From lively urban centres to remote wilderness destinations - this British Columbia holiday has it all!
Plunge straight into wildlife activities with whale watching from charming Victoria, before hitting the road to remote Tofino on the rugged western side of Vancouver Island. Discover the home of grizzly bears and eagles in a setting of untamed beauty seldom experienced by UK travellers.
The jewel in the crown is the 5-star Relais & Chateau Sonora Resort. Only accessible by water or air, this luxury wilderness retreat delivers eco-adventures and elegant surroundings in one of the world's most stunning locations.
From price per person includes:
Season for this tour is May - October. Like all Bon Voyage holidays, this can be tailored to your exact requirements, just call the Bon Voyage team!
Cosmopolitan Vancouver sits right on the edge of nature, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crammed with delightful green space. Choose to explore the city on foot or take a hop-on/hop-off bus which will include stops at Canada Place, Jack Pool Plaza and Stanley Park - home to the famous Totems and Prospect Point then on to English Bay, Yaletown, Chinatown and historic Gastown.
Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver you'll encounter the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. At 230 feet high and 450 feet long, the bridge has been thrilling visitors since 1889. In the evening take a stroll around the lively Vancouver waterfront or head to Granville Island, a peninsula famed for entertainment, art galleries and famous fresh food market.
Distance: 45 miles
Collect your hire car today and hop aboard the ferry across the Strait of Georgia. This 90-minute sailing, along the rugged coastline and tranquil beaches of the Gulf Islands, will transport you to Vancouver Island. At 280 miles long, Vancouver Island is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand.
Continue down the picturesque Saanich Peninsula to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Victoria has a fascinating marine heritage and has retained its colonial charm. You may end your first day with a visit to the iconic Empress Hotel for a traditional High Tea.
Rise and shine early the next day for three hour wildlife viewing adventure aboard a fast-moving Zodiac rigid boat. On board a marine biologist will provide an insight into the habits of the ocra, minke and grey whales that reside in this region.
Back on land, the afternoon is free to stroll around historic Victoria. Dating back to 1840, explore its castles, fort, lighthouse and Parliament Building. Or, consider a trip to world famous Butchart Gardens with its 55 acres of vivid floral displays and waterfalls.
It's all about the epic scenery as you cross the island and head for the wild Pacific Coast through towering ancient rainforests and stunning provincial parks.
Be sure to stop at the impressive Malahat Skywalk. This is an accessible tree walk through a beautiful arbutus forest leading to a spectacular gentle spiral ramp that takes you up 32 metres to a sightseeing lookout offering views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Peninsula, Mount Baker and the distant Coast Mountains.
As you approach the west coast of the island you'll be venturing into true wildlife territory, exemplified by Pacific Rim National Park - a marvel of ecological and geographical diversity.
The following day you'll enjoy a thrilling Zodiac boat tour along Clayoquot Sound to the bears' feeding grounds off the shore of Meares Island. As the tide retreats the blacks bears emerge from the forests and begin hunting along the shore for tasty rock crabs, starfish and kelp. It's the ideal spot to view them in their natural environment. You'll also have plenty of opportunities on this tour to view eagles, harbour porpoises, seals, river otters, blue herons and other species of wildlife!
Back on dry land, you’re free to explore the rugged coastline along the network of hiking trails or to walk the shoreline of Long Beach in search of shells and driftwood.
Leave the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island behind and travel towards the calm water of the serene east coast. Along the way, stop at Sproat Lake Provincial Park. Here a variety of short trails will navigate you around this park, including a trail to the eastern end of the lake. This area is home to one of the finest panels of prehistoric petroglyphs in British Columbia. Little is known about this petroglyph, named K’ak’awin, but it isn’t hard to imagine this rock carving as depicting some mystical ancient monsters of the lake.
Arrive in Campbell River, park up your vehicle, and hop aboard the water taxi for a short boat ride to stunning Sonora Resort, located on Sonora Island. This Relais & Chateau Wilderness Resort is a jewel amid one of Canada's most alluring and pristine environments, and only accessible by boat or seaplane.
Settle into your luxury accommodation before heading to the Tyee Dining Room where you'll enjoy a 5 star gourmet meal prepared by Chef Justine Smith and her team. Finish the evening off under starry skies on the patio with a cocktail as you enjoy the panoramic views over the ocean.
Take a dip in the pool before enjoying a hearty breakfast and heading off on a day of adventure. The Econature Tour operates May to 9 August and includes a fascinating expedition into the surrounding wilderness conducted by a local guide.
The Bear Watching by Boat option departs between 10 August to 10 October and takes guests to the prime feeding grounds of the majestic grizzly bears..
You've an evening to enjoy Vancouver before your flight home the following day. Perhaps, consider a visit to the food markets and galleries on Granville Island, or a stroll around the forested trails in Stanley Park. If you're souvenir hunting pop into Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery for gifts produced by First Nation artists.
One last day in Vancouver before heading back home. However, your adventure doesn't have to end here! Perhaps you want to extend your stay and head to Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains? Time on a ranch? Maybe a rail journey on the legendary Rocky Mountaineer?
Call the Canada specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your ideal tailor-made BC adventure.