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Self-Drive Whales, Bears & Vancouver Island

8 Night Self Drive Tour from £2,399 per Person Including Flights

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Overview

This self-drive tour offers charming cities, remote wilderness locations, the unrivalled beauty of Vancouver Island’s scenery and fascinating aboriginal culture experiences. Arriving in the provincial capital of Victoria, you will plunge right into a whale watching journey.  Travel to remote Tofino to discover the remote and untamed beauty seldom seen by people, home to grizzly bears, eagles and other quintessentially Canadian wildlife.  A captivating stay at an authentic wilderness lodge provides the perfect setting for eco or wilderness tours.  The final leg of your adventure takes you back to the mainland where you will explore the rugged seascape of the Sunshine Coast en route to Vancouver

8 night Tour Starts in Victoria & Ends Vancouver: 2 nights Victoria; 2 nights Tofino; 2 nights Campbell River; 2 nights Vancouver

 

Details

Day 1

FLY TO VICTORIA*
Arrive in Victoria, pick up your rental car and head to your downtown hotel. Take the rest of the day to create your own west coast island adventure amid the port lands, parks, restaurants and gardens of British Columbia’s capital city.

Standard Hotel: Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza or Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites

Superior Hotel: Inn at Laurel Point or Magnolia Hotel & Spa

* depending on your flight schedule you may wish to overnight in Vancouver before going to Victoria and extend the itinerary by 1 day.

Day 2

VICTORIA
Today you embark on a fascinating wildlife viewing adventure aboard a fast-moving Zodiac rigid boat. A certified marine biologist provides insight into the environment and habits of orca, minke and grey whales as well as oernther marine wildlife. Return to your hotel afterwards for an evening at leisure.

Standard Hotel: Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza or Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites

Superior Hotel: Inn at Laurel Point or Magnolia Hotel & Spa

Day 3

VICTORIA TO TOFINO
Be sure that you have your camera at the ready – a panorama of scenic beauty is about to unfold before you. Your road leads across Vancouver Island to the Pacific Coast winding through ancient rainforests and provincial parks. You’re venturing into true wildlife territory, exemplified by The Pacific Rim National Park - a marvel of ecological and geographical diversity.

Standard Hotel: Schooner Motel or Jamie's Rainforest Inn

Superior Hotel: Best Western Tin Wis Resort or Marina West Motel

Day 4

TOFINO
Today you board a Zodiac boat to take a captivating bear watching excursion and speed along the lush coastline to the bears’ feeding grounds. When the tide goes out the bears emerge from the forests and forage along the shores in search of rock crabs, providing the perfect opportunity to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Back on dry land, you’re free to explore the rugged coastline along the network of hiking trails or to walk the shoreline in search of shells and driftwood. Perhaps enrich your experience with a visit to the Himwitsa Art Gallery and marvel at the collection of authentic pieces native to the Tofino area.

Standard Hotel: Schooner Motel or Jamie's Rainforest Inn

Superior Hotel: Best Western Tin Wis Resort or Marina West Motel

Day 5

TOFINO TO SONORA RESORT
This morning, the spectacular winding road takes you back to the eastern coast of Vancouver Island. Your route will introduce you to many gems you may wish to stop at for a brief visit at the native rock carvings at Sproat Lake or the picturesque falls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Upon arrival in Campbell River, you board a water taxi for the short boat ride to the stunning Sonora Resort. Settle in for the night at this quintessential west coast resort and prepare yourself for tomorrow’s day of adventure and discovery! Dinner included.

Standard & Superior Hotel: Sonora Resort

Day 6

SONORA RESORT
You have the entire day at this luxurious wilderness resort. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy unlimited hiking, swimming, and tennis throughout their stay. Today you enjoy one of two thrilling nature adventures:
Econature Tour (May 1 – Aug 9 departures) featuring a fascinating tour of the surrounding wilderness conducted by a knowledgeable guide. Bear watching by Boat (Aug 10 – Oct 9) takes participants by boat to the prime feeding and gathering areas of the mighty grizzly bear. The guide communicates by headphones to passengers, ensuring the creatures are seen in their most natural an undisturbed state. In the evening, sit down to a gourmet dinner, sip a fine wine on a terrace, or mingle with other guests in one of the lounges or games room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Standard & Superior Hotel: Sonora Resort

Day 7

SONORA RESORT TO VANCOUVER
Today you board the water taxi for your return trip to Campbell River where you continue your drive south along the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Small seaside towns such as Comox offer delightful spots to stop for a quick lunch or some shopping for reminders of your west coast experience. Arriving in Nanaimo, you board a BC Ferries vessel and sail across the Strait of Georgia to arrive in Vancouver where the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to dine out at one of Vancouver’s many excellent restaurants, offering everything from Canadian/European fusion to authentic Far East Asian cuisine. Breakfast and lunch included.

Standard Hotel: Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites or Century Plaza Hotel & Spa

Superior Hotel: Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre or Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

Day 8

VANCOUVER
Today is yours to explore this vibrant cosmopolitan city. Boutique shoppes line Robson Street, offering everything from high fashion to aboriginal artwork. Perhaps pay a visit to Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery and Gift Shop, featuring masks, prints, gold and silver jewellery, wood carvings, textiles and clothing produced by First Nation artists. Stanley Park is interwoven with paved forested trails and features an enthralling zoo at its centre and the fascinating Klahowya Village. The boardwalks along the seawall provide sweeping views of the water and the rising mountains of the mainland. Discover the charms and sights of this truly magnificent city on the water.

Standard Hotel: Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites or Century Plaza Hotel & Spa

Superior Hotel: Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre or Coast Coal Harbour Hotel

Day 9

END OF TOUR
Return to Vancouver International Airport in time to check-in for your departure flight.

Day 10

ARRIVAL BACK HOME

What's Included

  • Transatlantic schedule flights
  • Car hire with fully inclusive insurance
  • Accommodation for 8 nights
  • Meals: Full board at Sonora Resort starting with dinner on Day 5 and ending with lunch on Day 7
  • Day 2, Victoria – 3-hour whale watching by Zodiac
  • Day 4, Tofino – 3-hour bear watching by boat
  • Ferry crossings (car and passengers): Day 7, Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Days 5 & 7 Sonora Resort – water taxi transfers between Campbell River and Sonora Resort
  • Day 6, Guided Ecotour or Guided Bear Watching excursion, depending on season
  • A personalised Jonview Canada Roadbook containing essential travel information featuring overview notes of the area of travel, local sightseeing and attractions, daily itinerary highlights, provincial maps with city guides, hotel vouchers and customised day-by-day routing maps.


NOT INCLUDED

  • Airport transfers
  • Meals and attractions unless otherwise specified
  • Park entrance fees
  • One way drop fee on your car rental, please check at the time of booking as prices vary.
  • Hotel car parking charges

Please note: Departures are not permitted between 02 - 09 September 2016.  Please book early as Sonora Resort sells out quickly!

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 21ºC
TUE 17ºC
WED 20ºC
THU 15ºC
FRI 13ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
7ºC
10ºC
12ºC
16ºC
19ºC
22ºC
25ºC
25ºC
23ºC
16ºC
10ºC
7ºC
9
5
6
5
4
3
2
2
3
6
10
8

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
7ºC
9
Feb
10ºC
5
Mar
12ºC
6
Apr
16ºC
5
May
19ºC
4
Jun
22ºC
3
Jul
25ºC
2
Aug
25ºC
2
Sep
23ºC
3
Oct
16ºC
6
Nov
10ºC
10
Dec
7ºC
8

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

01342 3317969am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 886 998

Brendan White

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