Highlights of Canada's West Self-Drive
8 days from $2,085pp
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.
Itinerary idea in detail
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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 Lake Maligne 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.
Jasper , Kamloops
Continue your journey west, driving for around five hours to enter British Columbia and arrive in the city of Kamloops. Along the way, you pass Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, before descending to the arid canyonlands around Kamloops. If you have time, we highly recommend a detour to visit Wells Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater. Here you can break up your journey by visiting some of the park's picturesque viewpoints to take photographs and following scenic walking trails to admire natural waterfalls.
Kamloops , Vancouver
Your final drive takes you for five hours 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.
Vancouver , International return flight
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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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.Request a quote
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