Moraine Lake, Banff, Rocky Mountains, Canada

Highlights of Western Canada

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

13 Days

Prices Start from

£6,995pp(ex. flights)

Unveiling the most visually stunning landscapes of Canada, this adventure journeys from the iconic Canadian Rockies to the ancient temperate rainforest on Vancouver Island.

As one of the most sought after routes through western Canada, this journey explores a selection of quintessentially iconic locations to give a comprehensive introduction to British Columbia and Alberta. Begin with a self-drive adventure through the pristine beauty of the Canadian Rockies, hiking backcountry trails and aqua-green lakes veiled by an amphitheatre of mountains. Travel aboard one of the world’s most iconic train journeys, before exploring the wild coastal landscapes on Vancouver Island scouting for bears, humpback and orca. Without doubt, this journey is a hand-picked collection of the most remarkable sceneries of Canada.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Humpback whale near Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada 1

Wildlife & Beaches

Whale watching, bear viewing and surf lessons on Tofino’s spectacular beaches.

Rocky Mountaineer Train, Canada 2

Rocky Mountaineer

Spend two days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys.

Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Banff, Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada 3

Icefields Parkway

Drive one of the top routes in the world, flanked by over 100 ancient glaciers.

Moraine lake, Rocky Mountains,Canada 4

Canoe Moraine Lake

Stand on the banks of the world-renowned lake, and head out on canoe or hike the nearby trails.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Canada on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Calgary (Fairmont Palliser)

  • Day 2

    Calgary - Banff (Moraine Lake Lodge)

  • Day 3

    Moraine Lake

  • Day 4

    Moraine Lake - Jasper (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

  • Day 5

    Jasper (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

  • Day 6

    Jasper to Kamloops

    Board the Rocky Mountaineer

  • Day 7

    Kamloops - Vancouver

  • Day 8

    Vancouver

  • Day 9

    Vancouver - Tofino (The Wickaninnish Inn)

    Float plane

  • Days 10-12

    Tofino (The Wickaninnish Inn)

  • Day 13

    Tofino - Vancouver

Day 1

Calgary (Fairmont Palliser)

Met on arrival and transfer to your accommodation in Calgary.

Day 2

Calgary - Banff (Moraine Lake Lodge)

Pick up hire car and self-drive to Banff to enjoy a gourmet lunch. Ascend into the mountain peaks with a ride on Banff Gondola, where views of the Bow Valley and Sulphur Mountain await. Settle into your mountain lodge room at Moraine Lake Lodge; your base for the next two nights.

Day 3

Moraine Lake

Explore Banff and Yoho National Parks with an expert guide, discovering offbeat trails, stunning waterfalls and savouring a private picnic lunch along the way. End the day with a hike around Moraine Lake or head out in a canoe onto the azul green waters with a panorama of mountains at every turn. Overnight at Moraine Lake Lodge.

Day 4

Moraine Lake - Jasper (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

Set off down the iconic Icefields Parkway, one of North America’s most scenic drives, taking in unforgettable views of peaks, icefields and emerald lakes, keeping an eye out for bighorn sheep, elk, black bears, grizzlies and marmots.

Day 5

Jasper (Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

Head out with a private local guide to experience the landscapes of Jasper National Park and Maligne Lake, one of the most iconic sceneries of western Canada.

Day 6

Jasper to Kamloops

Be whisked away on one of the world’s greatest train journeys from Jasper to Vancouver. If budget allows, travel in Gold Leaf Service to experience the ultimate panoramic views and outdoor viewing platform. From Jasper, pass Pyramid Falls from an angle only visible by rail and capture the enormity of Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, before travelling through the Shuswap region towards Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops.

Day 7

Kamloops - Vancouver

On the route from Kamloops, enjoy a three course lunch on the train with views of British Colombia’s epic scenery, including crossing the Fraser River over Hell’s Gate. Check into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for the next two nights.

Day 8

Vancouver

Spend a day exploring Vancouver. Visit Granville Island Public Market, making sure to try the classic and unusual flavours of Lee’s Donuts, walk the seawall along False Creek and explore the sweet treats and coffee shops of Yaletown.

Day 9

Vancouver - Tofino (The Wickaninnish Inn)

Take a short flight from Vancouver to Tofino for a four night stay at The Wickaninnish Inn, a spectacular hotel and spa located on Chesterman Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park.

Days 10-12

Tofino (The Wickaninnish Inn)

Spend the next three days exploring the rugged coastline, sweeping beaches and array of wildlife that inhabit the Pacific Rim National Park. Embark on a whale watching excursion in search of orca, humpback, seals and ocean birds, set off on a coastal tour on the look out for black bears and kayak to Meares Island, home to some of the world’s oldest cedar trees.

Day 13

Tofino - Vancouver

By float plane, return to Vancouver for a final night in this fascinating city.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More Details

Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park, Canada
Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park, Canada
Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Banff, Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada
Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway, Banff, Rocky Mountains, Alberta, Canada

Drive the Icefield Parkway & Sail to Spirit Island

Explore Jasper and Banff both independently and in the company of an expert local guide, taking a boat trip on Maligne Lake to the world-famous Spirit Island to learn about local history, fascinating glaciology and unique wildlife. In a hire car, drive the 140-mile-long Icefield Parkway, as it winds past alpine lakes and jagged peaks through the heart of the Rockies. Travel to the glittering green waters of Moraine Lake, cross the Great Divide into Yoho National Park, and embark on canoeing trips or horseback rides. We can arrange remarkable stargazing experiences in Jasper Dark Sky Preserve, guided Athabasca glacier hikes with a gourmet picnic lunch and private rafting experiences over the wild white rapids of Kicking Horse.

Rocky Mountaineer Train, Canada
Rocky Mountaineer Train, Canada
Rocky Mountaineer Train, Canada
Rocky Mountaineer Train, Canada

Ride the Rocky Mountaineer

Be whisked away on one of the world’s greatest train journeys from Jasper to Vancouver, hurtling through lush valleys, winding river canyons and panoramic landscapes on the Rocky Mountaineer. Following the route of the Fraser River, pass the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate, the shores of Kamloops Lake and the majestic Mount Robson (the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies). Add a gourmet kitchen, story-telling hosts and oodles of sweet fresh mountain air and this journey through Alberta and British Columbia becomes truly extraordinary. If budget allows, consider upgrading to the unparalleled panoramic Gold Leaf carriage with its glass-domed coach, exclusive outdoor viewing platform and luxurious overnight accommodations.

Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Canada
Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Canada
Surfer on the beach in Tofino
Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
View of rocky shoreline of Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
British Columbia, Canada

Tofino & Ucluelet

Explore the beautiful coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, located within the Pacific Rim National Park where boarded walkways meander amongst moss-draped cedars of the rainforest. Known for world-class surfing, Tofino attracts a vibrant crowd and has an eclectic dining scene, whilst Ucluelet is a hub for hiking and local art galleries, where indigenous artists showcase their First Nations culture. Kayak to Meares island, scout for coastal bears and spend a day whale watching for orca and humpbacks.

Surfer on the beach in Tofino
Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada
Kayaking, British Columbia, Canada
Family Canoeing on Emerald Lake, Canada
Canoeing, Emerald Lake, Canada

Let the Kids Lead the Way

With its wide open spaces, breath-taking scenery, thrilling outdoor pursuits and extraordinary wildlife, Canada is an enchanting destination for a memorable family adventure. Whether riding the waves of the nation’s surf capital of Tofino, horseback riding through the Rockies, white-water rafting down the Athabasca River, or zip-lining over bear-inhabited forests, Canada has plenty to keep the whole family entertained. We can arrange everything from sleepovers at the Vancouver Aquarium to nights spent under canvas in the middle of bear country, creating highly tailored itineraries that consider everything from swapping long drives for seaplanes to selecting wildlife-viewing programmes where the children set the pace.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Moraine Lake Lodge £££££

  • Canada
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Nestled in a spectacular valley, Moraine Lake Lodge is the ultimate getaway for those seeking a luxurious escape in the midst of the beautiful Banff National Park.

View Property

Wickaninnish Inn £££££

  • Canada
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Wickaninnish is a luxury hotel and spa on Chesterman Beach on the outskirts of Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

View Property

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge £££££

  • Canada
  • Boutique

This cabin-style hotel is 15 minutes from the town of Jasper, on the shores of Lac Beauvert. A village of heritage log cabins connected by pathways ensures the lodge is not imposing in the area.

View Property

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

The Ancient Cedar spa at The Wickaninnish Inn uses sustainably sourced ingredients, including their organic SeaFlora Skincare products, which are made from seaweed sustainably hand-harvested in the waters off Vancouver Island, and their essential oils use off-cut wastage of cedar greens from the logging industry. This is just one example of their many sustainability commitments.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge supplies their used kitchen oil to a local family farm who use it to power the farm’s bio-diesel equipment. Up to 100 gallons of oil is supplied per week in exchange for organic vegetables. In addition to this, wastage from soap, hygiene products and linens are donated to Soap for Hope Canada which distributes amenities to underprivileged communities in Canada.

Rocky Mountaineer have partnered with Trees Canada to plant a tree for every team member’s employment anniversary. Since 2008, this initiative has led to more than 13,500 trees being planted in Canada. In 2019, 10 new Gold Leaf carriages were added and fitted with dishwashers that use 20% less water than previous models.

Floating Bear-Viewing Lodge

Extend your Pacific Northwest adventure with a stay at a floating lodge off Vancouver Island. By zodiac, journey through remote estuaries in search of grizzly bears, watching them pluck salmon from the rushing water (and possibly see mothers with their cubs fishing further downstream), to see these normally solitary bears in iconic congregation. Set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, this remote region houses the largest concentration of grizzlies in western Canada as well as porpoises, sea lions, humpback whales and orcas.

2 days - Price on request

Grizzly Bear, Canada
Grizzly Bear, Canada

Canada: Flying Safari in British Columbia

Embark on a flying safari over British Columbia, for a unique opportunity to observe the landscapes from above and have access to remote (and otherwise unreachable) wilderness. By helicopter, spend days hiking, paddleboarding, fly-fishing, or picnicking in complete wilderness. Then, amidst this untapped wilderness, settle in to your own private glamping tent on a mountain peak for a night under the stars with views that stretch for over 40 miles.

2 days - Price on request

Aerial view, Graham Island, British Columbia, Canada
Graham Island, British Columbia, Canada

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £6,995 Per person

When to travel

Canada in January

January is an undoubtedly cold time of year in Canada, with temperatures reaching negative daily. However, visiting during this time can be a good chance to avoid the overwhelming busy times of the festive season and school holidays.

Canada in February

Winter in Canada offers an array of sporting and cultural events both indoors and out. Banff, Whistler and Jasper offer phenomenal ski resorts or perhaps be a spectator of an ice hockey match, arguably the country’s favourite sport.

Canada in March

While March can be a good off-peak time to visit, it is worth being prepared for drastic weather changes. However, this also means lower costs and fewer crowds. The mountains are still open for the ski season and cities are ideal as they are fewer tourists.

Canada in April

April marks the start of spring across Canada, a time to avoid crowds and discover all that the country has to offer with comfortable temperatures on average.

Canada in May

May is a favourable time to visit Canada, with temperatures rising, avoiding school holidays and off-peak rates.

Canada in June

For many travellers, June is the ideal time to visit Canada. Just before peak season, the weather is favourable and most of the trails and seasonal activities will have opened.

Canada in July

Summer in Canada calls for longer days to explore the natural beauty that awaits outdoors whether it’s hiking, fishing or camping. Temperatures average around 25, making cities quite warm but head into the wilderness or by the coast and enjoy the open air.

Canada in August

Summer is considered the peak season with warm temperatures and all attractions open. It is worth noting this time of year can be quite busy as it is school holidays.

Canada in September

As autumn rolls in and temperatures lower, September is a great time to avoid massive crowds and experience all that the country has to offer in comfortable weather. September is also the beginning of the salmon run, a peak time to see the bears fishing.

Canada in October

Temperatures continue to drop in October, also bringing cloudy days and rain. The autumn foliage is in full bloom across the countryside. This can also be a good time to take advantage of off-peak rates, however, it is worth bearing in mind that the weather can vary and some coastal towns will have started to close for the season.

Canada in November

November is a good time of year to visit the cities of Canada. It is too late to view the foliage and a bit too early to skiing yet, but a good time to explore cities across the country, in temperatures averaging 5 degrees.

Canada in December

The build-up to the festive season is in full swing across the country. Snow may have already started, making the perfect scene for ice skating and markets.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?


More about Steppes

F L E X I B I L I T Y P R O M I S E B O O K W I T H C O N F I D E N C E

Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.