Here’s why your winter getaway should start in Nanaimo



Photo: Sean Fenzl

From harbour walks and waterfall hikes, to local beers and world-famous treats (Nanaimo Bars… mmm), Nanaimo is an exciting and convenient home base for your next island adventure.

Wildlife sightings, dewy forests, stormy skies and the slow-paced tranquility of island living, now that sounds like a vacation. Fortunately for Western Canadians, these uniquely West Coast highlights are just a short flight away.

Centrally located, Nanaimo airport is the gateway to Vancouver Island. Faster than a ferry, flying through YCD will get you to your destination quickly, giving you more time to explore everything both Nanaimo and surrounding regions have to offer.

Photo: Mike Anderson

Nanaimo itself is full of incredible natural scenery, and hiking trails.

Visitors’ favourite Nanaimo activities include snorkeling with the Seals from Snake Island, searching for hidden dinosaurs along Cable Bay Trail and learning about Nanaimo’s first people and the historical significance of traditional land from a cultural guide on Saysutshun, Newcastle Island.

In between, there’s everything from big city amenities to seaside charm, including Canada’s only floating pub, the Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island. In fact, Nanaimo is chalked full of delicious fare and fresh homemade beer, so arrive hungry!

Photo: Mike Anderson

Rental cars are available at the Nanaimo airport, making Nanaimo the perfect home base for the rest of your island adventures. Pick a direction and start exploring, there’s so much to be experience in Nanaimo and beyond.

A 35-minute drive from Nanaimo, Parksville Qualicum Beach offers incredible natural highlights including the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere region and underground adventures at the Horne Lake Caves. From there, Tofino is a must-visit for those in search of whale watching, secluded Hot springs and world-famous stormy weather. Finally, a quick trip to Ucluelet will provide eager explorers the ultimate West Coast adventure; hiking the Wild Pacific Trail.

Photo: Mike Anderson

Fortunately, when the adventures come to an end, it’s an easy drive to the Nanaimo airport, drop off your rental car and hop on your flight.  Lots of convenient options with Air Canada now offering 9 daily flights to Vancouver and one to Calgary, in addition WestJet offers  2 daily flights to Calgary and one daily flight to Vancouver.

Nanaimo airport is the affordable gateway to your island destinations.

Pack your weekend bag and enjoy all Vancouver Island has to offer with hassle free flights to Nanaimo.  To learn more, visit

You can also connect with the Nanaimo Airport on Facebook.