Vancouver Island – Paradise of Canada

Vancouver Island, formerly also known as Quadra, is located in the southwest of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It owes its name to the British navigator George Vancouver. Although the south of the island lies south of the 49th degree of latitude, which defines the border between the United States and Canada in western North America, the island belongs entirely to Canada due to the Oregon Compromise. This agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States, concluded in 1846, defined the border in the west of the American continent in order to end years of border disputes.

Victoria is the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, it has its origins in a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post built in 1843. The name goes back to the then ruling British Queen Victoria.

Butchart Gardens, founded in 1904, is a 22-hectare flower garden located on the Saanich Peninsula on southern Vancouver Island. It is still family owned and is located about 21 kilometres north of Victoria and 20 kilometres south of the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

Cox Bay Beach is south of Chesterman (with Rosie Bay in between) and is a great beach for surfing, although it can sometimes be a bit tricky for beginners. You can walk from one end to the other, with tide pools at the southern end and the Sunset Point Walk to the north.

Ucluelet, a town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The name of the place is derived from the term for a “safe harbour” from the language of the indigenous Indians. Originally, the population earned its living by fishing. Since the 1990s, however, ecotourism (whale watching and rainforest walks) has gained importance in the region. The 20 km long, continuous stretch of beach (Long Beach) between this town and neighbouring Tofino is part of the Pacific Rim National Park. Ucluelet also has a small seaplane airport.

Tofino is a town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino was named after the Spanish cartographer, mathematician and naval officer Vicente Tofiño de San Miguel (1732-1795). Tofino and nearby Ucluelet are the closest towns to the Pacific Rim National Park.

Pacific Rim National Park is also located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Founded in 1970 and formally proclaimed by Princess Anne, the park became the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on 19th of February 2001 under the Canada National Parks Act. The park has a total area of 511 km² and is about 130 km long.

Cathedral Grove has also been the name given to the MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. The park, which now covers 301 ha, is known for its Douglas fir stands that are up to 800 years old. The largest trees can have a diameter of nine metres. Entering the park is extremely dangerous during strong winds; moreover, only a limited number of visitors are allowed to be in the park at the same time.

The best time to visit Vancouver Island is from May to early October. Apart from a few rain showers, you can enjoy very pleasant temperatures at this time. By the way, bears and whales can be observed very well in September.

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