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1 week itinerary

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
30 posts
9 reviews
1 week itinerary

We are planning a trip to BC next year in June/July. At the beginning of our trip we want to go to Vancouver Island for a week. I am considering going straight to the island after arriving at the international airport. I understand that we could do this either by bus/ferry or seaplane? At the end we want to go to downtown Vancouver where we are spending a few days.

I was considering spending 3 nights in Victoria and 3 in Sooke. I wondered if it made sense to start in Victoria, then hire a car and drive to Sooke ,where we would do some day hikes, then drive to Nanaimo via Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan and then ferry to Horsehoe Bay and bus to Vancouver.

3 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
67,992 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: 1 week itinerary

Hi ~

The coach service from the airport to downtown Victoria is BC Ferries Connector. www.bcfconnector.com

The reviews for them are here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Harbour Air is the seaplane that is located at YVR South, allow 30 minutes to transfer and an hour to check in for one of their flights. www.harbourair.com

Reviews are here. They offer a variety of services, some sightseeing, some scheduled flights. Sort accordingly: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Staying in Sooke is not a bad idea as you can get out and about from there. It's only an hour's drive to Port Renfrew from Sooke. However, to get to the ferry at Departure Bay (Nanaimo) via Port Renfrew and Duncan has you driving through not very scenic countryside. Corridors of trees and parking near the highway with some walking to the sweet, waterfront bits. It would take 3.5 hours to the ferry terminal. By going back toward Victoria and getting on Hwy 19 up Island, you would have more traffic, more towns, but more interesting attractions, IMO, and easier access to the waters of Georgia Strait. 2.5 hours to the ferry terminal.

This article about the Pacific Marine Circle Route to PR and Duncan cannot be edited any more so some of the links might be disconnected. The article about driving from Victoria up to the Parksville area is still good info. You will be able to weigh out which way you want to go.

From Nanaimo to Vancouver will take a 1 hour wait for the ferry, the 1.5 hour ferry ride and the 40 min drive into downtown Vancouver.

Are you heading for a flight out after the Island, or will you be staying in Vancouver for a few days? If flying somewhere, we recommend you spend the night before your flight on the Vancouver side. Ferries are mechanical and they can cause delays, sometimes long enough delays to stuff up catching a flight.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
6,321 posts
22 reviews
2. Re: 1 week itinerary

Or you could fly fixed wing plane from Vancouver airport to Victoria airport. Just book a connecting flight so need to schlep luggage around.

Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
20,237 posts
28 reviews
3. Re: 1 week itinerary


another opinion with the context that we visit Vancouver Island every year.

Sooke is not far enough from Victoria to make it worth a relocation; it was an easy 1/2 day trip with lunch last time we wandered about to the area from Victoria via Esquimalt Lagoon and East Sooke. If you want to relocate it would be a good idea to look closer to Port Renfrew to explore that area.

and FYI the Pacific Marine drive from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan was a forestry service road so a drive in the middle of the forest; it got rebranded to get tourism to Lake Cowichan after the mill closed down. For Sooke to Port Renfrew there are very few places where you get to see the water from the highway, you have to drive in and sometimes hike to access points to get to the water.

and, we purposely went to Sooke on our last visit to Victoria as it gets talked about on the TA forums; this was our third visit, we still did not find the "charm" of the place just driving around. With limited mobility the Sooke Potholes were out of the question so that might make a difference but again it can easily be done from Victoria.

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