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Breathtaking British Columbia Holidays

With majestic mountains, exquisite lakes, a gorgeous coastline, exciting cities, sun-drenched wine lands, expansive ranch land, extraordinary wildlife .... could there be a better place for a holiday?

British Columbia (BC for short) has a huge diversity of environments from the stunning Vancouver Island (with some of the best bear watching and whale watching opportunities in the world, the Sunshine Coast and the Great Bear Forest, the coastal mountains where the famous Whistler resort is located, the drier Okanagan Valley and the Canadian Rockies in the East.

Consider BC if

  • your spirit is lifted by magnificent scenery - mountains, lakes, forests and coastline
  • you love to see wild creatures in their stunning natural habitat - specially bears, whales and eagles
  • you want an active holiday, hiking, kayaking, skiing or snow-boarding
  • you enjoy sampling superb wines and craft beers in the beautiful places they are made
  • you want to experience the vibe, the culture, the cuisine of Vancouver, one of the best cities in the world to live in
  • you fancy one of the world's most popular cruises from Vancouver to Alaska
  • You want to take an awe inspiring train journey through and over the Rocky Mountains

or, of course, if you want a combination of some or all of the above.

We have close family living in Vancouver, so it is special to us. We work with a range of specialist providers to craft utterly wonderful holidays, whether they are guided tours, epic road trips, incredible train journeys, cruises, city breaks, whatever you want. We make sure your holiday is risk-free and hassle-free.

Contact us for a no-obligation chat to tell us what you are looking for and get the process started!

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Breathtaking British Columbia Holiday Options

BC is the most temperate part of Canada and it is a truly year round destination. For winter sports it is obviously best in winter, for hiking and kayaking the summer is ideal, for wildlife watching the spring and fall are the best, specially the fall. The fall has a brilliant display of colours as the leaves change, and the spring brings a glorious riot of blossoms across the southern part of the province.

Sea to Sky Area

You can get to BC from Seattle (it's a three hour drive) or from Calgary, but the main point of entry is the wonderful city of  Vancouver. One of the most desirable cities in the world, with fantastic parks and recreation areas, restaurants, galleries and shopping, this easily walkable and exceptionally cycle friendly city is well worth a visit of its own. Take a look at the Vancouver page on it in our city breaks section.

One of the best things about the city is the incredible access it gives to what is known as the 'sea to sky area', along the highway to Whistler. Starting with Howe Sound, where you find exquisite scenery and lots of wildlife, including seals and birds, especially Bald Eagles. At the top of Howe Sound, half way to Whistler, is Squamish, which offers all sorts fo outdoor activities, including windsurfing, mountain biking and climbing. Whistler is one of the worlds best ski and snow-board resorts, with two majestic mountains - Whistler and Blackcomb. It is a year round destination, though, with hikers, cyclists, all-terrain-vehicle enthusiasts, zip-liners, kayakers and more, enjoying the superb facilities, dozens of restaurants and incredible views outside the ski season.

Vancouver Island

West of Howe Sound and the Georgia Strait (the piece of the pacific Ocean next to Vancouver) is Vancouver island. This is where you will find Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. It is usually reached by ferry from Vancouver. With quaint shops, local markets and shopping malls and the second oldest China Town in north America, all within an easy walk of the harbour area, Victoria is a little gem of a city. The city is known for its Victorian architecture, for beautiful gardens and for craft breweries.

The island as a whole has magnificent old growth forests, wonderful sandy beaches, lovely lakes and charming towns. It also has a number of excellent wineries, cideries and breweries. The west coast is an excellent place for surfing and for sea kayaking among the 'Broken Group' islands; for hiking, especially on the 46 mile, multi-day West Coast Trail, though there are many other options, many of them much less challenging. From Victoria and other ports on the island outstanding whale watching trips are easily organised and in the northern parts of the island black bear watching is a great option. From remote lodges in the north grizzly bears can also be found, though mainly on the mainland. 

Okanagan

East of the Sea to Sky area in the heart of southern BC is the Okanagan Valley. Full of sage and lavender fields, as well as grape vines and fruit trees, this is a lovely valley with a massive lake at its heart. It is great for cycling, with options for family friendly day trips or specialist tours. Boating on the lake is a favourite, and this is a great area for golf, with several excellent courses. However, the main specialty of the region is wine,  with dozens of wineries offering excellent food and wine in the most beautiful settings. There is no shortage of breweries and distilleries, if wine is not your tipple!

There are also wonderful family friendly ski and snow-boarding resorts, though not quite as well known as Whistler.

Kootenay Rockies

Further east is the Kootenay Rockies area, known for its well preserved and restored small towns, its enticing hot springs and its wonderful areas for hiking and winter sports in four national parks within the region. 

Northern British Columbia

Further north in the province is a range of options almost as vast as the expanse of the land.

  • The Gold Rush Trail from the mouth of the Fraser River to the historic town of Barkerville follows the route used by fur traders and prospectors following the lure of gold.
  • The Cariboo and Chilcoten region is the home of ranching in BC where a traditional cowboy lifestyle still persists and guests are welcome to share in it, exploring beautiful countryside on superb horses.
  • The Cariboo Highway 24 is known as 'the fishing highway' with over 100 lakes in which fishing enthusiasts can do all types of freshwater fishing.
  • Through the fall season the salmon run can be watched as the salmon make their way up the rivers to their spawning grounds. The bears that feed on them can also be viewed most easily during the fall.

The Far North

More than half the province lies north of Prince George. There you will find wilderness on a vast scale with glacial valleys, majestic mountain peaks and dense forests, much of this area is in wildlife parks. This vast area offers extraordinary diversity of wildlife. It is also the best place to get some sense of the complexity of indigenous cultures. One can drive from Prince George to Prince Rupert and then take the ferry to the Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver island.

How To Go & What To Do

With such a wealth of natural resources BC offers incredible opportunities, whatever type of holiday you are looking for.

  • There are plenty of guided tours of all sorts in big or small groups, for solo travelers, couples, families or groups
  • There are world renowned train trips through the Rockies
  • If you prefer to drive yourself it is the perfect place for a self drive tour in a car or a camper van or motor home
  • You can stay on a ranch, go fishing or go to a lodge that specialises in wildlife, and in particular bears
  • You can cruise out of Vancouver or Victoria
  • You can go skiing or snow-boarding or dog sledding or hiking, kayaking, or cycling.

Whatever it is you want to do we can advise and arrange, and where appropriate, tailor-make specially for you, the perfect holiday. We work with carefully chosen and completely reliable specialists; we make sure that bookings are secure and flexible; we do all the admin and take all the stress and hassle out of the process, ensuring that you have the holiday that you are looking for.

Get in touch for a no-obligation chat to see why we are the right people to help plan your epic British Columbia Holiday!

Or connect with us on WhatsApp

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Travel Time

Direct Flights From London: 9½ hours
With One Stop From Major Airports: From 11½ hours

Time Difference

At 12 o'clock in the UK it's 4 o'clock in the morning in Vancouver or 3 o'clock during daylight saving.

Weather

Have a look at the weather graph to see how the average temperature and average rainfall in Vancouver compare with the averages in London each month.

Weather
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Why Choose Us?
 We are a family-owned, UK based local business.
 You will deal with one travel consultant from your first call until the end of your holiday.
 We offer independent and impartial advice.
 We have in-depth personal knowledge & expert destination training.
 We offer a totally bespoke service and are available at any time.
 Through The Hays Travel Independence Group we have access to the world's best holiday providers.
 Our prices are competitive with online prices.
 We are passionate about responsible and sustainable tourism.
 All holidays are ABTA & ATOL protected.

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