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Your flight from London gets in at Calgary just after midday. You’ll pick up your hire car from the airport and make your way to the world-famous resort town of Banff. There is no place better to begin your Canadian adventure than in this region of turquoise lakes, alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains – 25 of which rise over 3,000 metres.
You’ll be staying just a stone’s throw from the heart of downtown Banff, within easy reach of the wondrous Banff National Park where days can be spent mountain hiking to impressive glaciers, horseback riding and white water rafting along the Bow River whilst keeping an eye out for elk, osprey and beavers.
Stay: Two nights in a One Rooftop One Bed Suite at The Moose Hotel & Suites – room only
Today you will head to Moraine Lake Lodge, spectacularly set in a valley on the banks of the beautiful Moraine Lake. A cosy, log-cabin style retreat, the lodge provides breathtaking views of the lake’s turquoise waters, as well as being a fantastic base for hikes and canoeing excursions.
The nearby waters of Lake Louise are an astonishing aqua blue and amazingly photogenic. The quaint hamlet of Lake Louise, whilst small, offers some lovely restaurants and shops. In the summer you can go hiking, trail riding, rafting and mountain biking, but one of the best ways to see the area’s glaciers and lakes is from the air. From the vantage point of a helicopter, you will be able to fully appreciate the glorious scenery of Jasper National Park, Snow Dome and soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Stay: Two nights in a Cabin at Moraine Lake Lodge – bed and breakfast
Today you are bound for Jasper, a tranquil town located deep within the Alberta Rockies. The drive itself is incredibly scenic, featuring dramatic valleys, brightly coloured lakes and deep green woodlands. Pause along the way at the incredible Columbia Icefield – the largest ice mass in the Canadian Rockies – before arriving at your hotel in Jasper.
There’s plenty of opportunity for adventure here amongst the soaring peaks, enchanting lakes and rugged pine forests of Jasper National Park, including fishing and paddling on serene lakes. You can visit the Patricia and Pyramids Lakes and explore nearby Maligne Valley, home to bears, moose, elk, osprey and eagles. Everyone will enjoy a gentle, guided rafting tour on the Athabasca River, during which you’ll learn about the natural and human history of the region.
Stay: Two nights in a Double Room at The Crimson
Today you’ll drop off your hire car at Jasper station depot before boarding the VIA Rail to Saskatoon, arriving the following morning.
Stay: One night aboard the VIA Rail – Sleeping Touring Class
Straddling the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon is home not only to some of the friendliest people in Canada but a rich Indigenous culture, modern art and pristine natural landscapes. Venture beyond the city’s limits to discover the untouched and remote northern Saskatchewan, an adventurer’s playground studded with over 100,000 sparkling lakes. The sunsets in summer are astonishing, whilst the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis can be observed in the skies of winter.
Stay: Two nights in a One Bedroom Suite at The James Hotel – bed and breakfast
This morning you’ll pick up your hire car and make your way to the laidback, historic heartbeat of the Canadian prairies. Regina is an energetic place with a whole host of cultural, entertainment and recreational opportunities to make the most of. During your stay, you can catch a football game at the Mosaic Stadium, visit the MacKenzie Art Gallery and explore the city’s bustling farmer’s market. You’ll also find yourself just a stroll away from the true prairie oasis of Wascana Park, the largest urban park in North America at 930 hectares.
Stay: Two nights in a King Room at Hotel Saskatchewan – bed and breakfast
The final stop on your Canadian adventure is the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park which sprawls along the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. You’ll be staying at a laidback resort within the park itself, providing you with the perfect base from which to explore this picturesque oasis.
The park is best known for its rolling hills, some of which rise nearly 1,400 metres above sea level – the highest point between Newfoundland and the Rocky Mountains. The rest of the park is carpeted in verdant pine and white spruce forests, fescue prairie and wildflowers. You can drive around the park to discover various scenic viewpoints, zip line through the forest canopy, try your hand at rock climbing or take a tour of the Fort Walsh National Historic Site. The park is a designated Dark Sky Reserve, which means the stargazing here is exceptional. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Dark Sky Observatory!
Stay: Two nights in a King room at The Resort at Cypress Hills
Today you will depart from Calgary Airport for your international flight back to London, arriving the following day.
It was a complicated itinerary for 12 people and Tania got it spot on!- EM, South Africa