Days 2 to 7
Discover British Columbia
Pick up your rental RV and start discovering British Columbia! From Vancouver, the possibilities are endless according to your tastes. Why not consider looping around the centre of the province? On the menu: jaw-dropping landscapes between land and sea, charming villages and a wine-growing valley…
To the north, take route 99, the famous Sea to Sky Highway that lets you travel between Vancouver and Whistler, peppering the way with scenic surprises. Don’t miss taking photos of fjords, mountains and incredible vistas along more than 240km. On the road, Shannon Falls, reaching a height of 335m, is sure to impress, as are wild beaches and untamed wilderness. A feast for the eyes!
A charming city between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is worth a detour. You can also hop aboard the Sea-to-Sky Gondola to enjoy a breathtaking view.
You will then arrive in Whistler, world-famous ski resort that hosted the Olympics in 2010 and is an ideal spot to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. A pedestrian village awaits you with art galleries and pretty boutiques. You can take the longest cable car in the world (4.4km), called the Peak 2 Peak Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb. Stop at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre to immerse yourself in First Nations culture.
Route 99 continues to Kamloops, a crossroads-town and a highlight of the region. Numerous lakes around the city make it a fishing paradise, notably trout fishing. You’ll also find one of the most beautiful First Nation sites in western Canada: the Secwepemc Museum is a traditional village where you can discover the life of the Shuswap people. Kamloops sits at the crossroads of three possible itineraries: to the north, Clearwater, to the south, Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley, and to the east, the Rockies. The choice is yours…
Further north, Clearwater is your gateway to the Wells Grey Provincial Park, that remains untamed and not frequently visited. Here, time stops and you can fully enjoy nature’s beauty. The landscape is defined by numerous waterfalls, such as the Helmcken Falls, easily the most beautiful in western Canada. You’re in a paradise for hikers and lovers of wide Canadian spaces.
By driving back south, you’ll reach Sunpeaks, a pretty village known as a world-class ski station in winter and quiet holiday resort in summer. It is your last stop on the road across the Rockies before you return to the sea and Vancouver.
Further south, the Okanagan Valley stretches before you for 150km, and 20km wide. The reputation of its wines is well deserved. The first vines were planted in 1859 and you can now find over 60 grape varieties and a hundred wine-growers.
Route 97 between Kelowna and Ossoyoos follows Lake Okanagan. Many wine-growers welcome visitors and invite them to sample their delicious products in a magnificent setting.
You can also opt for an escape along the Pacific coast, leaving from Vancouver.
Head to Vancouver Island, accessible by ferry or seaplane from Vancouver. It is the largest island off North America’s Pacific coast, spanning 500km and boasting 2,000-meter, snow-capped summits. To the south, the sea is omnipresent around Victoria, the provincial capital on the water. It is Canada’s most British city. Make time to indulge in afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, admire the Parliament Buildings that light up at night, stroll along the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail, or go for a whale-watching excursion. Butchard Gardens is a must-see for botany enthusiasts.
Facing the Pacific Ocean, superb Long Beach moulds the landscape with 11 kilometres of white sands. Nearby, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is paradise for lovers of nature and the sea. On one side, Uclulet is a charming fishing village and a great departure point for whale-watching. On the other side, Tofino is a surfer mecca and iconic destination on the island.
An honourable mention goes to the Sunshine Coast, a sublime stretch of road between Powell River and Vancouver, running along the northern part of the Pacific coast. You can make stops in Pender Harbour and its horseshoe-shaped port, in Schelt, or, more to the south, in the village of Gibson with its theatre and galleries