I recently learned the important lesson that you don’t have to be on a Caribbean island to indulge in relaxation, take in marvelous views, and enjoy once in a lifetime activities all in one place. Tucked away on the southern end of Vancouver Island (just 30 minutes from Victoria) is a small taste of luxury known as the Villa Eyrie Resort in the Cowichan Valley. This remote destination provided a gorgeous landscape for a quick weekend getaway where I was able to de-stress and recharge while still indulging in new adventures. The resort offers exclusive excursion packages that will help you make the most of your time on Vancouver Island while taking care of all of the planning for you. Here is just a snapshot of everything I got to experience during my stay:
Arrive in Style with Helijet
I was excited for the helicopter ride to the island, but underestimated what a breathtaking part of the trip this would be. The 20 minute ride gave me a chance to soak in views of the beautiful Vancouver skyline and spectacular mountains of Vancouver Island. While I was eager to get to our destination, I could have stayed in the air all day just taking in the sights around me. Helijet sponsored our helicopter transportation and provided a seamless and luxurious experience from start to finish, even when we were on the ground. Villa Eyrie arranged transfers to and from the Helijet terminal. We were picked up from the helicopter terminal in a Mercedes van, and brought back in a Maserati at the end of our trip! While you can also get to the island by ferry, anyone who has the chance to opt for an airlift will truly have an unforgettable experience.
Get a Taste for British Columbia at Alpina Restaurant
Alpina is an upscale restaurant that boasts an exquisite menu of flavors inspired by Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, encompassing the spirit of British Columbia cuisine. Their decadent offerings include sweet and savory breakfast and brunch options (as well as a brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays), and tasty dishes at lunch and dinner time. In the true spirit of an authentic “weekend in the woods” experience, you can even find s’mores for two on their dessert menu! A wide array of pre-fixe menus are available throughout the week that include a taste of Alpina’s best dishes along with perfect wine pairings at all different price points. No matter what time of day you decide to stop by (or if you choose to grab multiple meals here during your stay), I guarantee your tastebuds will be swept away! Alpina’s impressive selection doesn’t end with omelettes, sandwiches, or braised short ribs. The wine selection is nothing short of superb, highlighting local vintages from Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley, Okanagan Valley, and Similkameen Valley—the largest selection of British Columbia wines that Vancouver Island has to offer—as well as select “Old world” wines from locations around the Alps. You can read all about Alpina’s Wine Program to learn how each bottle is hand selected for Villa Eyrie visitors.
Put the Pedal to the Metal at Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit
Our first activity on Vancouver Island was an adrenaline junkie’s dream. About 40 minutes north of the Villa Eyrie Resort lies the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, a “playground” of dynamic tracks that allow you to take in all of the scenery the mountainside has to offer while test driving some of the world’s coolest cars! The Motorsport Circuit offers a great variety of driving experiences that will guarantee you and your group can find something to enjoy, whether you’re looking to channel your inner NASCAR star in a “Performance Driving” package or just cruise around in a luxury vehicle while taking in the sights.
Tackle New Adventures at Cowichan River Lodge
Villa Eyrie’s Resort’s sister property, Cowichan River Lodge, is located about an hour northwest and complemented our itinerary by bringing us even closer to nature in a rustic, serene, yet chic setting. I was most excited to hit the water, though not for swimming or boating like I usually would. Cowichan River Lodge is known for its catch-and-release fishing excursions, as this area is notorious for having the best trout and salmon fishing in Vancouver Island. Each package includes a professional guide who will help navigate your group throughout the day.
Unwind & Recharge at Villa Eyrie
As you can see, Villa Eyrie Resort provided the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is exactly what I look for in a stress-free vacation. As soon as we arrived at this expansive mountainside oasis, I knew we were in for a weekend of fresh air, relaxation, and a full itinerary of unique activities. From the spacious suite providing picture-perfect views and more than enough room, to the vast range of amenities throughout the property and nearby attractions, Villa Eyrie exceeded all of my expectations and I cannot thank them enough for making this memorable trip possible!