The island is also home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on
the planet, where beaches, rainforests, marshes, meadows and
mountains jostle for space and create habitats for a plethora of
wildlife. The island is one of the best locations for whale
watching worldwide, the birdlife is prolific, and the salmon
spawning season ensures Grizzly Bears put on quite the show each
autumn. The salmon and trout fishing opportunities are a big draw
for keen anglers, too.
Luxurious lodges sit amid protected parkland of fir and cedar
forest, each offering truly spoiling accommodation, food and wine
for guests weary after a day exploring the wilderness on foot, or
by bike or kayak.
The island's capital is quaint Victoria, a picture perfect
provincial town which also happens to have more cycle routes than
any other city in Canada, so is the perfect spot to explore by
pedal power. An increasingly young and hip crowd are also giving
the city somewhat of a bohemian revival, with artsy cafes, shops
and restaurants popping up weekly.
Heading northwest from Victoria, crossing the Beaufort Mountain
Range which runs along the spine of the island, and landscapes
become much wilder. The eco-conscious resort of Tofino is a popular
weekend escape for Vancouverites, drawn by the rolling surf and
long stretches of beach, while the Strathcona Provincial Park,
Pacific Rim National Park and Clayoquot Sound are ripe for
exploration by active travellers. Clayoquot Sound also happens to
be home to one of the coolest and most luxurious glamping
experiences in the world: Cloud Camp.