• Bear Watching Excursion

Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island

Our incredible Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island self drive provides a sample of Canada’s most spectacular treasures. Discover picturesque Vancouver Island scenery, the impressive grizzly bears of Tofino, in addition to the provincial charm of Victoria and its mesmerising whales. 

If you’re seeking an immersive experience in Canada, or if it’s your first time in this magnificent kingdom, then our Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island self drive is perfect for you. On this 9 day itinerary, your adventures will include experiencing lively city life in exciting Vancouver, as well as picturesque remote wilderness at Sonora and Tofino. Here you can witness Canada’s breath-taking natural beauty and amazing wildlife first-hand. It’s the perfect itinerary for nature enthusiasts. You’ll stay at an authentic wilderness lodge where you can admire the local flora and fauna in exquisite surroundings. History and culture lovers will enjoy Vancouver Island and fascinating aboriginal culture experiences along the way. 

Adventurers will enjoy uncovering remote Tofino and its grizzly bears and eagles, in addition to an array of Canadian wildlife. Experience guided ecotours or bear watching depending on the season. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with the local Canadian animal species. Indulge in a whale-watching Vancouver Island excursion, while foodies can sample an array of national gourmet delights throughout this fascinating journey. 

A world of adventures await so join us for an unmissable experience with fun-filled activities that couples, groups and solo travellers alike will enjoy.

 

Duration
9 days

Guide Price

 £3,799  pp
Best time to go
May to September
Options
Private basis, Self-Guided
Start your journey
a green plant in a garden with Butchart Gardens in the background

Trip highlights

  • Plunge into a unique whale-watching journey on the outskirts of Victoria
  • Uncover the untamed grizzly bears on the picturesque, remote island of Tofino
  • Immerse yourself in the provincial charm of Canada’s capital - Victoria
  • Explore beautiful Vancouver Island’s scenery and its fascinating aboriginal experiences
a close up of a flower garden

Arrive in Victoria, where you’ll collect your luggage and make your way to collect your rental car before driving to your downtown hotel.

Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure, exploring the wonders of this amazing city. Create your own island adventure exploring beautiful parks, gardens and port lands in the capital city of British Columbia. Take a stroll around the Inner Harbour or picturesque Beacon Hill Park, before discovering the impressive Craigdarroch Castle or the fascinating Royal BC Museum.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Inn at Laurel Point or Magnolia Hotel and Spa or similar
Whale Watching

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime as you climb aboard a zodiac rigid boat. Immerse yourself in a spectacular wildlife viewing adventure alongside a certified marine biologist, and enjoy a stunning whale-watching tour, Canada-style. Witness the beautiful orcas, minke and grey whales first-hand, alongside other mesmerising marine wildlife in their natural habitats. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel for an evening at leisure in provincial Victoria.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Inn at Laurel Point or Magnolia Hotel and Spa or similar
a body of water with a mountain in the background
a large body of water

Sample a mouth watering breakfast at your hotel before departing Victoria and travelling the 197 miles to the island of Tofino. Keep your camera ready as you journey across scenic Vancouver Island to the Pacific Coast. Travel through incredible island scenery, including authentic rainforests and provincial parklands. Be sure not to miss the ecological beauty that is the Pacific Rim National Park, which is home to impressive wildlife and striking scenery. Stay overnight in Tofino.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Schooner Motel
a black bear walking across a grass covered field
a large black bear standing on top of a rock

Today it’s all aboard a zodiac boat for a thrilling bear watching experience. Immerse yourself in this adventure as you speed along the pretty coastline to the feeding grounds of Canada’s majestic grizzly bears. View the bears as they appear from the forests and forage for rock crabs along the shores. Travel back to dry land and uncover the intrepid coastline for yourself via the maze of hiking trails, or wander along the shoreline collecting shells and driftwood. Art and culture fans will enjoy a trip to the stunning Himwitsa Art Gallery and its authentic Tofino treasures. 

Return to your hotel where you will stay overnight in Tofino.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Schooner Motel
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Wake up and depart from beautiful Tofino for the tranquil Sonora Resort. Travel 180 miles overland to the east coast of Vancouver Island, where you will discover unmissable sites along the way. Witness the impressive native rock carvings at Sproat Lake, or the spectacular waterfalls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Arrive in scenic Campbell River, where you will be taken by water taxi to the stunning Sonora Resort. Relax and unwind for the night in this luxurious West Coast sanctuary in the heart of Canada’s beautiful nature as you prepare for tomorrow’s adventures. A delicious dinner packed full of local favourites is included.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sonora Resort
Bear Watching Excursion

Spend the day at this deluxe wilderness resort, where you’ll find a choice of activities available. Indulge in unlimited hiking, swimming and tennis during your stay, in addition to an exciting nature adventure depending on when you travel.

Eco nature tour (May 1st – August 9th) is an excursion showcasing the magnificent surrounding wilderness accompanied by an expert local guide.

Bear watching by boat (Aug 10th – Oct 10th) takes you on a boat trip to the home of the authentic grizzly bears where you can see them in their natural habitat. Enjoy an audio guide allowing minimum disturbance to these precious creatures in their precious homes.

As evening draws in, sample the gourmet delights of a Sonora Resort dinner or indulge in a cocktail on the terrace as you take in the enchanting views. Relax in the lounge or check out the games room.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sonora Resort
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Your day will begin aboard a water taxi, where you will return to Campbell River. From there you will drive 180 miles along the eastern shore of Vancouver Island. Pretty Comox and other seaside towns provide a welcome stop-off point for shopping or lunch.

Arrive in Nanaimo, from where you will take a ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver. Spend the rest of you day as you wish, discovering its rich history, mouth-watering restaurants, and spectacular landmarks. Spend the night in Vancouver.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel or Coast Coal Harbour Hotel or similar
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Wake up and enjoy the exciting and cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Shopaholics can pick out a souvenir in Robson Street, where you will discover everything from aboriginal art to the latest fashion trends. Take a stroll along the forest trails of Stanley Park, which is home to a provincial zoo and authentic Klahowya Village.

Thrill seekers may prefer to trek across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, while history lovers will enjoy the inspiring Museum of Vancouver. For some impressive views, wander along the boardwalks of the Seawall and enjoy panoramic views over the water and of the majestic mountains on the mainland. Then spend the night in Vancouver.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre

Check out of your hotel and head to Vancouver International Airport for your onward travel.

 

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 8 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis: Room Only, Full board at Sonora Resort
  • Local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Car hire and insurance
  • Taxes
  • Wildlife excursions in Victoria and Tofino
  • Ferry crossing between Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Gratuities
  • Meals
  • Attractions and excursions