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The Traveller's Magazine
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Tofino, located on the western coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island, has always been known for its killer waves and laid-back village vibes. The island is part of one of Canada’s most-prized wilderness reserves, the Pacific Rim National Park. What can you expect from Tofino? Great surfing, old-growth trees and a town that’s gone totally eco-chic.

Tofino is nicely settled in Cloyoquot Sound which is surrounded by dense rainforests and lined with excellent beaches. When the ocean roars the surfers rejoice, this is Canada’s capital of surf. Summer is without a doubt the best time to visit when the days are warm, the restaurant patios are open and everyone heads for the beach and the water. Tofino and all of Vancouver Island for that matter, prides itself on its environment and the incredible ways you can get up close and personal with it whether you climb its tallest hills, kayak alongside a whale, spot a bald eagle fishing for dinner or enjoy a glass of local wine from the comfort of your hotel room.

A glimpse into the “cold water” surf community in Tofino:

How to spend a week in Tofino:

  • Learn to surf and ride some waves on Long Beach. There’s 35km of surf to ride but watch out, the Pacific Ocean waters are cool even in the middle of summer. Gear up for surf camp or tackle the waves on your own.
  • Spot some whales on a boat tour through the still waters off the island. Orcas, Humpbacks and Grey whales all pass through at some point or another during the year. The whale-watching season runs from March to October.
  • Explore a forest, Clayoquot Sound is a recognised UNESCO Biosphere Reserve so you can get there is some excellent hiking. The most famous walks are along the boardwalk and beach of the Schooner Cove Trail and the Big Tree Trail of Meares Island. For the more seasoned hikers, climb the Lone Cone to a height of 730m, also on Meares Island.
  • Watch a storm, winter brings plenty of them. Twenty-foot swells crash into the shore on a regular basis when the great Pacific storms roll in from November to March. Watch the action from Chesterman Beach. After it calms, comb the beach for treasures brought in by the waves.
  • Eat your heart out on the coast’s best seafood. Tofino is totally trendy when it comes to dining out. Choose from cafés, bistros, and sea-side restaurants to taste the best of the ocean and the forests.

Find more inspiration on

Have you ever been to Tofino? What’s your favourite part of the west coast?

Img: abudro / Flickr cc.

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2 responses to “It doesn’t get any better than Tofino

  1. Tofino is one of my favourite spots. I’d also add go sea kayaking for a few days if at all possible(not just a day because campsites are beautiful & wild), take the boat or floatplane ride to Hot Springs Cove where even the walk to the hot springs is interesting. Get dropped off by boat at one of the small islands like Flores and spend a day or two on the beach. Fishing is also excellent out of Tofino.

    1. Hi Leigh!
      These are great suggestions, and yes, sea kayaking is a favourite especially because you can get up close to the sea lions without freaking them out too much! 🙂
      Never been to Hot Springs Cove but absolutely fell in love with Telegraph Cove on the northern part of the island. Will never forget my childhood summers running around long beach and pretending I was a mermaid.

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