The Cowichan Valley ranges north across the Malahat Ridge from Victoria through the Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys to Nanaimo, including a cross-island trip to Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park.
This slice of southern Vancouver Island covers the country between Port Renfrew and near Bamfield on the west coast, and Malahat and Nanaimo on the east side of Vancouver Island.
Most of the population lives along the east coast, where farming in the lush, rolling Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys has gone hand in hand with logging since Vancouver Island was an independent Crown colony. The heart of agriculture lies south of Nanaimo, the Hub City, and this pastoral atmosphere persists as you make you way north towards Parksville. However, it's hard to ignore the slopes of the Vancouver Island Mountains that begin to nudge travellers closer to the coastline for wont of wide valley bottoms. Most roads west peter out quickly in the face of this granitic tour de force. The exception is the cross-island melange of paved highway and gravel logging roads that link the sheltered Cowichan Valley with the storm-battered community of Bamfield on the west coast.
Whether it's adrenaline or unwinding you crave, you'll find it here. Enjoy world-class kayaking, the best flyfishing anywhere, hiking through ancient rainforests, championship year-round golf or cruising our spectacular coastline. Follow all of that with a gourmet meal at the vineyard, a stroll through seaside shops, an evening of live theatre and you'll start to see the world differently.
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