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Okanagan Valley, The wine country of Canada

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

There is more the enough reasons for everyone to visit the Okanagan region. If you love wine, hiking, amazing food and not to forget a beautiful scenery, the Okanagan Valley is a must visit. I had the opportunity to spend 4 days from Kelowna to Osoyoos and I will share to you all my experience and recommendations so you can enjoy your time in the Okanagan Valley to the fullest.

The most common and easiest way to arrive will be from Kelowna airport (YLW), very small airport but well organized. I strongly recommend renting a car, you will save so much time traveling from one place to another. If you travel during the winter months i would consider a 4x4 otherwise any other vehicles will do the job. From there head towards your accomodation and get ready to start you day. If you havent booked your accomodations yet, i will post a link of all my recommendations for all types of budgets.

To start with your To Do list, visit Myra Bellevue Provincial Park, 30minutes from downtown Kelowna. You can drive all the way to the top of the mountain to the free parking and then decide if you want to rent a bicycle (40$) or walk (free). If you decide to rent a bike, you will have the chance to explore all 25km of the trail. We decided to walk and enjoy the scenery of all the trenches, tunnels and canyon views. I recommend spending half a day in the park, this will give you plenty of time to take pictures and enjoy being in the nature.

What better way to finish off a first day with some wine, with so many wineries it could be difficult to decide which one to visit. All the wineries that i had the chance to visit had a little something that the other didn't have, which is the case with Martins Lane Winery. Its less known to tourists but one that I would definitely recommend. As soon as you arrive, it feels like you are having a VIP tour around their estate. Their architecture is modern and impressive unlike any other estate that I visited and their pinot noir is delicious.

I also had the opportunity to visit other wineries but I will give you a quick personal opinion of each one, in case you decide to visit them.

Mission Hill Family Estate: Behind closed doors tour gives you the opportunity to visit their winery, their amazing cave and get some wine/food pairing at the end. Highly recommend, beautiful estate, lots of historical knowledge and an amazing cellar.

Culmina Family Estate Winery: Generally good experience, 10$ wine tasting fee that can be waived with purchase of wine but no vineyard tour.

Checkmate Artisanal Winery: Fairly new estate which was still under construction in September 2020. A 35$ tasting fee but you have the opportunity to try all their amazing wines. If you are a fan of chardonnay you will be delighted, one of the best chardonnay I tried.

Martins Lane Winery: Modern architecture and a beautiful estate. 100$ tour fee that will be waived with purchase of wine, which will be well worth it, their pinot noir is delicious. We had a very good experience, I would highly recommend.

If you rented a car, a day trip to Osoyoos would be a great idea. The drive is only 1h45 south, you will be able to enjoy to scenary of the Okanagan Valley all the way down to Osoyoos. you will notice a lot of orchard, peaches and vineyard along th way, which makes the trip even better. When you arrive to Osoyoos, there arent as many things to do as Kelowna but it still a very beuatiful place to visit. The weather is warm, nice beaches, more wine and some interesting hikes. One of the most interesting activity we did in Osoyoos was hiking Mount Kobau. The trail only is only 10mins from city center and on the way you can stop a view the famous Spotted Lake, take a quick picture and head back on the road because it's a long way up. As soon as you reach the trail, you will drive a little more than 1hour to reach the top of Mount Kobau, with lots of cows on the way. As soon you reach the top you will arrive at the parking lot and you can start your hiking. It gets pretty cold on top so don't forget to bring an extra jacket if you can. You have a nice variety of hiking trails but we only did one since we were tight on time but the view was amazing. You can see the whole Osoyoos Lake and the city from the top. Definitely one of the best pictures we took from our trip. It should be in your bucket list for your future visit.

There is probably so much more things to do in the area but we will have to come back eventually. One very useful tip that i can offer to anyone traveling to the Okanagan Valley, is Reserve. If your going to the restaurant, make a reservation, if you want to go wine tasting or tour, make a reservation. It wouldve been impossible for us to visit the wineries if we havent reserved beforehand. Even for restaurants, sometimes we had to wait for 1hour to get a table. I had a great experience and i would definitly come back one day to the Wine Country of Canada.

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