Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Whistler
- 2 nights Tofino
- 2 nights Victoria
Day 1: Vancouver to Whistler
Today you will pick up your car hire, and depart Vancouver along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, heading to Whistler, the full hourney should take around 3 hours not including your camera stops of course! Highlights along the way include a stop at Shannon Falls, a cascading waterfall, and also Stawamus Chief Rock where climbers from all over the world migrate to climb the granite cliffs.
Once you arrive in Whistler, you will check into your hotel for your two nights stay.
Day 2: Whistler
Whistler is an alpine resort nestled between the world-renowned Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Whilst you’re here you can enjoy an extensive range of summer activities, from golf, to water activities, to hiking, to mountain-top dining.
We recommend taking the Whistler Gondola which connects rises to over 2,100 metres via Whistler’s premier open chairlift. At the top of the Peak Chair, you’ll be greeted by an unbelievable view of glaciers, extinct volcanoes and snow-capped peaks.
Day 3: Whistler to Tofino
Today you will travel back down the Sea to Sky Highway to Horseshoe Bay, where you’ll get to sail to Vancouver Island. Once you have reached Vancouver Island, you’ll head west to Tofino, taking a scenic route across the Island.
En-route, make a stop at Cathedral Grove where you can visit the 800 year old Douglas Firs and Cedars, and also Sproat Lake, where you can see the world’s two largest water-bombers, used to put out forest fires.
The final stretch to Tofino takes you through Sutton Pass and the Sawtooth Range of the Cascade Mountains. After this long but interesting journey, you will check into your hotel in Tofino for a 2 night stay.
Day 4: Tofino & Pacific Rim National Park
The first part of your day is free for you to explore – perhaps you could walk along the famed Long Beach, with its miles of pristine beach and pounding surf, or discover the rain forests on one of the many well maintained trails in the area.
Mid-afternoon it’s time to embark on your 3 hour whale watching cruise through Clayoquot Sound, revealing sensational scenery, and wildlife such as grey whales, sea lions, porpoises and killer whales. The area is also renowned for its variety of birds including tufted puffins and bald eagles.
Day 5: Tofino to Victoria
Travel to the East Coast of Vancouver Island today approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes drive, to Victoria. A great stop on the way is the artist community of Chemainus where you can see the giant murals on the exterior walls around the town.
Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village is another interesting place to stop, and will provide you with an insight into the lives of the people of the northwest coast (seasonal opening hours, so please enquire).
Day 6: Victoria
Enjoy a day wandering around Victoria, taking in its turn-of-the-century architecture and British traditions (High tea is a Victoria tradition!). Shops and cafes are in abundance, so explore to your heart’s content.
We really love Butchart Gardens and its 50 acres of floral displays and beautiful colours – it is well worth a visit and a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Day 7: Victoria to Vancouver
It is now time to leave Vancouver Island and travel back to Vancouver, via the ferry from Swartz Bay. This ferry journey provides wonderful views of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia to Tsawwassen, where you will continue on to Vancouver, where you will drop off your hire car.