As featured in The Times '30 epic driving holidays', this 21-night Western Canada adventure along the Sea to Sky Highway covers it all: from rugged coastal scenery and rain forests of Vancouver Island to the incomparable beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Wildlife is abundant and, fingers crossed, you'll spy bears, eagles and whales. Top this adventure off with a journey along one of Canada's national treasures, the incredible Icefield Parkway, considered on the world's most spectacular drives.
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Distance: 72 miles
You’ll be transferred from your Vancouver hotel to the motorhome depot in Delta to collect your vehicle. Nearby, you'll be able to stock up on groceries and supplies before heading for the ferry.
The 90 minute British Columbia ferry, transports you across the Strait of Georgia from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Vancouver Island. On your way to Victoria make sure you stop at Brentwood Bay to marvel at the flora and fauna of the famous Butchart Gardens. Spend time in charming Victoria exploring the inner harbour, Parliament buildings or hop on a whale watching cruise.
Distance: 183 miles
A short 30-minute drive from Victoria will take you to the top of scenic Malahat Drive (part of Highway 1) and reward you with views over Saannich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands. In the distance you’ll view the snow-capped peak of Mount Baker. Stop in Duncan, the 'City of Totems' and in Chemainus to see the world’s largest gallery of murals and sculptures.
The tiny village of Coombs is ideal for fresh supplies in the Old Country Market, known for its grazing goats on the market roof. Then it's Highway 4 across the island and through the ancient Douglas firs of Cathedral Grove. Perched on the edge of Barkley Sound, the small village of Ukee is bursting with activities. Whale, bear and bird watching are all possible, as are surfing, hiking, kayaking and ziplining.
Be sure to visit Pacific Rim National Park and take a stroll along Long Beach. For more of a challenging hike, check out the adventurous West Coast Trail.
Distance: 152 miles
Traverse Vancouver Island today and head for the east coast and Campbell River, the Salmon Capital of the World. Take time out to relax on the sandy beach at Parksville or stroll along the stunning shoreline at Qualicum Beach. Campbell River has a thriving arts and culture scene, fabulous fishing opportunities and waterfront restaurants where you can dine on the river’s bounty. For wildlife spotting on land venture into Strathcona Provincial Park, or for a wildlife safari at sea, hop on a boat trip to view the orcas and Pacific white-sided dolphins.
Campbell River is a centre for both grizzly bear and black bear watching because of the proximity of Bute Inlet, the grizzly bear capital of Canada. Bon Voyage can include this experience in your holiday.
Distance: 71 miles
On to the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Board the ferry at Comox for your 90-minute crossing to Powell River, a hub that combines the great outdoors with historic and cultural appeal. Spend two nights in the community of Lund, complete with art gallery and general store.
During your time here consider a 15-minute water taxi ride from Lund to Savary Island; the island’s white sand beaches and warm swimming waters make for a very relaxing day.
Distance: 81 miles
Today you'll board another BC Ferries vessel to Earls Cove. As you cruise along gaze at lofty Harmony Falls, visible from deck.
On your drive from Earls Cove to Sechelt, along the Sunshine Highway, be sure to stop at Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park. Here you can hike the easy 2.5 mile trail to a viewpoint where you can peer out over turbulent whirlpools. Laidback, scenic Sechelt is full or artists and has the most wonderful mountain backdrop. Here visit the First Nations Tems Awiya Museum for an insight into the way of life of the Shishalh Nation.
Distance: 92 miles
Return to the mainland today by ferry, this 40 minute crossing will offer you beautiful vistas of small islands and soaring mountain ranges.
On the mainland, join the Sea-to-Sky Highway, frequently rated as one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world. Starting just north of Vancouver at Horseshoe Bay, you'll travel along the many fjords of the Pacific Coast before heading inland to Whistler, a bustling year-round mountain resort. Spectacular scenery is guaranteed all along this route. Take it slowly and enjoy every minute.
In Whistler be sure to take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for awesome views, or enjoy a gentle hike to beautiful Lost Lake. If you fancy some shopping, Whistler is full of unique boutiques.
Distance: 81 miles
Leave behind bustling Whistler and cruise slowly along the remaining part of the of the Sea to Sky Highway to Pemberton, before continuing on the equally scenic Duffey Lake Road which cuts through the Coast Mountains to Lillooet.
This small town overlooks the Fraser River and offers many heritage sites and cultural tours about Lillooet’s First Nation history.
Distance: 165 miles
Experience British Columbia’s historic gold rush past as you journey past historic buildings, unique geological landscapes and parts of the original Cariboo Wagon Road used by more than 10,000 pioneers during the 1860s. Wells Gray Provincial Park is famous for wildlife. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot bears, moose, caribou and eagles. It is also famous for waterfalls and no holiday here is complete without a visit to Dawson Falls and Helmcken Falls. Your overnight stay is in Clearwater.
Distance: 199 miles
Travelling north over the Caribou Mountain roads be on the look-out for black bears. Visit Rearguard Falls, and if time allows, take an exciting river rafting trip along the Fraser River.
And, just when you think the scenery can’t get better, it does. Your drive along the Yellowhead Highway through Mount Robson Provincial Park, named after the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, is spectacular. Time to kick-back, relax and just enjoy Jasper. Consider a cruise on Maligne Lake, a trip on the Jasper SkyTram, visit the meadows and glaciers of Mount Edith Cavell or enjoy a relaxing soak in the Miette Hot Springs.
Distance: 179 miles
Today you’ll drive yet another one of the world’s most scenic highways, the Icefields Parkway. Gaze out at the snowy peaks, glacier-fed lakes and the famous Athabasca Glacier. View the Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls and walk on air on the impressive Glacier Skywalk. You’ve three nights in Banff National Park to explore the areas incredible lakes: Peyto, Emerald, Moraine Lake, and of course, iconic Lake Louise. Be sure to visit Bow Falls and take a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of the park.
Distance: 90 miles
Soak up the last of the scenery before arriving in Calgary and returning your motorhome. You'll be transferred to your hotel and free to explore Calgary. The skyscrapers and urban vibe is very reminiscent of US cities like New York and Chicago, but with a Canadian flair. Calgary is the centre of Canada’s oil industry, but it is also steeped in western culture that earned it the nickname 'Cowtown.' Home to the Calgary Stampede, a massive rodeo and festival held every July, the city is an interesting blend of metropolitan and country.
With a late evening flight, you have most of the day to continue your Calgary exploration.
After your motorhome adventure, you may decide to extend your stay before your flight home. Maybe include a city stop over at Toronto or perhaps travel down into America and spend a few days exploring Seattle.
Call the Canada and USA travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect Pre-Planned Motorhome Tour - Western Canada Sea to Sky adventure.