer is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 31
Some other thoughts - if you are looking for hiking and scenery away from too many people, consider looking into the Juan de Fuca Trail - it is easily accessible by car and is good for day hikes. There are some very interesting Bed & Breakfast places along the way (Point no Point for example, but there are others as well). Another good hiking area is East Sooke Park, which will give you beautiful walks along the ocean, although not the breakers that you would get in Tofino. For a relaxing day consider driving out to Sombrio Beach and watching the surfers.
HuberaSanti is offline  

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