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    Places visited:

  • Vancouver
  • Whistler
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Clearwater
  • Jasper
  • Lake Louise
  • Banff
  • Spend two full days exploring cosmopolitan Vancouver, visiting Stanley Park, Chinatown and its many shops and museums.

  • Drive through some of North America’s most spectacular landscapes, passing snow-covered mountains and glittering lakes.

  • Immerse yourself in the great outdoors, whether on foot, mountain bike or kayak.

  • Admire the frothing waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

  • Spot wildlife such as black and grizzly bears, moose, bald eagles, deer and elk.

Audley Travel specialist Emily

What our specialists say...

This itinerary allows you to discover the highlights of British Columbia and the Rockies at your own pace. You start in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, where you can see the totem poles of Stanley Park, discover the history of Gastown on a guided walk and soak up the atmosphere of Canada’s largest Chinatown. You then drive out into western Canada’s magnificent mountain scenery, stopping at the town of Whistler and exploring Wells Gray Provincial Park, Jasper National Park, Lake Louise and Banff. Here among the mountains and lakes you can enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to horse riding, kayaking and white water rafting.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Vancouver
  • Whistler
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park
  • Clearwater
  • Jasper
  • Lake Louise
  • Banff

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 Vancouver

International outbound flight , Vancouver

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver, make your own way to your downtown hotel by taxi. The remainder of the day is free to relax after your flight or begin to explore the city. You could browse the shops on Robson Street or simply enjoy a meal in one of the many gourmet restaurants.

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Day 2 Vancouver

Vancouver

Spend a day at leisure in Vancouver. There's plenty to see in this cosmopolitan city. Some of our suggestions include walking or cycling around Stanley Park, which has a collection of replica totem poles, an aquarium and views over English Bay and Vancouver Harbour; soaking up the atmosphere in Chinatown with its quirky shops and markets; or taking a guided walk around historic Gastown to learn more about the city's past.

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Day 3 Vancouver

Vancouver

Another day to enjoy the sights of Vancouver. The Museum of Anthropology is well worth a visit, offering a fascinating collection of exhibits related to Canada's First Nation cultures. You could wander through Granville Island's bustling farmers' market, where a variety of stalls sell fresh local produce. If you're really into food, you could join a guided food tour to sample some of the delicacies produced by street food vendors as you learn about the influences of multi-culturalism on the city's cuisine.

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Day 4 Whistler

Vancouver , Whistler

Collect your hire car from downtown Vancouver this morning. Your car hire package includes insurance and a GPS navigation system. On your way out of the city, you drive past Stanley Park and over the Lion's Gate Bridge before continuing along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to the mountain village of Whistler, set at the foot of two mountains. You may wish to stop along the way at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on the outskirts of Vancouver, which features peaceful canopy walks through rainforest. The journey takes around two hours (excluding stops). After checking into your accommodation in Whistler you can relax or head out to explore the town and its beautiful surroundings.

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Day 5 Whistler

Whistler

Spend a full day exploring Whistler. You may wish to take the cable car up to the summit of Whistler Mountain and then the Peak-to-Peak gondola over to Blackcomb Mountain - the views from here over the town and the surrounding mountains and lakes are incredible. Further activities in the area include kayaking, white water rafting, hiking and mountain biking, all of which we can arrange for you. In the evening, enjoy dinner in one of Whistler's excellent restaurants.

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Day 6 Wells Gray Provincial Park

Whistler , Wells Gray Provincial Park

Today you depart Whistler and drive for around seven hours (excluding stops) through the arid ranch lands of British Columbia's interior, passing the small towns of Pemberton and Lillooet, as well as the mighty Fraser River. This is the Cariboo area, and was once renowned for its gold. Today it's best known for its ranches, deep canyons and beautifully rugged countryside scenery. Arriving into Clearwater, the nearest town to Wells Gray Provincial Park, you can check into your accommodation before relaxing after your long journey, taking in your idyllic surroundings.

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Day 7 Wells Gray Provincial Park

Wells Gray Provincial Park

Spend today exploring the striking Wells Gray Provincial Park, where craggy mountains rise above evergreen forests, lakes and steaming waterfalls. You can hike along some of the many trails, looking out for wildlife such as moose, black and grizzly bears, elk and deer. Many lead to the park's renowned waterfalls - the impressive Helmcken Falls is twice the height of Niagara Falls. Guided horse rides are also an option, as well as relaxing boat cruises and fishing on Clearwater Lake. The park is also well-known for its white water rafting opportunities.

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Day 8 Jasper

Clearwater , Jasper

Travel east along the North Thompson River and into the Rockies - the drive will take around four and a half hours (excluding stops). En route you may wish to stop at Blue River for a one hour jet boat trip with a guide to spot some of the river's wildlife, which may include grizzly bears, moose and eagles. Reaching the Rockies, you pass the mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 m (12,972 ft). Shortly afterwards you cross into the province of Alberta and arrive at your accommodation in the small town of Jasper.

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Day 9 Jasper

Jasper

Spend the day in Jasper National Park. You may wish to visit Maligne Lake and Canyon - a boat trip to Spirit Island presents one of the best views in the Rockies, taking in the distinctive blue lake fringed by mountains. There are many walking trails to follow; we can recommend a walk through alpine meadows near the base of Mount Edith Cavell, where you can admire the region's flora and views of Angel Glacier. You could also take a cable car up to the top of Whistlers Mountain for panoramic views over the surrounding mountains and lakes. Look out for the park's wildlife at all times, which includes black and grizzly bears, bobcats, elk, coyotes, moose and porcupines.

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Day 10 Jasper

Jasper

This morning take a two and a half hour guided float trip along the beautiful Athabasca River. The route follows that of fur traders who ventured here around 200 years ago, and your guide provides a commentary on the area's history and wildlife. You may encounter small rapids during the journey, and you can enjoy views of Jasper's mountains throughout the trip. The afternoon is free for you to further explore the park or take a stroll around the town, which is home to numerous spas, shops, cafes and restaurants.

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Day 11 Lake Louise

Jasper , Lake Louise

Drive for four hours (excluding stops) south along the spectacular Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise. The route climbs from the low forested valley up to the treeline, passing all three life zones of the Rockies - the Montane, Sub-Alpine and Alpine. You may see ptarmigans, wolves, mountain goats and bighorn sheep among other wildlife. There are lots of viewing points to stop at for photographs and walking trails leading off into the surrounding wilderness. We suggest stopping at the Athabasca Glacier - one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world. The glass-floored Glacier Skywalk gives you excellent views over the ice. It's worth taking the whole day to enjoy this journey.

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Day 12 Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Spend a day enjoying the glorious scenery around Lake Louise. Many walking trails offer hours of wildlife viewing and varied scenery to enjoy - one of the best leads you uphill towards Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes for some fantastic alpine views. Alternatively, take the gondola up to the top of Mount Whitehorn to gaze over mountains, lakes and forest. Nearby Moraine Lake is also well worth exploring; the view from the southern end of the lake takes in the Valley of the Ten Peaks - one of Canada's most revered vistas. In nearby Yoho National Park, you may wish to visit the Rockies' highest waterfall, Takakkaw Falls.

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Day 13 Banff

Lake Louise , Banff

Drive from Lake Louise to the town of Banff, about an hour away. We recommend following the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, where you can drive at a leisurely pace and pause for photographs. You may encounter wildlife such as bears and deer, which can sometimes block the road. Johnston Canyon offers the opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy a picnic - a trail here leads to three waterfalls and seven cold water springs known as the Ink Pots. Arriving at your accommodation in Banff, you have the rest of the day to relax or explore the town, which has a number of shops and restaurants as well as a small museum telling you more about the area.

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Day 14 Banff

Banff

Spend today exploring Banff and the surrounding area. You may wish to visit the Upper Hot Springs and the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, where Canada's National Park system began in 1885. Naturally occurring hot springs are found both in the cave and outside in an emerald basin, with a boardwalk leading to a vent hole. Elsewhere, you can take a gentle canoe trip down the Bow River, follow one of the many hiking or mountain biking trails, go white water rafting or take the gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

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Day 15 International return flight

Banff , International return flight

This morning you depart Banff and drive the two hours to Calgary Airport. Watch as the mountainous landscape gives way to flat prairie lands dotted with ranches. You eventually reach the city and, after dropping off your car at the airport's car depot, board your onward flight.

Day 16 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Mark
Audley Travel specialist Emma

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When to go

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Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
Vancouver
 
 
 
Whistler
 
 
 
Wells Gray Provincial Park
 
 
 
The Cariboo
 
 
 
Jasper
 
 
 
Lake Louise
 
 
 
Banff
 
 
 

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