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Highlights of Canada's west self-drive

9 days from £2,405pp

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Tour highlights

  • Go hiking, kayaking and mountain biking in the rugged scenery of the Rocky Mountains.

  • Look for wildlife such as bears, moose and elk in Banff and Jasper National Parks.

  • Drive through the rugged interior of British Columbia, stopping to admire lakes, glaciers and mountains.

  • Take in the sights of Vancouver, including Stanley Park, Chinatown and its beautifully wild coastline.

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 Calgary. On arrival, after passing through customs and immigration, collect your hire car from the airport, which will be ready and waiting for you. All insurances, a road map and a sat-nav are included in your car hire package. Your first drive takes you an hour and a half north into the Rocky Mountains to Canmore. After checking into your hotel, depending on your time of arrival, you could begin to explore the small town or simply relax at your hotel.

  • Spend the day at leisure exploring Banff National Park, which lies just a few minutes' drive away from your hotel. Within the park you could follow one of the many walking or mountain biking trails, go white-water rafting or canoeing along the Bow River, or take the Banff Gondola up the side of Sulphur Mountain for sweeping views across the surrounding mountains.

  • Drive four and a half hours north to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway. There are many lakes and glaciers to admire en route, including Lake Louise, Peyto Lake and Castle Mountain. We recommend allowing the full day for this journey so you can make the most of the striking natural scenery. Many walking trails lead off this route should you wish to stretch your legs. You could also make a stop at the Columbia Icefield — here, we can arrange a guided walk onto the Athabasca Glacier, learning about the area's geology along the way.

  • Jasper National Park awaits your discovery today. You have tickets for an hour and a half interpretive boat cruise on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island, which enjoys some of the region's finest views as mountains and evergreens meet the distinctive blue waters of the lake. Spend the rest of the day exploring the park at your own pace — you could do more hiking or take a scenic drive to look for wildlife in the mountains.

  • Continue your journey west, driving for around five hours to enter British Columbia and arrive in the mountain resort of Sun Peaks. Along the way you will pass Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and Wells Gray Provincial Park, home to some spectacular waterfalls. Sun Peaks is a delightful mountain resort that offers excellent skiing in winter and is a scenic backdrop for activities such as walking, mountain biking and kayaking in summer. Do take the gondola to the mountain top for the most breathtaking views.

  • Your final drive, of around five hours, takes you through the heart of British Columbia's cattle rearing country, past Hell's Gate Canyon, to the coastal city of Vancouver. On arrival, drop off your hire car and take a taxi to your hotel. After settling into your hotel, you can head out to explore some of the city's attractions, perhaps taking a stroll through Chinatown with its vibrant markets and traditional tea shops, or heading to one of the nine beaches for a spot of relaxation.

  • Enjoy a full day at leisure in Vancouver. There's plenty to see and do in this cosmopolitan city: cycle through Stanley Park and admire its collection of totem poles, explore the historic streets of Gastown, browse the shops of Robson Street or take a scenic seaplane flight over the city and its wild coastline. Whale watching trips to see resident orca pods can be arranged, as well as guided food tours to sample some of the city's multicultural cuisine and freshly cooked street food.

  • You may have time this morning for some last-minute shopping and sightseeing in Vancouver before making your own way to Vancouver International Airport, where you'll 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)
Calgary
 
Canmore
 
Jasper
 
Vancouver
 

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