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Capilano Suspension Bridge, Butchart Gardens

Grand western Canada self-drive tour

21 days from $9,745pp

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Butchart Gardens
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Tour highlights

  • Explore the vibrant cities of Vancouver and Victoria.

  • Watch bears in the wild on Vancouver Island.

  • Cruise along the famed Inside Passage.

  • Travel through B.C.'s scenic wilderness by train.

  • Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Price includes:

  • All accommodation
  • Vehicle rental
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival in Vancouver, make your own way to your accommodation and relax for the rest of the day.

  • Spend a day at leisure in Vancouver. This cosmopolitan city offers plenty of sights to see, including Stanley Park, Chinatown, historic Gastown, and the shops of Robson Street.

  • Today, you're booked on the 'Mail Run' — a seaplane that departs from Vancouver and acts as a shuttle between the city and the Gulf Islands that dot the Strait of Georgia. You'll join locals on this scenic flight and take in fantastic views of downtown Vancouver and the Coast Mountains before touching down on Salt Spring Island. You'll have a few hours to explore the waterfront galleries, boutiques and cafés of this small Bohemian community before returning by seaplane to Vancouver.

  • Today, you take a coach transfer via the Tsawwassen ferry to Vancouver Island. Once in Swartz Bay, it's just a short distance by coach to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

  • This morning, enjoy a three-hour whale-watching trip. The afternoon is free to discover this lovely city with its harbor, grand Victorian buildings and nearby Butchart Gardens.

  • Collect your hire car and drive from Victoria to Tofino on Vancouver Island's rugged and spectacular west coast. Your drive will take you over the mountains that form the spine of Vancouver Island.

  • Join a three-hour boat trip to look for black bears as they forage on the shoreline looking for food. There is a good chance of getting close to these magnificent mammals.

  • Enjoy a day exploring the little town of Tofino with its cafés and art galleries. A visit to Pacific Rim National Park is highly recommended — here you can walk through pristine temperate rainforest and admire superb ocean views.

  • Drive north from Tofino to Campbell River. You may wish to stop at Cathedral Grove to see some of Vancouver Island's most impressive old-growth trees.

  • Continue your drive north to Port Hardy which lies almost at the tip of Vancouver Island. En route, you may wish to visit Alert Bay, one of Vancouver Island's most prominent First Nations interpretive sites.

  • Board the Inside Passage ferry for this full-day journey to Prince Rupert. This 15-hour journey is on board a modern, comfortable ferry with a wide range of facilities. Entry to the Aurora Lounge is also included in your ticket, allowing additional comfort on this trip. The scenery is renowned and dolphins, whales and eagles are frequently seen.

  • The Khutzeymateen region is renowned for its thriving population of grizzly bears, and today you'll embark on a full-day guided tour to view these majestic creatures. Your expert guide will take you to the best viewing areas, and explain more about the bears' habitat and behaviors. You'll then return to Prince Rupert late this afternoon.

  • This morning, make your own way to the railway station in time for the Skeena train's departure. Spend a full day on board, enjoying the lovely scenery along the route. On arrival, make your own way to your hotel in Prince George.

  • Make your own way back to the station for the Skeena's departure to Jasper. Spend a second full day on board the train. On arrival in Jasper, your hotel is just a short walk from the station.

  • Collect your hire car from downtown Jasper. The day is yours to explore Jasper town and its surrounding national park. Take the road past Medicine Lake to the famous Maligne Lake and its iconic Spirit Island. A boat trip onto the bright blue waters of the lake gives you the best view of the island and the surrounding mountains as you hear about the history of this culturally significant place.

  • Explore Jasper National Park from a different perspective today — in the sidecar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle! On this two-hour private tour, you will see some of the national park's highlights, such as Medicine Lake and Maligne Canyon, stopping at the best viewpoints along the way. You are also likely to encounter plenty of wildlife so keep your camera close to hand!

  • Drive south for four hours (excluding stops) along the spectacular Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Lake Louise. You may see ptarmigans, wolves, mountain goats and bighorn sheep en route, and there are lots of viewing points to stop at for photographs. En route, you'll stop at the Athabasca Glacier, don crampons and join a guided walk out onto the glacier. This is a fantastic opportunity to escape the crowds and learn more about the geography of this dramatic, frozen landscape from your expert guide.

  • Spend a day enjoying the glorious scenery around Lake Louise. Nearby Moraine Lake is also well worth exploring, and the area offers lots of opportunities to see wildlife.

  • Drive from Lake Louise to Banff where you have the afternoon free to explore this bustling town.

  • Join a small group guided hike to one of Banff's scenic highlights — Sunshine Vistas. Consistently rated as one of Canada's best hikes, you'll pass through wildflower meadows and alpine lakes on this four-hour hike. Returning to Banff this afternoon, you'll have time at leisure to continue exploring the area. You may wish to visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, take a horseback ride through the forests or take the gondola to the stunning summit of Sulphur Mountain.

  • This morning drive to Calgary Airport to drop off your hire car prior to boarding your onward flight.

Accommodation options

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

Contact a Canada specialist

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 (°F) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Campbell River
Port Hardy
Prince Rupert
Prince George
Lake Louise

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