Vancouver and Vancouver Island
The city of Vancouver is a place to admire for its beautiful scenery and landscape. Whether you are all about extreme sports, nature experiences, city exploring or building up your tan on the beach, Vancouver has it all. Vancouver is actually one of the few places in the world where you can go skiing in the morning and sailing in the evening.
Surrounding Vancouver is Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain. Especially the latter, is an extremely popular tourist spot during both winter and summertime. In winter, the mountain offers great skiing facilities, perfect for one-day skiing trips. In summer, many people make use of the popular Grouse Grind hiking trail, which leads right to the top of the mountain. On the mountaintop, you get to see black bears, lumberjack shows and a beautiful view over Vancouver.
Vancouver Island is located just west of the Canadian west coast. A small ride by ferry or water plane from Vancouver, will take you to Victoria the capital of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
In Victoria you will find many historic buildings including the British Columbia Parliament building dating back to 1897, and the Empress Hotel, which opened in 1908. Victoria also has the second oldest Chinatown in North America.
Travelling across the island from Victoria to Nanaimo to Tofino, also known as the surfer’s paradise, is quite a sight and takes about a day by car. The beautiful mountainous landscape remains imprinted in your head long after the journey.
Whistler is a town located in the Coast Mountains just a two-hour drive north of Vancouver. It is a hugely popular tourist destination and also the host of most of the Olympic events during the Winter Olympics in 2010. It has been ranked the number one mountain resort in North America.
If you are into skiing and snowboarding, there is simply no better place to go. The town has more than 200 shops and 90 restaurants and bars. In summer, Whistler turns from a huge snow mecca into an action packed sports area of endless possibilities. Try out one of the four championship golf courses, rent a mountain bike and ride it in possibly the best mountain bike park in the world. Or put on your hiking boots and walk along one of the many hiking trails up into the mountains, zip line between the mountain peaks and end the day by bungee jumping over the Cheakamus River. Whistler is a year-round dreamland for every sport- and wildlife enthusiast.
Lake Louise is possibly one of the most breathtaking mountain scenes in the world. The lake has become symbolic for Canadian scenery and is especially known for its sparkling blue water. Rent a canoe and set out on the lake to experience the glaciers up close and have a taste of the water, which is actually drinkable. It is definitely a place worth seeing, and if you are there, take a trip to the nearby town of Banff.
Banff is a town located in Alberta approximately 60 km from Lake Louise. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, and with good reason. It is known for its stunning surroundings and hot springs. Surrounding the town are Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mount Norquay and Cascade Mountain, all of which offer great possibilities for hiking and biking, but watch out for wild bears who roam in the area.
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