It’s hard to imagine a place more beautiful than Alberta. A land of soaring mountains, deep turquoise lakes, wildlife-rich forests and majestic glaciers, it’s home to two of the world’s oldest national parks – Jasper and Banff.
Alberta's national parks
It’s these spectacular swathes of wilderness that form many people’s first impressions of this uniquely beautiful province. Connecting it all is the Icefields Parkway, a 232-kilometre highway that traces the line of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide, cutting through broad, sweeping valleys as it links Jasper and Banff with the vast expanse of the Columbia Icefield and the deep blue-green of iconic Lake Louise.
Alberta through the seasons
Summer in Alberta brings with it the chance to explore on scenic hikes, bike rides, kayak paddles and white-water-rafting adventures, while wildlife tours might introduce you to black bears, grizzlies, wolves and coyotes. Then, in winter, the deep snows arrive, with Banff, especially, host to some of the world’s best alpine skiing. For an altogether different experience, journey east across the prairie to the barren, rock-strewn landscapes of the Alberta Badlands. Perhaps take time to visit Drumheller and the unesco-listed Dinosaur Provincial Park, explore the remarkable Red Deer River Valley, or journey to Alberta’s southern borders and the wonderfully named Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Edmonton & Calgary
Lastly there are Alberta's cities – the provincial capital, Edmonton, and Calgary, host to the self-proclaimed ‘greatest outdoor show on earth’. Each July, the Calgary Stampede brings together the world’s finest and most famous cowboys to battle it out in chuckwagon races and one of the richest rodeos on earth. It’s a fun-packed festival set against a backdrop of fairground rides and the best of Calgary cuisine.