Itinerary Highlights
    • Immerse yourself in the rich nature and culture of Canada’s West Coast islands
    • Head out on a whale watching cruise and kayaking adventure with naturalist guides
    • Sample British Columbia’s culinary heritage with wine tasting in Cowichan Valley and high tea at a legendary hotel in Victoria

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Vancouver has cultivated a reputation as a city that perfectly combines its urban cosmopolitan atmosphere with the wilderness of its surrounding natural landscapes. You’ll begin your adventure in the city, enjoying cycle rides along seaside promenades, walks through the woods of Stanley Park and hikes across the trails laid out on the other side of Capilano Suspension Bridge. After a few days here, it’s time to get off the beaten track and start the island-hopping chapter of this holiday. Over the next ten days you’ll be soaking in the exquisite coastal scenery of three of British Columbia’s most beautiful islands: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island and Galiano Island. Along the way, you’ll be whale watching with a naturalist guide,
kayaking along the pretty sandstone coast of Galiano Island, wine tasting in pristine vineyards and enjoying a classic high tea in a legendary hotel in British Columbia’s capital, Victoria.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

TOUCHDOWN IN CANADA

Your island-hopping adventure in western Canada starts today. Head to the airport, whizz through security and enjoy some down time in the airport lounge with refreshments as you await the departure of your ten-hour flight to Vancouver. A private driver will be waiting for you on arrival to whisk you off to your first hotel: a contemporary property in the heart of the city, which will be home for the next three nights. The rest of today is at your leisure. Seek the advice of our local Concierge for their top picks of bars and restaurants in the area, or simply relax and enjoy the facilities at the hotel after your long travel day.

DAY 2

CYCLING AND SIGHTSEEING

Nestled between serene coastline and dramatic mountains, Vancouver dazzles visitors with its scenic delights and trendy cosmopolitan feel. With bikes available for half of the day, you can cover lots of ground on your first day in Canada. One of our favourite bike rides is the six-mile Seawell promenade around Stanley Park, which boasts some of the best sights in the city, such as the unmissable Prospect Point on the edge of the Lion's Gate Bridge (inspired by San Fran’s Golden Gate) and Siwash Rock, a rock sacred to the Squamish Native American people. Take a break at Third Beach and enjoy a dip in the ocean before ending the ride at English Bay in the West End, one of Vancouver's best beaches. You could also head out to nearby Gastown, the first settlement and birthplace of Vancouver, to soak in the delightful hustle and bustle of the old rehabilitated warehouse area. Alternatively, visit Granville Island, a former industrial island turned vibrant cultural hub, which is now home to art galleries, shopping boutiques and farmer’s markets.

DAY 3

DISCOVER VANCOUVER’S ABUNDANT NATURE

Make the most of your final day in Vancouver by discovering some more of its scenic and cultural treasures. We recommend dedicating a few hours to exploring Stanley Park in greater depth and visiting its collection of delightful gardens, which include a rose garden, the Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden and Shakespeare Garden. As for hiking opportunities, there are a range of great walking trails through the park, which are popular among local walkers, joggers and cyclists. At Brockton Point, the northeastern tip of the park, you can admire totem poles that pay homage to British Columbia's Native American past and present. The park, which extends to the West End district, is also connected to the scenic area of North Vancouver (nicknamed ‘North Van’) by bridge (or water taxi). Here you can cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, an impressive foot bridge hovering 230ft over the scenic Capilano River. Grouse Mountain is another highlight and can be reached on foot via the Grouse Grind trail or by cable car, while the Eye of the Wind (a wind turbine with a viewing platform) and Deep Cove (a charming village known for hiking and water sports), can also be added to the itinerary. For a truly memorable way of rounding off your time in Vancouver, we can arrange a scenic seaplane ride over nearby glaciers, lakes and snow-capped peaks.

DAY 4

ISLAND BOUND

The time has come to bid Vancouver a warm farewell and get off the beaten track in western Canada. After breakfast this morning, collect your spacious and comfortable rental vehicle and drive thirty minutes to Horseshoe Bay. Here you’ll hop onto a car-ferry over to Vancouver Island and then continue onwards to Port Renfrew, a tiny village nestled on the island’s southwest coast. Your home for the next two nights is a beautiful cottage perched on the water’s edge; the perfect place to relax after a busy day of travelling.

DAY 5

RECONNECT WITH NATURE

Port Renfrew was originally occupied by the Pacheedaht Native American nation and is famed for its huge Red Creek Fir, one of the tallest and widest Douglas firs in the country. One of our favourite things about this area of Vancouver Island is the total lack of network coverage – it forces you to disconnect from the modern world and cherish the serene natural landscapes that surround you. We recommend taking today to embark on a hike along the legendary West Coast Trail, a sweeping coastal path that snakes along 45 miles of the southwestern edge of the island. Depending on the season, you can also relax on the shoreline and keep an eye out for the local population of sea lions and whales.

DAY 6

WHALE WATCHING CRUISE

On today’s agenda is a whale-watching cruise in the company of a biologist and naturalist guide. After breakfast this morning, head out into the waters of Port Renfrew in a Zodiac to encounter orcas, gray whales, minke whales, porpoises and seals. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the diverse fauna of the Pacific West Coast, while also admiring the majestic coastal landscapes of Vancouver Island. Spend the rest of the day soaking in the delights of the island before you leave tomorrow. We recommend sticking to the coastal theme of the day by heading to Botanical Beach to discover fascinating marine life, hidden in the small natural pools that appear at low tide, such as sea urchins, starfish, corals and algae of all kinds. If you fancy stretching your legs with a walk, we recommend heading to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and making the most of the plethora of wilderness trails that run along the coast, which offer views of the neighbouring Pacific Rim National Park.

DAY 7

REJOIN CIVILISATION

Today you’ll be bidding farewell to Port Renfrew and rejoining civilisation. Yes, that means you’ll have network coverage again, so you can finally send your stunning photos to envious family and friends back home. Your next destination on Vancouver Island is Victoria, a beautiful coastal city and the capital of British Columbia. After a two-hour drive, settle in to your hotel in the James Bay district, a peaceful neighbourhood within easy reach of the bustling city centre.

DAY 8

HIGH TEA AT THE FAIRMONT EXPRESS

Victoria – like most West Coast Canadian cities – effortlessly blends its cultural heritage and scenic splendour. You can go from watching orcas and whales dancing in the ocean, to snapping shots of beautiful Native American totems in the same day. To experience some of the city’s British charm, take a stroll around the port, before visiting the Museum of Civilizations, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Royal British Columbia Museum. And if there’s one thing that stands out as especially British, it’s enjoying a refined high tea in the elegant lounge of the Fairmont Express, an iconic Canadian hotel nicknamed the ‘Castle on the Coast’. Once you’re full to the brim with tea and cakes, we recommend walking off your sweet treats in the whimsical English gardens of Beacon Hill Park and Butchart Gardens.

DAY 9

WINE TASTING IN COWICHAN VALLEY

The culinary indulgence continues today with a wine tasting in Cowichan Valley, Canada’s answer to Provence. After breakfast this morning you’ll be escaping to the ancient forests, award-winning wineries and charming fishing villages that call this region home. The valley is also known for its excellent gastronomic offerings, which acts as a great follow-up to the wine tasting.

DAY 10

ISLAND HOP

The time has come to bid Vancouver Island farewell and head to your next destination on this island-hopping adventure: Salt Spring Island, the largest island in the Southern Gulf Islands archipelago. After breakfast this morning, hop back into your hire car, drive one hour to Swartz Bay and catch a ferry crossing over to Fulford Harbour. Your home for the next two nights is a beautiful cottage surrounded by lush nature, near the charming town of Ganges, which is brimming with shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. If you happen to be visiting on a Saturday between April and October, make sure to also visit the Centennial Park craft market, which offers a great insight into the artistic creativity of the island.

DAY 11

WALK IN THE RUCKLE PROVINCIAL PARK

You only have one full day in Salt Spring Island, so make sure to start your day bright and early with a hearty breakfast, in preparation for a day spent exploring the wilderness. We recommend heading to Ruckle Provincial Park, the largest provincial park in the Gulf Islands, to enjoy a walk along its four miles of coastline and small bays. The majestic landscapes here include forests and meadows, which are home to a rich variety of local fauna. The park also features the Ruckle farm, a charming estate owned and run by a family of Irish immigrants. When you’re ready for a dose of culture, you can dedicate some time to visiting the many galleries and artist studios scattered across the island, including the workshops of painters, wood carvers, jewellery designers, glass blowers and photographers. Our local Concierge will be happy to provide you with a ‘studio tour’ map that allows you to visit the many arty spaces open to the public.

DAY 12

TRAVEL TO GALIANO ISLAND

Today you’ll be heading off to your final island destination: Galiano Island, another of the Gulf?Islands’ dazzling treasures. After breakfast this morning, head to Long Harbour to catch a ferry across to Sturdies Bay. On arrival here, head to a beautiful waterfront hotel surrounded by nature, which you’ll be calling home for the next two nights. The rest of today is yours to play with. We recommend simply kicking back and enjoying the serene atmosphere and excellent facilities at the hotel after a busy day of island hopping.

DAY 13

KAYAK IN THE TRINCOMALI CHANNEL

Despite its location as the closest Gulf Island to Vancouver, Galiano still exudes a wild coastal charm. The main action here revolves around nature: walking, kayaking and wildlife watching are just a few of the local leisure offerings. Today you’ll be doing a bit of everything, as we’ve arranged a guided kayaking trip with a local naturalist guide in the Trincomali Channel and along the pretty sandstone coast of Galiano Island. Once you’re back on dry land, head to Harbor Park or Bodega Ridge Park to enjoy a coastal hike and, if you’re lucky, to observe the seasonal families of orcas passing offshore.

DAY 14

VISIT A CHARMING FISHING VILLAGE

The time has come to wave goodbye to the Gulf Islands and head back to the city. After breakfast this morning, head to the port and catch a one-hour ferry ride to Tsawwassen. From here it’s about an hour’s drive to Vancouver, however we recommend making a stop along the way at Steveston, a charming fishing village founded in the 1880s. You can easily lose track of time strolling through the lively port, admiring the comings and goings of fishing boats and enjoying some nibbles with a view of one of the many lovely bars and restaurants in the marina. If you fancy delving a little deeper into Steveston’s history, then make sure to visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a former fish cannery that traces the days of when it was the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia. Continue on to Vancouver and settle in for the night at an arty hotel in the heart of Richmond, a delightful district in the south of the city. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area perfect for savouring your last evening in Canada – that is if you’ve managed to peel yourself away from the delightful eateries of Steveston’s marina!

DAY 15

FAREWELL BRITISH COLUMBIA

Sadly your island-hopping adventure comes to an end today. You’ll be leaving the luscious landscapes of British Columbia behind and embarking on your return journey home. Head to the airport, drop off your rental car, whizz back through security and enjoy some peace and quiet in the airport lounge. Most direct flights back to the UK depart in the afternoon and take around nine hours, so you’ll spend tonight on board and touchdown on home turf tomorrow morning.

A la carte

SEAPLANE FLIGHT FROM VANCOUVER

Hop into a seaplane and take to the skies for views of the incredible landscapes around Vancouver, including glaciers, lakes and the snow-capped summit of Mount Mamquam, which rises to 8,500ft.

WITH A FEW MORE DAYS… TOFINO AND THE PACIFIC RIM

Once an isolated fishing village, Tofino is now a bohemian surf hub offering year-round waves along its sandy beaches. This charming little coastal enclave is reached by following the west coast of Vancouver Island from Victoria to the Esowista Peninsula, a stretch of land that is home to wild beaches, lush rainforest and giant trees. Nearby is the Pacific Rim National Park, a superb distillation of western Canada’s coastal nature. It is also a paradise for surfers, kayakers and hikers, as well as a refuge for whales, orcas, bears and raccoons.

WITH A FEW MORE DAYS… OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

Vancouver sits within striking distance of Washington State in the United States. One of our favourite destinations here is the Olympic National Park, which harbours almost 2,500 square miles of magnificently preserved nature. Several distinct ecosystems coexist here, including rushing rivers, glaciers perched in the mountains, valleys covered with forests and a rocky coastline where the waves of the Pacific Ocean come crashing in.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £4,170 to £5,215 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £4,865 per person.
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