Sun­shine Coast & Vancouver Is­land

Best for: Coastal scenery, kayaking, wildlife and hik­ing

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Canada / Trip Planner -

ROUTE: Vancouver • Gib­sons • Pow­ell River • Lit­tle River • Ucluelet/tofino • Swartz Bay WHY GO? It’s 200km (by road/ferry) be­tween Vancouver and Lund but it de­serves a few days, to en­joy its towns, hikes and nat­u­ral at­trac­tions.

Driv­ing north-west from Vancouver (via car ferry hops), the Sun­shine Coast High­way ends in Lund, and has in­nu­mer­able rea­sons to stop and daw­dle in places such as Gib­sons and Pow­ell River. Its small towns have a laid-back air, with relaxed ser­vice at the pubs and restau­rants over­look­ing the Strait of Ge­or­gia. Some ho­tels have ca­noes, for easy pootling among the shel­tered coves, and can even or­gan­ise moon­lit pad­dles to see por­poises, seals and sea ot­ters at play. Near Eg­mont is also a 45minute walk to see one of the re­gion’s great nat­u­ral spec­ta­cles: the re­vers­ing ti­dal rapids of Skookum­chuck (‘strong wa­ter’) Nar­rows – lo­cal guides de­tail times for the peak flow.

A car ferry from Westview to Lit­tle River on Vancouver Is­land al­lows road-trip­pers to con­tinue along a spec­tac­u­lar route through old-growth for­est via Port Al­berni to the is­land’s west coast and either Ucluelet or Tofino (both surf­ing Mec­cas). Fin­ish at Swartz Bay for the ferry back to Vancouver.

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