DISCOVER VANCOUVER ISLAND & MALAHAT SKYWALK
If you have already visited Victoria, and/or you are looking to explore more of Vancouver Island, this full-day tour is the perfect match for you. Begin your trip by with a scenic ferry ride through the Salish Sea, crossing from Vancouver to Nanaimo. Upon arrival to the Island, travel through old-growth rainforests on the way to the Malahat SkyWalk, the first lookout of its kind in BC, to soak in the breathtaking views of the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands from the top. Then, enjoy a unique cider tasting at the local Merridale Cidery & Distillery before your last stop in the quaint town of Duncan, home to one of the largest collections of Indigenous totem poles in the world. This tour is recommended for families, couples, and solo travellers who want to explore off-the-beaten-path gems in Vancouver Island.
Please note that this is a sample itinerary and it is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, such as weather or road closures.
Vancouver to Vancouver Island (Roundtrip)
- Your adventure today begins with a 90-minute sailing aboard BC Ferries to Swartz Bay. Be sure to visit the outside decks, as it is not uncommon to see all kinds of sea life, including porpoises and whales. Also, food service is available onboard
- Arrive on Vancouver Island and travel past old growth forests and amazing vistas along the Malahat Highway
- The first stop will be the Malahat SkyWalk, the newest outdoor experience on Vancouver Island that provides the ultimate natural high
- Enjoy a tour and cidery tasting at Merridale Cidery & Distillery, a family-owned and operated farm providing some of the best orchard to glass experiences in the region
- Explore Duncan, also known as the City of Totems, and its outdoor collection of public displayed totem poles. Here you will have the option to join a short guided walking tour
- Wind down with a return scenic ferry ride from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay
- Return to downtown Vancouver at approximately 8:30pm
Photos courtesy of ©Destination BC – Local Wanderer & ©Tourism Vancouver Island & Tourism Cowichan – Paige Owen
Accessible by all ages, the Malahat SkyWalk will immerse you in nature as you embark on a 600 metre-long elevated walkway through an expansive Arbutus and Douglas Fir forest. The path continues on to an almost flat spiral boardwalk that slowly reaches the top of a 10-story lookout tower – the first of its kind in BC. Rising 250 metres above sea level, you will enjoy 360-degree views of islands, inlets, fjords, forests and mountains in two countries.
Merridale Cidery & Distillery
Enjoy a tour and cidery tasting at Merridale Cidery & Distillery. Set in a picturesque orchard in rural Cobble Hill, Merridale has become a Cowichan institution, known primarily for its wide selection of artisanal, made-on-the-premises, craft ciders and spirits.
Duncan - The City of Totems
The streets of Duncan’s revitalized, architecturally striking downtown are lined with shops, galleries, bookstores, restaurants, cafes, and a popular brewpub and wine bar. Here you will have the option to join your guide on a brief walking tour of one of the world’s largest collections of First Nations’ totems.
Vancouver Island to Vancouver
Wind down and finish off today’s adventure with a scenic cruise from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay. Enjoy sightseeing through the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands. Keep an eye on the ocean for a chance to spot sea wildlife!
Is the Malahat SkyWalk easy to access?
Yes. While the lookout tower of the Malahat SkyWalk might seem tall, the boardwalk to access it is almost completely flat, as it slowly goes up in a wide spiral pattern. The walkway is broad and has railings on both sides for added security and comfort, and it delights you with incredible views along the entire way to the top.
On the way down, you can choose the fastest route by going down the thrilling slide! The slide is short, has all the appropriate safety measures, and a sliding mat is provided for you.
Additionally, the Malahat SkyWalk has other viewpoints at the base, a picnic area, a café, and a few small shops.
What is the weather usually like in the East coast of Vancouver Island?
From May to October, the weather in the Malahat and Eastern Vancouver Island tends to be mild and pleasant. During these months, temperatures typically range from 10 to 25°C (50 to 77 °F). Summer brings drier conditions with more sunny days and occasional rainfall. It’s an ideal time to explore the picturesque landscapes of Vancouver Island!
We recommend wearing light layers and packing a waterproof jacket in case of rain. Please check the weather forecast prior to your scheduled tour departure to make sure you dress appropriately to be comfortable during your experience.
What does the walking tour in Duncan consist of?
The city of Duncan has markings on the street to guide you through the downtown area and the totem pole collection. Once you reach the town, you will have the option to explore on your own, or join your guide for a walking tour with commentary about the local community and its Indigenous heritage and population, and the more than 41 locally-carved totem poles that gave the city its nickname.
The terrain is flat and easy to walk on, and the entire tour is under 30 minutes.
Please contact us if you don’t see any availability that fits your schedule. We will try our best to accommodate you when possible.
Discover Vancouver Tours EXCLUSIVE experience!
Adult / Youth (13+)
Every Saturday: May 18 - October 5, 2024
Pick Up Times
- Experience two scenic coastal ferry rides across the Strait of Georgia and through the Gulf Islands
- Visit Vancouver Island’s newest attraction for breathtaking views of two countries – the Malahat SkyWalk
- Enjoy an orchard-to-glass cider tasting and tour at Merridale Cidery & Distillery
- Participate in a walking tour of one of the largest First Nations’ outdoor totem pole collections in the world
- Explore more of Vancouver Island and discover the road less travelled
What to Bring:
- Sweater or jacket for the sea breeze aboard the ferries
- Light rain coat in case of rain (recommended)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunscreen & sunglasses
- Reusable water bottle
- 2 pieces of ID
- Power bank and phone charger (recommended)