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Thompson Okanagan region

  • Thompson Okanagan region

    British Columbia's Thompson Okanagan, a sun-drenched haven for winemakers,  is also the province's lake district and, for generations,  a favoured  family  holiday spot  for western Canadians.

    The region extends from the sagebrush and ranching country  near the  Fraser  River  in the west to the Monashee  Mountains  in  the  east, and  from  Mount  Robson  in  the north to the US border in the south.

    • Horse Country

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    • Devils Canyon

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    • Black Bear

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    • Fraser Canyon

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    • Humming Bird

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    • Hiking from Echo Valley Ranch

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    • Hiking above Wood Lake

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    • Hiking in Mount Robson Provincial Park

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    • Vineyards at Covert Farm

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    • Dining at Covert Farms

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    • Apple stand in West Kelowna

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    • Picking peaches at Paynter's Fruit Market

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    • U-pick orchard

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    • Myra Canyon outside of Kelowna

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    • Helmcken Falls

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    • Paddleboarders on Kalamalka Lake

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    • The Fortress with a view of Skaha Lake

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    At its heart is a long, fertile valley running north-south along Okanagan, Skaha, Vaseux, and Osoyoos lakes, where vineyards, orchards, golf courses, and forests of ponderosa pine blanket the hills above a string of warm, beach-fringed lakes. Okanagan Lake, the longest of the three at 135 kilometres, is also said to host Ogopogo, a shy but harmless creature, rarely seen but possibly related to Nessie of Loch Ness.

    The region is home to over 170 licensed wineries and more than 50 18-hole golf courses, as well as four major ski resorts. Lesser known are the Thompson Okanagan's other landscapes: the hundreds of trout­ stocked fishing lakes in the rolling ranch country around Kamloops; the vast boreal forests of the north; the many reaches of Shuswap Lake, where visitors can explore 1,000 kilometres of shoreline by houseboat; and Osoyoos, located in Canada's only desert where 2,000 hours of sunshine annually help support species found nowhere else in the country. 

    Some of BC's biggest, most dramatic wilderness parks are found in the Thompson Okanagan. One such draw is Wells Gray Provincial Park, home to the stunning 141-metre Helmcken Falls, one of Canada's highest waterfalls, as well as plenty of outdoor adventure options. Here you can cast a line, hike, paddle in Murtle Lake-North America's largest canoe-only lake-and possibly catch sight of moose, bears, and mule deer. The area surrounding Blue River features one of the highest concentrations of bears in North America. Another must-see is Mount Robson Provincial Park. East of Wells Gray, this UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounds the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. 

    Each year, vinophiles flock to the Thompson Okanagan to tour and taste, especially during the region's four annual wine festivals. Others come to hike and bike on the area's long-distance paths, including the famous Kettle Valley Rail Trail; to fish, canoe, and camp in the backcountry; and to experience First Nations culture and western heritage at the region's many festivals.

    Kamloops

    Kamloops is centrally located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia and boasts rolling hills, two converging rivers, 82 parks, a sparkling lake and world class sporting facilities, Kamloops is a paradise for the active traveller.

    Clinton

    Founded as a result of the boomof the Cariboo Gold Rush, Clinton is considered the midway point between Vancouver and Prince George. Clinton is also the 'Gateway to the Cariboo'. There are endless trails of spectacular scenery in the areas surrounding Clinton, including the Marble Range, Cougar Point, Limestone Mountains and Hart Ridge.

    The numerous lakes in the area including Kelly Lake, Pear Lake, Riley Dam and Big Bar Lake provide excellent fishing. Some of these lakes also provide resort areas with beaches and water sport activities. Wildlife is abundant in the Clinton area, where you may come across deer, moose, cougar and bears.

    There are both winter and summer recreational activities available for the outdoor enthusiast, including skating, curling, tennis, and more. Hiking, mountain biking trails, cross crountry ski trails are all available in the area.

    70 Mile House

    70 Mile House is situated on Highway 97 in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. Its name is derived from its distance from Lillooet, which was Mile 0 of the Old Cariboo Road.

    Osoyoos

    Osoyoos is a resort town in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley, directly on Osoyoos Lake and close to the border of Washington state.

    Enjoy the endless water activities on the Osoyoos Lake including kayaking, canoeing, tubing and waterskiing. Osoyoos Lake and the Osoyoos Oxbows are also excellent fishing spots. Drop a line for bass, trout, salmon and whitefish or any one of the 43 species found locally.

    Tour the wine country and take the time to relax amid the beautiful vineyard views. Take a leisurely stroll on the many beautiful lakeshore walkways. Hike or bike on the widespread system of trails. Tee off at one of the picturesque golf courses.

    Osoyoos offers a unique selection of family attractions. The Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad is a must-see mini-world with 20 computer-operated trains running through a Euro-style landscape of cities, villages, resorts and countryside peopled by over 11,000 hand painted figures. Get active at Rattlesnake Canyon with mini-golf, bumper boats, climbing wall, rides and arcade.

    The Okanagan Valley is the second largest wine region in Canada with approximately 4000 hectares of vineyards. The Okanagan accounts for producing more than 90% of British Columbia wine. Vineyards and wineries can be found all along the 113 km Okanagan Lake and communities.

    During the summer months, visitors are offered countless sandy beaches, hot sun, and a variety of outdoor and water activities. Okanagan Lake provides the valley not only with excellent swimming but is also a spectacular backdrop to the golf courses and Okanagan wineries and popular ski resorts located in the rolling hills of this wine valley.

    Located in the rolling hills of the valley and overlooking the lake, the Okanagan Valley has over 15 picturesque golf courses to choose from. Skaha Bluffs is a rock climbing area just south of Penticton, on a hillside above Skaha Lake. The climbing takes place in three parallel canyons. Notable climbing walls include Fortress, Red Tail, Doctors wall, The Great White Wall and The Grand Canyon. One of the most popular sections of the hiking trail along the former Kettle Valley Railway line is the section through Myra Canyon. Myra Canyon is located south of Kelowna on Okanagan Mountain Park.

    The Kettle Valley Steam Railway operates a heritage railway along a preserved 10-kilometre section in Summerland, British Columbia. This is the only active remaining section of the Kettle Valley Railway. Hop aboard and watch out for the special train robberies!

    Vernon

    A little over five hours from Vancouver and two hours from Kamloops, Vernon is surrounded by 3 lakes and hundreds of small fishing lakes, world-class golf, great beaches and trails, spectacular farmers’ markets three days a week, and family-friendly attractions and festivals.

    From boating to alpine skiing, each season presents plenty of exciting things to do in the Okanagan Valley. A true outdoor-lover's paradise, the region offers miles of mountain hiking trails, kayaking, alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, golf, cycling, and sandy lakeside beaches.

    The 180km long Okanagan Valley is nicknamed "The Napa of the North" for the many world-class wineries in the region. Harvest time in late Summer and early Fall is a particularly rewarding time to visit. Peach and apricot orchards also dot the landscape and offer visitors to visit and pick their own fruit during the Summer. Visit one of the many in the region.

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  • Rocky Mountain Explorer

    Begins in Vancouver and ends in Calgary

    14 Days / 13 Nights

    Departures: Selected dates from April to October*

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Rocky Mountaineer Rail – SilverLeaf Service
    • Personalised Road Book
    • The Rocky Mountaineer

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    • Canoes on Lake Louise

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    • Calgary at Night

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    • Black Bears

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    • Vancouver - Capilano Suspension Bridge

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    • Rocky Mountaineer

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Vancouver

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Vancouver. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Fairmont Pacific Rim, which has a beautiful location in Coal Harbour.

    Hotel: Fairmont Pacific Rim

    Day
    02
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    03

    Vancouver

    Nestled on the shores of the Pacific, the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver enjoys a blend of cultures, which creates a variety of ethnic cuisines and shopping options. Today is free to enjoy the attractions, and we recommend you visit Stanley Park, Robson Street, Grouse Mountain and Granville Island.

    Hotel: Fairmont Pacific Rim

    Day

    Rocky Mountaineer & Kamloops

    An early start today as you board the Rocky Mountaineer train for its journey through the Rocky Mountains. Sit back, relax and enjoy the terrific views as the train winds through spectacular scenery to the small town of Kamloops, where you spend your evening.

    Hotel: Allocated by Rocky Mountaineer

    Day
    05

    Rocky Mountaineer & Jasper

    It is another early start as you depart Kamloops on the second stage of your magical rail journey. Traversing through scenic valleys with the magnificent Rocky Mountains accompanying your journey, the landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. On arrival into Jasper, collect your rental car and check-in at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

    Hotel: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

    Day
    06
    Day
    07

    Jasper

    Jasper is a charming mountain village surrounded by dense forest and glacial peaks, and boasts many scenic highlights. It is a laid-back alpine community, filled with quaint shops, restaurants and cafes. Established in 1907, Jasper National Park is the largest in the Canadian Rockies, boasting 10,878 square kilometres of mountain wilderness. Internationally renowned for its superb backcountry trail system, hikers flock to the park to create their own adventures. It is also home to some of North America’s most treasured wildlife, with healthy populations of grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves calling it home. We suggest you take a tram ride up Whistler’s Mountain for awe-inspiring views and visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, for a relaxing boat excursion.

    Hotel: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

    Day
    08
    Day
    09

    Lake Louise

    It’s a scenic drive today as you make your way towards Lake Louise. Whilst travelling on the Icefield Parkway, one of the world's most spectacular mountainous drives, look out for the turquoise-hued lakes and thundering waterfalls. Why not visit Athabasca Falls and Columbia Icefield for an Ice Explorer ride on the gigantic glacier? Your hotel overlooks Lake Louise and offers hiking and kayaking, so you can choose to explore this fabulous part of the world by land or out on the water.

    Hotel: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    244Mi/393Km

    Day
    10
    Day
    11

    Banff

    It may be a short drive today but the destination is contrasting. We have allowed a two night stay for you to explore Banff, a small town filled with quaint shops, restaurants and museums. We suggest taking the Banff Gondola for panoramic views of Bow Valley, and visiting the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Your hotel is in the heart of Banff National Park and offers many recreational opportunities.

    Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs

    44Mi/71Km

    Day
    12
    Day
    03

    Calgary

    It’s just a two hour drive along the Trans-Canada Highway, with an option of taking the slightly longer but more scenic 1A Highway, to the cowboy city of Calgary. Home of the famous stampede, The Aero Space Museum, Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park Historic Village, Glenbow Museum and Olympic Park, there are ample attractions to keep you entertained.

    Hotel: Fairmont Palliser

    129Mi/208Km

    Day
    14

    Journey home

    There may be time for some last minute sightseeing and shopping before you make your way to Calgary Airport, return your rental car and check-in for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £3265 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request. 

    One way drop off charge on car hire is not included and payable locally.

    Western Canada Discovery

    Begins in Vancouver and ends in Calgary

    15 Days / 14 Nights

    Selected departures: April to October

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Mini-coach tour of the Sea-to-Sky highway
    • Seaplane flight from Whistler to Vancouver
    • Silver Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer 'First Passage to the West'
    • Coal Harbour, Vancouver

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    • Vancouver

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    • Rocky Mountaineer

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    • Whistler

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    • Bow Lake, Banff

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    • Rocky Mountaineer Silver Leaf

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    • Lost Lake, Whistler

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    • Victoria

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    • Stephen Street, Calgary

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Vancouver

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Vancouver. Upon arrival in Vancouver, transfer independently to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, where you will spend your first two nights. Enjoy an evening at leisure, perhaps taking in a meal at one of Vancouver's many excellent restaurants.

    Hotel: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

    Day
    02

    Vancouver

    Today, you have a day at leisure to explore the vibrant city of Vancouver. Shop Robson Street, filled with big name brands and small quaint boutiques or visit Granville Island where you can take a food tour around the bustling market or a kayak out onto the water. Pack a picnic and relax in Stanley Park or cycle along the waterfront and watch the cruise ships enter port. Vancouver is truly a city of contrasts.

    Hotel: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

    Day
    03
    Day
    04
    Day
    05

    Whistler

    Today, you will depart Vancouver by mini-coach along the stunning Sea-to-Sky highway. Take in viewpoints on the fully narrated tour along the way, offering perfect photo opportunities of the spectacular scenery. Arrive into Whistler before noon, allowing an afternoon to explore the mountain resort. Enjoy the next three days exploring Whistler and its surrounding area.

    Hotel: Four Seasons Whistler

    Day
    06
    Day
    07
    Day
    08

    Victoria

    Today, you will depart Whistler's Green Lake for a breathtaking one hour seaplane flight aboard Harbour Air to downtown Victoria. Flying high above Whistler valley, passing over glacial lakes, lush alpine meadows, the Strait of Georgia and the beautiful Gulf Islands, the awe-inspiring flight gives a different view of the stunning scenery. Upon arrival in Victoria, you will spend the next three nights at Fairmont Empress in downtown Victoria.

    Hotel: Fairmont Empress

    Day
    09

    Vancouver

    Board a fully narrated coach tour today to the world famous Butchart Gardens en-route to the BC Ferries terminal, where you will sail back across to Vancouver through the scenic Active Pass. Arrive back in Vancouver in time to enjoy an evening meal.

    Hotel: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

    Day
    10

    Rocky Mountaineer & Kamloops

    An early start today as you board the Rocky Mountaineer train for its journey through the Rocky Mountains. Sit back, relax and enjoy the terrific views as the train winds through spectacular scenery to the small town of Kamloops, where you spend your evening.

    Hotel: Allocated by Rocky Mountaineer

    Day
    11

    Rocky Mountaineer & Banff

    It is another early start as you depart Kamloops on the second stage of your magical rail journey. Traversing through scenic valleys with the magnificent Rocky Mountains accompanying your journey, the landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. On arrival into Banff, transfer to the Rimrock Resort Hotel, where you will spend the evening.

    Hotel: The Rimrock Resort Hotel

    Day
    12

    Banff

    We have allowed a two night stay for you to explore Banff, a small town filled with quaint shops, restaurants and museums. We suggest taking the Banff Gondola for panoramic views of Bow Valley, and visiting the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Your hotel is in the heart of Banff National Park and offers many recreational opportunities.

    Hotel: The Rimrock Resort Hotel

    Day
    13
    Day
    14

    Calgary

    Transfer by motorcoach along the Trans-Canada highway to the cowboy city of Calgary. Home of the famous stampede, The Aero Space Museum, Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park Historic Village, Glenbow Museum and Olympic Park, there are ample attractions to keep you entertained.

    Hotel: Fairmont Palliser

    Day
    15

    Journey Home

    Spend the morning picking up last minute souvenirs before transferring independently to Calgary Airport. Depart Calgary on your chosen scheduled flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £3,899 per person based on two sharing a standard room and SilverLeaf service on the Rocky Mountaineer. Other room categories and classes on the Rocky Mountaineer are available on request.

     

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