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London – Calgary – Banff
Fly from London to Calgary. You will be met upon arrival and taken to your five-star hotel in Canada’s renowned resort town Banff, where you will be surrounded by the stunning alpine scenery of the Banff National Park. Here there are 25 peaks that rise over 3,000m, not to mention sparkling lakes, therapeutic hot springs and the beautiful Icefields Parkway.
The area is perfectly catered for outdoor adventure. You can hike with expert local guides to Stanley Glacier, Larch Valley, Healy Pass, Ha Ling Summit and the fabulous Plain of Six Glaciers; float quietly along Bow River, observing beaver, elk and osprey; or go white water rafting through Horseshoe Canyon.
Stay: Two nights in a grand view room at Rimrock Resort Hotel – room only
The waters of Lake Louise are an astonishing aqua blue and incredibly photogenic. The town of Lake Louise itself is small but offers some lovely restaurants and shops. You can go hiking, trail riding, rafting and mountain biking, but one of the best ways to see the glaciers and lakes to advantage is from the air. Spectacular helicopter tours will show you the glorious scenery of Jasper National Park, the Columbia Icefield, Snow Dome and the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Keep an eye out for elk who are often seen along the road and the occasional bear.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe cabin at Moraine Lake Lodge – bed & breakfast
Today you are bound for Jasper along the Icefield Parkway – a route that takes you along the spine of the Canadian Rockies. 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. Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour up the Maligne Valley, where you will make stops at the Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake and Medicine Lake. An optional boat cruise to Spirit Island is also available.
Stay: Two nights in a junior suite lake view room at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – room only
Jasper – Vancouver, Rocky Mountaineer
Now it’s time to experience one of the world’s great, classic rail journeys. On board the Rocky Mountaineer, you will travel through scenic valleys, rolling plateaus and snowy peaks, taking in truly dramatic sights like the magnificent Pyramid Falls and the highest peak in the Rockies – Mount Robson. You’ll stop for the night at Kamloops.
Your journey to Vancouver continues the next day, taking in the rushing waters of ‘Hell’s Gate’ in the Fraser Canyon and the mighty Fraser River. As well as beautiful scenery, you will have a chance to spot some of Western Canada’s rarest wildlife, including moose, elk, big horn sheep, black bear, eagle and osprey.
Stay: Overnight stay in Kamloops
On arrival in Vancouver you will be met at the train station and taken to your centrally located hotel. An energetic, modern city, Vancouver charms with its world class architecture, shopping malls, fantastic galleries and museums, happening restaurants and endless cafes and bars. On your last day you will enjoy a gourmet seaside dinner at Bowen Island, which you will reach by seaplane from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour.
Stay: Three nights in a superior king room at Rosewood Hotel Georgia – bed & breakfast
Today you will take a ferry across to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Staying in the town of Tofino you will have a cornucopia of activities at your fingertips, from surfing to sea kayaking and bear tracking. A whale watching excursion in the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound will introduce you to a plethora of marine life, including gray, killer and humpback whales, sea lions, seals and a myriad of seabirds.
Stay: Three nights in a third-floor deluxe room at Wickaninnish Inn – room only
You’ll finish with the history, charm and colonial heritage of Victoria – capital of British Columbia and Vancouver Island’s largest city. The city lends itself well to on foot exploration, but you can also rent a bike and soak in the city’s charming colonial architecture, see the world-renowned Butchart Gardens and visit the Royal British Columbia Museum.
Stay: Two nights in a Fairmont Gold Harbour view room at Fairmont Empress Hotel – bed & breakfast
Victoria – Vancouver – London
Fly from Victoria to Vancouver, where you will meet your connecting flight to London Heathrow.
Alison was more than helpful and practical. Nice people travelled in Royal style.- MC, Seychelles, 2014