The west coast of the island, along with certain pockets of the east coast and the smaller islands, provides amazing sand beaches. Whether it is Cadboro Bay in Victoria, Long Beach in Tofino, Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville, Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, Saratoga Beach in the Comox Valley or Raft Cove on the north end of the island, the sandy beaches of the region provide miles of soft sand to walk and play on.
Cobble and small rock beaches are common as well, especially on the central to northern parts of Eastern Vancouver Island. These may have areas of sand at low tide, known sometimes only to the locals, but for the most part they are made of small rock and stone. These are great beaches for finding crabs, skipping stones into the water and for having beach fires.
Campbell River Shoreline
Sandstone beaches are spread out along the island, tending to occur in pockets. There are many in and around Nanaimo and the gulf islands, such as Gabriola Island. These beaches can create amazing caves and fun places to explore and hide. The sandstone creates amazing tidepools as well as flat spaces for warming up after a swim.
Gabriola Island sandstone
Of course, the wildest beaches are those that aren't really even beaches, just rugged rock leading into the forest. These are tough to visit with anything but a boat, and often don't provide space to walk about. But they are spectacular to look at!
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