The water of the Pacific Ocean surrounds the 31,285 km2 that make up Vancouver Island, Canada. Southwest of mainland British Columbia lies this big and beautiful island, recognized as the “largest island on the Pacific coast of North America”. Vancouver Island is home to many charming towns and cities, idyllic beaches, and mountain views. I’ve had the joy of getting to experience some of the beauty and charm of Vancouver Island over the past few months. From my time exploring the island, I have developed quite a liking to various places here, some of which include Victoria, Comox Valley, Jordan River, Tofino, and Ucluelet. During my time here I’ve captured photos that speak to my perspective of the essence of these various places. I hope that when travel resumes more people will have the opportunity to explore this island and discover its hidden gems and the grandeur in its nature.
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, and for good reason. Here you will find cute cafes, such as Crust Bakery where I tasted the best almond croissant I’ve ever had or the house-boat village, “Fisherman’s Wharf”, which I wandered to on a rainy Saturday afternoon and discovered the bright pink and blue float homes peeking out from a swirl of grey clouds and rain, typical weather during the winter on the West Coast of Canada. The cobblestone streets in downtown Victoria remind me of my time exploring some of the cities throughout Italy. The quaint stores and hidden alleyways remind me of my time in Venice, whereas the cobblestone streets and downtown harbor remind me of my time in Sorrento. There is definitely a European influence in this city.
Along the Juan De Fuca Strait, you will find Jordan River, “a small settlement on the West Coast of Vancouver Island”. The reason that I point out this place on the island is not so much for the settlement itself, but more so for the scenery and adventure that awaits you on the outskirts of this small community. Where the River Jordan meets the ocean, you will find the Jordan Campground, a small area for campers to enjoy an evening by the ocean. On Saturday mornings, this is a gathering spot for surfers when the tide is right. Just up the road from the campground there is also a small cafe, called Cold Shoulder Cafe, where I grabbed breakfast one morning. If you take the drive further North along the highway, you will also meet the start of the Juan De Fuca Trail, a famous 47 km trail here on the island for backcountry hikers. It’s a rugged trail that follows the coastline, with one end at China Beach just beyond Jordan River and another end just past Port Renfrew at Botanical Beach. The best word to describe this part of the island is ethereal, with trees that carry the weight of thick layers of moss and waterfalls that carry water down to the ocean.