|Fort St. John||C$ 248|
|White Rock||C$ 41|
|Salmon Arm||C$ 236|
From the twin city jewels of Vancouver and Victoria in the southwest of the province to the wilderness that dominates much of its interior, British Columbia covers a vast area occupying the western end of Canada.
Although much of BC’s population inhabits the stretch along the border with the US – and most of that is concentrated along the western edge – there is certainly more to see and do than just Vancouver. Nevertheless, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where a trip to BC does not take in one of the world’s most livable cities.
Vancouver is nestled in the south-west corner of Canada and is bounded by the Pacific to the west and mountains to the north. To the east, stretch out the city’s many suburbs that also cover the short stretch of land to the south which gives way to the US border.
A short hop across the Strait of Georgia is Vancouver Island. Although ferries ply several routes connecting this vast island to the mainland, visitors who just can’t wait have the option to take a seaplane across. Once there, head to Victoria in the south, BC’s legislative capital and home to several attractions including historic buildings, museums and flower gardens.
Away from the two main cities, BC also features staggering scenery around its plentiful stretches of beach as well as rugged coastline, virgin forests and unspoiled lakes. So regardless of whether you want to ski or sail, hike or fish, eat or drink – BC has it all.
Search and compare: cheap flights to British Columbia
As can be expected of an area as large as that of BC, the climate here is varied. Areas along the coast boast the most temperate weather in Canada. The relatively warm Pacific Ocean ensures temperatures remain above freezing for much of the winters that plunge most of the rest of the country into a deep freeze.Further inland, a continental climate rules with warm summers and cold winters while the areas to the north of the province (but away from the coast) feature considerably cooler climes as the summers tend to be short and the winters harsh.The areas in the mountainous east of the province feature snowbound peaks that keep their white covering throughout the year.
There’s not really a bad time to take cheap flights to British Columbia. High season and off season really depends on what you are into. For the beaches, the summer months are, unsurprisingly, peak. For city trips, spring and fall are lovely times to visit. In the spring, the cherry blossom adds a splash of colour to the city streets and the weather is usually pretty good. In early fall, the foliage is stunning. The rains usually set in about November-time. September and October can sometimes have blazing sunshine – an Indian summer.
For skiers and snowboarders, the winter months are peak.
The weeks immediately following Christmas are usually a good time to seek discounted flights to British Columbia.
BC is very easy to get around. The type of transportation you take will depend on the type of visit you are making. If it’s a couple of days in Vancouver, SkyTrain and bus are the most economical ways of getting from A to B. The SeaBus is a memorable way of crossing the Burrard Inlet. Step on the bus at the SeaBus terminal, near Waterfront Station, and step off, 15 minutes later, at the Lonsdale Quay Public Market in North Vancouver.
If you wish to visit Vancouver Island, you’ll need to catch the ferry at Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay. BC Ferries also sail to the Northern Gulf Islands (if bound for Campbell River, Powell River or Comox), Southern Gulf Islands (for Gabriola, Salt Spring, Pender or Mayne islands), the Inside Passage (for the Queen Charlotte Islands or Prince Rupert) and the Discovery Coast Passage (summer service between Port Hardy and Mid-Coast ports Bella Bella, Shearwater, Klemtu, Ocean Falls and Bella Coola).
VIA Rail offers three routes in BC, all special sight-seeing trips. “The Canadian” is a three-day trip that links Vancouver and Toronto, via Kamloops, Clearwater, Valemount and Jasper, Alberta. “The Skeena” takes two days, and connects Jasper and Prince Rupert, via Prince George, Smithers and Terrace. “The Malahat” is a Vancouver Island route. It connects Victoria with Courtenay via Chemainus, Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
While your flights to British Columbia will likely touch down at Vancouver International Airport, there are several other airports around BC. These include: Abbotsford International Airport, Victoria International Airport on Vancouver Island, Kelowna International Airport in the Okanagan, Williams Lake Airport on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, and Prince George Airport in Northern BC. See our Airports section, below, for a full listing.
(prices quotes are from London)