Surfer Vancouver

Fun and excitement in a sports paradise!

Jogger Park
Flying geese

Running: around the skyline and in the middle of the wilderness

“Just don’t forget your running shoes!” You often get this tip when travelling to the metropolis on the west coast of Canada. The harbour city is located spectacularly on the Pacific Ocean, a city of skyscrapers surrounded by sea and mountains. Without question, the laps around Stanley Park, the seventeen-mile-long Seawall along the coast or False Creek could hardly be more spectacular – here you can wind your way around the bays through fantastic nature. The shorter routes at Kitsilano Beach or Beaver Lake also bring runners within view of Canada geese and snowy owls. It is the proximity to nature that makes almost all Vancouverites so sporty. This also applies to cycling and skating: the tarmac paths offer enough space for everyone.

Hiker during rain

Cross-country running: on endless wooded paths

Those who like to explore nature on bumpy trails and prefer to run over hill and dale will find the most beautiful challenges just a few minutes from the city centre of Vancouver. In West Dyke in the south, the run begins in Steveston Village via Garry Point Park on the unpaved West Dyke Trail with views of the water. At Pacific Spirit Regional Park, there is an extensive network of forest trails, a total of 73 kilometres of trails that are interconnected. In Vancouver, runners can expect a climate that is damp and cool in winter and wonderfully mild and sunny in summer. There is a good bus and light rail system for transport, making the trip very convenient.


Skiing and snowboarding: take the elevated railway to the slopes

People with skis or snowboards on their backs are just as much a part of the Vancouver cityscape as those with leggings and running shoes. Want to get on your skis in the afternoon? That’s not a problem in Vancouver! Alpine and cross-country skiers only need a few minutes on the Skytrain, the local elevated railway, from the city centre to the ski lifts. The season here usually lasts from November to the end of April, and skiing on the Horstman Glacier, which is part of the Whistler-Blackcomb ski area, even continues until the end of July. It takes less than two hours from the city centre via the “Sea-To-Sky” highway to the ski resort, where the alpine competitions of the 2010 Winter Olympics were held.

Ski slope
Winter Olympics

Ski cross and freestyle: in a half-hour on the halfpipe

Skiers can quickly get on their skis at Cypress Mountain – just 45 minutes from the city centre. In 2010, the Cypress Bowl hosted the Olympic ski and snowboard freestyle competitions. The small ski area on Mount Seymor is the new Dorado for freestylers. The first halfpipe was built here back in 1990. There are currently a total of four parks with 30 features from S to XL on “corks” where you can try out screw jumps and rail slides: the Pit Terrain Park is for experts, while beginners can make their first jib attempts in the Mushroom Park.

Sunset ski slope and view of the city
Horses in snow

Cross-country skiing: sea views and a longing for the forest

Ski fans who are used to skiing in the Alps almost always choose between alpine skiing or cross-country skiing in the valley. This choice is superfluous in Vancouver! Around the mountain station of Grouse Mountain, you can go ice skating, snowshoeing, on horse-drawn sleigh rides or cross-country skiing – always with a phenomenal view of the ocean to the west. Further in this direction, on Vancouver Island, you can see Mount Washington, one of the snowiest ski resorts in Canada. The Raven Lodge cross-country ski centre offers 55 kilometres of trails in Strathcona Provincial Park, and 22 kilometres of trails are available for snowshoeing. The mountain top offers a fantastic view over the Strait of Georgia.

Kajak and SUP

Kayaking and more – close to the ocean

A city on the water is always tempting for boating enthusiasts. In Vancouver, the temptations are almost endless. In Cole Harbour, at the foot of the downtown skyline, stand-up paddlers and kayakers venture out onto the water. Throughout the day, yoga or Pilates enthusiasts are out and about individually or in small groups, balancing the atlas on the swaying board, an exercise with one leg and one arm for support. At Cole Harbour or English Bay, kayaks launch into the open sea to glide through the bays and see the sea animals up close: many bird species, seals, sea lions and whale species such as dolphins and orcas.

Forest Mountainbike

Mountain biking: over rocks and through the forest with power

For mountain bikers, the Whistler Bike Park is the first port of call. The route network in British Columbia extends across many wilderness areas, but real locals are drawn further east. Near Invermere is the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, where after the Whistler Bike Park, the second-longest downhill run with gondola access has been created. At the top, the trails are rough and rocky, while further down in the valley, the paths wind their way over scree fields and through forest wilderness. Along the way, there are stunning views across the Columbia River valley to the Rocky Mountains. Almost everywhere, the “enduro riders”, as the cross-country and downhill riders call themselves, can rely on shuttle pick-ups to carry their bikes to the most remote trails.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey: a national sport on every icy surface

“Don’t forget your ice hockey boots!” A welcome tip for sports enthusiasts travelling to Canada, at least during the eight “winter months”. On every frozen water surface, someone has cleared a playing field out of the snow and built a goal – extra players are always welcome. It’s also worth watching the teams from Vancouver. Two teams play there: the NHL professionals of the Vancouver Canucks play their home games in the Rogers Arena in the centre of the city, while the games of the Vancouver Giants junior team take place in the Langleys Events Centre, where tickets are cheaper. The spectators also provide an experience: the cheering of enthusiastic ice hockey fans in all the arenas is absolutely thrilling. The season runs from September to April.

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