Okanagan Region holiday highlights

Located to the north west of the Okanagan Valley is the city of Kamloops which sits at the confluence of the South and North Thompson River. Surrounded by grasslands, sandstone canyons and evergreen forests, the city and its surroundings are a favourite with visitors who love to get out and enjoy the outdoors – particularly golfers and with its proximity to Kamloops Lake, watersports enthusiasts. The summers here are sunny and relatively dry with low humidity again making it the perfect place to spend the majority of your time outdoors.

At the southern end of the Okanagan Valley, close to the border with the United States is the small city of Osoyoos which sits in Canada’s only official desert. In the summer you can enjoy the sun kissed beaches of Lake Osoyoos and the watersports that the city’s position on the lake affords. Hiking and cycling are also popular activities here and of course there are the surrounding wineries to visit – from large estates to small family-run vineyards. The winters in Osoyoos are short and compared to the rest of Canada, relatively mild.

Another city on the edge of a lake – the glistening Okanagan Lake – Kelowna, which is located approximately halfway up the valley, is another favourite with lovers of the outdoors. Sandy beaches close to the city are the perfect spot to spend long summer days and enjoy swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing and a variety of other water based activities. To the south of the city are numerous wineries producing highly rated varieties and a tour of, as well as a meal at a local vineyard, is a must while staying in Kelowna.

At the very north of the Okanagan Valley is the city of Vernon which sits close to three lakes and is surrounded by grasslands and pine forest covered rolling hills. During your time here you can enjoy the warm waters and beaches of Okanagana, Kalamalka and Swan Lakes, or even dive in the Ellison Provincial Park in the summer. Winter visitors will be in easy reach of Silver Star Mountain Resort which is open from late November to mid-April for skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, dogsledding and snowshoeing.

Okanagan Region key facts

Time difference

GMT -8 hours

Capital

Provincial capital: Victoria

Currency

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Flying time to destination

Vancouver: 9½ hours

Language

English is widely spoken all over Canada except Québec, which is bilingual (French-English).

Passport & visas

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) is now required for British citizens travelling to Canada, please speak to a Personal Travel Expert for details

Okanagan Region good to know

Tipping

Many Canadians in the service industry rely on tips to supplement their income. Tips or tax are not usually automatically added to a bill in Canada, but you should always check. Taxi drivers, hairdressers and waiters are generally given 10-15%. Bellhops, porters and doormen are generally paid Can$1 per item of luggage. It may be advisable to carry small change for this purpose. These figures are for guidance only and assume that service has been good.