Surrounded by half-bare, scrub-covered, ochre hills, OSOYOOS (which comes from the Syilx’tsn word suius for “narrowing of the waters”) has one of Canada’s most curious landscapes. With a mere 25cm of rain per year, this is a bona fide desert, with lizards, cacti and snakes: 23 types of invertebrate are endemic. Temperatures are regularly 10°C higher than in Nelson, less than a morning’s drive away, which means exotic fruit like bananas and pomegranates can be grown, with the temperature also inspiring the odd adobe building around town. Its other great feature is Lake Osoyoos, Canada’s warmest freshwater lake, with an average summer temperature of 24°C. In summer it comes alive with swimmers and boaters while streams of RVs slow-tail their way northwards.

The relative lack of crowds and strange scenery might persuade you to do your beach-bumming in Osoyoos, though you may be pushed to find space in any of the town’s twenty or so hotels and motels during high season.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
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