How to get herePlanning your transportation to and from Nanaimo is easily tailored to the type of experience you’re after on Vancouver Island. Learn about travelling by air, land, or sea. Discover how to get here
Nanaimo, British Columbia
The city of Nanaimo is a classic West Coast community, offering natural beauty at every turn, and vast recreation potential. Nanaimo has one of the longest shorelines in Canada, and a forested mountain backdrop just outside downtown. Here, you can go from the wilderness to the city centre in just a few minutes, and spend more time in the places you want to be.
Nanaimo, BC is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, 113 km north of Victoria, and 55 km across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver. The city projects out into the strait like a headland, affording waterfront on three sides and spectacular ocean views at every turn. The local landscape is defined by Mount Benson, which rises 1,006 metres (3,300 feet) just west of Nanaimo, and the Nanaimo River estuary, the largest estuary on Vancouver Island, which flows into Nanaimo Harbour at the south end of the city.
Nanaimo is the place to find natural wonders, festivals, culinary joys, and so much more. Discover your Nanaimo 360 by browsing things to do, places to stay, and how to get here.
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What’s Your Travel Type?
Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.
Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.
Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.
Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.
Latest blog posts
A Winter Travel Guide to Nanaimo, BC
January 28, 2019
Exploring Nanaimo with Julia Crawford I’ve always been drawn to British Columbia’s coastal communities. They tend to capture my imagination, from the quaint and slightly dilapidated buildings that have weathered decades of moisture in the salty sea air to the eccentric characters—whether real or historic—that hold a million stories you will never get to hear. In the summer, these coastal communities promise secret beaches and warm, shallow waters. But in the winter, the mild climate means you can walk through a still-green forest surrounded by the heady scent of fir and pine. While I’m familiar with many of the towns […]Read More
Made in Nanaimo Gift Guide for the Holidays
November 22, 2018
The talent we have here on Vancouver Island is astounding. There are 32 registered farmers markets, at least double that for craft markets, and just as many brick and mortar stores on the island. This means shopping local and supporting growers, bakers and makers will be one of the most meaningful and simple things we can do this holiday. I’m Mei, the Co-founder of Vancouver Island Market Ltd, and we have over 200 vendors participating in our 100% local winter market. From beer, wine and spirits all made on the island, to bath and beauty products, jewellery, clothing, baked goods, […]Read More
Just An Island Away – Gabriola
November 13, 2018
The clouds lay low, the breeze is sharp, and the sea is rolling as if to welcome us to the Island. As we inch closer to the dock, the towering sandstone cliffs surround us. Then at the buzz of a button, we ran and got back into the van. Our adventure is about to begin. Gabriola Island is located off the shores of Nanaimo, with a population of roughly 4,000. This is not your typical island, and to help us discover what Gabriola has to offer, the Adventure 360 team and I teamed up with Vancouver Island Expeditions (VIE). […]Read More