REGION History

Take the weekend to explore the Circle Route. You will visit West Coast beaches and parks, world famous ancient forests and mammoth trees. This self guided tour will take you from the East Coast of Vancouver Island, through the mountains of Lake Cowichan, along the West Coast and back to your origin. Along the way you can enjoy restaurants, spectacular scenery and quaint shops in the unique coastal communities.

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Places to Stay

“Accommodation in the Vancouver Island Region ranges from world-class resorts, lodges and hotels that offer activity packages and gourmet dining, to wilderness campgrounds away from it all, and everything in between.”


Wine & Dine

“Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands support a vibrant wine industry with more than two dozen wineries. The vineyards complement Vancouver Island’s thriving farms, breweries, cideries, and dining scene. Take a self-guided or guided wine tour of the four scenic wine regions that make up the “Wine Islands.” Taste blackberry port at Cherrypoint Vineyards in the Cowichan Valley. Or discover hidden gems like Salt Spring Vineyards in the Gulf Islands or the Comox Valley’s Blue Moon Estate Winery.”

2 dozen
Wineries to Tour
38 yrs
Oldest winery
Blue Grouse Estate Winery
And Cheese
Locally Grown Pairings

Breweries, Cideries, Distilleries and Wineries!

Vancouver Island’s growing number of breweries, cideries and distilleries add to the region’s reputation as a top-notch culinary destination. Unassuming breweries handcraft traditional and new flavours, infusing elements of the island’s landscape and ingredients. Brewpubs offer their creative take on favourites and serve them with tempting west coast cuisine. Toast to the centuries-old history of beer, or sip on ciders and spirits which are other time-honoured drinks being produced here.

Sooke Mountain

Bike Trails

“Regardless of season, Sooke is seemingly far, far away from the concrete streets of glass and steel. Nestled in the bosom of the craggy and lush west coast of Vancouver Island, Sooke is warmed by a basin where fresh water from the Sooke Hills meets the open ocean. Snow rarely falls, and when it does, it never sticks around long. The breeze is fresh and cool off the ocean during the summer months, but there are pockets off blazing hot sun that just happen to occupy the same places as lake beaches and pools along the Sooke River, where low impact human activity occurs in harmony with nature. The trails unfurl their brown banner to mountain bikers of all stripes, as they provide the traction and speed we all crave.”

Something to Do For everyone

Vancouver Island’s dense forests, white-capped waves, endless beaches, jagged shorelines, and rushing rivers provide amazing terrain for various outdoor activities. Visitors can take advantage of the region’s many scenic walking paths, hiking trails, and cycling routes. There is also plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing, caving, and horseback riding. The region’s more than 40 golf courses offer great golfing, ranging from championship level to 9-hole community courses.

explore Your Adventure



First Nations

“The centre is on six acres of beautifully landscaped grounds along the banks of the Cowichan River, a designated BC Heritage River, just off the Trans Canada Highway, minutes from the Duncan city centre. The Quw’utsun Cultureal and Conference Centre offers a truly unique experience, sharing the stories and traditions of the Cowichan people from hundreds of years ago. It is a world of colour and pageantry, where first nations talent and pride are abundant. We are committed to the culture of warmth and sharing, to bridge the gaps that exist between cultures and promote our native culture in a positive way.”

Soule Creek Lodge


Soule Creek Lodge is perched high on the San Juan Ridge with 360 degree panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Olympic Peninsula, Juan de Fuca Strait, West Coast Trail, San Juan Inlet and Coastal Mountains. With one hundred and sixty private acres bordering Provincial Park lands our view shows very few signs of civilization making it a great site to see wildlife viewing and get away from it all while only a five minute drive to “downtown” Port Renfrew.

Take A Closer Look ›

Cowichan Bay


“For many thousands of years Cowichan Bay was home to First Nations people who harvested the wealth of salmon and shellfish found in its many coves, tidal flats and swiftly flowing rivers. From the early 1900’s Cowichan Bay attracted sportsmen from all over the British Empire for superb salmon fishing in the Bay and the Cowichan and Koksilah rivers. It was, for a time, the Salmon Capital of the World offering not just fishing, but fine sailing waters, an annual regatta and, next to Wimbledon, the oldest grass tennis courts in the world!”

Cowichan Bay

Boutique Waterfront Lodge

Boutique Waterfront Lodge


Wilderness enthusiasts swim, fish, canoe and kayak right from our wharf. Waterfront Patio suites feature large private decks, eat-in kitchens, with all the amenities — dishes, appliances, wine glasses, even beach towels, complementary campfire wood and charcoals for your BBQ. Winter offers world class fly-fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Summer is paradise — swim in the refreshing clean waters, or wander out of our swimming hole and catch a stream for river tubing experiences. Waterfront decks have great views, BBQ and campfire pits to cook your daily catch.

Circle Route

Bird Watching

“In this region alone more than two hundred and twenty bird species are sighted here every year. Ocean, marshes, lakes and rivers support a vast array of bird species, including bald eagles, brant geese and trumpeter swans. There are forests with birds such as owls and songbirds aplenty, too. While bird numbers swell considerably during the spring and fall migrations, hundreds of species live year-round in the area, so anytime is a good time for birding on Vancouver Island. Keep an eye out for yourself or take a trip with a number of the guided tours available through out the route!”

Coastal Experiences

Make sure you experience these wild coast array of things to tempt and taunt the senses.

  1. Distinctively Canadian

    Indulge your senses by viewing the most impressive Canadian Art collections, sampling uniquely local flavours, and experiencing our diverse history.

  2. Stay with us

    Whether you want to stay in a cozy bed & breakfast, cottage or inn, or upgrade to one of the many extraordinary resorts or vacation homes – we have it all. It’s easy to spend a relaxing or invigorating vacation here.

  3. Attend a Festival

    Art, music, and culture. Our region is a hot bed of activity year round. With the Tall Trees Festival, Bluegrass Festival, Sooke Fine Arts Show, our many Art festivals, Canada Day, Festival of trees and the Pacific Rim Whale Festival we celebrate our Island culture and environment.

  1. Hike the WCT

    The West Coast Trail is a world renowned backpacking trail. Open from May 1st until September 30th, this gruelling 75 km (47 mi) trek is well worth the challenge for the breathtaking examples of the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

  2. Sea To Sky Hiking

    Discover the raw beauty and uncharted nature of the CRD. From seasoned backpackers to amateur day hikers you can traverse up to the tallest peaks and back down to the rocky shores of the Juan de Fuca by hiking historical trails.

  3. Going Coastal

    Our Coast has long been inspiration to all kinds of musicians, writers and painters. It is not hard to see why – take a walk through ancient forests with gnarled trees and green canopies, explore hidden creeks and spot eagles taking flight or bears ambling through the undergrowth.