Canadian Rockies & Vancouver
The western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia are draped in spectacular natural riches. On this 14-day Canadian Rockies tour, you’ll twist along the highs and lows of the vast landscape through sweeping scenery, mighty mountains, deep forests and pristine lakes and rivers. We contrast the natural landscapes with city stays, too, spending time in Vancouver and Victoria. You’ll soon realise it was more than the promise of gold that tempted settlers here during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s…
- Banff & Jasper National Parks
- Icefields Parkway
Calgary - Banff National Park
Take a direct flight to Calgary. On arrival, we transfer to the little town of Banff - surely one of the loveliest in North America. This small town is the launching point for world-famous Banff National Park, home to an untamed wilderness. Rugged mountaintops, glistening lakes, thick forests and elusive wildlife. It’s the stuff that inspires novels and painters. This evening you’re free to enjoy your hotel and explore the surrounding area.
Banff National Park - Lake Louise
We head out on a day of scenic delights are we explore the town’s surrounds and its two famous lakes: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise (the latter named after Queen Victoria’s daughter). These glassy lakes are filled by waterfalls and flash shades of deep emerald and bright turquoise, reflecting the mountain peaks towering overhead.
Banff National Park
Today you can enjoy Banff completely at leisure. On the outskirts of town is Sulphur Mountain, with its enclosed gondola ride to the 7,500ft summit from where there are some breathtaking views of the Bow Valley and Banff town below.
Columbia Icefields Parkway - Jasper National Park
You’ll want to keep your camera within reach this morning as we journey to Jasper National Park from Banff National Park by way of the Icefields Parkway. This stunningly scenic road links the two great parks, and for over 140 miles we’ll wind through jagged mountain peaks and high forested valleys, passing emerald lakes and mountain-fed streams, waterfalls and rivers. The halfway point is the spectacular Columbia Icefield, one of the biggest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle. We’ll jump on an Ice Explorer for a ride on the surface of the Athabasca Glacier (subject to weather). Then, heading west, we enter Jasper National Park - 4,200 square miles of alpine forests, natural hot springs, white-water rivers, tranquil valleys and jagged snow-capped mountains.
Jasper National Park
Head out today for an unforgettable sightseeing journey. Beginning with the limestone gorge of Maligne Canyon, we’ll continue along the shores of Medicine Lake and on to the breathtaking Maligne Lake - the largest of the glacier-fed lakes in the Rockies. It really is a sight to behold. We arrive back in Jasper in the afternoon, where you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself. We’ll finish off this evening with an interpretative talk at dinner.
Jasper National Park - Kelowna
A spectacular drive this morning as we leave the Rocky Mountains and descend to the lakes of the Okanagan Valley and our next destination, Kelowna.
Kelowna - Victoria
Leaving Kelowna behind this morning, we take the twisting scenic valley route to Hope. We continue on our drive south through Vancouver to Tsawwassen, to take the ferry through the glorious Gulf Islands region with towering Douglas fir trees climbing the hills on all sides, to Swartz Bay. We continue to the southern-most tip of Vancouver Island and Victoria, the provincial capital of British Columbia.
Victoria is perhaps the most British city you’ll find outside of London. Double-decker buses drive past old ‘English’ pubs and afternoon tea is a thing. It’s true Victoria has a very British lilt, but these days it’s a city completely of its own. Laid-back lower rises give way to the pretty ports and sprawling gardens of this charming city. We’ll enjoy a morning city tour, where we’ll stop by the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Then this afternoon is at leisure to get to know the city for yourself.
A further day in this enchanting city for you to relax and explore at leisure.
Victoria - Vancouver
Leaving Victoria behind this morning, we drive to Nanaimo, a deep sea fishing port and major centre for the forest industry, where we take the spectacular ferry crossing through the Strait of Georgia to Horseshoe Bay. A feeding ground for whales, dolphins, sea lions and birds, the Strait of Georgia is a paradise of small islands with beach-front houses and towering fir trees, some as much as 600 years old. We dock at Horseshoe Bay, and continue on our journey to central Vancouver.
Vancouver is considered by many to have one of the most spectacular settings in the world - in the foreground the encircling Pacific Ocean and, as a backdrop, the grandeur of Grouse Mountain. For natural beauty, there is the 1,000-acre Stanley Park, the largest urban park in North America. It is Vancouver’s green heart - a wilderness area of forest, marshland and beaches. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, the park houses the aquarium. For excitement and variety, Chinatown, centred on Pender Street, is a city apart. Vancouver’s 100,000 Chinese are expected soon to surpass San Francisco’s as the largest community outside the Far East. Shops, hotels, markets and restaurants along with incessant activity combine to create a vibrant atmosphere. The Gastown area of the city is distinguished by cobbled walkways, gas lamps, quaint shops and restaurants. As an introduction to this fabulous city we have arranged a short orientation tour; then you’re free to discover its wonders for yourself. This afternoon we offer you the opportunity for an optional excursion to Capilano Suspension Bridge.
A relaxing free day to further enjoy Vancouver as you please. Perhaps discover some of the 9,000 marine and freshwater animals at the aquarium in Stanley Park - the Classical Chinese Garden here is a replica from the Ming Dynasty and the only one of its kind outside China. For a local taste of the city, head to Granville Island, a friendly and easy-going spot alive with shops, markets, galleries and a marina. Or, if you’re looking for a spot of relaxation, Kitsilano Beach is your best bet, with views out over English Bay towards Stanley Park. Sit outside one of its idyllic cafes and watch the world go by.
Vancouver & Home
Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
- Professional tour manager for the duration of the trip
- Deluxe air-conditioned motor-coach
- Standard accommodation throughout
- 2 meals (1 breakfast, 1 dinner)
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required)
- Sightseeing as specified
Various departure dates from May to September 2021 - call us for an up-to-date list.