Autumn, Forest, Mountain Road, British Columbia, Canada

Self-Drive Journey in British Columbia



12 Days

Prices Start from

£3,105pp (ex. flights)

Embark on a self-drive adventure through British Columbia, travelling on scenic roads that cut through stunning mountainous passes, making detours to go whale-watching, scout for black bears and kayak forest-flanked island waterways.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada 1

Kayak with Whales

Take to the water in the remote wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, home to grey whales.

Mountain biking 2

Explore Whistler

Go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding or zip-lining in a rugged mountain playground.

Black Bear Mother and Cub, Canada 3

Scout for Bears

Drive the picturesque route to Tofino, scouting for black bears foraging next to the highway.

Butchart Gardens 4

100-Year-Old Gardens

Explore the colourful garden oasis of Butchart Gardens in Victoria with a private guide.

Why we like it

Combining the absolute freedom that comes with travelling in a hire car with a custom-made itinerary that connects the highlights of British Columbia, this road trip takes an in-depth look at the hugely varying landscapes that make up this expansive region. Featuring a sprinkling of ferry rides and a careful balance of pristine wilderness with bustling seaport cities, this journey traverses the extremes of Canada‘s westernmost province. Throw in high chances of spotting native wildlife – from bears and chipmunks to deer and cougars – with the unique opportunity to walk with a member of the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth community, and this journey through the province becomes truly extraordinary.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Vancouver - Victoria

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Victoria - Tofino

  • Days 5-6


  • Day 7

    Tofino - Whistler

  • Days 8-9


  • Day 10

    Whistler - Vancouver

  • Days 11-12


Day 1


Day 2

Vancouver - Victoria

Day 3


Butchart Gardens

Explore the lush and colourful garden oasis of Butchart Gardens in Victoria with a private guide.

Day 4

Victoria - Tofino

Days 5-6


Black Bear, Canada

Drive the picturesque journey to Tofino, scouting for black bears alongside (or even on) the highway.

Day 7

Tofino - Whistler

Days 8-9


Mountain biking

Go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding or zip-lining in an iconic rugged mountain playground.

Day 10

Whistler - Vancouver

Days 11-12


Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

See the seaport city of Vancouver, uniquely characterised by snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Sea Planes, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sea Planes, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Seaplane to Salt Spring Island

Explore Victoria, the capital of British Columbia that is known as Canada’s “Garden City”, and discover the lush wilderness that surrounds the southern end of Vancouver Island. Away from the colourful mainland, take to the water in the company of a naturalist guide on an exhilarating orca whale-watching tour, scouting the horizon for pods of the particularly unique species of thirty-foot-long marine mammal that reside in only two places in the world. Alternatively, for a truly memorable experience, we can arrange a scenic private seaplane tour to quaint Salt Spring Island for a tasty lunch at the local artisan food market.

Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada
Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada

Canoe with Nuu-chah-nulth

Embark on a scenic drive to Tofino, looking out for foraging black bears as you travel along the highway – you might even hear locals honking their horns to encourage their safe return to the forest! Water-top journeys are the most unique way to explore the temperate rainforests of nearby Meares Island, and paddling to the Big Tree Trail in a hand-crafted canoe is a memorable experience with opportunities for whale-watching en route. In the company of a Nuu-chah-nulth guide, discover the long-standing beliefs and perspectives of these indigenous people of Canada’s Pacific Northwest Coast. While hiking through the 1000-year-old cedar tree forests, gain an understanding of their belief that the oceans, the forests, and the people are interconnected.

Endless Road, British Columbia, Canada
Endless Road, British Columbia, Canada
Black Bear, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Black Bear, Jasper National Park, Canada

On the Road with Bear Guides

From the vibrant and iconic village of Whistler Blackcomb, head into the wilderness on an e-bike mountain adventure, embark on an alpine hiking trip, or canoe through floating lilies on bright glacier-fed lakes. Serious hikers might like to traverse the Cloudraker Skybridge to revel in its dramatic 360-degree panoramas, while adrenaline-junkies can rip through rivers on white water rafting adventures. Experience the thrill of flying while zip-lining on the longest run in all of the USA and Canada, or indulge in an exclusive helicopter flight to a remote natural hot spring. We can also arrange float plane tours to crystal clear alpine lakes, horseback rides that end with a campfire supper, and visits to bear dens and feeding sites with expert wilderness guides.

Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada

Wander Over Water & Climb Mother Nature's Staircase

Journey on foot through the seaport city of Vancouver, uniquely characterised by its conflicting backdrops of snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches. When not sipping your way through the local craft beer breweries, take a gondola ride to the top of Grouse Mountain (or hike its arduous “Mother Nature’s Staircase”), amble around the city on a guided gastronomy tour, or watch an ice hockey match to experience the electric atmosphere of the national sport. We can arrange skip-the-line access to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a remarkable glacier helicopter and kayaking experience, an exhilarating jet ski tour in Howe Sound or even a private sailing boat charter that takes in sweeping views of Vancouver’s majestic skyline.

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,105 Per person

When to travel

Canada in January

January is an undoubtedly cold time of year in Canada, with temperatures reaching negative daily. However, visiting during this time can be a good chance to avoid the overwhelming busy times of the festive season and school holidays.

Canada in February

Winter in Canada offers an array of sporting and cultural events both indoors and out. Banff, Whistler and Jasper offer phenomenal ski resorts or perhaps be a spectator of an ice hockey match, arguably the country’s favourite sport.

Canada in March

While March can be a good off-peak time to visit, it is worth being prepared for drastic weather changes. However, this also means lower costs and fewer crowds. The mountains are still open for the ski season and cities are ideal as they are fewer tourists.

Canada in April

April marks the start of spring across Canada, a time to avoid crowds and discover all that the country has to offer with comfortable temperatures on average.

Canada in May

May is a favourable time to visit Canada, with temperatures rising, avoiding school holidays and off-peak rates.

Canada in June

For many travellers, June is the ideal time to visit Canada. Just before peak season, the weather is favourable and most of the trails and seasonal activities will have opened.

Canada in July

Summer in Canada calls for longer days to explore the natural beauty that awaits outdoors whether it’s hiking, fishing or camping. Temperatures average around 25, making cities quite warm but head into the wilderness or by the coast and enjoy the open air.

Canada in August

Summer is considered the peak season with warm temperatures and all attractions open. It is worth noting this time of year can be quite busy as it is school holidays.

Canada in September

As autumn rolls in and temperatures lower, September is a great time to avoid massive crowds and experience all that the country has to offer in comfortable weather. September is also the beginning of the salmon run, a peak time to see the bears fishing.

Canada in October

Temperatures continue to drop in October, also bringing cloudy days and rain. The autumn foliage is in full bloom across the countryside. This can also be a good time to take advantage of off-peak rates, however, it is worth bearing in mind that the weather can vary and some coastal towns will have started to close for the season.

Canada in November

November is a good time of year to visit the cities of Canada. It is too late to view the foliage and a bit too early to skiing yet, but a good time to explore cities across the country, in temperatures averaging 5 degrees.

Canada in December

The build-up to the festive season is in full swing across the country. Snow may have already started, making the perfect scene for ice skating and markets.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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