Canada : Sunshine Coast

Walking Canada’s Sunshine Coast

Trip code: W08SC 4.7 (3 reviews)

Self-guided walking

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

21.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Reconnect with nature as you explore this captivating coastline at your own pace
  • Sweeping ocean vistas and woodland creeks with rare flora and fauna
  • Stay in remarkable waterfront retreats, surrounded by beauty and tranquillity
  • Add on a 5 night rail journey through the Rockies on the unforgettable Rocky Mountaineer
  • Add on 3 or 4 nights at the incredibly unique, Indigenous Klahoose Wilderness Resort

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Rental car for 9 days
  • Ferries as per itinerary (x4 included)

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Tucked into the southwest corner of mainland British Columbia, this 180km stretch of paradise is lovingly known as the Sunshine Coast. Only accessible by plane or boat, this extraordinary shoreline stretches from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound. You'll become immersed in vibrant communities, reconnect with nature, and enjoy spectacular scenery as you explore this inspiring coastline which remains under the radar - for now!

With rugged mountains bordering these beautiful inlets, on foot is truly the best way to uncover the Sunshine Coast's hidden gems. Walking trails are plentiful and incredibly varied, from majestic forests and mountains to sweeping ocean vistas, you're spoilt for choice. The area is rich with fauna and flora, home to black bears, cougars, and wolves, as well as many species of interesting plants, flowers, and berries.

Your accommodation is equally as unique and beautiful as the Sunshine Coast itself. Set in tranquil, waterfront locations, these remarkable resorts are fantastic hideaways, surrounded by nature and often with paddleboards or kayak rental should you wish to explore the nearby waters.

Add On - Rocky Mountaineer: See it on Youtube
Embark on an unforgettable rail journey through the spectacular Canadian Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer. Begin or end in Vancouver or Banff and visit Kamloops on this legendary 'First Passage to the West' adventure. You can choose between Silver Leaf or Gold Leaf Service which will also determine which high-quality hotels you'll stay in. Silver Leaf offers a single-level glass-dome coach, full glass-dome windows, outdoor viewing area, a delicious breakfast and lunch served in the comfort of your seat, and complimentary beverages and snacks. Gold Leaf offers a bi-level glass-dome coach, oversized glass-dome windows, a large, exclusive outdoor viewing platform, a gourmet breakfast and lunch served in a lower-level dining room, and complimentary beverages and snacks. A National Parks Pass is included with both Silver & Gold Leaf. Please see itinerary for more information.

Add On - Klahoose Wilderness Resort: See it on Youtube
This is a once in a lifetime experience like no other. Incredibly unique, Klahoose Wilderness Resort is an immersive, Indigenous cultural experience which reflects the Klahoose people's traditional values and explores the pristine region within the heart of Desolation Sound, British Columbia. Only accessible by boat or seaplane, this off-grid resort sits between the Coast Mountain Peaks of the Sunshine Coast and the Salish Sea, on the edge of BC's Great Bear Rainforest. Rich in diverse wildlife, you'll take part in immersive marine and terrestrial viewings to see Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Porpoises, Dolphins, Sealions, Seals, and Eagles. From late August to mid-October, you can also join Grizzly Bear viewing tours in Toba Inlet.

There are many other activities included in your stay: Guided Indigenous cultural activities and excursions, cedar weaving, sea kayaking, stand up-paddle boarding, ocean swimming, woodfire cedar sauna, rainforest nature walks, campfires and dark sky gazing, and ocean and forest foraging. You'll stay in a stunning waterfront lodge for 3 or 4 nights. Everything is included, accommodation in a lodge room or cabin, all meals, transfers, and activities. With a typical stay of around 12 guests, your experience is small and personal. Your friendly lodge hosts are local guides from the Klahoose Nation who take pride in providing an extremely personalised service as they welcome you into their traditional Klahoose Nation territory. Please see itinerary for more information.

Combine all three: Take the trip of a lifetime beginning with our 8-night walking tour of Walking Canada's Sunshine Coast', followed by a truly unique 3 or 4-night stay at Klahoose Wilderness Resort! Return to Vancouver to end with an unforgettable 5-night Rocky Mountaineer rail journey from Vancouver to Banff. We recommend returning home from Calgary airport (approx. 1.5hrs from Banff). Please enquire for prices.

Read more about this holiday in The Times ‘Top 24 of the World’s Best Walking Holidays’.

READ MORE

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Vancouver

Upon your arrival at Vancouver International Airport, you'll collect your rental car and drive to your first hotel in Vancouver to rest up before beginning your walking trip (approx. 30mins).

You stay at Fairmont Hotel.

hotel details

 equivalent

Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Cash machine
Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


This historical hotel is fondly known as the ‘castle in the city’ and has been combining luxury and elegance since 1939. Benefitting from a prime downtown location, the hotel is close to many local attractions and excellent restaurants. With an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and fitness centre, this hotel is a great place to rest before beginning your walking trip.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Around Gibsons, Sechelt & Roberts Creek

Drive to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal (approx. 20mins) for your ferry to Gibsons (45mins). Check in to your accommodation before heading out on your first Sunshine Coast walk. See our choice of walks below.

Choice of walks in Gibsons (2.7km/2km), Sechelt (8km/3km), and Roberts Creek (10.3km). Explore lush fern valleys, powerful waterfalls, mossy canyons, and alpine lakes across these incredibly varied walks.

You stay at Bonniebrook Lodge.

hotel details



Bonniebrook Lodge, Gibsons

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Tea/coffee


The historic Bonniebrook Lodge is a 4-story, 7 suite lodge sitting on stunning ocean front property. Chasters Restaurant, contained within the Lodge, offers the ultimate dining experience to lodge guests and locals on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of B.C.

Day 3: Mount Elphinstone Summit Trail (12.6KM)

Walk along Mount Elphinstone Summit Trail, one of the highest peaks on the lower Sunshine Coast. Through forest, you'll follow the coloured markers as you climb along the ridge with glimpses of Langdale creek down below. From the summit, you'll be rewarded with expansive views to Vancouver, Gibsons, Bowen Island, and much of Howe Sound.

Day 4: Around Gibsons, Sechelt & Roberts Creek

Choice of walks in Gibsons (2.7km/2km), Sechelt (8km/3km), and Roberts Creek (10.3km). Explore lush fern valleys, powerful waterfalls, mossy canyons, and alpine lakes across these incredibly varied walks.

Day 5: Madeira Park & Halfmoon Bay

Choice of walks in Madeira Park (1.8km/2.5km/4.4km) and Halfmoon Bay (4.2km/7.6km). Visit the rocky outcrop of Smugglers Cove, loop around a forest lake, or visit the Garden Bay Marine Provincial Park with a protected archaeological site.

You stay at Painted Boat Resort & Spa.

hotel details

 equivalent

Painted Boat Resort & Spa, Madeira Park

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Shops
Mastercard
Visa
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


Nestled in a tranquil waterfront setting surrounded by Douglas fir, red cedar, and Arbutus trees, these simple yet elegant villas each feature beautiful rooms, a large patio or balcony, BBQ, and a fully equipped kitchen. There’s a hot tub and infinity pool onsite, as well as a spa and serenity garden. The onsite Lagoon Restaurant is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, showcasing a casual coastal feel. Paddleboards and kayaks are available to rent from the hotel.

Room upgrades: Please contact us for details.

Day 6: Around Madeira Park & Egmont

Choice of walks in Madeira Park (1.8km/2.5km/4.4km) and Egmont (7.5km).

Embark on a scenic beach walk to a small lighthouse with an arbutus tree grove or take a forested walk to a rocky outcrop with views of the changing tidal waters, creating unique rapids and whirlpools.

Day 7: Around Powell River

Take the ferry from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay (1h), then drive to Powell River (approx. 30mins).

After arriving on the ferry, we'd recommend a favourite walk amongst Powell River locals. As part of the renowned Sunshine Coast Trail, this relatively easy trail follows the riverbed and Appleton Creek to an iconic hut and lake with waterfalls and charming bridges along the way (7km).

You stay at Desolation Sound.

hotel details

 equivalent

Desolation Sound, Powell River

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
Tea/coffee


Located in the beautiful Okeover Inlet, these unique, local-crafted wooden chalets sit beautifully on the waterfront. Each has a fully equipped kitchen, private deck, and steps down to the water, all with unparalleled scenery. Complimentary kayaks and canoes are available for all guests.

Day 8: Around Powell River

Choice of walks in Powell River (14.5km/18.3km). Enjoy a gentle trail through the forest with spots to swim or embark on a longer trail up Tin Hat Mountain to an iconic viewpoint and hut that sits at the halfway point of the Sunshine Coast long-distance trail. Tin Hat Hut is a stunning 360° mountain-top lookout with views that define the Powell River experience.

Day 9: Around Lund. Return to Gibsons & Vancouver

Choice of walks in Lund (4.5km/8.7km/10.4km). Wind your way through vibrant forest with views of Okeover Inlet and the Salish Sea. Another walk takes you to the mossy rainforest of Malaspina Provincial Park and Wednesday Lake or follow a picturesque trail along the coastal bluffs of Hurtado Bay.

Take two ferries before driving back to Vancouver International Airport to return your rental car and fly home. Alternatively, you can add on one of our incredible optional extensions as below.

You stay at Rocky Mountaineer/Klahoose Wilderness Resort.

hotel details

 equivalent

Rocky Mountaineer/Klahoose Wilderness Resort,



Day 10: Optional Extensions - Klahoose Wilderness Resort and/or Rocky Mountaineer

Klahoose Wilderness Resort: Add on 3 or 4 nights at the incredibly unique, Klahoose Wilderness Resort. This is a once in a lifetime Indigenous cultural experience, reflecting the Klahoose people's traditional values and exploring the diverse wildlife of Desolation Sound. Please enquire for prices.

This is the perfect add-on to our 8-night trip - 'Walking Canada's Sunshine Coast'. Ending in Desolation Sound Resort, it's a short 10min drive to Lund port where you're met by a Klahoose representative for your boat transfer to the resort (included - approx. 1hr); you can leave your hire car at Lund port (paid locally - approx. $10per day).

Rocky Mountaineer: Add on a 5 night rail journey through the Rockies with the unforgettable Rocky Mountaineer. Begin or end in Vancouver or Banff and visit Kamloops on this legendary 'First Passage to the West' adventure. Please enquire for prices.

Day 1 - Arrive in Vancouver. Explore Stanley Park, take a small ferry to Granville Island or simply wander around this scenic, coastal city.

Day 11: Optional Extension - Rocky Mountaineer

Day 2 - Enjoy the day with free time to relax or book your own activities at your leisure. Vancouver has activities for all interests, including visiting historic Gastown or dining in lively Yaletown. No matter what you choose to do, the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean surround you.

Day 12: Optional Extension - Rocky Mountaineer

Day 3 - Travel onboard Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Kamloops, located in the heart of British Columbia. You'll see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of Fraser Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Cascade Mountains, to the desert-like landscapes of BC interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell's Gate and the steep slopes of Thompson River.

Day 13: Optional Extension - Rocky Mountaineer

Day 4 - Continue east towards the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Cross rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Rockies. Today's highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the iconic glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Day 14: Optional Extension - Rocky Mountaineer

Day 5 - Enjoy a free day in Banff where you can take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, relax in the hot springs, or book an excursion into the great outdoors.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £786.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £786.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Vancouver International with Air Canada
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Add an unforgettable 5 night rail journey with Rocky Mountaineer
  • Add on 3 or 4 nights at the Indigenous Klahoose Wilderness Resort
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights
Out: Air Canada London Heathrow to Vancouver International Airport, then collect rental car to drive to first hotel (approx. 30 minutes).

Return: Take two ferries, then drive to Vancouver International Airport to return rental car. Air Canada Vancouver International to London Heathrow.

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

The Headwater team are just great. From the local teams to the UK booking teams, the end result is an amazing holiday. We have used Headwater before, and ONLY go back to them. They can be trusted to give you a most valuable life experience and memories, each and every time, almost anywhere in the world.



Nicholas Thomas, 2 Jun 2024

 

We had a wonderful time Vancouver, a lovely city and in the ebautiful Sunshine Coast of Canada. The walks were splendid and apart from some difficulties, the instructions were good. The Rocky Mountaineer was a very good experience.

Kevan Thorley, 11 Jul 2023

 

Overall the holiday was very enjoyable and the accommodation excellent (helped by a complimentary upgrade at Madeira Park!) The breakfast situation needs a bit more thought. At Shades of Jade, the breakfasts were excellent, but not so in he two other resorts. At Madeira Park we had no cereals, but did have a litre of milk, which went mainly unused. At Desolation Sound, we had neither bread nor cereals (we had to go and buy bread ourselves). Fruit and juices were plentiful at all three locations.

ULLMANN, 18 Jun 2023

 


Self-guided walking

8 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

21.0Kg CO2e

Headwater
Navigation App

8 nights from £2669

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199