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.
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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