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West Coast Canada

British Columbia Holidays

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BRITISH COLUMBIA TRIP? TICK.

British Columbia holidays take you to Canada’s westernmost province. It’s a pristine wilderness, sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. In British Columbia, you can expect to see snowy peaks, rushing rivers and pine-scented forests, plus all sorts of wildlife. And you’ll be able to spend some time one of Canada’s most exciting cities, Vancouver.

Indeed, cosmopolitan Vancouver is the starting point for most British Columbia holidays. This coastal hub serves as a great introduction to BC, as it’s crammed with galleries, museums and markets. You can explore multicultural neighbourhoods, dine in world-class restaurants, and visit must-see attractions like Stanley Park. There are some pretty special daytrips on offer, too. Go on a boat trip in search of wild orcas, grey whales and seals, or test your nerve walking over the sky-high Capilano Suspension Bridge. 

For the next part of your trip, why not visit Vancouver Island? Lying 70 miles offshore, this beautiful isle is deceptively big and serves up endless activities. History buffs will enjoy sightseeing in Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, while nature-lovers should venture into the heart of the island, where turquoise lakes and dramatic mountains await. And Tofino is a must-visit. On Vancouver Island’s west coast, this tucked-away town boasts ancient rainforests and idyllic beaches. It’s a popular spot for hiking and surfing, and is also a fantastic place to see black bears.

Alternatively, from Vancouver, you could hire a car and drive north to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of Canada’s most scenic roads. On the edge of the Rockies, Whistler is famous for its ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, which is one of the largest in North America. But this alpine town is also delightful in summer, when the melted snows reveal hiking trails and cycle paths. You can kayak across emerald lakes, go white-water rafting, and ride the cable car over the stunning mountains. 

Whether you’re drawn to BC’s culture or nature, our Travel Specialists will help you plan the perfect trip. Why not extend your getaway by boarding the iconic Rocky Mountaineer? Or you could drive east towards Banff National Park. However you want to travel, our British Columbia holidays have got you covered.

Vancouver

Vancouver Island

Whistler

Best time to go

Vancouver

Regularly voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver is sure to be a highlight of your holiday to British Columbia. It’s one of Canada’s most multicultural cities and boasts a thriving arts and culture scene. You can marvel at indigenous art in the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) and browse the Pacific Arts Market for handcrafted ceramics, jewellery and paintings. Make sure you also explore Stanley Park. Bigger than NYC’s Central Park, this impressive space is home to botanical gardens, beaches, First Nations totem poles, a golf course and dozens of trails. Why not hire bikes and cycle through the park and along the seawall?

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Vancouver’s a real treat for foodies, too. You can find tasty bites on the market stalls of Granville Island, and discover world-class restaurants and bars in the pulsing Gastown neighbourhood. And keep your eyes peeled for the famous Gastown Steam Clock, which shoots out steam every 15 minutes and ‘toots’ on the hour.

When you fancy a daytrip, head north of the city to Capilano Suspension Bridge, or hike to the top of Grouse Mountain – known as the “Peak of Vancouver” – for sweeping views over the city.

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Vancouver Island

If you’re looking to combine historical sites with natural wonders, your British Columbia trip should definitely include a visit to Vancouver Island. Bigger than Wales, this jaw-dropping isle is made up of soaring mountains, age-old forests and rugged coastline, while its waters are frequented by seals, orcas, grey whales and sea otters. 

Vancouver Island is also home to the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, where there’s a number of cultural attractions. You can tour the grand Parliament Buildings, visit Craigdarroch Castle, and see the impressive totem poles at Thunderbird Park. Make sure you also stroll around Butchart Gardens and the oldest Chinatown in Canada.

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For a longer stay on Vancouver Island, consider heading to laidback Tofino – a hotspot for surfing and wildlife. You can hit the waves in Cox Bay, wander down Long Beach, or hike the Wild Pacific Trail. Take a boat trip out to Clayoquot Sound to see orcas, grey whales and humpbacks. Between April and October, you’ll also be able to spy black bears – at low tide, they’re often seen overturning rocks in search of crabs.

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Whistler

Although it’s only 75 miles north of Vancouver, idyllic Whistler feels a world away from the bustling city. This alpine town is surrounded by glacial lakes and snow-dusted mountains so, during the winter months, Whistler ski holidays are hugely popular. Covering more than 8,000 acres, Whistler Blackcomb is one of North America’s biggest ski resorts. If you’re not into skiing, you could try snowmobiling, or simply admire the mountain views from the Peak-2-Peak Gondola.

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Planning your British Columbia holiday for summer? Once the snow has melted, Whistler transforms into an adventure playground. The glass-like lakes are ideal for kayaking and swimming, while the rushing rivers were made for white-water rafting. Hire bikes and cycle through the forests, or take in the views from above when you go zip-lining. Keen golfers should check out Whistler’s four Championship courses. And, if you want to see wild black bears, guided 4x4 tours are available between April and October.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit British Columbia

To make the most of the great outdoors, the best time for a trip to British Columbia is between May and September. Spring and summer generally see blue skies and sunny days, with temperatures hovering around 17°C in May and rising to 25°C in the height of summer. If you’re eager to see whales and bears, this is also the perfect time to go. Want to spot black bear cubs? Plan your getaway for May or June to be in with the best chance of a sighting.

Show More
Show Less

Generally speaking, British Columbia winters are very cold and wet. In particular, Vancouver sees a lot of rain in November and December. If you’re a keen skier, however, winter is the best time to book a Whistler ski holiday. Between November and February, you can expect about 50cm of snowfall each week – and in March, it’s sometimes even heavier.

Show More
Show Less

Vancouver

Vancouver

Regularly voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver is sure to be a highlight of your holiday to British Columbia. It’s one of Canada’s most multicultural cities and boasts a thriving arts and culture scene. You can marvel at indigenous art in the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) and browse the Pacific Arts Market for handcrafted ceramics, jewellery and paintings. Make sure you also explore Stanley Park. Bigger than NYC’s Central Park, this impressive space is home to botanical gardens, beaches, First Nations totem poles, a golf course and dozens of trails. Why not hire bikes and cycle through the park and along the seawall?

Show More
Show Less

Vancouver’s a real treat for foodies, too. You can find tasty bites on the market stalls of Granville Island, and discover world-class restaurants and bars in the pulsing Gastown neighbourhood. And keep your eyes peeled for the famous Gastown Steam Clock, which shoots out steam every 15 minutes and ‘toots’ on the hour.

When you fancy a daytrip, head north of the city to Capilano Suspension Bridge, or hike to the top of Grouse Mountain – known as the “Peak of Vancouver” – for sweeping views over the city.

Show More
Show Less

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

If you’re looking to combine historical sites with natural wonders, your British Columbia trip should definitely include a visit to Vancouver Island. Bigger than Wales, this jaw-dropping isle is made up of soaring mountains, age-old forests and rugged coastline, while its waters are frequented by seals, orcas, grey whales and sea otters. 

Vancouver Island is also home to the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, where there’s a number of cultural attractions. You can tour the grand Parliament Buildings, visit Craigdarroch Castle, and see the impressive totem poles at Thunderbird Park. Make sure you also stroll around Butchart Gardens and the oldest Chinatown in Canada.

Show More
Show Less

For a longer stay on Vancouver Island, consider heading to laidback Tofino – a hotspot for surfing and wildlife. You can hit the waves in Cox Bay, wander down Long Beach, or hike the Wild Pacific Trail. Take a boat trip out to Clayoquot Sound to see orcas, grey whales and humpbacks. Between April and October, you’ll also be able to spy black bears – at low tide, they’re often seen overturning rocks in search of crabs.

Show More
Show Less

Whistler

Whistler

Although it’s only 75 miles north of Vancouver, idyllic Whistler feels a world away from the bustling city. This alpine town is surrounded by glacial lakes and snow-dusted mountains so, during the winter months, Whistler ski holidays are hugely popular. Covering more than 8,000 acres, Whistler Blackcomb is one of North America’s biggest ski resorts. If you’re not into skiing, you could try snowmobiling, or simply admire the mountain views from the Peak-2-Peak Gondola.

Show More
Show Less

Planning your British Columbia holiday for summer? Once the snow has melted, Whistler transforms into an adventure playground. The glass-like lakes are ideal for kayaking and swimming, while the rushing rivers were made for white-water rafting. Hire bikes and cycle through the forests, or take in the views from above when you go zip-lining. Keen golfers should check out Whistler’s four Championship courses. And, if you want to see wild black bears, guided 4x4 tours are available between April and October.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit British Columbia

To make the most of the great outdoors, the best time for a trip to British Columbia is between May and September. Spring and summer generally see blue skies and sunny days, with temperatures hovering around 17°C in May and rising to 25°C in the height of summer. If you’re eager to see whales and bears, this is also the perfect time to go. Want to spot black bear cubs? Plan your getaway for May or June to be in with the best chance of a sighting.

Show More
Show Less

Generally speaking, British Columbia winters are very cold and wet. In particular, Vancouver sees a lot of rain in November and December. If you’re a keen skier, however, winter is the best time to book a Whistler ski holiday. Between November and February, you can expect about 50cm of snowfall each week – and in March, it’s sometimes even heavier.

Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our West Coast Canada Experts

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Our Top 5

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Explore Vancouver’s sprawling park on foot or by bike – you’ll be able to see beaches, flower-filled gardens and nine First Nations totem poles.

Our Top 5

Victoria

Head to Vancouver Island to tick off the historical buildings and landmarks of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

Our Top 5

Whistler

Try all sorts of adrenaline-pumping activities in Whistler, including skiing, mountain-biking and white-water rafting.

Our Top 5

Tofino

Venture to this surfer town on Vancouver Island’s west coast, where hiking trails, rugged beaches and wild bears await.

Our Top 5

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Test your mettle as you walk over the wobbly Capilano Suspension Bridge – you’ll have fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and Vancouver.

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How to do British Columbia

Get more out of your British Columbia holiday with a tailor-made trip from our experts

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Ease

Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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