Canada & the Rockies 2019
11 days with Contiki Rating:
Day 1 Vancouver to Whistler
Welcome to the Pacific Coast and the start of your trip! Not many cities can claim fusing big-city living with the great outdoors, but with its skyscrapers, beaches, forest and mountains, Vancouver has somehow nailed that perfect mix. We'll cruise along the glorious clifftop Sea to Sky Highway in search of Whistler.
How’s that fresh mountain air? The rugged, handsome landscapes of Whistler are gorgeous all year long, from the ancient mountain peaks to the alpine hiking trails. First up though, stretch out those legs for an optional zipline on the 'superfly'. One of the world's best, do it alone, or jump in a tandem with a buddy - after all 102km an hour is not for the faint hearted. Dinner’s on us tonight – make sure you rest up, because adventure is on the cards all day tomorrow.
Day 2 Whistler
Come winter, Whistler may be a haven for snowbunnies, but when the weather is warm, it’s activity central. Test your Popeye strength by canoeing along the River of Golden Dreams, zipline over churning rivers or take a hike through scenery that puts most postcards to shame. If you’re feeling lazy, take a gondola or a chairlift to the mountain tops, but don’t forget to explore the village itself – you’ll melt at its cuteness.
Day 3 Whistler to Kamloops
Today it's out of the mountains and into Canada's Wild west interior. After a photo stop at idyllicSeton Lake, we’ll stop in at the former gold-rush town of Lillooet just a few-hundred years too late to make our fortunes.
Traders used to stop at Kamloops to swap tall tales about the one that got away (we mean the days' catch) and tonight, we’ll be doing exactly that - the tales at least. Relax, go for a wander, or see if you can spot some local cowboys. Tomorrow there is much more in store when we leave the province of BC and into Alberta and the mighty Rockies.
Day 4 Kamloops to Jasper via Mt. Robson
Well rested, we'll take in some incredible scenes on our drive this morning, and you might even see the highest point in the Rockies if weather permits.
Eating outdoors is essential in these parts, so we'll load you up with a picnic lunch against a backdrop that will insight some serious FOMO from friends back home. Full and happy, the great outdoors is then yours to explore. Want to take the adrenaline levels up a notch? Get involved with our optional white-water rafting excursion on the Frasier River. There's nothing like a rafting adventure to confirm that there is no 'I' in team.
Jasper will be your home for the next two nights – convenient really, considering it’s the perfect base to explore the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
Day 5 Jasper
Rise 'n' shine - it's time to get out there with an easy hike though Maligne Canyon. Towering limestone walls will watch over us as we take in the scene, making our way across bridges to the thrilling soundtrack of rushing water. Nature goals achieved, we'll jump on the coach and head to Maligne Lake, famous for the azure colour of its water, and today we’ll show you why. Drink in the beauty of the surrounding snow-capped mountains from the shore, or take an optional cruise out to iconic Spirit Island, the most photographed image in the Rockies - we'll bet you know the one. Later, we'll leave you to your own devices to explore the cute town of Jasper.
Day 6 Jasper to Banff
On our way to Banff today, you’ll be glued to the windows as we pass the waterfalls, lakes, meadows, glaciers and towering mountains that make up the Columbia Icefield Parkway. Take a walk to the Athabasca Falls, wheel across the Athabasca Glacier on the Ice Explorer, and cure that cotton-mouth with a drink of pure H2O – just be careful not to stick your tongue to the ice... Peyto Lake and Lake Louise (you're sure to have seen these on Instagram) are the perfect place to snap your next profile pic, and make sure those eyes stay peeled for wildlife.
We’ll roll into Banff – the unofficial capital of the Canadian Rockies. You’re in cowboy country now, and who are we to buck tradition? Saddle up for a round of drinks before dinner and check into your chalet.
Day 7 Banff
There’s loads on the menu today in Banff: hop on a gondola up Sulphur Mountain, take a heli-tour of the high country. At night, toast the moon with a horseback ride through the back-country complete with a fire-cooked meal to round off the day.
Day 8 Banff to Vernon
Marvel at the change of scenery today as we cut through three national parks on our way to Vernon. First up is Yoho National Park with its valley of waterfalls and meadows, and home to the amazing engineering feat - the Spiral Train Tunnel. Next up is Glacier National Park, which boasts over 400 (wait for it) glaciers (surprise) and Rogers Pass. Lastly, we’ll see Mt. Revelstoke National Park’s towering peaks and raging waters.
Dinner in Vernon tonight is our shout – after cramming three national parks into one day, really, you deserve it. You’ll probably also be hankering for a beverage after such a long day, and fortunately, the city’s array of traditional pubs are happy to help you out on that front.
Day 9 Vernon to Vancouver
We’re sure you’ll agree that meandering through Canada's wine country – the famed Okanagan Valley - is a great way to kill time on the drive back to Vancouver. It's time to see everything of this magical metropolis that you missed the first time around, we'll treat you to a whirlwind tour of the historic sites.
It’s time to see everything of this magical metropolis you missed the first time round. Vancouver’s downtown is world class, and its locals’ take immense pride in its multiculturalism. Stop for pics at the city's nine Totem Poles - these colourful carved sculptures stand tall in Stanley Park and are a must-see sight that were gifted to Vancouver City. Get out there and get local, do some boutique shopping or even rent a bike and explore the city on wheels. Tonight, give your ears a treat with some live music in the alleys of Yale Town.
Day 10 Vancouver
A hidden grassroots art scene, eating adventures in abundance, and a pretty seaport setting - your free day in Vancouver will not be short of magic. If the galleries and cute cafes get old, roam one of the cities many parks or gardens or find a spot to take in the surrounding mountain vistas. Top off the day with a dinner cruise and your Vancouver experience is whole and complete.
Day 11 Depart Vancouver
All good things must come to an end, and so does our alpine adventure this morning. We wish you all a fond salute and bon voyage. We hope we'll be seeing you again soon...
All This Included
If lush landscapes are enough to bring a tear to your eye, then British Colombia & Alberta will see you weeping. We'll start in the charming village of Whistler, weaving on to the likes of the Lillooet Mountain Range, Jasper, & Banff, before finally landing amongst the cool vibes of Vancouver. Sign yourself up to countless adventure opportunities along the way.
Hotels (10 nights)
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