Cox Bay, near Tofino
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British Columbia Holidays

From the rugged Pacific coastline to soaring mountain peaks, via rainforests, lakes and vineyards, British Columbia’s scenic splendour provides the perfect backdrop for a Canadian adventure. But perhaps the region’s biggest attraction is its abundant wildlife – here you will find bears, orcas, eagles, wolves and much more.

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The beautiful harbour city of Vancouver, the gateway to BC, is a relaxed cosmopolitan city boasting historic districts, bustling markets, waterfront dining and wilderness parks. Enjoy the markets of Granville Island, shopping on Robson Street and a well-deserved drink on the Waterfront, then head out to Grouse Mountain to stretch your legs and enjoy the views.

Vancouver is also the starting point for the iconic Rocky Mountaineer – offering a choice of route, head east on an epic rail journey, overnighting in Kamloops en route to Alberta and the Canadian Rockies.

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Vancouver Island

Only a short ferry ride from the city, and stretching 460 kilometres along BC’s west coast, Vancouver Island is a big draw for visitors offering easily accessible wilderness and an abundance of wildlife including bears, whales, cougars and eagles. The quiet, attractive city of Victoria is the province’s political centre. The many-domed Parliament buildings are an impressive sight, particularly at night when the facades are illuminated by thousands of lights which reflect in the waters of the harbour.

Johnstone Strait is one of the best places in the world to see orca as well as humpback, minke and grey whales. Whales are also prevalent off the west coast, where the Pacific Ocean is fringed by the endless beaches and lush forests of world-famous Pacific Rim National Park. At the northern end of the island, board a ferry from Port Hardy to take a leisurely cruise through the scenic Inside Passage to Prince Rupert on the mainland.

Bear Watching

From Knight Inlet to the Great Bear Rainforest, BC offers some of the best places in Canada to encounter bears. Get a glimpse of the grizzlies, who from spring to autumn can be seen feasting on migrating salmon. Black bears also live here, and you may even be lucky enough to see the elusive Kermode (or spirit) bear, a rare white mutation of the black bear species.

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Heading Inland

North of Vancouver is Whistler, the largest ski resort in Canada, set among the spectacular Coast Mountains. The skiing here can be among the best in the world with mild Pacific weather and reliable winter snow. You can take a memorable rail journey from the Pacific Coast through forested valleys to the towering peaks of Whistler.

The Okanagan Valley in central south BC is one of Canada’s warmest regions and home to over 70 wineries, producing around 95% of the province’s wine. Centred around Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Osoyoos, the Okanagan also offers sandy lakeside beaches and resorts.