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Self-Drive: West Coast Canada Wildlife Adventure

11 days from £2449 per person

Perfect for those seeking wild and wonderful animal encounters, with a hint of city culture; this thrilling self-drive journey explores Vancouver, and the best spots on Vancouver Island for wildlife viewing. After soaking up the friendly buzz and iconic attractions of Vancouver, you’ll hop on a ferry across the Strait of Georgia to begin your wildlife watching adventure. Much of Vancouver Island is protected parkland, but also home to quaint frontier towns, deliciously fresh seafood and plenty of friendly locals. From Campbell River you’ll soar high above the clouds as you fly to, and spend the night at, the remote Knight Inlet Lodge, an area of Western Canada which is home to a large concentration of grizzly bears living freely. As you criss-cross Vancouver Island you’ll travel through one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems: rainforests, oceans, rivers and lakes, which form the perfect platform for an abundance of wildlife species to live in natural habitats. From salmon fishing in Campbell River to whale watching and spotting sea lions in Tofino, all mixed in with the fresh sea air and impressive panoramic scenery.

Route: Vancouver – Campbell River – Knight Inlet Lodge – Tofino – Victoria - Vancouver

Itinerary Highlights

Take advantage of the diverse range of activities in Vancouver including whale-watching safaris, white-water rafting, bicycle tours and a renowned culinary scene just waiting to be explored.

Enjoy the spectacular wildlife watching opportunities at Knight Inlet Lodge, surrounded by the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in British Columbia.

Spot a wide variety of ocean wildlife off the coast of Tofino all year round, including seals, sea lions, sea otters and various species of whales.

Itinerary: Self-Drive: West Coast Canada Wildlife Adventure

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international flight to Vancouver. On arrival you will collect your hire car and drive to your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the city at your leisure. (N)
Accommodation in Vancouver: Ramada Vancouver Downtown (or similar)
Vancouver is a vibrant coastal hub that’s brimming with energy and oozes charisma. Enjoy your inclusive hop-on, hop-off city tour as you travel around the city, taking in the scenic sights and iconic attractions, including Stanley Park, the Vancouver Lookout and Granville Island. After a busy day of sightseeing, take respite at a local restaurant and enjoy a glass of British Columbian wine. (N)
Accommodation in Vancouver: Ramada Vancouver Downtown (or similar)
Today you’ll hop in the car and head to Horseshoe Bay, where you will take the ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. Take your time driving to Campbell Bay, passing by Nanaimo, the Harbour City and stopping off at Parksville where you can enjoy the golden sandy shores and gentle sea breeze. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic lunch to break up your journey. When you arrive at Campbell River, take a stroll along the pier and watch the anglers reeling for salmon, which the area is famous for. (N)
Accommodation in Campbell River: Comfort Inn & Suites (or similar)
Today you will leave your car behind as you take flight over untouched islands and mountain peaks until you reach the wild and remote Glendale Cove, accessible only by plane. Knight Inlet is a floating lodge that’s tucked into Glendale Cove, an area that is home to one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in British Columbia. During your stay all meals and drinks are included for you to enjoy. When you arrive you will receive a welcome orientation before embarking on a scenic river cruise and wildlife viewing tour in search of the grizzly bears living in their natural habitat. (N)
Accommodation: Knight Inlet Lodge (or similar)
You’ll rise early this morning and return to the bear viewing platform for one last chance to enjoy watching the bears as they get on with their morning routines. After, you will travel by floatplane back to Campbell River where you will collect your car and drive for about four hours to Tofino, an easy going frontier town located on the rugged West Coast. (N)
Accommodation in Tofino: Best Western Tin Wis Resort (or similar)
The beautiful Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is the source of many of Tofino’s activities. Here you can spot whales and sea lions off the shore, or join a boat tour to sail alongside them in the ocean. From steaming hot springs, surfing and sailing to climbing, caving and hiking, or just enjoying the town’s art & cultural scene; Tofino is bursting with a diverse range of activities for you to sink your teeth into this afternoon. (N)
Accommodation in Tofino: Best Western Tin Wis Resort (or similar)
You’ll drive around five hours, winding your way along the scenic Sutton Pass and through the Sawtooth range until you arrive at the charming town of Victoria. A popular spot to enjoy whale watching, home to many historic buildings and plenty of new experiences for you to discover. You might choose to take a walk around Buchart Gardens and admire the flowers in bloom, kayak around the small islets along Haro Strait or spend this evening at the symphony. (N)
Accommodation in Victoria: Best Western Carlton Plaza (or similar)
Today is free for you to continue to explore Victoria at your own leisure. You might choose to go for a couple of rounds of golf in the morning, followed by skiing in the afternoon, or head off on a whale watching tour in search of Orcas, humpback, minke and grey whales. (N)
Accommodation in Victoria: Best Western Carlton Plaza (or similar)
After one last stroll around the coastal island city, you’ll jump back in your car and drive around half an hour to Swartz Bay Terminal, where you will take the ferry across to Tsawwassen, and on to Vancouver. Take this afternoon to explore the parts of Vancouver you missed at the start of your trip, squeeze in the last of your souvenir shopping or go for an evening stroll along the harbour and enjoy a delightful dinner to mark your last evening of the holiday. (N)
Accommodation in Vancouver: Ramada Vancouver Downtown (or similar)
Enjoy spending this morning in Vancouver at your leisure. Later on you will drive to Vancouver International Airport where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. (N)
Today you will arrive back into the UK, where you will continue your journey home. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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