Soak up the stunning scenery of British Columbia with this exhilarating outdoorsy Journey.
No matter when you visit, the cities and wilderness always offer something special, from clear streams flowing over green meadows, to twinkling, turquoise mirror lakes or snow-dusted peaks. Take a boat, ride a floatplane, hike the footpaths, cruise the islands, watch for whales, tread on icy lakes and breathe in the fresh mountain air. This is the ultimate year-round destination.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Explore Victoria, the pretty English-influenced capital of British Columbia
- Discover cosmopolitan Vancouver’s urban and natural attractions
- Enjoy stunning mountain scenery and outdoor adventures in Whistler
- Get close to nature on a whale-watching expedition off the Pacific Coast
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- International flights
- 15 days' car hire
- 15 nights in 4–5* hotels
- Vancouver Granville Island Market tour
- Whale watching in Victoria (Apr – Oct only)
Need to know+
- Arrives: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
- Time difference: GMT-8
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), available online.
- Language: English, French
- Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)
- Flying time from UK: around 10 hours direct
- Plug type: 2 flat pins
- Voltage: 120V
Get out there and explore the sights of Vancouver, a cosmopolitan outdoorsy city. Perhaps ascend to the top of the 168m Vancouver Lookout for stunning city views or walk across the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge – which looks particularly pretty when adorned with fairy lights at Christmas. Set off on a foodie adventure as you take a look around the fresh produce of Granville Island Market, and sample the city’s finest food – try the fabulous dim sum in Chinatown and the excellent array of stylish waterfront restaurants.
Taste the local wine in Osoyoos, home to the warmest freshwater lake in Canada. It’s not just the water either – Oosoyos is known to have some of the highest temperatures in Canada so, no matter when you visit, you can expect a mild, dry climate, with limited snowfall in the winter. What are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and dive in! When not splashing about in the lake, check out the Osoyoos Museum, filled with Indian artefacts and historical tales, plus possessions from local miners and farmers.
Hit the beach in Penticton, tucked between the shores of Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. When not lazing on the sand and admiring the scenery, be sure to take a look around the SS Sicamous Inland Marine Museum, a dry-docked steam sternwheeler built in 1914. Other fun-filled activities include tasting some of the fantastic local wine and posing for photos with The Peach, a spherical snack stand painted to resemble a giant peach.
In the heart of British Columbia, on the shores of Okanagan Lake, stands the city of Kelowna. In the fine summer weather, swimming, boating and kayaking on the lake is the main attraction, while in winter it’s possible to ski at nearby resorts. Head down to the lakeshore for bars, restaurants, parks and museums, taste the local wines and look out for Ogopogo, the fabled lake-dwelling serpent, Kelowna’s very own Loch Ness Monster.
Learn the history of the School on Wheels in Clinton, where you’ll stay on a ranch. On the 160-acre property, you’ll spend your time riding horses, hiking in Echo Valley, fly fishing for trout and making friends with the resident border collies. Perhaps take a half-day trip to Fraser Canyon for some truly spectacular views as well as a fascinating mining, ranching and aboriginal history. You can also choose to have a go at panning for gold, or try cross-country skiing in the colder months.
Spend the day in Whistler, a resort town that’s chock-a-block with outdoor adventures in any season. In summer, hike the mountain trails and gaze over gorgeous scenery, or rent a kayak at one of the many lakes for a relaxing afternoon’s paddling. Perhaps take the gondola up Whistler Mountain for outstanding views of the entire region from above, and keep your eyes peeled for black bears, which sometimes put in an appearance – especially in spring and autumn. In winter, Whistler transformers into a skiing wonderland, with over 200 marked runs, three glaciers and 8,171 acres of snowy terrain. It’s easily one of the best places on the planet to hit the powder.
British Columbia’s capital city has a feel of old-fashioned England about it, with quaint architecture, manicured flower gardens, horse drawn carriage rides and cosy pubs. It’s even named after Britain’s longest serving monarch, Queen Victoria, whose statue stands proudly on the front lawns of the sumptuous British Columbia Parliament buildings. Start exploring with a picturesque whale watching cruise in search of orcas among the Gulf Islands, before admiring the glorious floral displays of the world-famous Butchart Gardens.
Check out the mining towns near Gold Bridge. While staying at the Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa, you’ll have the choice of canoeing, kayaking, or stand up paddle boarding on Tyaughton Lake or even splashing out on a floatplane tour over South Chilcotin’s icefields. Why not opt to land on the shores of Glacier Lake, a place where few people have ever set foot? Back on terra firma, there are plenty of walking trails to try out, a great way to explore the forests.
Depart Gold Bridge and return to the UK
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