Often referred to as simply “The Island” by the Canadians, Vancouver Island is the largest island off the west coast of North America offering the best of beach fun in Canada. The mild coastal climate all year round draws a huge number of holiday-makers to the island. Be it the deserted, tide-swept beaches or the furred, feathered and rugged wildlife, there’s a lot to explore here for a fun-filled, adventurous holiday.


Here we’ve collected some of the best beaches in Vancouver Island.

Chesterman Beach

One of the most famed beaches of the Pacific Rim, Chesterman Beach is counted among the top places in North America to learn surfing. It is an ideal place for families as well as groups seeking a perfect beach time while enjoying a summer sunset, taking a moonlit stroll, seeing migrating whales and exploring tidal polls. The beach is always crowded with kayakers and paddle boarders enjoying the swells. Learners can try their hand at surfing at a number of surf schools based in the district whereas advance surfers can test their skills on the bigger, more powerful waves breaking further out to the sea.

Rathtrevor Beach

Rathtrevor Beach in Provincial Park is one of the most popular family destinations in Parksville and is a hotspot on Vancouver Island with views of the beautiful ocean sunsets, a sandy beach and old growth Douglas fir trees. It is an ideal place to take a walk across the low tides stretching out for almost a kilometre, bird watching and building sand castles in the still wettish sand. Besides the beach you would also love to discover the five kilometres of trails in the park. Moreover, there are a number of campsites within a 5-minute walk to the 2 km stretch of sandy beach where you can spend a beautiful stay.

Saratoga Beach

Renowned as a wonderful stretch of shimmering sand on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island, Saratoga Beach is counted among the world’s most extreme tidal areas. Situated at the north end of the Comox Valley, it is popular for activities including skim boarding and kite-flying, sand castle building, and water sports like rafting, fishing, scuba diving and skiing. The beach is flanked by popular Miracle Beach Provincial Park and Oyster River Regional Park, and is an ideal getaway for all sorts of travellers. It is also where you can spot salmon being reared at the Oyster River Hatchery. 

China Beach

Another great choice for those looking for a perfect beach time in the Pacific Rim, China Beach is a fine sand beach situated along the well-known Strait of Juan de Fuca. Ideal for relaxing on the sands, building sand castles and doing some beach combing at low tide, this beach appeals to families as well as groups holidaying in Canada. You can also discover a waterfall at the western end of the beach.  It takes a 15-20 minute scenic hike through the forest of Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Alder trees to get to China Beach.

Cox Bay

Just south of Chesterman Beach, Cox Bay is one of the top beaches for surfing in the Vancouver Island. Comprising several large resorts of the west coast on its shores, the bay is a perfect place for families seeking a luxurious beach holiday in the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island. Cox Bay is bordered by the windblown and gnarled trees and is the only beach in the Pacific Rim providing a hedge. A large number of couples are seen taking romantic sunset walks here.  Besides, an interesting backdrop of the rock formations and stunning views of the Tofino lighthouse make it an ideal spot for photography.

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