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Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

Best of western Canada by train & self-drive

13 days from £3,995pp

Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park
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Tour highlights

  • Explore the buzzing coastal city of Vancouver and go whale watching off the coast.

  • Admire western Canada's mountainous scenery from aboard the comfortable Via Rail Canadian train.

  • Explore the Rocky Mountains at your own pace, enjoying hikes through mountain and lake scenery.

  • Take a guided icewalk onto the Athabasca Glacier.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

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

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver today, make your own way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or begin exploring the city. Depending on your arrival time, you could visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the area's First Nations culture, or sample street food from one of the many food vendors.

  • You have the full day at leisure to enjoy Vancouver. There are plenty of sights to see in this cosmopolitan city including Stanley Park, which is a great place for cycling, Canada's largest Chinatown, historic Gastown, and the shops of Robson Street.

  • Today you join a whale watching trip, heading out onto the Strait of Georgia and tracking reports of recent whale sightings. This is one of the best places to view orca in the wild, with three pods native to the southern parts of Vancouver Island. Your onboard naturalist will tell you all about the orca, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and other wildlife that you may encounter. Spend the rest of the day taking in the sights of Vancouver.

  • This morning you will make your way to the VIA Rail station to embark on your fantastic journey by rail. Here you board the Canadian, a comfortable train from which you can enjoy fantastic views from the domed glass observation cars. You will be accompanied by experienced guides who know the railway and the areas you pass through well and can help point out wildlife. You spend tonight on board the train in your private cabin.

  • This morning your journey will come to a close, taking you past incredible scenic highlights through the Rocky Mountains, including the spectacular Mount Robson, its highest peak. When you awake you will have arrived in Jasper, one of the prime destinations in the Canadian Rockies. When you arrive in Jasper you have the morning and afternoon at leisure to relax at your accommodation or explore the town.

  • Today you have the full day at leisure to explore Jasper and the surrounding area. You could take a walk around the alpine meadows near Mount Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier, a great area for wildlife viewing and hiking. Alternatively, take a cable car up to the top of Whistlers Mountain, or take a boat trip out on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island for an iconic view of the turquoise lake and surrounding forest.

  • Spend a second full day exploring the beauty of Jasper National Park. A fantastic spot to visit is Old Fort Point lookout. It's a beautiful walk from town and the lookout offers stunning views of Jasper town and the surrounding mountains.

  • Drive five hours south from Jasper, along the spectacular Icefields Parkway, to Field. Your journey includes a stop at the Athabasca Glacier where you will enjoy a guided walk onto the glacier itself. The trip is led by knowledgeable guides who can tell you about the glacier and the area's geology. Your journey then continues toward Yoho National Park. There are many beautiful lakes and glaciers to admire en route.

  • Spend time taking in the striking natural scenery of Yoho National Park and the surrounding area. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are within easy reach and offer great walking and wildlife viewing opportunities. In Yoho itself we recommend visiting the towering Takakkaw Falls. White-water rafting, fly-fishing and mountain biking are all available in the area.

  • Continue to Banff this morning. The journey takes around an hour and a half, so you will be able to enjoy much of the day exploring Banff National Park. We recommend taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, which boasts superb views stretching across the Rockies. Walk along the boardwalk to the summit to get even higher and look down upon Banff below.

  • Today is yours to further explore Banff National Park. You may like to visit the historic Cave and Basin site, or take the Banff gondola for spectacular views over the park. For a chance of seeing some of the area's wildlife, follow one of the many hiking trails in the area. We like the walk that leads along the Johnston Canyon to the Ink Pots — seven cold natural springs that bubble up to the surface of a meadow.

  • You may have some time to spend in Banff this morning, perhaps browsing the town's shops for any last-minute souvenirs. You then take a two-hour drive to Calgary Airport, where you return your hire car and board your onward flight.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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The specialist who designs your trip to Canada will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Vancouver
 
Jasper
 
Field
 
Lake Louise
 
Banff
 

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