Experience

Get back to nature in British Columbia’s wilderness

The world’s second largest country, there is a lot of Canada to explore. East or West? Mountains or Cities? It’s difficult to know just where to start – and just how long to set aside to do it justice. Thankfully, our travel experts have done it all, and then some, but there’s one place that stands out. Yes, Ontario has the Niagra Falls. Yes, Quebec has the gastronomy. But there’s something about British Columbia that keeps us coming back time and again. Whether it’s the hip Vancouver neighbourhoods, the dramatic landscapes or the grizzly bear filled forests – we couldn’t tell you (ok, it’s probably the grizzly bears). On this five-night retreat to Canada’s wilderness, discover what B.C. means to you. Splitting your time between cosmopolitan Vancouver and tranquil Nimmo Bay, we’re sure you’ll find your answer.

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A Vancouver for Everyone

No visit to British Columbia would be complete without a stopover in Vancouver. Sandwiched between snow-capped peaks and a glittering waterfront, this picture-perfect city is fast gaining a reputation for its thriving arts scene and cultural diversity. Discover it all from your base at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, perhaps starting with a walk (or, if you’re feeling energetic, a run) around Stanley Park and the Seawall. Under the leafy canopy, take in the breathtaking views of English Bay as you stroll along the lovely beaches and past historic totem poles.

Whilst you may think that Vancouver begins and ends with Downtown and its scenic surrounds, there’s a lot more to this city than meets the eye. Along with an expert guide, tomorrow you’ll explore some of the city’s neighbourhoods, starting with its oldest, Gastown. Best explored on foot, you can’t miss Water Street with its old-fashioned charm and Victorian architecture, but some of our favourite spots lie at the end of Blood Alley and across the road in Chinatown. An urban oasis, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the perfect spot to take a breather with its tranquil koi ponds and beautiful pavilions.

From sushi to dim sum, fresh seafood to gourmet meals, Vancouver is a city best experienced through your taste buds and nowhere does this better than the final neighbourhood on your whistle-stop tour. Notorious for its ability to bring about an impromptu picnic, Granville Island Public Market is foodie-heaven. Load up on fresh produce, mouthwatering baked goods and wash it all down with a glass of artisan sake and you’ll see why.

Nature at Nimmo

After two days taking in the buzz of Vancouver, you’ll swap the skyscrapers of the city for the trees of the Great Bear Rainforest and the tranquillity of Nimmo Bay. Peacefully floating on the water, this wilderness resort is the ultimate antidote to city life and you’ll spend the next three days revelling in British Columbia’s great outdoors.

Whether you’re picking up a paddle and kayaking alongside humpback whales or lacing up your boots and conquering the summit of Mt. Stevens, we guarantee there’ll never be a dull moment at Nimmo Bay. But remember what we said about the bears? Well, Nimmo Bay is the place to see them. Whether that’s from a power boat, paddleboard or kayak – or up close and personal on a hike through the forest trails, this is bear country. But don’t get too close – they’re called grizzly bears for a reason. Where there are bears and whales, you can also bet on there being fish. So, for the ultimate fly-fishing adventure, you’ll take to the skies in a helicopter and follow the countless rivers and streams to wherever the fish go, tucking into a gourmet picnic along the way.

Whilst your days will no doubt be action-packed, your evenings will be spent enjoying the splendid isolation of this untouched wilderness. Huddled up around the camp fire, gazing up at the stars, this is the great outdoors as it should be – with limited wifi to distract you. Retire to your cosy cabin and drift off to the sounds of the forest before waking up to another day and another adventure.

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