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Canada is the second largest country in the world by area, spanning almost two-fifths of the continent of North America. Its landscape is endlessly varied, ranging from the Canadian Rockies, to wide open prairies and immense pine forests, world-famous lakes and even Arctic tundra in the north.
British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province, surrounded by mountains in the west and ancient temperate rainforests along its coast. In between lie numerous unique landscapes, spanning from lakes, to desert, to beautiful rolling grasslands and lush valleys. The indigenous peoples of the region have inhabited the landscape for an estimated 10,000 years, and their living traditions can still be enjoyed today through art, food, guided tours, and unique cultural experiences to really immerse yourself in the local culture.
Limitless Nature, Vibrant Culture
Feel your heart stop when a bear lumbers into sight along a rocky shore, or a humpback whale gracefully flips its tail in the Pacific Ocean. Touch calm waters as you paddle a canoe across a glacial lake, or dip into a natural hot spring.
Where Nature is Nurtured
From massive mountain ranges and windswept beaches to rainforests overflowing with life, British Columbia’s cities and towns share a deep connection to the wild that surrounds them. Find one that calls to you.
Every Journey Starts with a Story
Stories of the ancient rainforests, colossal mountain peaks, and remote towns of British Columbia have been passed around campfires and barstools for centuries. See how BC’s rugged nature has reconnected explorers to the wild within and gather the kindling to spark your next adventure.
British Columbia's largest city, Vancouver, effortlessly combines the excitement and energy of a modern city with the invigorating appeal of the great outdoors. From spring’s abundance of cherry blossoms and summer’s sparkling waterfront days, through to the city’s fall cultural festivals and the snowy winter wonderland on the mountain peaks, Vancouver offers its visitors year-round adventures in this laidback urban metropolis right on the edge of a spectacular natural landscape. Explore diverse neighbourhoods, decadent dining, outdoor pursuits and multicultural attractions - in Vancouver, you won’t have to choose between city and nature.
Spend some time among the friendly and laidback locals as you discover colourful, unique downtown neighbourhoods like the beachside West End area, hip Gastown, upscale Yaletown, and historic Chinatown. It’s in these neighbourhoods that you’ll immerse yourself in the cultural side of the city: from dazzling gallery shows, live performances, and endless nightlife options, through to festivals that celebrate art, culture, cuisine, sports and everything in between!
Nature on your doorstep
Nature is all around in Vancouver; the city is surrounded by mountains, 20 minutes from the city, and the fresh scent of the forest is in every breath. Ease into nature, just steps from your hotel, with a leisurely cycle around Stanley Park’s seawall or a hike through urban rainforest. Get to know the region’s wilder inhabitants with a whale watching excursion, or visit Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife to see the resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola. Stand-up paddle boarding along the shoreline and beaches, and hiking the local mountains are experiences not to be missed. All of this and you’re still in the city!
Calgary is the largest city of the province Alberta, Western Canada, and lies at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies.
City and sights
Calgary is Canada’s third most cosmopolitan city after Toronto and Vancouver, and offers a wealth of things to do and see. The city is an urban landscape bisected by the gentle Bow River, running right through the main city. This area boasts a multitude of inner-city neighbourhoods whose numerous bars and cafés are great attractions for all types of travellers and all seasons, whether it's a sunny July day or a crisp January one.
Calgary is popular among both visitors and locals because of its many parks, and there are many options to enjoy the great outdoors while staying in the city. The Bow River offers a whole range of relaxing water activities, such a grabbing a raft and simply floating along! Don't forget that the stunning resort town of Banff lies only an hour west of Calgary, and offers all manner of winter and summer sports, not to mention invigorating fresh mountain air - the perfect opportunity to really get away from it all.
While Western Canada has Vancouver and the Rockies, the east of the country is not to be missed. The eastern provinces contain the highest proportion of native French speakers, and Montréal and Québec City’s unique blend of anglophone and francophone culture combined with historic architecture lends the cities a distinctly European feel. The country’s capital Ottawa and the cosmopolitan Toronto, its largest city, offer perfect city breaks, with the latter an ideal base from which to explore the breathtaking Niagara Falls.
Québec City boasts a beautiful Old Town that has much more of a European feel than that of a typical North American destination. The Old Town is full of French colonial architecture - highlights include the Château Frontenac and the Citadel. While Québec City is the capital of the Québec province, Montréal is its largest city, and also happens to be the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. It offers a whole range of beautiful sights to explore, including the historic Notre-Dame Basilica and the 18th-century Château Ramezay Museum. In Toronto, discover Queens Park, the stately University Avenue and the Provincial Parliament Buildings. You won't find a better view over the city than from the top of the iconic CN Tower, where you can gaze out over Lake Ontario and soak up the panoramic views. Don't forget the capital, Ottawa, which contains most of the country's national museums, and of course its Parliament. The city's Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and provides year-round entertainment - kayak, row down, or cycle along its banks in summer, or watch it turn into the world's longest ice-skating rink in winter!
Black bears can be glimpsed throughout much of Atlantic Canada – from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. For polar bears, head to the spectacular Torngat Mountains National Park on the Arctic coast of Labrador. The east of Canada is also home to the iconic Niagara Falls, an awe-inspiring bucket-list destination.