In 2005 we stayed in the Comox Valley, slightly further to the north of Coombs where we stayed on our 2010 journey. It seems fitting to write about it now since I am already describing Vancouver Island. The Valley stretches some 50 km along the eastern side of Vancouver Island from Fanny Bay to Saratoga Beach. It is a collection of rolling mountains, delicate alpine meadows, rushing rivers, pristine lakes, lush forests, fertile farms and more than 40 green parks. It is a perfect base for exploring further afield and easy to get to with its own airport and regular ferry crossings to Powell’s River on the Sunshine Coast which is the way we approached it. Note to self: Remember to write about the Sunshine Coast when I finish with the island.
Looking across to the mainland.
The name Comox is derived from the Kwakwala Indian word Komuckway, meaning Place of Plenty, a reference to the abundant game and berries in the Comox Valley. It is a pretty town with a great town square, unique sitting areas and a Fisherman’s Wharf, which features an extensive marina with a boardwalk perfect for viewing the many commercial and pleasure boats that use its facilities and watching the reflection of a full moon in its clear waters if you are lucky enough to be there at the right time.
This charming seaside village is surrounded by a beautiful valley and the imposing Comox Glacier (seen below), the Forbidden Plateau and Mount Washington.
Nearby Cumberland is a step back in time as it retains the quaint charm of its former years as a coal-mining village with heritage residential and commercial buildings, antique shops, a self-guided walk of the area’s historical sights and a delightful museum where you can actually walk in a former coal seam.
To the south is the quiet seaside community of Fanny Bay, famous for its oysters, and the laid-back Denman and Hornby Islands with charming shops, galleries and gardens and walking trails. Each of these islands deserve a day to themselves as they have a lot of individual history, culture and character to discover.
And there is even a grassed-roofed restaurant where you can relax and have a bite to eat whilst waiting for the next ferry to arrive.