Imagine driving past huge, azure-coloured lakes, jagged peaks that rise over 3,000 metres and gorgeous alpine meadows carpeted in wildflowers. The scenery featured on this itinerary has inspired generations of poets, artists and visitors alike.
But you won’t just admire the landscapes, you’ll explore them. Zip lining, mountain biking, fishing, white-water rafting, float plane tours and whale watching trips are just a few of the activities you and your family can enjoy in the Canadian Rockies. You’ll take in the year-round natural playground of Whistler, with its crisp mountain air and lush emerald forests, and the iconic sights of Jasper, before coming to an end in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Here a memorable whale watching tour will introduce you the giants of the sea – the ultimate finale.
Your overnight flight from London to Calgary arrives in the afternoon. Pick up your hire car from the airport and drive into Banff. This celebrated resort town is situated at the centre of Banff National Park, an incredibly photogenic wilderness dotted with sparkling turquoise lakes and overshadowed by dozens of towering peaks.
Banff offers a myriad of fun activities for all the family, including hiking, scenic helicopter flights and visits to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake – both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy a twilight tour of the Bow River, the perfect opportunity to soak in the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains and spot some of the region’s wildlife.
Stay: Three nights in a rooftop suite at The Moose Hotel & Suites
Next up on your family road trip is Jasper, a peaceful town set deep in the Alberta Rockies. The drive is rich in breathtaking mountain panoramas, and you’re also likely to spot mountain sheep, wolves, elk and bears along the way. Must-see sights in Jasper include the nearby Patricia and Pyramid Lakes, the Columbia Icefield and the spectacular Maligne Canyon with its 165-foot deep gorge. On day five enjoy a family rafting tour along the Athabasca River whilst an expert guide reveals the natural and human history of the area.
Stay: Three nights in a large cabin at Tekarra Lodge
Wells Gray Provincial Park
Encompassing over 5,000 sq km of untamed wilderness in British Columbia, the scenery of Wells Gray Provincial Park is astonishing. The north of the park is dominated by ice-fields, hidden valleys and the dramatic peaks of the Cariboo Mountains, whilst the south boasts some of the most beautiful wildflower displays in the country. The centre of the park features a spectacular volcanic plateau carved with canyons and waterfalls.
Stay: Two nights in a family log home at Alpine Meadows Resort – bed & breakfast
Next up on your trip is a stay at a premier wilderness lodge perched on the shores of Tyaughton Lake in the Chilcotin Mountain Range. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to head out and explore. The resort is a world-class destination for mountain biking, whilst horse-riding, boating, hiking and floatplane tours are also popular.
Stay: Three nights in two interconnecting lake view resort rooms at Tyax Mountain Lake Resort
An alpine paradise in the winter months with its world-class skiing facilities, Whistler is also a worthy summer destination with an abundance of fishing, golfing, mountain biking, white-water rafting, and hiking possibilities. You’ll have the option to discover Whistler in a 4×4 or from a helicopter, whilst a guided canoe trip along the River of Dreams will show you epic mountain vistas. You can also ride zip cables and take soaring suspension bridges over raging creeks. The options really are endless.
After a day of adventure, you can take it easy and explore the pedestrian friendly Whistler Village with its fine restaurants, excellent spas and speciality boutiques.
Stay: Three nights in a two-bedroom suite at Delta Whistler Village Suites
Your trip culminates in Vancouver. This picturesque and cosmopolitan city is home to wonderful beaches, energetic streets and bustling markets centred around the incredible 400-acre Stanley Park. You can enjoy a whale watching trip on Vancouver Island, a fantastic opportunity to observe orca whales as well as seals, sea lions and porpoises, and in the evening escape by seaplane to Horseshoe Bay for a seaside dinner.
Stay: Three nights in a family suite at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
Vancouver – London
You will be transferred to the airport in a private vehicle for your return flight to London.