Canada is booming.
Its people are known for genuine friendliness and the country has an incredible diversity – it motivated our Julie to become a Canada specialist, and it has bewitched many of our clients, not least our friend and blogger Roger, whose recent tour produced a brilliant travel report.
As the world's second largest nation (by area) we've chosen to spotlight just one part of it: Western Canada. Our guides are North America Travel Service, who have 45 years’ experience in creating luxury, tailor-made holidays, so, your getaway experience is in very safe hands.
The provinces of British Columbia and Alberta offer exceptional experiences. Choose either one and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Combine them both and you’ll create a holiday which fully embraces the Canadian Rockies region.
British Columbia It is hard to believe that one place could host so many experiences. But it can: this immense western region of Canada is home to thousands of miles of lush coastline, soaring mountains, stunning landscapes, glacier-fed lakes and a host of islands, set across six distinct regions. This makes British Columbia an ever-popular tourist destination for all ages. Take to the water for kayaking, sailing, fishing, whitewater rafting and whale watching or explore the land on a biking, hiking, bird watching, golfing or skiing adventure.
A vibrant urban playground, Vancouver combines a lively downtown district with lush parks, fabulous shopping opportunities, historical attractions and a distinctive range of global influenced communities. Vancouver Island is home to the very British capital and beautiful harbour town of Victoria. Although only 300 miles from end to end, this is an island of unspoiled natural beauty and wilderness, alive with wildlife on land as well as at sea. Marvel at the coastal magnificence of Pacific Rim National Park and the remote wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park; take a whale watching trip to see the Orcas breaching in the bays or travel north to see the natural wilderness of BC’s bear population. Go back in time and visit the Gold Rush Trail or ride the range in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region; experience some of the best whitewater rafting in Canada on the Thompson and Fraser Rivers or taste the exemplary wines produced from the renowned orchards of the Okanagan Valley.
Sample Itinerary: British Columbia Explorer (fly drive) 15 Days/14 Nights. Departures year round.
Days 1 and 2: Vancouver
Days 3 and 4: Whistler
Days 5 to 7: Sunshine Coast
Days 8 and 9: Jasper
Days 10 and 11: Tofino
Days 12 and 13: Victoria
Day 14: Vancouver
Your fly drive includes round-trip scheduled flights, Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation (days 3 to 15), plus accommodations and ferry crossings. Prices from £1925 per person based on twin occupancy of standard rooms.
Alberta Alberta is renowned for the awe-inspiring Rockies, which form the backbone of this incredible province, as well as the breathtaking beauty of its Rocky Mountain parks: Banff, Jasper, Kananaskis and Waterton. These parks form a gateway into an outdoor recreational playground which is fun to explore at any time of year. The snow-dusted Rocky Mountains offer pursuits from hiking, biking and skiing to heli-hiking, fishing, horseriding, climbing, zip lining and rafting adventures. Alberta boasts five World Heritage Sites: Dinosaur Provincial Park, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Glacier National Park, Jasper National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park, adding a cultural dimension to any itinerary.
Take an expedition along Icefields Parkway and come face-to-face with dramatic mountain vistas and towering walls of ice or head north along the Northern Lights trail to Fort McMurray where you can view the extraordinary spectacle of lights dancing across the sky. Try travelling in the tracks of the Dinosaurs and join a dig in Drumheller or unravel thousands of years of Aboriginal culture at Glenbow or Royal Alberta Museums.
Alberta’s two largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, offer unique experiences which rival any of Canada’s other cosmopolitan cities. Both add a sprinkle of cafés and restaurants, great shopping, a selection of cultural sites and a whole host of sporting venues, to create city destinations which complement the province's natural beauty.
Sample Itinerary: Alberta Explorer (fly drive) 15 Days/14 Nights. Departures May to September.
Days 1 and 2: Calgary
Days 3 and 4: Banff
Days 5 and 6: Lake Louise
Days 7 to 9: Jasper
Days 10 and 11: Edmonton
Days 12 and 13: Drumheller
Day 14: Calgary
Your fly drive includes round-trip scheduled flights, Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation, plus accommodations. Prices from £2039 per person based on twin occupancy. Don’t miss: The Rocky Mountaineer Considered by many to be the trip of a lifetime, a rail journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer promises to be a magical experience. With the spectacular scenery of British Columbia and Alberta as a backdrop, every corner turned brings into view another picture-perfect landscape. Following the historic train route constructed over 100 years ago, the Rocky Mountaineer offers a choice of four superb journeys, each showcasing the diverse beauty of Canada's West and the Canadian Rockies.
Don’t miss: Sonora Resort Sonora Resort is a shimmering jewel amidst the wild beauty and pristine waters of British Columbia’s West Coast. Whether you are looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing retreat, this exceptional resort can provide it all wrapped up in an extraordinary level of service and luxury. Explore remote glaciers by helicopter, fish the world-famous salmon-filled waters, search the wilderness for bears or brave the ocean rapids.
All the holidays listed here are just suggestions. There are many other possibilities, or you can build your own perfect journey – just contact us to get started.