Multicultural Vancouver, in the south-west corner of British Columbia, has one of the most stunning natural settings in the world, between mountains and sea. The city also serves as a gateway to the rest of British Columbia, with every kind of outdoor activity imaginable on offer within easy reach of downtown, winter or summer, on land or water.

Will and Alexandra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Vancouver's residents enjoy an outstandingly high standard of living, with unspoilt nature on their doorstep.

Our guide to holidays in British Columbia

Vibrant Vancouver has all the attractions you would expect of a major city, especially one that was once voted 'Best City in the Americas' by Condé Nast Traveller, including art galleries, museums, great restaurants and shops, and even a superb aquarium that houses beluga whales and sea lions.

Whereas Vancouver Island offers a taster of the rugged, wilder side of Canada. The main island is the size of Wales but has a population similar to Brighton, making quiet isolation easy to find. The island's many protected areas are home to wildlife such as whales, eagles and bear, and its forests contain some of the largest trees in the world. Original Travel visited the island recently, and can organise activities such as forest treks, sea kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding and whale or bear-watching. In the untamed wilderness of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve - one of the best intact examples of temperate rainforest left on Earth - the extensive river system also offers outstanding fishing for silver salmon, king salmon, steelhead trout and other species.


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Original Highlight

The city of Vancouver has twice been voted the 'Best City in the Americas' by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine.

Will, Original Traveller

A note on price

Excluding flights, a trip to Canada usually starts from around £2,000 to £3,000 per person. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — -10°C / 14°F
  • Rainfall — 5cm / 2.2 inches
Flight from London

7:45 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -5 hrs


Top picks for British Columbia

Coastal Black Bear Boat Trip

Coastal Black Bear Boat Trip

British Columbia

Departing from Tofino on Vancouver Island, this half day boat trip allows you the chance to get up close to coastal black bears after their winter semi-hibernation in Clayoquot Sound.

What to do

Pool and hotel exterior

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Vancouver

Situated in the centre of Vancouver’s financial district and a 5 minute walk from Coal Harbour, stands the sleek Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. With beautiful views of the city’s tranquil waters and snow-capped mountains, the hotel is ideally located for exploring Vancouver’s natural splendour and cultural attractions.

Where to stay

Four Seasons Whistler, luxury hotel in British Columbia, Canada

Four Seasons Whistler

Whistler

The Four Seasons Resort Whistler rests in the prime location at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, a 400 yard walk to the Blackcomb ski lifts and a short shuttle to the village and Whistler Mountain.

Where to stay

Beach at Wickaninnish Inn, luxury hotel in British Columbia, Canada

The Wickaninnish Inn

Vancouver Island

The Wickaninnish Inn is a) virtually impossible to spell correctly, and b) on Vancouver Island's magnificently rugged west coast, minutes from the picturesque town of Tofino.

Where to stay

Wild Pacific Trail in Vancouver

Vancouver Island

British Columbia

Vancouver Island lies just off of the west coast of British Columbia, just a short ferry journey of flight from bustling Vancouver city. The island is in fact the largest inhabited landmass between the west coast of North America and New Zealand, though humans are considerably outnumbered by other species, making this a nature lover’s paradise.

Where to go

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

British Columbia

Dive into an ocean of vibrant colours and breathtaking landscape at beautiful Butchart Gardens, Victoria’s most famous attraction. This 55- acre garden of flowers, landscaped theme gardens, streams and ponds makes for an unforgettable stroll throughout every season.

What to do

Gourmet Canada

Gourmet Canada

British Columbia

The food in Canada is as diverse as the country itself. In Canada they cannot claim one culinary culture, because every region has its own traditional dishes using the best of the products of their land for a personal touch.

What to do

Cloud Camp

Cloud Camp

British Columbia

Combine a helicopter flight and exclusive camping experience with fine dining, and you have a night at Cloud Camp - located 4500 ft above sea level on Ursus Mountain. This is 'glamping' on a whole other level.

What to do

Sea to Sky Climb

Sea to Sky Climb

British Columbia

Discover Canada’s dramatic Sea to Sky Climb scenery, expanding from Vancouver to Whistler. A unique way to experience this British Columbia landscape is by joining the Sea to Sky Climb train. Admire breathtaking views between Vancouver and Whistler, and what better way to explore this beautifully extensive region in just one day than travelling in comfort and style.

What to do

Nita Lake Lodge, luxury hotel in British Columbia, Canada

Nita Lake Lodge

Whistler

This homely boutique hotel is situated in the Creekside Village at the base of Whistler Mountain and is a perfect getaway for a revitalizing summer adventure or an exciting ski holiday.

Where to stay

Bear at Knight Inlet Lodge

Knight Inlet Lodge

British Columbia Coast

Knight Inlet lodge floats on a river in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest, just north of Campbell River. The lodge lies close to the mouth of Knight Inlet, from which it gains its name, and is nestled into Glendale Cove which is home to one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in British Columbia.

Where to stay

Orca Jumping out of the Water in Vancouver Harbour

Vancouver

British Columbia

Some of the world’s best cities are on sea – step forward Rio, Sydney and San Fran – and Vancouver is a very worthy member of this club.

Where to go

Spirit Bear in British Columbia

British Columbia Coast

British Columbia

Being the world’s second largest country with a population little over half that of the UK, it should come as no surprise that Canada does Wilderness better than most, and some of our favourite wilderness hideaways lie within an hour or two’s travel of Vancouver city, along the coast of British Columbia.

Where to go

Professional Skiing in Whistler Mountain

Whistler

British Columbia

Is Whistler the best ski resort in the world? Quite possibly, and it's none too shabby in summer either.

Where to go

Deluxe executive suite

Four Seasons Vancouver

Vancouver

In Vancouver’s vibrant city centre, the striking Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver stands 30 storeys high, commanding spectacular views over the city and its majestic mountain peaks. Just a few minutes from areas such as Granville Island Market, Stanley Park and Robson Street, the hotel is in the perfect position for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and adventure activities of Vancouver.

Where to stay

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Vancouver Island

A luxurious eco-resort set in the untamed wilderness of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve - one of the best intact examples of temperate rainforest on Earth - this former mining outpost has been converted into a luxury tented retreat.

Where to stay

Peak 2 Peak Gondola

Peak 2 Peak Gondola

British Columbia

The Peak 2 Peak gondola spans nearly three miles between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, in the process making it both the longest and the highest gondola lift in the world.

What to do

Sonora Resort, luxury hotel in British Columbia, Canada

Sonora Resort

British Columbia Coast

Sonora Resort is a luxurious and all-inclusive wilderness lodge in dense forests on the water’s edge in British Columbia's Inside Passage.

Where to stay

Thank you so much for the wonderful wonderful Sharky and George packs! They are quite marvellous - and I thought the way the tickets and itinerary were packed was top notch! We really will be booking again with you!

Sandra

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