Premier Listings for the Cowichan Valley

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.

A greater contrast is hard to find, which is what makes exploring this region so fascinating. There’s plenty of easygoing adventuring to be found by sticking to the main routes, although everyone should treat themselves to a backroad or two where the valleys meet the Strait of Georgia.

There are beaches here the likes of which are found nowhere else on the coast, with views that engender intimacy with the landscape, yet emphasize its isolation.

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.

The Pacific Marine Circle Tour is an excellent way to explore the historic West Coast of Vancouver Island. The wilderness route traces the coastline from Victoria through Sooke and Port Renfrew, continuing onto the Cowichan Valley and looping back down the Trans-Canada Highway via Duncan to Victoria.

Population: 79,000

Location: The Cowichan Valley is located on southern Vancouver Island, on the north side of the Malahat mountain north of Victoria. Trans Canada Highway 1 connects Victoria to the Cowichan Valley. The most westerly section of the 4,850-mile (7809-km) Trans-Canada Highway 1 runs north-south through southern Vancouver Island between Victoria and Nanaimo, a distance of 70 miles (113 km). Highway 19 runs 22 miles (35 km) north of Nanaimo to Parksville, and beyond to the northern end of Vancouver Island. Highway 18 is an 18-mile (29-km) stretch of blacktop that runs east-west from Highway 1 through the Cowichan Valley between Duncan and Youbou. From Youbou a series of logging roads leads 67 miles (108 km) west to Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

A ferry service from Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsula to Mill Bay at the north end of Malahat Drive also connects with Highway 1 (Brentwood Bay/Mill Bay Ferry). BC Ferries connects the Lower Mainland with Nanaimo’s Departure Bay from the Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Vancouver, and Duke Point from the Tsawwassen terminal in Delta.

The following towns are located in the Cowichan Valley:

Chemainus
The former coastal mill town of Chemainus transformed itself into the world’s largest outdoor art gallery, capturing and expressing its history, its people and its future on huge heritage murals painted on the sides of buildings, attracting visitors from around the world.

Cobble Hill
Surrounded by a picturesque landscape, the tiny farming village of Cobble Hill is a creative community boasting galleries run by local artists, including painters, sculptors, potters and totem pole carvers.

Cowichan Bay
The village of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding area is home to a host of artists, craftspeople, and cottage industries – including some fine local wineries.

Cowichan Station
Cowichan Station is a small community located west of the Island Highway, near Whippletree Junction, established in 1885 as a stop-off for the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway. Cowichan Station was built to service settlers living in the area, as well as the logging and copper mine operations located on Mount Sicker and Mount Prevost.

Crofton
Cradled by verdant hillsides and surrounding mountains, the active community of Crofton is situated on the calm waters of Osborne Bay, with great views of Saltspring Island a short ferry ride across the channel.

Duncan
Duncan is the civic centre of the Cowichan Valley and the traditional home of the Coast Salish First nation. Known as the City of Totems, Duncan boasts over 41 distinctive hand-carved cedar poles on public display in parks and downtown streets.

Genoa Bay
Genoa Bay is a quiet and picturesque bay on the north side of Cowichan Bay, at the south end of Sansum Narrows. The Genoa Bay Marina is a rustic hideaway full of old wooden sailboats – an interesting place to visit and relax.

Glenora
The small farming community of Glenora is nestled in the Cowichan Valley, near Duncan. About two-thirds of Glenora is devoted to vineyards and farming, while the remainder supports rural and residential lifestyles. There are approximately 250 homes and businesses in Glenora.

Honeymoon Bay
Honeymoon Bay is a quaint little town on the southeastern shore of Cowichan Lake. The town offers beautiful views of Bald Mountain, RV campsites, and the popular Gordon Bay Provincial Park.

Ladysmith
Ladysmith is a spirited and picturesque community with many of its original heritage buildings recently restored. Visitors travelling the Island Highway can stop at Ladysmith and take a stroll along First Avenue for a look at the turn-of-the century buildings.

Lake Cowichan
Cowichan Lake is one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Vancouver Island, at over 30km long. The town of Lake Cowichan is the gateway to some of the most spectacular camping and hiking available on the island. The south arm of the lake is a heat trap, boasting the highest average summer maximum temperatures in Canada – over 24 degrees Celsius!

Malahat
Travelling north from Victoria, Malahat Drive climbs through imposing mature forests and over rugged mountainside before dropping down into the Cowichan Valley. The Malahat is of great ceremonial significance to the Malahat First Nation, whose ancestors used the caves for spiritual enchancement. The mountain is one of the most sacred sites on southern Vancouver Island.

Maple Bay
Maple Bay is a pretty seaside community that bustles with marine activity all year round. Located in a narrow inlet and surrounded by smooth, pebbled beaches, Maple Bay offers one of the finest natural harbours on the West Coast.

Mesachie Lake
The small community of Mesachie Lake is located on the south shore of Cowichan Lake. Mesachie Lake was a mill town from 1942 to 1968, and has since been transformed into a tranquil country lifestyle community, surrounded by mountains, waterways, and rural woodlands.

Mill Bay
Located at the south end of the Cowichan Valley, travellers on the Island Highway can stop in at Mill Bay and enjoy the village’s quiet waterfront streets and wonderful Gulf Island views.

Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake is a fashionable summer recreation and cottage area, and a favourite weekend getaway spot. The Village is a well-known venue for arts and craft shows, and hosts a small but excellent museum.

Westholme
The small community of Westholme is located alongside the Island Highway, between Chemainus and Duncan, offering beautiful farmlands and mountain landscapes.

Youbou
The beautiful little community of Youbou is located on the north shore of Cowichan Lake, west of Duncan and a 25-minute drive west of the community of Lake Cowichan. The former mill town provides a good public beach and extensive recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating and hiking.

Premier Listings

Photo of Malahat Mountain Meadows RV Park
Malahat Mountain Meadows RV Park
304 Trans Canada Hwy Malahat BC V0R 2L0 Mailing Address: Box 398 Malahat BC V0R 2L0 Home Phone: 250-478-5452Home Fax: 250-478-5422Work Phone: 1-888-478-5452Visit Website

Biographical Info

Malahat Mountain Meadows RV Park and Campground is located 26 kms north of Victoria near the summit of the Malahat Drive. Our quiet and natural resort offers private and scenic campsites, and 63 spacious, fully-serviced RV sites nestled amongst giant cedars and seasonal creeks – either warm and sunny or deeply shaded lots. Amenities include a heated pool, clean washrooms with hot showers, and much more.

Our goal is to make campers as comfortable as possible during their stay in the Greater Victoria area. Head south to Victoria or north to explore the beautiful Cowichan Valley and the rest of Vancouver Island beyond. Come visit Malahat Mountain Meadows RV park and campground today! Quiet and natural!

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Photo of Cobble House Bed & Breakfast
Cobble House Bed & Breakfast
3105 Cameron-Taggart Road Cobble Hill BC V0R 1L6 Home Phone: 250-743-2672Work Phone: 1-866-743-2672Visit Website

Biographical Info

Cobble House Bed & Breakfast is located in Vancouver Island’s Wine Country, the Cowichan Valley, just 45 minutes north of Victoria and 60 minutes south of Nanaimo. Centrally located for exploring southern Vancouver Island in different directions, Cobble House B&B is nestled in a 40-acre private natural forest, with Shawnigan Creek flowing by along one side.

Our three guest rooms are spacious, comfortable, smoke free and well equipped, all with private bathroom and comfortable sitting areas. Start your day right with a delicious full breakfast in our lovely dining room. If you want to unwind with a relaxing Vancouver Island getaway, we offer that peace and tranquility and relaxed atmosphere. Wir sprechen Deutsch. Wij spreken Nederlands.

Wildlife is a daily occurrence. Relax on our flower-filled deck in the summer to enjoy the birds and hummingbirds at their feeders. Deer will often wander by and occasionally elk or bear pay a visit. We’ve also seen mink, many owls and even river otters on the lawn!

Enjoy the many outdoor activities the Cowichan Valley has to offer, from golf, horseback riding, boating, and whale watching to kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, cycling and hiking. Walk the Trans Canada Trail and the famous Kinsol Trestle. Bring your bike to cycle the wineries. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Tea Farm, the only place in Canada to grow tea. You can meet a water buffalo herd, smell the lavender, visit the Chemainus murals, immerse yourself in native culture, or watch the Raptors fly. There really is something to suit everyone’s interests and we’re happy to assist you with all the information you need.

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Photo of Genoa Bay Café
Genoa Bay Café
Genoa Bay Marina Unit #1, 5100 Genoa Bay Road Genoa Bay Duncan BC V9L 5Y8 Home Phone: 250-746-7621Home Fax: 250-746-7621Work Phone: 1-800-572-6481Visit Website

Biographical Info

The Genoa Bay Cafe offers a fine selection of Pacific Rim cuisines, featuring fresh seafood from local waters, meats, produce and poultry from the farms of the Cowichan Valley, and the relaxed ambience of a waterfront setting at the Genoa Bay Marina. The Genoa Bay Cafe guarantees a unique and memorable experience. Open 7 days a week.

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Photo of EMR Vacation Rentals
EMR Vacation Rentals
Vancouver Office: EMR Vacation Rentals Inc. #1118 Richards Street Vancouver BC V6B 3E6 Victoria Office: (Mailing address) #106-1016 McCallum Road Victoria BC V9B 4C6 Home Phone: 604-628-4435Home Phone: 250-483-6790Home Fax: 530-660-3079Work Phone: 1-866-800-8880Work Phone: 0-800-520-0932 UKHome Phone: 0-800-181-8907 GermanyVisit Website

Biographical Info

EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more.

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Photo of Best Western PLUS Chemainus Inn
Best Western PLUS Chemainus Inn
9573 Chemainus Road Chemainus BC V0R 1K5 Home Phone: 250-246-4181Work Fax: 250-246-4184Work Phone: 1-877-246-4181Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Biographical Info

The Best Western PLUS Chemainus Inn is a top choice hotel amongst Vancouver Island accommodations. Large, well-appointed suite-style hotel rooms offer premium comfort to suit all your needs during your holiday or corporate stay. Discover our tranquil seaside village with its historic murals, dedicated arts community, arts festivals, and the famous Chemainus Theatre, or enjoy secluded beaches, great golfing, hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving.

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Photo of Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat
Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat
10028 Park Drive Honeymoon Bay BC V0R 1Y0 Home Phone: 250-749-4252Work Phone: 1-888-749-4252Visit Website

Biographical Info

The Honeymoon Bay Lodge & Retreat is a Christian Not-For-Profit Retreat Centre. The Retreat is a ministry of Youth For Christ Canada, an organization that ministers to at-risk youth across Canada. The Retreat will be used in the training and care of YFC leaders. The location is nestled in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Our mandate is to provide a place for rest, renewal and growth.

When the Retreat is not in use by YFC staff, it will be available as a restorative setting ideal for personal and group retreats, workshops, conferences, intimate weddings and events requiring accommodation as well as for individuals seeking a place for personal renewal and restoration.

The Honeymoon Bay Lodge & Retreat is wheelchair accessible and has 17 beautifully-appointed suites, full dining experience, and versatile meeting spaces. The facilities include a saltwater hot tub, infrared sauna, fitness room, library, gardens, local artisans gallery, and a labyrinth to walk through.

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Photo of Careers and Jobs at BCjobs.ca
Careers and Jobs at BCjobs.ca

Biographical Info

BCJobs.ca enables job seekers and employers to connect with each other. Search for employment opportunities throughout BC or apply for and post BC jobs and resumes. Use the internet as a resource to find that dream job, including accounting jobs, administration jobs, construction, manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, financial, technical, technology, health care, tourism, retail and more… all in British Columbia.

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Photo of BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River 972 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5 Work Phone: 250-286-3293Work Fax: 250-286-1932Work Phone: 1-888-286-1932Cell Phone: 1-250-287-0011 Ed CellCell Phone: 1-250-830-4435 Shelley CellVisit Website

Biographical Info

Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” – ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in marketing and selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. Our real estate listings include homes to small oceanfront and lakefront recreational lots, private islands, remote island acreages, fishing lodges, wilderness / adventure resorts and vacation homes, oceanfront / lakefront cabins, marinas, remote & timbered acreages, and development investment properties on the west coast of BC and Vancouver Island – BCO has the Coast covered!

As an experienced BC realtor, Ed Handja successfully markets and locates real estate on the British Columbia coast for his clients. He’s lived and worked on the coast all his life, traveling from Indian Arm and the Gulf Islands on the southern BC coast, to the Khutzeymateen Valley in the northern most part of British Columbia. Ed is familiar with the west coast of Canada and understands the logistics and considerations required when dealing with the remote and unconventional real estate on the islands and west coast of BC.

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Photo of Genoa Bay Marina
Genoa Bay Marina
Unit #1 5100 Genoa Bay Road Genoa Bay Duncan BC V9L 5Y8 Home Phone: 250-746-7621Home Fax: 250-746-7621Work Phone: 1-800-572-6481Visit Website

Biographical Info

Genoa Bay Marina offers lush tree-lined shores, towering vistas, and sheltered moorage. Our prices are affordable, and our services include Transient and Permanent Moorage, a General and Marine Store, Car and Video/DVD rental, Laundry, Showers and Washrooms, Fax service, Postal services, Internet and email access, and the Genoa Bay Cafe. Shipwright and Mechanical services are also available.

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Photo of Arbutus Ridge Golf Club
Arbutus Ridge Golf Club
3515 Telegraph Road Cobble Hill BC V0R 1L4 Home Phone: 250-743-5000Work Fax: 250-743-5518Work Phone: 1-800-446-5322Visit Website

Biographical Info

Arbutus Ridge Golf Club is located in the seaside community of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island, a scenic 40-minute drive from Victoria and Nanaimo and just 10 minutes away from the cultural city of Duncan. Arbutus Ridge is rated the #1 Destination Golf Course in British Columbia and the legendary 17th hole is ranked One of the Top 18 Golf Holes on Vancouver Island.

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