I think the first thing you’ll notice planning a trip to Vancouver Island is, “wow, that’s bigger than I thought”. And you will think the same thing when you drive on the highway from Victoria to the north. Some Canadians told us that it’s a bit funny that the Island got the highway they are longing for on the mainland. But the first discovery on the island was: “wow, this is a lot of people going to the north” :) But here’s how we started. After arriving in Vancouver, we took over the rental car and took the ferry to Victoria. We went in the evening and the atmosphere on the sea with the setting sun and the cute little islands on the way is amazing.
The ferry to Victoria arrives in Sidney and after a 30km drive you’ll enter Victoria, the capital of BC. We spent the night in a nice inn with friendly stuff and spacious rooms, which was located close to the center and next to the Highway 17, so that it was really easy to reach. From there we started our trip to Tofino the next day. And we took it really easy stopping at almost every single viewpoint and checking out a winery (one out of plenty) on the way. The scenery on the highway 1 is amazing and it is definitely worth to take a rest every now and then, just enjoying it.