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Introducing Vancouver Island

The largest populated landmass between western North America and New Zealand – it's around 500km long and 100km wide – Vancouver Island is laced with colorful, often quirky communities, many founded on logging or fishing and featuring the word 'Port' in their name.

The locals are generally a friendly bunch, proud of their region and its distinct differences. Traveling around, you'll find a wide range of attractions, experiences and activities that feel many miles away from the bustle of mainland Vancouver. Which reminds us: if you want to make a good impression, don't mistakenly refer to the place as 'Victoria Island.'

While the history-wrapped BC capital Victoria is the first port of call for many, it should not be the only place you visit. Food and wine fans will enjoy weaving through the verdant Cowichan Valley farm region; those craving a laid-back, family-friendly enclave should hit the twin seaside towns of Parksville and Qualicum; outdoor-activity enthusiasts shouldn't miss the surf-loving west-coast area of Tofino and beyond; and those who fancy remote backcountry far from the madding crowds should make for the north, an undiscovered gem that's among BC's most rewarding wilderness areas.