Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island: Tofino

The time has come to cross the border with the ferry from Port Angeles towards Canada and Vancouver Island. If one can imagine it as a small island on the outskirts of the big city of Vancouver, it is far from being the case. This wild island covers an area comparable to the surface of Belgium. Once arrived on dry land, we still have a 4-hour drive to get to our destination: the charming and cozy surf town of Tofino on the west coast of the island. We look forward to enjoying the laid-back island lifestyle for few days and to being by the sea again

The town of Tofino

When it comes to an accommodation, we get quite lucky in Tofino. Finding a place to stay during the peak season in August within our budget and last minute seemed to be an impossible task. After a long and arduous search, we found a rare gem at Charlie’s place. His two guest rooms were already booked, but he offered us the apartment above his garage for about a week. We accepted without even having seen pictures of the apartment and were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The apartment was extremely spacious, stylishly furnished, and we felt immediately at home. During our stay, we often have pleasant conversations with Charlie. We particularly appreciate his friendliness and his open and interested nature.


Tofino is a small and quiet town which maintains a warm atmosphere even in the high season. In the afternoon, we often go to one of the many cafes, enjoy a chai latte, a cold brew or a good ice cream. We particularly enjoy the Savary Island Pie Company. Its location by the sea and especially its delicious pastries and cakes attract us there several times during our stay. Just outside of Tofino, you can also find a chocolate factory, whose products of course do not remain untested by Marion.

Our highlights

Apartment at Charlie's

Savary Island Pie Company

Tofino Coffee Roasting Co.

Tofitian Café


Chocolate Tofino

Tofino Brewing Co.

Walks on the beach

Long Beach

Located in Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach is the longest beach along the coast between Tofino and Ucluelet. On a beautiful morning, we take a walk and explore the still very quiet beach. We are amazed by Schooners Beach at the western end of the beach, a part only accessible at low tide. Rock formations in the fine sand with the forest in the background and an unobstructed view of the entire Long Beach create an idyllic landscape.

Our highlights

Walk onLong Beach

Schooners Beach

Idyllic atmosphere

Life is better at the beach

Besides Long Beach, there are many other beautiful beaches around Tofino. For example Chesterman Beach, where Philip takes a surf lesson after several years off. He seems to have lost much of what he once learned and even the fairly modest waves give him a hard time. But it’s still a lot of fun, especially for Marion who observes the show from the beach and immortalizes a few moments in pictures.

One of our favorite beaches is the small and charming Tonquin Beach that we can reach in a few minutes by foot from our apartment. The nice walk to get there goes through a dense forest that opens up little by little to offer access to the beach.

Our highlights

Chesterman Beach

Tonquin Beach

Surf lesson


After many hikes in the U.S. National Parks, we slow our pace down in Tofino. Long hikes are not on the agenda. We stretch our legs on two short highlight walks. First the Lighthouse Loop of the Wild Pacific Trail near the small village of Ucluelet. This short walk follows the coastline before leading us back through the forest to our starting point. This well laid out trail with many benches and views of the sea invites you to relax. A second walk takes us through the rainforest in the Pacific Rim National Park. On a beautifully wooden landscaped boardwalk, we walk through dense greenery and past towering cedars that can be up to 800 years old.

Our highlights

Lighthouse Loop

Rainforest Trail

Bear Watching Tour

We extend our stay in Tofino to go on a Bear Watching Tour. It is on a small boat that we leave in the direction of the bays around Tofino. The trip itself is worth it. This change of perspective on the water allows us to appreciate the wild and unspoiled coastal landscapes illuminated by the last rays of sunlight in this late afternoon. It doesn’t take long for our guide to discover the first black bear. Along the coast, at low tide, he is looking for crabs and shells by skilfully turning over the stones. We see three more black bears and enjoy watching them at a respectful distance from the boat as they search for food.

Our highlights

Bear Watching Tour

Boat ride

Wild coastal scenery