16 December 2019
Located on the west coast of Canada, British Columbia’s breath-taking scenery make it the perfect travel destination for lovers of the great outdoors and those with a thirst for adventure. From the scenic Pacific Ocean coastline to cosmopolitan Vancouver, British Columbia is world-renowned for its stunning landscapes that range from snow-capped mountains to glorious sandy beaches and lush sweeping forests.
Travelling through this picturesque province, you’ll find outdoor adventures galore, and with so many thrilling activities on offer, British Columbia has something to offer whatever the season.
Here are a few of our favourite choices for unforgettable seasonal outdoor adventures in beautiful British Columbia.
In the springtime, head to gorgeous Vancouver Island and see the magnificent bears come out of hibernation in their natural habitat. Black bear viewing can also be enjoyed from a variety of coastal locations on Vancouver Island, alongside whale watching that brings you close to the action whilst at the same time respecting the boundaries of these magnificent creatures.
The summer months bring a wealth of activities to enjoy in Northern BC’s untamed wilderness. Journey along Highway 16 from Prince George to the culturally rich port city of Prince Rupert. Stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the rugged Pacific coastline, this is undoubtedly one of British Columbia’s most stunning sections of road. There are ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, biking and climbing, and the region is also a haven for wildlife with bald eagles soaring high above, whale watching opportunities and the chance to visit the remote Khytzeymateen – Canada’s first grizzly bear sanctuary. Other summertime experiences include visits to the area’s Indigenous Cultural Centres and the chance to sample wine from the Northern Lights Estate Winery - BC’s northernmost vineyard.
Meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, mineral hot springs, snow-capped mountains and alpine meadows - you’ll find all of these stunning natural wonders in the Kootenay Rockies. Home to four of British Columbia’s seven national parks, there’s an abundance of wildlife here, and the area is known for its incredible array of outdoor activities. In the autumn, the unique quaint heritage towns, such as Nelson, burst into life with fall colours and offer a range of authentic BC experiences. Cosy up by the fire in a far-off log cabin in the mountains and enjoy some late-season hiking, or for the ultimate autumn road trip, follow the Hot Springs Circle Route and mix mountain gazing with hot spring soaks.
Nestled in Thompson Okanagan, you’ll find the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, a desert, and a waterfall that’s twice the height of Niagara Falls. In the winter, the glorious Thompson Okanagan transforms into a snowy wonderland and is a skiers’ and snowboarders’ paradise, with a wealth of world-class ski resorts to choose from. Non-skiers are well-catered for here too, with plenty of unforgettable winter activities to enjoy, including snowmobile tours, outdoor skating rinks and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Begin your adventure through British Columbia by travelling out of Calgary and along Highway 1 through the Rockies and into British Columbia via Yoho National Park. Spend 2 nights in the mountain resort of Kicking Horse. There are plenty of outdoor activities in the area include hiking, climbing Via Ferrata, visiting Boo the Bear, rafting, seeing a nearby buffalo ranch and taking a day trip into Yoho National Park.
Travel via Rogers Pass, two national parks and drive the Meadows in the Sky Parkway on your way to Revelstoke. Then, as you enter the Okanagan Valley on the way to Penticton, admire Lake Okanagan and its numerous lakeside beaches, surrounding wineries and farms of the valley. Stop overnight in Penticton - a great access point to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail for cycling or walking in the morning.
Following Penticton, drive the short distance to Osoyoos, checking out various wineries along the way. Once in Osoyoos, Canada’s only desert, visit the Nk’mip Desert cultural Centre, local farmers markets or have fun on Osoyoos Lake. On your drive back towards Nelson, watch the scenery change from the rolling hills and lakes to dramatic mountain peaks. The quirky lakeside town of Nelson will be your home for the next two nights with its cute cafes, lakeside beaches, and outdoor activities.
Stops en route to Fairmont Hot Springs include Fort Steele Heritage Town, Kimberley Mountain Resort, with its Bavarian pedestrianised town, gardens and alpine hikes. After soaking in the natural waters and maybe even spotting a bear, head back to Calgary via Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs ready for your flight home.
Calgary | Kicking Horse (2 nights) | Revelstoke | Penticton | Osoyoos (2 nights) | Nelson (2 nights) | Fairmont Hot Springs (2 nights) | Fairmont Hot Springs (2 nights) | Calgary
11 nights from £1,898 per person
If you’re ready to discover beautiful British Columbia for yourself, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to support you before, during and even after your trip.