Top 10 Beaches on Vancouver Island

 Being an island, we are blessed to be surrounded by the mighty Pacific ocean. The abundance of gorgeous beaches needs to be mentioned, so in no particular order here are my 
choices for the Top 10 beaches on Vancouver Island

 Parksville/Qualicum Beach - chosen as Canada's best family friendly beach destination by Better Homes & Gardens, it's not a surprise this mid-island region is considered "Oceanside". Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville Community Beach and Qualicum Beach are all visit worthy destinations.  

Raft Cove - Raft Cove Provincial Park is located 65 km southwest of Port Hardy, it is accessed via gravel road out of Holberg. Access to the beach is via a 2 km hike through coastal old growth hemlock, red cedar and Sitka spruce.

Cadboro-Gyro Park - home to the legendary sea monster "Caddy" believed to live in the bay, this sandy beach is easily accessible and family friendly. It is located 10 minutes from downtown Victoria.

Island View Beach - Located on the eastern shore of the Saanich Peninsula. It is home to many rare plant and bird species and is built on a natural, fragile sand dune. 

China Beach - 37 km from Sooke and an moderate 20 min hike from the parking lot.
In the spring and fall, look for the magnificent grey whale offshore as it travels along its migratory route. As many as 17,000 of these mammoth creatures travel down the coast throughout the migration period; some, in fact, spend the summer off the shores of Vancouver Island.

San Josef Bay - A part of the Cape Scott Provincial Park. One of the more noticeable landscapes are the sea stacks located, in the western portion of the park. A unique feature on Vancouver Island, these incredible geological formations are a popular stopping point on many peoples’ trek through the park.

Botanical Beach -  This beach is abundant with intertidal marine life. Visitors can walk a long way out across flat sandstone and granite outcroppings to view tide pools filled like jewel boxes with brightly coloured marine animals. Purple, red and orange starfish and sea urchins, blue mussel shells, white gooseneck barnacles, and green sea anemones and sea cucumbers only begin to hint at the spectrum of intertidal life that thrives here.

 Saratoga Beach - Located near Merville/Black Creek this beach is home to many ocean front resorts and offers a picturesque sandy play area for families.

Pachena Bay - Located near Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island this is one of my personal favourite beaches. It has the beauty and majestic qualities of Tofino beaches minus the tourists (even in the summer)


Long Beach -  1 million visitors make the trek out to visit the beautiful beaches of Tofino. Radar Beach, Long Beach, Combers Beach, and Wickaninnish Beach run successively from north to south and stretch for 15.5 miles (25 km) between Cox and Quisitas Points. Together they comprise the Long Beach Unit of beaches, and the most visited portion of the park. Despite its popularity, Long Beach remains a magical place of sand and surf, sea lions and starfish.


Tracey said…
Great article! Can you say where Botanical Beach is please? Cheers.
s. said…
Thank you! Botanical beach is just past Port Renfrew :)
Unknown said…
Botanical Beach, Pachena Bay, Long Beach, China Beach, Rathtrevor Beach.
My favourite, however, is Goose Spit in Comox.
Saratoga Beach is also pretty nice :-)

Happy Festive Season!

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