Beginning in Victoria, guests can choose to take either the Malahat, a scenic mountain road offering far-reaching vistas, or the delightful Brentwood Bay Ferry to Mill Bay. From here, a few small cities, and many small towns, offer interesting diversions catering to every taste.
The Island Highway passes through Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville/Qualicum and Comox before reaching the ferry terminal at Little River, just northeast of Comox, where the Salish Class B.C. Ferry to Powell River awaits. This crossing takes about 40 minutes through sheltered coastal waters, allowing time to relax and take in the scenery and sea air.
We disembark at Powell River, a historic small town set against the back drop of amazing mountain and ocean scenery. Here, there is hiking (the Sunshine Coast Trail offers a hut to hut hiking experience), mountain biking, and glorious Desolation Sound, home to B.C.’s largest marine park. Located 32 km from Powell River, this park offers steep forested hills, sheltered bays, pristine lagoons, beaches, and lakes. There is world-class diving here in these warmer than average Pacific Ocean coastal waters.
After taking in all the wonders of the northern part of the Sunshine Coast, we head back towards Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo, enjoying the Sunshine Coast all the way to Horseshoe Bay.
Possible side trips along the way are Whistler or Squamish. Whistler is home to world-class skiing in the winter and golf in the summer. The village offers fine dining, nightlife, art and culture, shopping, spas, and luxury accommodation. Many events and festivals occur throughout the year. Squamish is adventure country, with mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and the Sea to Sky Gondola. It boasts a huge food scene, markets, fine accommodation, art galleries, and golf.