Vancouver & Vancouver Island
Experience the best of Canada’s Pacific coast by spending a few nights in vibrant Vancouver before enjoying true wilderness and gourmet luxury on Vancouver Island.
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. It has all the attractions you would expect of a major city - art galleries, museums, great restaurants and shops, and even a superb aquarium that houses beluga whales and sea lions.
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. 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.
On the shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba sits Churchill, the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the world’ because it is supposedly the most accessible place in the world to see polar bears. More accurate to say that this is the best place on Earth to see the ice bear in any significant numbers because this is not exactly an easy place to get to - there are no roads into Churchill, and you can only get there by a two-hour flight from Winnipeg or by 300 mile train journey which takes a couple of days.