Vancouver Island is one of the most visually stunning, culturally unique places you can visit when renting an RV. And it is truly one of those places where an RV is the ideal way to travel – so much of The Island (as it is called by locals) is wild, so the ability to see the beautiful places depends entirely on where you can stay!
As a 10 day tour, this uses much fewer kilometers than a trip to Banff or Jasper – and often, in July or August, those areas are quite crowded. If you’re looking for a quieter trip, Vancouver Island could be just the ticket!
10 days, 971 Km
Day 1: Gibsons – Victoria
Day 2: Victoria
Day 3: Victoria – Nanaimo
Day 4: Nanaimo – Tofino
Day 5: Tofino
Day 6: Tofino – Cambell River
Day 7: Campbell River- Powell River
Day 8: Powell River – Sechelt
Day 9: Sechelt-Gibsons
Day 10: Gibsons!
Day 1: Arrive in Gibsons
A Taxi will pick you up at the Vancouver airport (if you arrive same-day), or from your hotel of choice (if you spend the night in Vancouver), and bring you to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. You’ll board the ferry, feeling almost as if you’re taking a mini-steamer to our location in Gibsons, British Columbia.
Someone from our Happy Holidays Team will meet you as you exit the ferry terminal, and escort you to your clean, fully-stocked and ready-to-go vehicle!
After an orientation to the vehicle, as well as a bit of paperwork, we’ll present you with a packet of information that can help you on your way! (Tourist information, a handbook about your RV’s different systems and operations, as well as a few other goodies! You’ll also find a card showing all our different resources online – including an up and coming set of how-to videos, in case you just can’t seem to remember how to operate something!)
For this tour, we recommend hitting the road, so you can get to gorgeous Victoria – more time to explore all the sights, sounds, and foods of Victoria tomorrow!
Restaurant Suggestions: Il Terrazzo (A delicious Italian restaurant, hidden away down a brick alleyway in downtown Victoria!)
Day 2: Victoria!
Victoria is a diverse city, and no matter your vacation style, you’ll find something to your taste here! An urban oasis surrounded by ocean waters and mountainous wilderness, the city offers the best of both worlds: great restaurants, shops, museums and city parks as well as endless outdoor activities. Looking for a marine adventure? Take a fishing tour, or a whale watching boat. Want to go for a stroll along the beach? Try Dallas Beach. Want some fish and chips on the harbour? Try fisherman’s wharf. Looking for a hike, or a walk with beautiful views? Try Thetis Lake, or any of the many Provincial and Regional parks in the area.
One of the many world-class attractions Victoria offers is Buchart Gardens – a 55-acre horticulturist’s paradise, you can visit Buchart Gardens all year round. Displays are changed seasonally, and the gardens themselves are a visual feast. Our favorite is the Japanese Garden – there is something peaceful about still water and terracing. And from the Japanese Garden, you can peer out to a protected Marina – it truly makes you feel you’re in a secret world!
Restaurant Suggestion: The Flying Otter Grill
Campground: Salish Seaside RV Haven
Day 3: Victoria-Nanaimo
The drive from Victoria-Nanaimo itself is beautiful – you’ll get a chance to experience the dense forests, winding inlets, and sweeping vistas that make Vancouver Island such an attraction. Make sure to pull over at the top of the Malahat – the pass that crosses up and over the coastal mountains – to get a breathtaking view of the coastal Islands!
Once you arrive in Nanaimo, you’d get a chance to try out “Monkido” at Wild Play Adventure Park. Explore the temperate rainforest tree canopy with a series of obstacle courses, all while safely secured in a harness with dual connections (to ensure that, even when you’re transferring from one obstacle to the next, you’re safe and secure). We have done this course many times, and it is STILL fun!
Looking for a less thrill-seeking activity? Take a walk through Neck Point Park, or just spend the afternoon lounging in your camp chair, reading or enjoying the clean air and silence!
Restaurant Suggestion: Asteras – a fun and festive greek restaurant, where you can get huge portions of delicious Greek food! We recommend the ekmek for dessert – it’s like Greek Tiramisu, and it will not disappoint!
Campground: Living Forset Oceanside campground and RV Park
Day 4: Nanaimo-Tofino
Today you’ll be heading to Tofino – Canada’s california! Along the way, stop to take a look at the Coombs market – where goats graze on the roof!
Sandy beaches make Tofino a waterfront paradise – where you can do anything from surfing, to fishing, to hiking, to sunbathing! Visit this site for a few ideas of thing to do in tofino – including kayaking, mountain biking, golf, and stand up paddleboarding!
Restaurant: Sobo – locally sourced gourmet food with beautiful presentation
Campground: Bella Pacifica Campground
Day 5: Tofino
Enjoy a full day in this west-coast paradise! Take some surfing lessons, go for a swim, or even just take a walk along the beautiful beaches. Tofino is one of the most sought-after spots to visit in all of Canada – so really soak it in!
Restaurant: Big Daddy’s Fish Fry – a local staple!
Campground: Bella Pacifica Campground
Day 6: Tofino – Campbell River
Campbell River is a favorite spot for hiking, biking, and fishing. If you love any of those activities, you’ll find yourself in paradise here! (Try a visit to Elk Falls Provincial Park to really take advantage of the area!)
If you’re not into hiking, biking, or fishing, Campbell River has a nice museum to visit – I know I like to visit museums, to really appreciate the details of the area I’m in. Feel free to also visit the Campbell River Visitor Centre – they often have great ideas of what to see, based your interests!
Restaurant: Chiang Rai Noodle House – a wonderful Thai restaurant to really awaken your taste buds!
Campground: Salmon Point Rv Resort
Day 7: Campbell River – Powell River
Powell River is near the Northern tip of The Sunshine Coast. This community has 4 seasons of temperate weather, and lots of outdoor experiences to offer! Inland Lake Provincial Park features a 13 km, one of a kind trail that is accesible by walking, biking, and even wheelchairs! If you’re looking to have a low-impact, high-reward hike or ride, hit this trail! If you’re looking for a less active pursuit, visit Townsite Brewing to enjoy a few sips!
Campground: Haywire Bay Regional Park and Campground
Day 8: Powell River – Sechelt
On the way, there are many options! For hiking, we recommend the very easy hike to the Skookumchuk Rapids, where you can admire one of nature’s strangest phenomena – a perpetual wave that occurs with the changing of the tide! For water-based activities, head to Tuwanek and rent a few kayaks. We’ve seen octopi, lots of fish, and thousands of jellyfish while kayaking the inlet! If you’re in the mood to relax at a waterfront restaurant, we recommend the Lighthouse Pub. Enjoy your sips and bites with a beautiful view of the inlet, and watch the seaplanes take off and land!
Once you’re ready to settle in for the evening, head to Porpoise Bay Provincial Park and park directly by the shore!
Campground: Porpoise Bay Provincial Park
Day 9: Sechelt – Gibsons
Today, you’ll be driving back to Gibsons. Head to the public market for breakfast or lunch (depending on if you’re an early riser or if you like to sleep in!). Afterwards, you can take a kayak for a local tour, or go for a sundowner on a sailboat! (We rent out a sailboat for harbor cruises – contact us for details!. For any other water-based adventures, we recommend Sunshine Kayaking. We’ve been on many tours with them ourselves, and they are great to work with, whether you’re a novice or experienced.) Head up to Mike’s place for their (what seems like) hundreds of flavors of homemade gelato, and get ready for your final night in your temporary home!
Taking a sundowner around Keats Island
Day 10: Returning your RV
Meet one of the Happy Holidays Motorhome staff at the pre-arranged location (usually the ferry terminal) to give back your RV. The staff member will do a quick once-over of the vehicle, record the kilometers, and send you on your way to the ferry!
Once you disembark the ferry, a taxi will be waiting for you, to take you either to the airport (if you’re catching a flight), or to a pre-arranged location (if you’re planning to stay in the area for a bit longer!)
To book this tour, or for any other questions, please contact us today at email@example.com or call us at +1 (604) 886-9025!