Discover what all the fuss is about while road tripping to some of Vancouver Island’s wildest destinations. Connect with your inner adventurer while walking among the giants in the old-growth rainforests and lose yourself on windswept beaches or snowcapped peaks. Abundant with natural wonders, bustling cities and quirky roadside towns, Vancouver Island offers a diverse range of road trips guaranteed to tick items off your bucket-list while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Check out these four routes that are sure to show you the very best this island has to offer. Want a copy to take with you on the road? Download our road trip map.
Did You Know…
- Vancouver Island is the largest island off the North American West Coast.
- Vancouver Island stretches 460 km southeast to northwest and has an average width of 100 km with a total of 32,260 sq. km.
- Vancouver Island is home to approximately 760,000 people.
- Vancouver Island was voted Best Island in Canada in 2016 by readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine.
- Vancouver Island offers experiences in whale watching, bear viewing, hiking, culinary, wineries, caving, biking, storm watching, boating, kayaking, golfing, surfing, fishing, and so much more.
1. Pacific Marine Circle Route
South Vancouver Island Road Trip
Go full circle on Southern Vancouver Island with the Pacific Marine Circle Route. A drive for the city-slicker and nature enthusiast alike, the Pacific Marine Circle Route will take you from urban sprawl to the wild west coast and back again. This 289 km loop starts in Victoria and heads west through the funky oceanside town of Sooke and onto Port Renfrew, where the waves are as big as the drinks are cold. Take a day or more to enjoy the many stunning beaches, quaint cafes and sweeping waterfalls dappled along a winding road through the rain forest while making your way back to Victoria through the City of Totems.
You can start at any of the cities along the eastern side and take the route in either direction, but we suggest coming over through Swartz Bay, settling into the Vancouver Island vibe in Victoria for a day, then hitting the road en route to Port Renfrew.
Both Victoria and Sooke are great places to stock up on supplies before the rest of the trip. Stores become scarce the further west you head, and you don’t want to find yourself without a picnic to enjoy on the beaches.