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Grizzly in the Chilko River, BC

Canada's western wilderness & wildlife self-drive

19 days from £5,640pp

Grizzly in the Chilko River, BC
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Tour highlights

  • Visit Vancouver Island's temperate rainforests.

  • Go bear watching from Tofino and Campbell River.

  • Walk among magnificent mountain meadows.

  • Stay in charming character accommodation.

  • Explore the stunning Rocky Mountains.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver, make your way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or begin exploring the city.

  • On your first full day in Vancouver, get your bearings with a bicycle tour of the city. Your local guide will take you through Stanley Park (including a stop to see its famous totem poles), Granville Island Market, Chinatown and historic Gastown.

  • Spend a day at leisure exploring this vibrant city's many sights. You could board a float plane for a scenic flight over the city, sample some street food or visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the area's First Nations culture.

  • Make your way to Vancouver's seaplane terminal this morning for an exciting flight over the Gulf Islands to Victoria. The journey is approximately 35 minutes, and you'll land directly in Victoria's Inner Harbour. After settling into your accommodation, spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring Victoria's quaint old town with its market square and boutique shops.

  • Join an exciting three-hour whale-watching trip from Victoria. The area is renowned for being home to resident pods of orca whales, so you should be rewarded with some great sightings. The afternoon is free to explore the city. You could visit the former home of renowned artist Emily Carr or the Gothic-style Craigdarroch Castle.

  • Collect your hire car from downtown Victoria. Your car hire package includes an additional driver and all insurance. Drive from Victoria to Tofino on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. The five-hour route (not including stops) takes you through mountains covered in old-growth rainforest and past clear lakes on the island's interior before descending to the charming small town of Tofino on the coast. Once you enter the Pacific Rim National Park, you could stop at the Wickaninnish Visitor Centre and stroll on boardwalks through the forest, looking out for black bears.

  • Spend a thrilling few hours exploring Clayoquot Sound's remote islands by sea kayak. As you paddle through rugged outcrops and islets, your guide will explain more about the area's history, flora and fauna. You may also encounter porpoises, seals, eagles and orcas, or — if you're lucky — black bears who comb the shoreline at low tide, searching for clams. You can explore Tofino's art galleries this afternoon or walk along the secluded driftwood-strewn beaches.

  • Leaving Tofino, drive for around four and a half hours (not including stops) east over the central mountains to the small town of Campbell River on the island's east coast. You pass through the Pacific Rim National Park before winding up through the interior mountains. We suggest stopping at Cathedral Grove en route, where you can follow a walking trail to admire the ancient cedar trees.

  • Take a wildlife journey through the Discovery Islands today, home to a range of wildlife such as whales, eagles, and other marine birdlife. Throughout the three-hour trip, your guide will tell you interesting facts about each species you encounter. Spend the rest of the day exploring the town, perhaps enjoying fresh salmon for lunch or heading out on a coastal walk.

  • After an hour-and-a-half scenic drive to the ferry port at Nanaimo, take the two-hour ferry crossing to Horseshoe Bay on the B.C. mainland. You then drive for around two hours along the Sea to Sky Highway, which winds between mountains and the sea, before reaching the mountain resort of Whistler. The remainder of the day is free to relax or begin exploring.

  • Spend the day exploring Whistler. This morning, take a private 4x4 vehicle to the backcountry in search of the black and grizzly bears that call the Olympic Park home. This afternoon, you may wish to take a gondola to the summit of Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain, walk in the mountains, or go kayaking, mountain biking, zip-lining or white-water rafting.

  • Today, you depart Whistler and drive around seven hours through the arid ranch lands of British Columbia's interior. Passing the mighty Fraser River, continue to Clearwater, the nearest town to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

  • Spend the morning exploring the park, where you will come across some of the park's waterfalls and, in July and August, pretty wildflower meadows. The afternoon is free to try other outdoor activities, such as horse riding, fishing or white-water rafting.

  • Your four-and-a-half-hour drive today takes you past mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Shortly afterwards you will cross into the province of Alberta and arrive at the small town of Jasper.

  • Jasper National Park awaits your discovery today. You may wish to visit Maligne Lake and Canyon, take a boat trip to picturesque Spirit Island or explore one of the park's many scenic walking trails. This evening, you'll join a small group tour and head off into Jasper National Park in search of wildlife with your expert local Métis guide — keep your camera closer as you may encounter elk, moose, bald eagles, black bears and grizzly bears.

  • Drive four and a half hours (not including stops) south from Jasper, along the spectacular Icefields Parkway, to Canmore. There are many beautiful lakes and glaciers to admire en route, including Lake Louise and Castle Mountain.

  • Spend the day exploring Canmore and Banff National Park, which is just a few minutes' drive from the town. You could go white-water rafting on the Kananaskis River or join a guided caving trip deep within Grotto Mountain. The area has many walking trails, or you can take a relaxing stroll around the town.

  • This morning is free for last-minute shopping or sightseeing before your hour-and-a-half drive to Calgary Airport. Drop off your hire car before boarding your onward flight.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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The specialist who designs your trip to Canada will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Campbell River
Wells Gray Provincial Park

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