Pacific Marine Circle Tour 3 nights
Traveling to: Cowichan Bay, Sooke and Victoria
The Pacific Marine Circle Route is a perfect way for visitors to explore much of the Cowichan region while also getting to see Southern Vancouver Island, from the calm, sheltered East Coast to the rugged, Wild West Coast. This coast to coast journey on Vancouver Island connects the character cultures and heritage of dozens of communities with amazing panoramic views of the Juan de Fuca, Haro and Georgia straits as well as the Saanich Peninsula. Enjoy a quieter way of life as you explore wine country, countless beaches, trails and parks, First Nations history, a range of hamlets, villages, towns and cities - all in one fantastic road trip.
Please note: This is a remote route with limited services. Some sections may be narrow and sharp, and driving times may vary depending on type of vehicle.
Top 5 things to do
- Visit the murals of Chemainus
- Shop in Cowichan Bay village
- Explore the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
- Visit the Parliament Buildings in Victoria and walk along the Inner Harbour
- Take a whale watching tour in Victoria with Orca Spirit Whale Watching Adventures
Additional Activities can be added to your package during the booking process
Day 1 - Vancouver to Nanaimo
West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
Staying at: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay (Oceanview Bedroom Suite)
1681 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, British Columbia, Canada, V0R 1N0
Start with a scenic 100-minute sail across the Strait of Georgia through fjord-like waters and past mountains blanketed with virgin forests and glaciated peaks to the city of Nanaimo. On arrival make a short stop and visit the revitalized downtown core of Nanaimo with its delightful harbourfront promenade, new museum, affordable art galleries and a wealth of shopping and dining alternatives. Don’t forget to check out the many bakeries for a taste of a local delicacy; the famous Nanaimo Bar.
As you continue your drive to Cowichan Bay, make sure to visit the charming town of Chemainus; noted for its creative community, which is evident in the 40 plus vivid murals scatted around town that depict its culture and history.
You will soon arrive to a quaint seaside village of Cowichan Bay where you can explore an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants located along wharves that also house sailboats, fishing boats and floating homes. Most of Cowichan Bay’s commercial and residential buildings sit on stilts. The large marina is the focal point in the town centre, surrounded by shops, art galleries, accommodation properties, and restaurants known for superb local seafood.
The Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay offers spacious, tastefully furnished and well-equipped accommodations. Each suite boasts spectacular ocean views, Italian marble floors, a separate bedroom, a dining area, two 32" televisions and wireless Internet. The hotel amenities include a waterfront indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness facility. You can dine in the Terrain Regional Kitchen, which features local, seasonal food that is carefully sourced and thoughtfully prepared. Be sure to visit the OceanGlo Wellness Spa, which offers a wide array of healing and relaxing services.
Day 2 - Cowichan Bay to Sooke
Staying at: Prestige Oceanfront Resort (Two Queen Room)
6929 West Coast Road, Sooke, BC, Canada, V9Z 0V1
Continue to explore the Cowichan Valley, the second-largest wine region in British Columbia, with an ever-growing number of vineyards and wineries. Locals claim that the warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters are reminiscent of a cool Mediterranean climate, providing ideal growing conditions for many varieties of grapes. In the surrounding area, you can discover lush green valleys, forested mountains, ocean scenery and many outdoor recreation possibilities – including boating, kayaking, diving, hiking, biking, whale-watching, horseback riding and golf. You can also just take a picnic to a quiet deserted beach or take a stroll.
As you leave Cowichan Bay you will make your way to Port Renfrew; a great area for any fishing enthusiast as this town is an ideal base to book a trip for salt or freshwater adventures year-round. Continue northwest on Highway 14 towards Sooke, home of both the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and the historic West Coast Trail. Between Port Renfrew and Jordan River, signs will guide you to entry points for hikes along the 47 km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail – good for day hikers and overnight trekkers alike.
Sooke is located in a sheltered harbour, where you can swim, kayak, sail and fish. As a town with one of the mildest climates in Canada, you can hike, bike or horseback ride along the local trails year-round. Sooke also supports a variety of cultural activities such as, music, drama, arts, crafts, team sports and photography. Nearby Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, explore the geological marvels carved deep in the sandstone bedrock from the last ice age. Hikes and walks abound and offer views of the jagged coastline and inspiring vistas of Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains.
Prestige Oceanfront Resort a full serviced hotel offers rooms with a 42-inch TV, pillowtop mattress, mini-fridge and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are three different on-site restaurants: an award-winning local and international wine list, and a fully equipped ocean-view athletic club with a pool and hot tub. The Ocean Palm Spa offers a variety of treatments in a relaxed and rejuvenating setting. But if you have to work, there’s also a business centre.
Day 3 - Sooke to Victoria
Staying at: Parkside Hotel & Spa (Luxury One Bedroom Suite)
810 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8V 5B1
Depart Sooke heading east for a scenic 45-minute drive along route Highway 14 to the beautiful capital city of British Columbia that is Victoria. Victoria has a dynamic blend of coastal beauty, historic charm and urban appeal. Set on the sparkling Strait of Juan de Fuca, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, it offers breathtaking views of the water and Olympic Mountains. Stroll down cobblestone streets, explore the Inner Harbour, eat in celebrated restaurants and pubs, or take in the many attractions.
The sustainable Parkside Hotel & Spa features a beautiful 25-metre indoor pool and the Parkside Spa with a full range of luxurious and relaxing treatments and packages. Enjoy the Tre Fantastico Cafe, theatre and rooftop garden. Inviting suites have designer furnishings and gourmet kitchens. Energetic city life and some of Victoria's most popular attractions are just steps away.
Day 4 - Victoria to Vancouver
Victoria (Swartz Bay)
You can continue to explore the charming city of Victoria, or simply take a leisurely stroll around the Inner Harbour. Alternatively as you make your way to Swartz Bay ferry terminal you may wish to stop and visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and or The Butchart Gardens located in Brentwood Bay (admission tickets not included). Once onboard the ferry, enjoy the scenic 95-minute BC Ferries voyage across the Strait of Georgia and past the Gulf Islands to Vancouver.
Please select the itinerary day to show:
Day 1 - Vancouver to Nanaimo
- Starting Point
- End Point
- Driving Route
- Ferry Route
These directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, weather, or other events may cause conditions to differ from the map results, and you should plan your route accordingly. You must obey all signs or notices regarding your route.
The directions displayed are directly via Google Maps and are subject to Google Maps Terms and Conditions.
‡Ferry sailing from the Sunshine Coast is roundtrip from Powell River to Comox. If another ferry sailing is required from Earls Cove or Gibsons, additional charges may apply.
***Note: Return ferry sailing is not the same as the departure sailing. Package can also be booked inthe reverse order; please call a BC Ferries Vacation travel consultant for this option.
Photo credit for fifth image in carousel: Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe
Photo credit for sixth image in carousel: Boomer Jerritt/Tourism Vancouver Island