Scenic British Columbia, the most western province of Canada, stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Rocky mountains in the east, will have you holding your breathe in awe at the unique sights and wildlife populating this fantastic cosmopolitan destination.
Head out of the towns and cities in British Columbia and you’ll discover a vast wilderness. Best known of these is surely the Rocky Mountains or to be more precise the Kootenay Rockies, which lay along the western flanks and are home to some of Canada’s highest peaks. Perhaps not so well known but well worth a visit are the guest ranches of the Cariboo, bubbling hot springs and offbeat little art towns dotted around this region.
Vancouver Island offers the quiet pace of ‘island time’ with farmers markets and thriving arts and crafts scene, plus the natural contrasts of long sandy beaches on the east coast to wild, pounding waves on the west, such as at Tofino, loved by surfers.
For wildlife viewing this whole area features an exceptional range of both sealife and wildlife to experience and photograph. From the energetic Orcas, humpback, grey and killer whales, found off the southern coast of BC, which can be seen by boat trip between March and October, to the hungry grizzly and black bears found in the Great Bear Rainforest, parks and ecological reserves of the offshore islands. BC’s unique hideaway retreats such as Sonora Resort, accessible by air or boat, are the perfect place for wildlife viewing, with the added treat of some spa pampering.
The Okanagan - Canada’s premier wine region, is home to numerous wineries and vineyards, hosting tours and tastings of their delicious wines, and often gourmet dining - start your route from Vernon and Kelowna down to Osoyoos. Whilst visiting one of the annual wine festivals, make sure you also include the outstanding shoreline of Shuswap Lake, enjoy a round of golf at one of the 50 or so golf courses and find time to venture into the depths of Wells Gray and Mount Robson Provincial Parks.
Take a trip on a BC ferry for some island hopping through the magical Gulf Islands, the heritage-rich Queen Charlotte Islands and the wilder Inside Passage, to enjoy pristine beaches and spot whale or dolphin. You could take a kayak to paddle closer to the seals basking off this spectacular coastline.
You’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure in BC – roaring rivers and serene lakes offer unrivalled fishing, canoeing and kayaking plus there’s walking to suit all abilities, including spectacular heli-hiking. Try sea kayaking, cycling or fishing on Vancouver Island; sailing off the Sunshine Coast; hiking and rafting in the Kootenay Rockies; zip lining in Whistler; horse riding in the Cariboo.