15 Day Tour
Travel at your own pace on a self-drive tailor made itinerary to ensure that you see the most of Vancouver Island’s wilderness and its prolific wildlife, which includes grey whales, orcas, white-sided dolphin and black bears.
Vancouver Island is a microcosm of British Columbia with mountains, dense forests and desolate beaches. Its size and shape, good highways, lack of language barrier, and the friendly Canadian welcome all conspire to make it an ideal place to explore by hire car. Equipped with a comprehensive Welcome Pack, you will also have advice on the wildlife excursions you can join to watch grey whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and orcas, and where to see black bears and much more besides…
DAY 1: Fly to Vancouver
Fly to Vancouver on a daytime. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation.
Stay At: Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 1-night
DAY 2-3: Fly (or catch the ferry) to Victoria on Vancouver Island
Once on Vancouver Island, collect your hire car and proceed to your hotel. We recommend a couple of days in Victoria, during which time a whale watching boat trip is included, focussing on orcas.
Stay At: Oak Bay Beach Hotel, 2-nights
DAY 4-6: Drive to Tofino on west coast
Your drive today to Pacific Rim National Park is a wonderfully scenic drive through mountains, forests and lakesides – ranked among the top three drives in Canada. After arriving in Tofino, enjoy a coastal black bear viewing trip in the fjord inlets, observing them foraging in the intertidal zone.
During your stay, there will be opportunities to go looking whales and orcas. The whale watching trips take you through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound to view beautiful scenery and wildlife and, depending on the time of year, you could encounter grey whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea birds and resident bald eagles.
On your last day, take a bear watching tour to see black bears and explore the fjord inlets of Clayoquot Sound. There are also many hiking trails in the Pacific Rim National Park, or you could take a stroll along one of the many beaches.
Stay At: Tofino Resort & Marina, 4-nights
DAY 8-10: Drive to Campbell River; whale watching
Drive north to Campbell River, a drive of approximately four to five hours along the coast.
The following morning enjoy a whale watching excursion (included), and then the rest of your time at Campbell River is at your leisure to arrange excursions to see more of the wildlife of the area. You may wish to join a bear watching excursion or perhaps enjoy some kayaking to explore the secluded inlets dotted along the coast.
Stay At: Coast Discovery Inn, 3-nights
DAY 11-12: Drive to Port Hardy on north coast
Continue your journey up the east coast of Vancouver Island to Port Hardy, a small fishing town and another excellent base for whale watching and bear viewing. During your time in Port Hardy you are free to explore the area on your own or you may wish to benefit from the knowledge of a local guide during a land-based tour or boat trip.
Stay At: Quarterdeck Inn & Marina Resort, 2-nights
DAY 13: Fly to Vancouver
After returning your hire car to Port Hardy airport, check-in for your domestic flight back to Vancouver. There should then be some time to explore the city this afternoon.
DAY 14: Depart Vancouver
Return to Vancouver airport in the afternoon to board your overnight flight back to the UK.
DAY 15: Arrive UK
Please note: This itinerary can be customised to include a side trip to stay at one of the bear lodges, to see grizzly bears. Alternatively, rather than flying back to Vancouver, you can take the ferry from Comox to Powell River on the mainland, and drive back down the coast over two days.
15 days from £4,195 pp
The price reflects the suggested accommodation in this itinerary. This will depend on when you travel and is subject to change. All of our Wildlife holidays are completely tailor-made to your requirements. We are happy to make recommendation to meet the quality and experience you are looking for, within your given budget.