Conde Naste released its top 20 islands (outside the US) of 2016 and Vancouver Island was #6 on the list. What makes that even more impressive is that Vancouver Island is the only temperate climate on the list. (While the Greek Islands do have a mild and wet winter, their summers are on average much hotter than ours.)
Why does Vancouver Island attract and interest travelers? The reasons are much the same as what appeals to those of us who live here, and what makes travelers look to buy recreational property in the region.
Cape Scott, north end of Vancouver Island
Natural Beauty: Miles of sand beaches, stunning rock beaches, mountains, waterfalls, large rivers and towering rainforests. There is so much nature on this island that just exploring it can keep one occupied for a lifetime, let alone a one week visit.
Mild Temperatures: While some people love to lie in the hot sun (as evidenced by the many tropical islands on the list), others enjoy our temperate summers which allow you to still be active even on the hottest days. Plus the evenings generally cool off nicely. Our fall and spring are lengthy and even our winters, with wild rain and wind storms, appeals to those looking to experience nature's ferocity.
Walking by the Quinsam River in November
Urban Amenities and Services: Victoria, Nanaimo and to a smaller extent Campbell River, the Comox Valley and the Cowichan Valley, offer almost all the amenities of the big mainland cities. Concerts, plays, sports, art galleries and world class museums as well as a large variety of shopping and dining attract those looking to see nature from a more sophisticated setting.
Wildlife Viewing: Whale watching seems to be number one on many travelers' lists and there is lots of opportunity to do that around Vancouver Island. In addition seals, sea lions, bears, eagles and much more wildlife are easily viewed. Being so close to the mainland and having a number of smaller islands off its east coast means Vancouver Island is easily accessible for shore animals as well as ocean dwellers. It's cooler waters are rich in sealife and food sources, encouraging many local populations as well as putting it on migration routes for many species.
Orca, Malcolm Island
Fishing: Salmon species, halibut, cod species - Vancouver Island waters have them all and the fishermen come in droves to experience pulling them in. Plus the numerous lakes and rivers on the island are a mecca for fly fishermen and other freshwater fishermen.
Ease of Access: Vancouver Island is easily accessed by plane or ferry and once on the island all the main communities have good road access. So both getting to the island and getting around the majority of the island are easy. It is possible to drive from one of the island to the other in a day, which makes it possible to visit a number of communities and regions in a week or two.
central mountains of Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, and the surrounding coastal islands, is a unique place in the world that offers something to everyone. It is majestic, breath-taking, beautiful and exciting. We are privileged to call it home.
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!