Best of the west - Self Drive - Canada
BANFF | JASPER | WELLS GRAY PROVINCIAL PARK | WHISTLER | PARKSVILLE | VICTORIA | VANCOUVER
Discover the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies and British Columbia; from the country’s first National Park and the delightful town of Banff, to the spectacular scenery of the Icefields Parkway, glistening Lake Louise and the sparkling Athabasca Glacier. Visit the mountain resorts of Jasper and Whistler; explore the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver and the ever so British Victoria.
Day 1: Calgary - Banff
Arrive at Calgary Airport, collect your car and take the short drive to Banff on either the Trans-Canada Highway or the more scenic 1A Highway. Once in Banff proceed to your selected hotel to check in and the remainder of the day is yours to explore at your own leisure.
Hotel for 2 nights
Day 2: Banff Exploring
A full day to explore the Banff area. In town you’ll find lots of excitement - shopping, cafés, nightlife, museums. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff Gondola (admission included) where you will see a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, and then take a dip in the hot mineral pools at the Upper Hot Springs
Day 3: Banff - Jasper (185 miles)
Take the short drive from Banff to Lake Louise. Choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to take a stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footway to either the lower or upper waterfalls before continuing to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. From Lake Louise your scenic drive takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the Icefield Parkway. Stop at the Columbia Icefield for an Ice Explorer ride onto the glacier (included 01 May – 19 Oct). Leaving the Athabasca Glacier, your camera should be ready to capture the majesty of the Athabasca Falls prior to your arrival into Jasper. Hotel for 2 nights: Standard - Lobstick Lodge; Superior - Sawridge Inn; Deluxe - Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
Day 4: Jasper
A free day to explore this charming mountain village close to many terrific scenic highlights. Perhaps take a tram ride up Whistlers mountain, or visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, and enjoy a 90 minute cruise heading toward the south end of this postcard setting (Maligne Lake cruise not included).
Day 5: Jasper - Wells Gray Park (195 miles)
Your drive today takes you to Wells Gray Provincial Park along the scenic Yellowhead Highway with breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River. Overnight in Clearwater.
Hotel: Standard - Clearwater Lodge; Superior & Deluxe - Alpine Meadows Resort.
Day 6: Clearwater - Whistler (265 miles)
Begin the day travelling via 100 Mile House to the gold rush town of Cache Creek, where you stop to visit the historic Hat Creek Ranch (included), which literally takes you back to the days of the gold rush. Continue south to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush and along the Duffey Lake Road to Whistler. (B)
Hotel for 2 nights: Standard - Listel Hotel; Superior - Hilton Whistler Resort; Deluxe - Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Day 7: Whistler
The day is free for you to enjoy some of Whistlers activities, from golf on one of the 4 championship designer golf courses, water activities on any of the 5 lakes or rivers, to mountain top dining or just relax and enjoy some of the fi ne café’s and restaurants of the village. The Peak to Peak gondola ride is included to the top of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains (operates 23 May - 20 Sep; 21 Sep – 12 Oct weekends only).
Day 8: Whistler - Parksville (70 miles + ferry)
Depart Whistler along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to Horseshoe Bay and board the ferry to Vancouver Island. This scenic cruise takes you through fjord like waters with mountains blanketed with virgin forests and glaciated peaks.
Hotel: Standard - Quality Resort Bayside; Superior & Deluxe - Tigh-Na-Mara Resort.
Day 9: Parksville - Victoria (95 miles)
Travel along the East Coast of Vancouver Island and head south to Victoria. Stop at the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town and Duncan the “City of Totems”.
Hotel for 2 nights: Standard - Chateau Victoria Hotel; Superior - Inn at Laurel Point; Deluxe – Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Day 10: Victoria and Butchart Gardens
Today is free to explore Victoria, with its turn of the century architecture, British traditions such as high tea and shops full of woollens and china. Admission is included to the Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s premier floral show gardens established by the Butchart family in 1904. Here, you will have ample time to stroll through the wonderful estate and view the truly enchanting gardens with its 50 acre display of magnificent colour.
Day 11: Victoria - Vancouver (45 miles + ferry)
Leaving Victoria drive north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for a 90 minute ferry cruise (cost included) through the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia to Tsawwassen, then continue to downtown Vancouver.
Hotel for 3 nights: Standard - Rosedale on Robson; Superior - Sheraton Wall Centre; Deluxe – Fairmont Waterfront Hotel - Deluxe Partial Harbour View Room
Day 12: Vancouver
Visit two of Vancouver best tourist attractions today. At the Capilano Suspension Bridge, spend time exploring temperate rainforest and learn all about salmon at the fish Hatchery. Then continue to Grouse Mountain where you’ll take the Skyride to the Peak of Vancouver with breath-taking views over the Lower Mainland and Coast Mountain Range. (Both included)
Day 13: Vancouver - Free Day
A free day to explore Vancouver, voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada; a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown. Discover the surrounding peaks of the Coastal Mountains or go whale watching on the Pacific Ocean. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from; the nightlife so varied you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Day 14: Vancouver
Your tour ends with the check out of your hotel and the return your car to the airport rental office.
Children under 10 (sharing existing beds with 2 adults): Standard Hotels - £121 Superior & Deluxe Hotels - £130
- 13 nights accommodation as shown
- Meals on days shown (B – Breakfast)
- Intermediate size hire car with GPS
- Banff Hot Springs
- Banff Gondola
- Hat Creek Ranch
- Whistler Peak to Peak gondola
- Athabasca Glacier Ice Explorer
- Butchart gardens
- Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Ferry costs
- Comprehensive document pack
- Flights to/from Canada
- Meals, sightseeing and attractions not shown as included
- National Park entrance fees
- Fuel, tolls and parking (including at hotels)
- One way rental fee of $75 + tax payable locally