The vine- and orchard-covered hills and warm-water lakes of the Okanagan, located in south-central BC, are in marked contrast to the rugged beauty of the region’s more mountainous interior, making the region not only one of Canada’s finest fruit-growing areas but also one of its most popular holiday destinations. Unless you want a resort beach holiday, you may want to avoid the crowds and bypass the area in summer. Three main centres – KelownaPenticton and Osoyoos, ranging from north to south along the hundred-kilometre-long Okanagan Lake – together contain the lion’s share of BC’s interior population. All have pretty ordinary downtown cores around which concrete, cars and unbridled construction thrive, along with an array of accommodation and tacky attractions. Things get more picturesque if you can slip away from the towns to the hills or lakeshore to quieter spots like Summerland.

The almost year-round lushness that makes this “the land of beaches, peaches, sunshine and wine” means that, in the relative peace of off-season, you can begin to experience the region’s considerable charms: fruit trees in blossom, quiet lakeside villages and wine tastings in local vineyards. You can also expect room rates to halve. Kelowna is the biggest and probably best base at any time of the year, but smaller Penticton arguably has the edge in summer when it has much more of a relaxed beach-resort vibe.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Twenty years ago the facades of the wood-built buildings in Lunenburg, a UNESCO-listed fishing town in Nova Scotia, were white with black trimming. The only exc…

29 Oct 2015 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month