Vancouver Island, Canada
When to go
Summer is the best time to explore the hiking trails and waterfront, and the skies are mostly clear from June through August. Winter, from December through March, is prime skiing season in British Columbia, with cross-country skiing, storm-watches and a good bit of downhill skiing on the island.
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PlanesVictoria International Airport (YYJ) is the main airport on the island. It offers flights from cities including Vancouver (www.aircanada.com), Seattle (www.alaskaairlines.com) and San Francisco (www.united.com). Travelers from further afield will likely fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which offers flights to major cities including New York (www.united.com), London (www.ba.com) and Los Angeles (www.aa.com). From there, flights to Victoria take under an hour. Nanaimo (www.nanaimoairport.com) and Comox (www.comoxairport.com) airports are also good local options.
AutomobilesThe island is reached by car ferry – mostly from Vancouver. Many people drive through British Columbia to take in the eye-popping natural beauty. Since the terrain tends towards the rugged, four-wheel drives and winter tires or chains come into their own between November and March.