Okanagan and Interior of British Columbia Self Drive

Town of Nelson in the Interior of British Columbia
Home  >  7 Day Okanagan & the Kootenays


Vancouver, Penticton, Nelson, BC, Fernie, BC,...
British Columbia’s untamed nature speaks to the soul. BC’s vast landscape inspires introspective personal journeys and unbridled adventures in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle. The Okanagan Valley, set in British Columbia’s wine country, is home to good food and drink as well as golfing, skiing and boating on the lake. Go wine or cider tasting, shop at an orchard fruit stand, cycle, hike, or hike. The Kootenay Country is characterized by enormous snowy peaks, clear lakes, and waterfalls. This mountain playground in southeastern British Columbia, is where visitors can expect backcountry adventures, endless single-track mountain bike trails, mineral hot springs, and small towns with vibrant arts and culture scenes.
Start Location: Vancouver End Location: Calgary
  • British Columbia’s scenic Fraser Valley with its farm shops
  • Manning Park and the Similkameen Valley
  • The Okanagan Valley - orchards, vineyards and sand beaches
  • Visit the historic town of Nelson on Kootenay Lake
  • Fernie and the BC Rockies
  • Calgary’s vibrant city scene
Day 1: Vancouver – Penticton (4½ hours)

Travel east along Canada’s Highway 1, the oft-travelled Trans Canada Highway, through the scenic Fraser Valley and quickly escape the city to a place of family-run farms near Abbotsford, towering mountains and waterfalls beside the road. Taking the less-hurried route through Highway 3 and 97, you can explore vast nature, Indigenous experiences, and unexpected wine tours along the way. In Manning Park Resort, tall trees line the lakeside and wilderness campsites, nature trails abound, and cozy cabins are peppered throughout. Manning Park is an ideal spot for year round night sky watching and photography. Drive through the Similkameen region and while this valley may not receive the same hype as its sizable Okanagan neighbour, the Similkameen is a charming, bucolic place of orchards, ranches, and lesser-known wineries. Penticton and Wine Country is a warm and welcoming lakeside community, bounded by forested ridges and clay bank cliffs. The wine country and rich agricultural lands provide fresh ingredients for local menus, making this a growing food and wine destination with an abundance of urban attractions for culturally-minded visitors.
Overnight: Penticton
Day 2: Okanagan sightseeing

On Okanagan Lake’s west shore is Penticton and not too distant, on the e east shore, is Kelowna, both are sun-kissed, easygoing towns surrounded by vineyards. Penticton is one of just two cities in the world situated between two lakes. Okanagan and Skaha beaches feature nearly 15 acres of sandy beach and swimming areas. There are over 80 wineries in the Penticton area, 6 craft breweries, 1 cidery and 3 distilleries, all within easy walking or biking distance of the downtown core.
Overnight: Penticton
Day 3: Penticton - Nelson (4.5 hours)

Leave Penticton and take a scenic drive to Nelson. On the shores of Kootenay Lake’s West Arm, centrally located between Vancouver and Calgary, the Greater Nelson has a growing population of 18,000. This Heritage City features a quaint heritage downtown with 300-plus restored heritage homes, businesses and churches. The town also boast of 50 restaurants and cafes, in fact more per capita than San Francisco, many with outdoor seasonal patios.
Overnight: Nelson, BC
Day 4: Nelson

A small city with a big personality, Nelson (population 9,804) is situated on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains. People come here for the alpine skiing, nordic skiing, cat-skiing, mountain biking, hiking, boating, rafting and golf, and for the most active arts and culture scene in the Kootenay Rockies. Home to an eclectic mix of old Nelson families and urban refugees, this vibrant Victorian town also boasts hundreds of well-preserved heritage buildings, a crazy number of good restaurants, bustling coffee shops, retail stores, and no shortage of sidewalk cafes. Downtown is inviting, compact, walkable, and packed with unique, boutique style stores that reflect the diversity of the community. Within just a few blocks, find everything from natural foods to high-quality clothing, with a whole lot of outdoor gear in between.
Overnight: Nelson, BC
Day 5: Nelson - Fernie (4 hours)

Continue your drive east to the alpine town of Fernie, where small town charm meets adventure in the heart of the Rockies. Fernie is a historic mountain town founded in 1898 and is completely surrounded by the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Overnight: Fernie, BC
Day 6: Fernie

Fernie Alpine Resort is the base camp to numerous exhilarating summer activities. At the resort there is an Aerial Park, which is an exhilarating rope course 18 metres off the ground. Finish off by zip lining your way to the base area. Mountain biking in Fernie offers some of the best cross-country, downhill, single-track and dual slalom trails with and without chairlift access. For hikers and sightseers, whether they choose to take the scenic chairlift, or hike to the top - there will be a fantastic view waiting. Stop for lunch at the Lost Boys' Cafe and soak in wilderness.
Overnight: Fernie, BC
Day 7: Fernie – Calgary (3 hours)

Drive through the breath-taking Canadian Rockies to Calgary, the largest city in the western Canadian province of Alberta. While you are here, take some time to explore the award-winning architectural masterpiece of Calgary’s Public Library, walk along the scenic Bow Valley River pathways or experience the buzz of downtown Stephen Avenue with its stores and restaurants. Calgary’s dining scene is incredibly diverse and absolutely the best in western Canada.
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Applicable taxes vary depending on travel destination and are not included. Please ask your sales agent what extra taxes will be payable for your tour.

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  • 6 nights of accommodation
  • 7 Day mid-size car rental including unlimited kilometres (special conditions apply)
  • Items (attractions and sightseeing & entrance fees) not listed as included in the itinerary
  • Airfare unless specified as included within the itinerary
  • Taxes as applicable
  • Travel Insurance and Cancellation Protection (strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)
  • Gratuities for Local Guides, Tour Managers, and/or Bus Drivers
  • Meals not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary


Why Take A Custom Tour?

Private & Customizable You can see what you want, when you want, how you want. A trip that's perfectly timed and well organized.
Unique Experience Experiences that help you take in the region in a different way. Can combine your trip with our group tours. Advice to help you get the most out of your trip.
Freedom to Explore Time to enjoy and take in each place. Add days in places you want to explore. Do only the activities you want to do.
Can't find what you're looking for? Our specialists can take away the stress and create a custom trip tailored to your exact interests and budget.
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Custom Trip Plans You can see what you want, when you want, how you want.
Unique Experiences Experiences that help you take in the region in a different way.
Freedom To Explore Time to take in each place with only the tours you want to do.
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Booking & Flight Questions

Do you arrange airport transfers?

Yes! We can certainly assist with booking airport transfers for you! Some tours have airport transfers included already. Please inquire for further information and pricing.

Can you assist with booking additional accommodation?

Yes! We can certainly assist with booking additional nights of accommodation for you before and/or after your fully escorted tour! Please inquire for further information and pricing.

Can you assist with booking flights?

Yes! We can certainly assist with booking your flights for you! We do not recommend you book any flights until you receive your booking confirmation directly from Anderson Vacations Tours, as some tours are not pre-guaranteed. Please inquire for further information and pricing.

Is it possible to book a triple share accommodation?

Yes, it is possible to book triple share accommodations on select trips. Please inquire about this option, as pricing may also vary and it will be subject to availability.

Can we book this tour with our exclusive group?

Anderson Vacations Tours can work with private groups to customize a tour to your needs. Please inquire for further information and pricing.
Tour Questions

What is the average age of passengers for this tour?

Our tours are suitable for all age demographics. The average age of travelers is typically 45+

I am a solo traveler. Is there a single surcharge?

There are options for single travelers to join most tours. Solo Travelers can choose to pay the single supplement and have their own room throughout the tour. For those willing to share, we also have a Twin Share option that is offered for the majority of our tours. This means you will be sharing the hotel rooms with another single, same gender traveller who also books the Twin Share option. If this is the case, there will be no single supplement charged to either of you. If we are unable to match you with another Twin Share traveler, there may be a single surcharge applied to cover the full cost of the rooms on some of our longer tours. Please enquire before finalizing your booking for full details.

How physically demanding is this tour? Are you able to accommodate people with mobility restrictions/limitations?

This tour has a low level of physical demand, although there may be some activities or sightseeing tours that require walking short distances. Please inquire if you have any mobility restrictions before completing your booking to ensure this tour is right for you.

How much luggage should I bring?

Each passenger may bring one large suitcase and one carry-on bag. The weight limit for this suitcase is 32 kilograms/60 pounds. Baggage handling is provided at the hotels in our tour packages. Please advise our reservations staff if you will be bringing additional items such as a cane, walker or wheelchair. You may also bring one small soft-sided carry-on bag, which should easily fit into the overhead shelf of the coach. Each person is responsible for his/her own carryon luggage. Remember to check your airline baggage restrictions if you are flying, as they may differ from Anderson Vacations Tours guidelines.

What is your recommended spending amount for non-included meals?

The suggested allowance for non-included meals is $40.00 — $60.00 CAD per day (includes tipping).

Can you accommodate passengers with dietary restrictions (food allergies, vegan, vegetarian etc.)?

Yes! There are many meals included on our fully escorted tours. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking so we can ensure there are alternative meal choices and arrangements made for you.

Are gratuities included in the tour cost?

For your convenience, gratuities for local guides and meals stated on the itinerary are included in the price of the tour. For meals not included in your tour package please remember that it is customary to tip your server 15-20% in North America. Gratuities for your Motorcoach Driver and Tour Director are left to your discretion. We recommend $4.00 - $5.00 CAD per person, per day for your Motorcoach Driver and $6.00 - $7.00 CAD per person, per day for your Tour Director. if you can't find your


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The style our travellers have enjoyed for over 20 years, these tours feature inclusive itineraries to popular destinations including the 'must see' sites and attractions. Led by an expert Tour Leader, you will enjoy comfortable accommodation, and coach transport throughout the journey.

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These tours are defined by their incomparably unique itineraries, featuring 'off the beaten path' destinations and immersive experiences. An intimate group size allows us to stay in smaller, centrally located, unique and boutique style inns, lodges and hotels, utilize traditional local transportation and dive deep into each destination's local culture and traditions.

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These travel experiences are fully customizable to better fit your needs. Every itinerary is created based on your comfort level, accommodation choices, and personal interests. Whether you are looking for a rail adventure, self drive holiday, unique experiences, or a short city stay our team will work with you on combining accommodation, transportation, and activities based on your preferences to create the perfect itinerary for you.

Click Icon to Read More.

These travel experiences are fully customizable to better fit your needs. Every itinerary is created based on your comfort level, accommodation choices, and personal interests. Whether you are looking for a rail adventure, self drive holiday, unique experiences, or a short city stay our team will work with you on combining accommodation, transportation, and activities based on your preferences to create the perfect itinerary for you.

Click Icon to Read More.