Circle the Salish Sea Self Drive

West Coast Highlights & Hidden Gems



starting from US $0per person

Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.

Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Online booking sites prefer you do not bother them at all. Our approach is completely the opposite – instead we put visitors directly in touch with our Canadian travel Insiders because we believe the best vacations are personal.

Sample Itinerary

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

Day 1 – Arrive Vancouver
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Vancouver is surrounded by towering mountains and sparkling ocean. Walk out of the airport and right into your own personal private vehicle. Your driver will help orient you to our hometown, Vancouver! 

Feature Dinner in Vancouver
Did you know Vancouver is one of the top culinary destinations in the world? We want to make sure you don’t eat at the tourist trap restaurant across the street from your hotel, rather have the best dining experience in a beautiful setting. Included is a meal at one of our favourite local spots.

Day 2 – Explore Vancouver
Vancouver, the home of Fresh Tracks Canada! You have 3 options to choose from to ensure you enjoy Vancouver to its fullest.

• Option 1: Local Bike Tour
You’re not one to travel along with the tourist crowd and prefer to slip into life like a local. This tour delivers exactly that – the bike is a Vancouverite’s preferred mode of transport! With an extensive cycle lane network this tour travels along well maintained bike paths. The tour highlights the best of Vancouver food, history, ecology and culture. Visit the Seawall and Stanley Park, eat lunch at Granville Island Public Market and see historic Gastown and Chinatown.
Activity rating: Easy - Moderate

• Option 2: Stanley Park Walking Tour
An enriching cultural option for those interested in First Nations history. Participate in this tour to experience a unique perspective on Trip Advisor’s No.1 rated park. Stroll amongst the trees and learn about how First Nations people utilized the flora and fauna as food, technology, and medicines. Hear myths passed down in oral history and understand just why this park is so unique and important to First Nations.
Activity rating: Easy - Moderate

• Option 3: Granville Island Food Tour
Expertly weave through this busy public market. Skip the line at the best food shops, visit local artisans, and see local performers. Many a Fresh Tracker spend their weekend off enjoying this hidden gem. Savour a cornucopia of food – from local cheeses to sourdough breads, to melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts. (Trust us, you might want to buy some of these tasty morsels to take home with you!)
Activity rating: Easy

Day 3 – Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast
Accessible only by ferry or air, this strip of beaches, cedar forests, hiking trails, summer cottages, and artist colonies is just 2 hours away from Vancouver! The ferry ride takes 45 minutes and boasts stunning scenery. Fresh seafood is the order of the day, and time at leisure can be spent attending arts and crafts shows by local artisans, or beachcombing. We guarantee you will fall in love with this hidden piece of paradise!

Day 4 – Sunshine Coast Exploration
You have 3 options to choose from today to enjoy the Sunshine Coast:

• Option 1: First Nations Interpretive Kayak
Paddle with a First Nations cultural ambassador through stunning inlet waters. Witness firsthand the diverse and abundant wildlife of this region with countless birds, including eagles, cormorants, osprey, scooter, and mallard ducks. Other highlights include First Nations storytelling and ecological, cultural, and historical interpretation of this rich and diverse area.
Activity rating: Easy - Moderate

• Option 2: Guided Interpretive Hike to Smuggler Cove
Smuggler Cove is one of the most diverse and interesting ecosystems on the Sunshine Coast. View and explore the diverse beauty of this region. Your guide will elaborate on how certain plants are used for food, medicine, art, spirituality, and technology. Smuggler Cove, once an elaborate Shíshálh village, is rich with flora, aboriginal and local history, stories, and fascinating legends. Smuggler Cove is a sacred area to this First Nations band, and one of the most accessible and scenic leisure hikes on the Sunshine Coast.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: Princess Louisa Inlet Boat Tour
Relish in the open water and relax as you wind your way through wilderness areas of Jervis Inlet, then pass through Malibu Rapids into stunning Princess Louisa Inlet – the inlet possesses a unique ecological system in the only true example of fjord land on the Pacific coast. The Princess’ mile high cliffs teem with stunning waterfalls that trickle down from craggy granite bluffs looming over you from both sides. Highly recommended!
Activity rating: Easy

Day 5 – Sunshine Coast to Vancouver Island
Venture to the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast, take a short ferry ride to Saltery Bay and then enjoy another ferry journey across the Strait of Georgia, past Texada Island and finally, on to Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way! Overnight in the Comox Valley.

Day 6 – Comox Valley to Ucluelet
Today you drive across Vancouver Island to Ucluelet, located on the western side of the island in Pacific Rim National Park. A small town tucked along the beaches of the wild and rugged Pacific, Ucluelet showcases all its “big sister” Tofino has to offer, but in a smaller, quieter, and less busy setting. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, savour the awesome power of nature that surrounds you, and get lost in endless ocean views. Overnight in Ucluelet.

Day 7 – Ucluelet
Old-growth rainforest and the Pacifc Rim beckon to be explored today. You have 3 options to choose from today to enjoy the Tofino/Ucluelet region to its fullest.

• Option 1: Hot Springs Tour
Venture out on the water today on this 6-hour tour to Maquinna Provincial Park at the remote north end of Clayoquot Sound. Enjoy marine wildlife stops on this outstanding coastal exploration program – observe whales, and occasionally black bears foraging on the shore!
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Whale Watching by Zodiac
Enjoy this 3-hour boat ride out into Barkley Sound to view whales in their natural habitat. Humpback migrating from Hawaii up to Alaska are the predominant species here. You might even see a sea otter! Note: This tour is not suitable for persons with back or neck injuries or for pregnant women.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 3: Kayak, Whale Watching and Wildlife Tour
Watch for whales and marine life along Pacific Rim National Park. Kayak with your guide through quiet coves and discover the Broken Group Islands – a pristine and remote archipelago on the southwest end of Vancouver Island. Also included is lunch on a white sandy beach on the edge of the park.
Activity rating: Moderate - Challenging

Day 8 – Ucluelet at Leisure
Long, uninterrupted stretches of sandy beaches are the main attraction, as is whale watching, natural hot springs, and year-round surfing. Ucluelet and Tofino, and the neighbouring communities to the north are part of the UNESCO designated Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, a protected area providing habitats for a vast array of species, a significant number of which are endangered or rare. A long-time haven for artists and artisans, Tofino is having a renaissance of sorts, with newfound international praise for its craft breweries, farm-to-table restaurants and the sheer beauty of the natural world that surrounds it.

Day 9 – Ucluelet to Victoria
Today you drive across Vancouver Island to Victoria, located on the southeastern side of the island. A road trip is one of the best ways to explore Vancouver Island. First Highway 4, then Hwy 19A boasts miles of mossy rainforest, wildlife along the roadside, coastline, charming towns, and outdoor adventure along the way. Make time along your drive to visit some of the art galleries or studios on route. Overnight in Victoria.

Day 10 – Victoria
You have 3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Victoria to its fullest:

• Option 1: Hike Gowlland Tod
Explore this lesser known hiking trail with your guide – breathe in nature as you walk among grand fir and arbutus trees. Enjoy stunning views of Finlayson Arm, a beautiful fjord that cuts deep into Vancouver Island near Victoria. A snack, bottled water, and a photo of you in front of a spectacular backdrop are included in this experience.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 2: Victoria Harbour Urban Kayak Tour
During this relaxing tour, you’ll get a chance to see the city up close – all from the comfort of a kayak. Follow your guide as they describe Victoria’s historic waterways that make up the downtown and working harbour. This is the only way to experience Victoria, a city built around the harbour front.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: Visit Butchart Gardens
The gardens began in 1904 as an effort to restore a worked-out quarry site and has since been delighting visitors from all around the world. As you make your way around the gardens, you'll walk through intimate stone paths and streams lined with colourful arrays of flowers and trees. The gardens adjust their floral displays to suit the season so it is just as spectacular in spring and fall as it is in summer.
Activity rating: Easy

Day 11 – Victoria to Salt Spring Island
Today, you venture to Victoria’s ferry terminal and enjoy a short but scenic ferry ride to the largest of the southern Gulf Islands – Salt Spring Island. Explore at your leisure this afternoon. Overnight in a charming inn.

Insider tip:
Ask your vacation advisor about arranging a gourmet dinner featuring local Salt Spring Island ingredients at a beautiful Country Inn.

Day 12 – Salt Spring Island
You have 3 options to choose from today to enjoy Salt Spring Island to its fullest:

• Option 1: Best of Salt Spring Tour
A great way to see all the highlights, on and off the beaten track, at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. Start the day on a walking tour of Salt Spring’s town center, Ganges, and acquaint yourself with all the best galleries, shops, and restaurants. Meet local artisans at their studios who work in a variety of different mediums - from sculpture, to pottery, wood, and watercolour. This is followed by a stroll through the Pacific rainforest, surrounded by towering cedar trees and lush fern forest. You will then head to the south end of the island and stop off at a vineyard for some wine tasting and visit a local cheesemaker. Truly, the best of Salt Spring Island!
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Wine Tour
A tour for the gourmand in you, this tour shows the full spectrum of Salt Spring’s unique culinary community and its offerings. Try local beer, cheese, bread and wine - as well as touring the town of Ganges and the north and south of Salt Spring. Guides will also share local stories and historical facts along the way.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 3:
Dinner Cruise (Fridays and Saturdays only and subject to availability)
Relax, kick back, and enjoy the beautiful coastline at sunset, paired with fine wine and Salt Spring culinary fare. We cannot think of a more ‘BC’ way to draw your vacation to a close.
Activity rating: Easy

Day 13 – Salt Spring Island to Vancouver
Enjoy a leisurely drive and scenic ferry ride through the gulf islands, as you head back to Vancouver and overnight at the airport for your departure tomorrow. Enjoy Vancouver at your leisure – the downtown core is well connected to the airport by SkyTrain.

Day 14 – Depart Vancouver
With fond memories made, your vacation comes to an end.

Take the stress out of planning your trip to Canada with:

  • Every detail and arrangement taken care of for a seamless trip.
  • Suggestions to get the most out of Canada based on local insider knowledge.
  • Your own personal contact in Canada you can call before or during your trip.


Get your FREE trip plan
or call us directly toll-free:

1 877 395 5771

What's Included

Here are the things to look forward to on this trip...

Feature dinner in Vancouver selected by Fresh Tracks Canada - Feature dinner in Vancouver selected by Fresh Tracks Canada
Feature dinner in Vancouver selected by Fresh Tracks Canada
Reserved ferry sailings – less waiting - Reserved ferry sailings – less waiting
Reserved ferry sailings – less waiting
Excellent whale watching opportunities - Excellent whale watching opportunities
Excellent whale watching opportunities
Stunning west coast scenery - Stunning west coast scenery
Stunning west coast scenery
• 13 nights in a range of superior, boutique, and B&B accommodations

Choice of one of the following Vancouver experiences
1. Local Bike Tour
2. Walking Tour through Stanley Park
3. Granville Island Food Tour

Choice of one of the following Sunshine Coast experiences:
1. First Nations Interpretive Kayak
2. Guided Interpretive Hike to Smuggler Cove
3. Princess Louisa Boat Tour (additional cost)

Choice of one of the following Ucluelet experiences:
1. Hot Springs Tour
2. Whale Watching by Zodiac
3. Kayak, Whale Watching & Wildlife Tour (additional cost)

Choice of one of the following Victoria experiences:
1. Gowlland Tod Hike
2. Victoria Harbour Kayak
3. Butchart Gardens Admission

Choice of one of the following Salt Spring Island experiences:
1. Best of Salt Spring Tour
2. Wine Tour
3. Dinner Cruise (Fridays & Saturdays and subject to availability only)

Dining experiences:
• Feature Dinner in Vancouver

• 12-day intermediate sized car rental including: Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) on car rental, airport surcharges, unlimited Kilometers, GPS, Third Party Liability Insurance Coverage (up to $1 million), fee for 1 additional driver, and vehicle licensing fee
• Car, passenger, and reservation fees (where available) for all ferries between Vancouver / Sunshine Coast / Vancouver Island / Salt Spring Island

Additional inclusions:
• National Parks Pass (complimentary for Canada’s 150th anniversary)
• Documentation package, including details and driving directions
• Friendly and dedicated Fresh Tracks Canada service

Seasonal Restrictions:
• First Nations Interpretive Kayak available between April 28 and September 27 departure dates.
• Guided Interpretive Hike to Smuggler Cove available until the September 28 departure date.
• Princess Louisa Boat tour available between April 28 and October 3 departure dates.
• Victoria Harbour Kayak available between May 23 and September 6 departure dates.
• Salt Spring wine tour available between May 21 and September 19 departure dates.
• Ucluelet Kayak, Whale Watching & Wildlife Tour is available until the September 24th departure date.

Not Included
• Fuel and refueling fees
• Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
• Personal Effects Coverage (PEC)
• LDW deductible of up to $500 depending on car type
• Fee for drivers under the age of 25
• Airfare to and from Canada
• Meals and attractions unless otherwise specified
• Trip Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended)
• Canadian sales taxes



Customize this trip a little, or a lot...

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Work with us to personalize this trip by adding some amazing side trips & activities, like...

Visit the Olympic city of Whistler
Visit the Olympic city of Whistler
Staying at a remote fly-in lodge
Staying at a remote fly-in lodge
Guided fishing adventures
Guided fishing adventures
Luxurious stay at Sonora Resort
Luxurious stay at Sonora Resort
• Include a stay at a fly-in floating lodge near Campbell River, to fully immerse yourself in a bear watching experience
• Head out with a guide for a half day fishing adventure
• Add on a few days in the Olympic mountain town of Whistler
• Add on a luxurious stay at Sonora Resort in the Discovery Islands – relax in a pristine wilderness environment

Accommodation Options

Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort - Dramatic oceanfront viewsThe Black Rock Oceanfront Resort - Seaside pool areaThe Black Rock Oceanfront Resort - Luxurious bathroomsThe Black Rock Oceanfront Resort - Studio Room with Rainforest ViewThe Black Rock Oceanfront Resort - Fetch Restaurant located onsite

The Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

An example of our Superior accommodations

Escape to the natural tranquility, beauty, and comfort of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort – an extraordinary retreat on Vancouver Island's rugged west coast. Designed with a deep respect for the land and sea, Black Rock's innovative architecture – of rock, water, glass, steel, and wood – enhances and contrasts the Wild Pacific landscape. Enjoy dining on fresh West Coast cuisine, or indulging in a spa treatment whilst overlooking the crashing surf. Choose from a range of forest or ocean facing suites.

Wedgewood Hotel & Spa - Hotel ExteriorWedgewood Hotel & Spa - Hotel LobbyWedgewood Hotel & Spa - Executive Queen RoomWedgewood Hotel & Spa - Penthouse BedroomWedgewood Hotel & Spa - Bacchus Restaurant

Wedgewood Hotel & Spa

An example of our Boutique accommodations

The Wedgewood Hotel & Spa is a luxury boutique accommodation located on Robson Square in the heart of downtown Vancouver. As a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux, the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa is one of Canada's leading luxury hotels. Private balconies with stunning city views, a tranquil day spa, and the award winning Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge all add to the luxury experience.

Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina - Resort ExteriorPainted Boat Resort Spa & Marina - Resort RestaurantPainted Boat Resort Spa & Marina - Villa Suite KitchenPainted Boat Resort Spa & Marina - Main Level BedroomPainted Boat Resort Spa & Marina - Resort Spa

Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina

An example of our Superior accommodations

Located in Madeira Park on the Sunshine Coat, the Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina is just 2 hours northwest of Vancouver. This well-appointed five acre resort features spacious, contemporary villas with harbour views - all designed to take advantage of the beautiful Sunshine Coast geography.


Trip Start Dates

2018 Vancouver Start Dates
Daily Departures from April 1 to October 15, 2018

*Now taking reservations for 2019 departures.


Please speak with one of our Canadian travel advisors to receive a personalized quote for this trip.

What you'll love about
this trip

British Columbia’s stunning west coast

Your choice of activities, catered to your interests

Princess Louisa Inlet cruise on the Sunshine Coast

First Nations aboriginal experiences

Spotting bears and whales

Charming towns and beautiful wilderness

Common Questions

Where am I staying on this trip?

You'll be staying at various local three to five start hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

What is included in the price?

Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

Can I customize this trip?

Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your free trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

Is it safe to drive in Canada?

New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

When is the best time to see wildlife?

That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

Is this an escorted tour?

With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

How much does my trip cost?

All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your free trip plan which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

Spend two weeks in awe of British Columbia’s stunning west coast and islands. Discover hidden gems such as Princess Louisa Inlet with its soaring cliffs and magnificent waterfalls. Travel to the windswept beaches of Pacific Rim National Park, before visiting charming Salt Spring Island with it’s flourishing arts community and local food producers.

Trip Outline

2 nights Vancouver 2 nights Sunshine Coast 1 night Comox Valley 3 nights Ucluelet 2 nights Victoria 2 nights Salt Spring Island 1 night Vancouver

West Coast Highlights & Hidden Gems – Map Salt Spring Island Vancouver, British Columbia Feature dinner in Vancouver Totem poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver Ferry ride to the Sunshine Coast Zodiac tour to Chatterbox Falls on the Sunshine Coast Cathedral Grove, Sunshine Coast Tofino hotsprings Whale watching in Tofino, Vancouver Island Pacific Rim National Park Victoria, Vancouver Island Hiking Growlland Todd, Victoria Ferry enroute to Salt Spring Island A guided tour of Salt Spring Island
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Fresh Tracks Canada Vs. Others

Fresh Tracks Canada Local Travel Agency Doing it Yourself
Independent Travel

Flexibility and freedom of a personalized tour to suit your travel goals.

Better Rates and Availability

You'll get better rates and availability because of our relationships with our suppliers (hotels, tour operators, etc.). Even when popular locations are booking up fast.

Personalized itineraries

Have everything pre-arranged and booked around you. (Hotels, transportation, tours, free-time, etc.)

Insider Knowledge

Get suggestions based on your interests from over 20 years of local knowledge. Our Insiders live and travel Canada so you'll know when to come, where to stay, which transportation to take, and lots more…

Local Support

Someone in Canada you can call before and during your trip, seven days a week.

No-one can be trusted more

You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations.

Our accreditation and consumer protection partners

Pre-packaged Trips

One-size-fits-all approach.


Group Tours

Cheapest type of travel with rigid itineraries and crowds.


Get your FREE trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
or call us directly toll-free
1 877 395 5771

Not the right trip for you?

Try one of these hand-picked Canadian experiences


Customized Trips

All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.

Canadian Insiders

Advice From Canadians

Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.


Everything Arranged

Feel in control with all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.

Would you like to spoil yourself with an extra special vacation in 2019? Book a qualifying 2019 Canadian trip with Fresh Tracks Canada before February 28th, 2019 and you'll receive up to $1400 per couple in free travel credits. You can use the credits for extra nights, spectacular experiences, and unique guided sightseeing tours – to help make your personalized trip to Canada just that much more special.

So what can $1400 in travel credits get you? Here are a few ideas:

Add a free night in Vancouver, and enjoy one of the following:

These are just a few ideas – but many more options are available. Call or email the Fresh Tracks Canada team to personalize your perfect Canadian vacation! But hurry – space for 2019 travel is filling up very quickly. This offer is only available until midnight on February 28, 2019. Contact us to book your trip now!

Interested? Get this offer by contacting us: 1 877 395 5771

Terms and conditions apply, please speak wit our Canadian insiders for more details.

There are lots of great reasons to visit Canada on a winter vacation this year. Escaping to snowy solitude, seeing breathtaking frozen landscapes, and trying thrilling winter activities are just a few.

And here is another great reason – if you book one of our spectacular Canadian winter vacations before February 28, you'll receive up to $600 per couple in add-on travel credits to enhance your trip.

Here are some of our favorite add-on ideas:

  • Extend your trip – add a night in Vancouver or the Canadian Rockies.
  • Join a professional photographer on a private tour, to get the best pictures of Banff National Park in its winter splendor.
  • See the beautiful ice-formations as you snow shoe through crisp mountain snow.
  • Soar above the snowy Coastal Mountains of Vancouver, on a spectacular float plane tour.

Email or call our friendly Vacation Advisors today, and they'll help you plan your perfect winter experience. And remember, our Winter Wonderland Booking Bonus only lasts until midnight on February 28th, 2019.

Interested? Get this offer by contacting us: 1 877 395 5771

Terms and conditions apply, please speak wit our Canadian insiders for more details.