Luxury holidays in British Columbia

In Canada’s southwest, British Columbia’s home to dramatic coastline, forested parks, sprawling cities and Olympic-worthy ski slopes. Its capital city Victoria is at the southern end of parkland-covered Vancouver Island, a favourite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and surfers. In nearby port-town metropolis Vancouver – only a seaplane ride away –visit historic Gastown, market-laden Granville Island, the Museum of Anthropology and the sweeping green space of Stanley Park. Just north of the city, there’s the 70m-high Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain where, depending on the season, you can ski, snowboard, hike, or just take the Skyride gondola to the top for panoramic views out to sea. Ski resort Whistler is one of the largest in North America: the 2010 Winter Olympics host has plenty of summer activities, too, delighting mountain bikers, hikers and whitewater rafters.

Areas in British Columbia

When to go

Keen skiers can hit the slopes in Whistler and the Blackcomb mountains from December to March. July and August are the warmest months, with day-time temperatures hovering around 18°. Surf-ready swells hit Tofino in September and October, when the weather turns cool enough for long hikes in the national parks. Make the most of Vancouver’s museums and breweries during rainy November.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Direct flights from across North America and Europe land regularly at Vancouver International Airport.
  • Trains

    Catch a northbound Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver; the coastal journey from Seattle will take four hours, and from Portland it’s a 10-hour ride. Via Rail operates an east-west service between Toronto and Vancouver, with stops including Winnipeg, Edmonton and Jasper: it’s the scenic-route option, and will take four days.
  • Automobiles

    Driving’s popular in British Columbia; roads are easily navigable, if long.