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Autumn, Forest, Mountain Road, British Columbia, Canada

Self-Drive Journey in British Columbia

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

12 Days

Prices Start from

£2,700 ex. flights

Embark on a self-drive adventure through British Columbia, travelling on scenic roads that cut through stunning mountainous passes, making detours to go whale-watching, scout for black bears and kayak forest-flanked island waterways.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada 1

Kayak with Whales

Take to the water in the remote wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, home to grey whales.

Mountain biking 2

Explore Whistler

Go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding or zip-lining in a rugged mountain playground.

Black Bear Mother and Cub, Canada 3

Scout for Bears

Drive the picturesque route to Tofino, scouting for black bears foraging next to the highway.

Butchart Gardens 4

100-Year-Old Gardens

Explore the colourful garden oasis of Butchart Gardens in Victoria with a private guide.

Why we like it

Combining the absolute freedom that comes with travelling in a hire car with a custom-made itinerary that connects the highlights of British Columbia, this road trip takes an in-depth look at the hugely varying landscapes that make up this expansive region. Featuring a sprinkling of ferry rides and a careful balance of pristine wilderness with bustling seaport cities, this journey traverses the extremes of Canada’s westernmost province. Throw in high chances of spotting native wildlife – from bears and chipmunks to deer and cougars – with the unique opportunity to walk with a member of the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth community, and this journey through the province becomes truly extraordinary.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Keys:
Boat Journey
  • Day 1
    Vancouver
  • Day 2
    Vancouver - Victoria
  • Day 3
    Victoria
  • Day 4
    Victoria - Tofino
  • Days 5-6
    Tofino
  • Day 7
    Tofino - Whistler
  • Days 8-9
    Whistler
  • Day 10
    Whistler - Vancouver
  • Days 11-12
    Vancouver
Sea Planes, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sea Planes, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Seaplane to Salt Spring Island

Explore Victoria, the capital of British Columbia that is known as Canada’s “Garden City”, and discover the lush wilderness that surrounds the southern end of Vancouver Island. Away from the colourful mainland, take to the water in the company of a naturalist guide on an exhilarating orca whale-watching tour, scouting the horizon for pods of the particularly unique species of thirty-foot-long marine mammal that reside in only two places in the world. Alternatively, for a truly memorable experience, we can arrange a scenic private seaplane tour to quaint Salt Spring Island for a tasty lunch at the local artisan food market.

Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada
Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada

Canoe with Nuu-chah-nulth

Embark on a scenic drive to Tofino, looking out for foraging black bears as you travel along the highway – you might even hear locals honking their horns to encourage their safe return to the forest! Water-top journeys are the most unique way to explore the temperate rainforests of nearby Meares Island, and paddling to the Big Tree Trail in a hand-crafted canoe is a memorable experience with opportunities for whale-watching en route. In the company of a Nuu-chah-nulth guide, discover the long-standing beliefs and perspectives of these indigenous people of Canada’s Pacific Northwest Coast. While hiking through the 1000-year-old cedar tree forests, gain an understanding of their belief that the oceans, the forests, and the people are interconnected.

Endless Road, British Columbia, Canada
Endless Road, British Columbia, Canada
Black Bear, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Black Bear, Jasper National Park, Canada

On the Road with Bear Researchers

From the vibrant and iconic village of Whistler Blackcomb, head into the wilderness on an e-bike mountain adventure, embark on an alpine hiking trip, or canoe through floating lilies on bright glacier-fed lakes. Serious hikers might like to traverse the Cloudraker Skybridge to revel in its dramatic 360-degree panoramas, while adrenaline-junkies can rip through rivers on white water rafting adventures. Experience the thrill of flying while zip-lining on the longest run in all of the USA and Canada, or indulge in an exclusive helicopter flight to a remote natural hot spring. We can also arrange float plane tours to crystal clear alpine lakes, horseback rides that end with a campfire supper, and private 4×4 tours with black bear researchers.

Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada

Wander Over Water & Climb Mother Nature's Staircase

Journey on foot through the seaport city of Vancouver, uniquely characterised by its conflicting backdrops of snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches. When not sipping your way through the local craft beer breweries, take a gondola ride to the top of Grouse Mountain (or hike its arduous “Mother Nature’s Staircase”), amble around the city on a guided gastronomy tour, or watch an ice hockey match to experience the electric atmosphere of the national sport. We can arrange skip-the-line access to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a remarkable glacier helicopter and kayaking experience, an exhilarating jet ski tour in Howe Sound or even a private sailing boat charter that takes in sweeping views of Vancouver’s majestic skyline.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Wickaninnish Inn £££££

  • Canada
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Wickaninnish is a luxury hotel and spa on Chesterman Beach on the outskirts of Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. All of its 75 rooms offer wonderful views across Chesterman Beach and the ocean, not to mention deep soaker tubs and private balconies. The hotel’s circular Pointe Restaurant is nothing short of spectacular; its 240-degree outlook affords sensational views year-round. The hotel is also home to the Ancient Cedars Spa, offering natural treatments and therapies.

View Property

Inn at Laurel Point £££££

  • Canada
  • City

Located on Victoria Harbour, the Inn at Laurel Point has delightful water views from all of its rooms. Nestled on a two-hectare peninsula, the Laurel Point Inn is surrounded by the ocean and a lush Japanese garden but is still just a 10-minute walk from the city’s trendy bistros, shops, museums and art galleries. Each of the 200 guest rooms has a delightful harbour view and a private balcony. The Cafe Laurel serves breakfast and dinner, whilst Cooks Landing Lounge is the perfect water-front venue for lunch, dinner or cocktails. In addition, there is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and complimentary valet parking.

View Property

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver £££££

  • Canada
  • City

Located downtown in the heart of Vancouver, the Fairmont Hotel is in a prime position close to the city’s shops and restaurants and its vibrant atmosphere. Each of the 556 rooms and suites offers all the luxury and services of a world-class hotel with elegance and charm. Facilities include an indoor pool, health club, restaurant and bar.

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

As always, Paul married his knowledge with our preferences which resulted in a superb trip.

Destination: Canada
Travel Expert: Paul

I could not have wished for a better and more efficient itinerary in terms of both the destinations we visited and how the timing coincided. Plus, the communication from Roxy was excellent throughout.

Destination: Canada
Travel Expert: Roxy

Not only is Steppes an excellent organisation, but the friendliness, great advice and superb attention to detail provided by Paul meant that we had a seamless booking experience and a wonderful trip to Canada.

Destination: Canada
Travel Expert: Paul

We had a truly amazing trip and everything was so very well planned by Paul - this trip will be hard to beat.

Destination: Canada
Travel Expert: Paul

Roxy was FANTASTIC at recommending the best place and season to go to see bears in Canada. We saw 47 in total, and 3 of these were up close and personal. Roxy was very professional and helpful, especially when my friends circumstances changed.

Destination: Canada
Travel Expert: Roxy

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £2,700 Per person

When to travel

Canada in January

January is an undoubtedly cold time of year in Canada, with temperatures reaching negative daily. However, visiting during this time can be a good chance to avoid the overwhelming busy times of the festive season and school holidays.

Canada in February

Winter in Canada offers an array of sporting and cultural events both indoors and out. Banff, Whistler and Jasper offer phenomenal ski resorts or perhaps be a spectator of an ice hockey match, arguably the country’s favourite sport.

Canada in March

While March can be a good off-peak time to visit, it is worth being prepared for drastic weather changes. However, this also means lower costs and fewer crowds. The mountains are still open for the ski season and cities are ideal as they are fewer tourists.

Canada in April

April marks the start of spring across Canada, a time to avoid crowds and discover all that the country has to offer with comfortable temperatures on average.

Canada in May

May is a favourable time to visit Canada, with temperatures rising, avoiding school holidays and off-peak rates.

Canada in June

For many travellers, June is the ideal time to visit Canada. Just before peak season, the weather is favourable and most of the trails and seasonal activities will have opened.

Canada in July

Summer in Canada calls for longer days to explore the natural beauty that awaits outdoors whether it’s hiking, fishing or camping. Temperatures average around 25, making cities quite warm but head into the wilderness or by the coast and enjoy the open air.

Canada in August

Summer is considered the peak season with warm temperatures and all attractions open. It is worth noting this time of year can be quite busy as it is school holidays.

Canada in September

As autumn rolls in and temperatures lower, September is a great time to avoid massive crowds and experience all that the country has to offer in comfortable weather. September is also the beginning of the salmon run, a peak time to see the bears fishing.

Canada in October

Temperatures continue to drop in October, also bringing cloudy days and rain. The autumn foliage is in full bloom across the countryside. This can also be a good time to take advantage of off-peak rates, however, it is worth bearing in mind that the weather can vary and some coastal towns will have started to close for the season.

Canada in November

November is a good time of year to visit the cities of Canada. It is too late to view the foliage and a bit too early to skiing yet, but a good time to explore cities across the country, in temperatures averaging 5 degrees.

Canada in December

The build-up to the festive season is in full swing across the country. Snow may have already started, making the perfect scene for ice skating and markets.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes

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