Vancouver Island Beaches

Last Update: 2021-07-25

Are you looking for a trip enjoyable for all family members with picnicking possibilities all year-round? Thousands of kilometres of coastline and the numerous rivers and lakes allow you to have a lounge on Vancouver Island beaches. Sandy beaches, pebble beaches, boulder beaches, and shell beaches are among the types of beaches you can find on Vancouver Island.
A delightful swim, tanning, or paddling on a sunny day, building sandcastles, or flying a kite with children on a windy day all are worthwhile to spend time on Vancouver Island beaches. Watching paragliders and windsurfers while relaxing or catching some waves would be memorable. Running and walking and having your pet on off-leash beaches would leave no worries. Experience an active trip as long as you hike through the coastline trails and pass the natural forests or provincial parks.
Discover some breathtaking hidden beaches on Vancouver Island if you prefer taking away from the crowd and opt to enjoy the silence of the beach. Beachcombing and seeing marine life after tides can be amusing. Sit on driftwoods and enjoy roaring waves along with storm watching or just lie down on the beach, take a sunbathe and smell the ocean's salty weather and feel the sun's pleasant heat. Don't skip storm-watching on Vancouver Island beaches. Every year, many storm watching and whale watching fans come to Vancouver Island for these seascapes. Check out beaches with caves, beaches with waterfalls, and beaches with lighthouses or take a boat to visit them. Most Vancouver Island beaches are accessible by car. Otherwise, you can get there by boat, which could be another adventure.

Spiral Beach

Spiral Beach

Spiral Beach in Victoria is where the blue of the sea and sky and the Olympic Mountains at a distance is situated in a perfect picture. There are hills along the beach to stand on for a wide view. Walk on the sands and pebbles with the driftwoods around on the beach. Listen to the waves, walk on the shoreline, and have the storm watching pleasure in the fall and winter.

McNeil Bay

McNeil Bay

McNeill Bay has plenty of benches along the seawall to sit and enjoy the landscape of Trial Island, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Olympic Mountain. Do exciting water activities on McNeill Bay Beach and experience its wonderful esplanade and photogenic scenery. It is considered one of the fantastic off-leash dog beaches in Victoria.

Botanical Beach

Botanical Beach

If you are an adventure lover or a backpacker who enjoys hiking in the forest, make your way toward the Juan de Fuca trail and hike through the trails to get to Botanical Beach. It is a gift for nature lovers, a remote beach to hike, camp and watch the wildlife live in the tidal pools at the shoreline. In March and April, you have the chance to watch orcas or killer whales.

Wickaninnish Beach

Wickaninnish Beach

Wickaninnish Beach is a large stunning beach with sand dunes and access to the rainforest. Kilometres of sands make it possible to walk on the beach for a long time. Sit on the driftwoods or cliffs to rest and enjoy the view. It would be great staying there making a fire and watching the sun touch the ocean. This beach could be your excellent choice for swimming, storm watching, and surfing.

Willows Beach

Willows Beach

If you are a fan of sun and beach, Victoria has the warmest weather in Canada to take a sunbath and swim, and Willows Beach is located in this area. This white sandy beach is south of Willows Park and has protected water suitable for a family vacation. Get the most out of your visit when you are at the park. Have a meal or drink in its cafe with a view of the sea.

Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach

An excellent picnicking area and sunny weather attract many families in summer to relax on Qualicum Beach. This sandy beach is placed in an area with many facilities and attractions to enjoy your day. Let life lead you to the beach with the incredible landscape of Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve hills, blue sky and the ocean. Choose kinds of water activities which you delight in doing.

Wall Beach

Wall Beach

Wall Beach is a rocky beach north of Nanoose Bay. The peaceful atmosphere gives you an excellent chance to live in the sunshine, feel alive by the ocean air, and relax. It is the best escape anyone can have to get rid of work pressure. Do what makes you happy and improve your health. The beach has a dive site to dive, swim, and explore the rich marine life.

Parksville Beaches

Parksville Beaches

Parksville Beaches is a public beach with endless tidal flats of sand and rock. In July, a fantastic event takes place; the Sand Castle Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. In summer, soaking in the sun and watching the splendid sky could be relaxing. As the beach has an extensive area, it suits children's taste to spend hours running freely, playing and beachcombing.

Dolphin Beach

Dolphin Beach

Dolphin Beach is known for its scuba diving site. Whether you are a beginner or professional, challenge your skills and explore marine life. See one of the world's best landscapes since twilight when the beach slowly lit and the sky is getting orange. The beach is more stunning with the trees at the backside and their shadow on the water surface.

Blueback Beach

Blueback Beach

There is a dreamy place at the north of Nanaimo, where a mixture of the ocean weather, beach access, and tall trees accompany the sound of birds and waves to create a peaceful atmosphere. Blueback Beach is where sitting at the beach, getting some sun and relaxing while waiting for the sun's last attempt to spray orange and red on the horizon can be so pleasant.

Departure Bay Beach

Departure Bay Beach

Visiting Nanaimo, with various attractions, could be in any visitors' plan. After spending hours in the city, being at a beach can refresh your body and soul. Departure Bay Beach is an excellent choice to make a memorable day with your family with access to many services. Watching ferries and marine life are among the things you can do at Departure Bay Beach.

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach is placed between the Pacific Ocean and a forest. It gives you a mixture of land-based and water-based adventures. Marine animals, birds, Mystic Beach Waterfall, sunrise and sunset, are worthy of watching. Feel the beach by standing where the ocean kisses the shoreline and listen to the waves. Hiking on the beach and Juan De Fuca Marine Trail could be at the top of the list.

China Beach

China Beach

Being at China Beach could be a memorable experience. The beach is a mixture of sand, pebbles, and grit, with access to the Juan de Fuca Trail. China Beach is suitable for watching whales, seals, dolphins, and even storms. With perfect waves, you would have an unforgettable adventure surfing there. If you desire to get the most out of the beach, stay at China Beach Campground.

French Beach

French Beach

Time does not move on the beach, but your mood does with currents. French Beach is a rocky beach in French Beach Provincial Park, which has a wide swath of green lawn at the backside and the blue ocean in front. Relax and enjoy having a picnic with your family or take a dip in the water. You can have a view of Olympic Mountain if the weather is not foggy.

Sandcut Beach

Sandcut Beach

Beaches fix everything, and the tides convey perfect vibes. Sandcut Beach embodies the visual aspects of the west coast beauty. A glorious attraction for those who enjoy walking through a coastal forest and a fantastic spot to spend a peaceful time relaxing. It is where the sound of the waves running over the pebbles would touch your soul. Sandcut Beach is delightful for children and an excellent spot for a romantic picnic.

Cox Bay Beach

Cox Bay Beach

The beach is an excellent spot for challenging your talents out in the ocean and find happiness in salty waters. Cox Bay Beach is a great place for surfers also where you can do other water-based activities you desire. If you prefer walking beach to beach, start from Cox Bay Beach toward Chesterman Beach, one of the most visited beaches on Vancouver Island.

Long Beach

Long Beach

Find yourself in Long Beach and live by the currents. It is the longest one on Vancouver Island, which gives you hours of walking on the sands of the Pacific Rim region. It feels like a never-ending beach, where green and blue meet. As its park and the ocean are generous for activities, you will not regret spending more time on Long Beach.

Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach

Imagine how nature treats your eyes and ears by the magic of glorious stretches of sands, amazing sunset, aquatic creatures, birds flying above your head, and the sound of ocean waves. The relaxing moments of the landscape or the joy of walking on the beach, hiking the trails, or doing water activities would satisfy any visitor at any age. Chesterman Beach makes your stay in Tofino outstanding with all the attention it gains.


Vanislander

Top Twenty-Plus Beaches on Vancouver Island

Although each of Vancouver Island's beaches has its own characteristics, some are more famous and beautiful. Here is a list of the best and most attractive beaches on Vancouver Island. They cover various tastes and include sandy, pebbly and in some parts both types of beaches.
1. Qualicum Beach (sand and pebble)
2. Chesterman Beach (sandy)
3. Long beach (sandy)
4. China Beach (sand and pebble)
5. French Beach (pebble)
6. Sandcut Beach (pebble)
7. Wickaninnish Beach (sandy)
8. Cox Bay Beach (sandy)
9. Rathtrevor Beach (sandy)
10. Parksville Beach (sandy)
11. Willows Beach (sandy)
12. Dolphin Beach (pebble)
13. Saratoga Beach (sandy)
14. Mystic Beach (sandy)
15. Dallas Road Beach (sand and pebble)
16. San Josef Bay (sandy)
17. Judges Row (pebble)
18. Kye Bay (sandy)
19. Pachena Bay (sandy)
20. Tribune Bay (white sand)
21. Nanoose Bay (pebble)
22. Botanical Beach (rocky)


10 Best Beaches to Watch the Sunset on Vancouver Island

Let your minds escape from all daily routines and rest on a beach. Your day can end fabulously watching the sunset. Tofino at the north and Bamfield in the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island is famous for fantastic sunset views, precisely like its beaches. Here are the most stunning beaches on Vancouver Island to watch the sunset:
1. Parksville Beach
2. China Beach
3. Cowichan Bay
4. Brady's Beach
5. Second Beach
6. MacKenzie Beach
7. Chesterman Beach
8. Long Beach
9. Combers Beach
10. Brady's Beach

10 Best Beaches for Swimming on Vancouver Island

When it comes to the beach, one of the activities that many think about is swimming. Ten of the best Vancouver Island beaches for swimming are as follows. They are also among the most kid-friendly and family-friendly beaches.
1. Transfer Beach
2. Parksville Beach
3. Kye Bay
4. Saratoga Beach
5. Rathtrevor Beach
6. Transfer Beach
7. Qualicum Beach
8. Dolphin Beach
9. Gonzales Beach
10. Cordova Bay Beach


Vanislander

6 Best Hidden Beaches or Secluded Beaches on Vancouver Island

The most secluded beaches on Vancouver Island are located in the Pacific Rim area. Choose between them and get the most relaxation time out of your trip with breathtaking views.
1. Sombrio Beaches
2. China Beach
3. Mystic Beach
4. Botanical Beach
5. French Beach
6. Rathtrevor Beach

4 Warmest Beaches to See on Vancouver Island

If you have a plan for sunbathing and lying down on a beach, but you are not a fan of cold and rainy weather, the best time to visit Vancouver Island for beaches is March to May and September to November. With the pleasant weather and stunning area, these beaches are considered beaches that you MUST SEE on Vancouver Island.
1. Tribune Bay
2. San Josef
3. Cox Bay
4. Long Beach


Sandy Beaches on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island offers colourful sandy beaches like white sand, black sand, and ordinary sand. On some beaches, you may see rocks and pebbles beside sand. There is only one black sand beach on Vancouver Island, and it's Sombrio Beach in the Pacific Rim area. This magnificent black sand beach is mixed with rocks in some parts and makes stunning views. Some beautiful white and whitish sandy beaches are on Vancouver Island; they are worth visiting and enjoying their space. Tribune Bay, China Beach and Chesterman Beach are on this list. Also, Savary Island is covered by white sand beaches.

Vanislander

Cave Beaches on Vancouver Island

There are magnificent beaches with caves on Vancouver Island. All of them offer amazing views from both the ocean and cave.
There is an entire mystery cave at the south corner of Chesterman Beach; Low Tide Sea Cave, as the name shows, is visible at low tide. This cave is one of the unique sea caves.
San Josef Bay provides another cave beach plus the fantastic area around itself at the north of Vancouver Island.
Mystic Beach at the Pacific Rim area of Vancouver Island has a fabulous cave. When tides are low and become a photography spot, it is worth visiting.
Also, Deer Group Islands and Tzartus are best-known for sea caves and sea stacks; you will enjoy exploring the island and find them yourself.

Dog-Friendly Beaches on Vancouver Island

There are some awesome off-leash beaches on Vancouver Island. Your dog can freely run, play and even swim on these beaches. Please read more about each of them on the Vancouver Island Off-Leash Areas page.
1. Invermere Beach
2. MacKenzie Beach
3. Blue Beach Back Access
4. Chesterman's Beach
5. Salt Spring Beaches
6. Mount Douglas Beach
7. Cormorant Point
8. Gallows point Park


Vanislander

Glass Beach On Vancouver Island

There is only one glass beach on Vancouver Island, and that it is Glass Beach which is located near Sidney. Glass Beach has a large area, and you may find Old ceramic pieces too.

Vancouver Island Beaches Common Questions and Answers

Commonly, yes. Beaches are open but depend on weather conditions, the ocean and the beach may be dangerous during the storm. That is when you will see the red or orange flags or balls at the beach and on the access way.
Beaches offer recreational opportunities for millions of people. Boating, fishing, swimming, whale watching, storm watching, and sunbathing are among the numerous activities for beachgoers.
According to rdmw unless it is on private land or in an area administered by a third party (i.e., The BC Ferry Corporation), then the public can have a fire anywhere on the beach as long as it is safe and they are complying with the applicable regulations and/or bylaws for the area.
There isn't any official rule about driving on Vancouver Island beaches, but to take care of the wildlife and the animals that live on the beach is frowned upon. However, beach driving is restricted on the beach in White Rock.
Not all of them. Dogs are allowed to be off-leash and even swim on some beaches. You can read all information about these beaches on the Vancouver Island Off-Leash Areas page.
Suppose you are lucky, yes. There are few places that you can watch whales from the shoreline. Galiano Island's Bellhouse Provincial Park and Long Beach area ـــif equipped with the mounted telescopesـــ are the best spots for that purpose.
Yes, except for some with rocky shorelines that are dangerous to swim, especially during a storm. But still, there are lots of unique spots to swim on Vancouver Island, whether you prefer salty ocean waves or freshwater frolics.
Some beaches offer campground areas and provincial parks beside the beaches like French Beach and China Beach, and Raft Cove Provincial Park.
Yes, Vancouver Island has many excellent sandy beaches. Saratoga Beach is counted as one of the best stretches of soft shimmering sand on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
The good news is that the risk for tsunamis on Vancouver Island is low, but there is still a chance of a tsunami caused by an earthquake.