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Road to Banff

Alberta’s Rockies, Lakes & National Parks

11-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,385 pp incl. flights


Short description

A spectacular self-drive from Calgary into the heart of the Canadian Rockies


  • Start and end your journey in the wild west city of Calgary
  • Visit the alpine forests and glacial lakes of Banff National Park
  • Drive one of the world's most scenic highways – the Icelands Parkway
  • Stand on the shores of Lake Louise
  • Enjoy scenic cruises on Lake Minnewanka and Maligne Lake

In Brief

  • 1 Night Calgary
  • 1 Night Canmore
  • 2 Nights Banff
  • 1 Night Emerald Lake
  • 2 Nights Jasper
  • 1 Night Lake Louise
  • 1 Night Calgary


Recommended for:
Mountains | Natural world | Self-drive

This self-drive journey takes you from the wild west of Calgary into the heart of the Canadian Rockies and back again. Visit scenic national parks, glacial lakes and windswept badlands as you discover everything the region has to offer. Stop to take in the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, hike through the alpine forests of Banff and drive the Icelands Parkway – one of the world's most spectacular highways. And, you can add on a host of excursions along the way, tailoring your trip to get to know Alberta at your own pace.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Calgary

Today you'll enjoy complimentary lounge access at the airport before boarding your flight to Calgary, Alberta. Bordered by the Rocky Mountains to the west and the vast prairies to the east, this is an area of outstanding natural beauty. After checking into your hotel, head out to explore the city itself, perhaps viewing the skyline from the observation deck at the Calgary Tower or adding on a food tour of Calgary's hidden gems. Alternatively, relax in your hotel for the evening, which boasts an onsite fitness centre, spa, and charcuterie restaurant.

Stay: Le Germain, Calgary (Superior) 

Day 2
Canmore and the Three Sisters mountain range

After breakfast this morning, head out of the Stampede City with your hire car towards the magnificent Rockies. Your end-point is Canmore, an authentic Alpine town surrounded by cragged peaks. On the way, you might choose to stop at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, where you can observe wolf behaviour up close. When you reach Canmore, rent bikes and explore over 100km of local trails, or add on a thrilling raft tour on the Bow River. Your accommodation for the night features a heated outdoor pool and hot tubs with panoramic views over the Three Sisters mountain range.

Stay: The Malcolm, Canmore (Superior)

Day 3
Canmore to Banff

This morning enjoy one of Canmore's scenic walking trails, perhaps a leisurely loop to Grotto Canyon, before making the short drive to Banff through the unspoilt wilderness of Banff National Park. Arriving into Banff you'll check into your mountain-lodge hotel followed by a free afternoon to explore at your own pace.There's plenty to do here, whether you prefer hiking in alpine forests or paddling across ice-blue lakes or perhaps a visit to the geothermal hot springs.

Stay: Banff Caribou Lodge (Superior) 

Day 4

Today, enjoy a cruise on Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the Banff National Park, sitting below the towering peaks of Mount Aylmer and Mount Inglismaldie to Devil's Gap. Look out for wildlife, including big horn sheep, deer and eagles, before returning to Banff to explore the town's shops and museums at your leisure.

In the evening, maximize your views of Banff National Park on an included return gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain and discover the sweeping scenes of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley and the town of Banff, perhaps enjoy an À la carte dinner at the Sky Bistro, or enjoy live music in the summer on the rooftop patios, all accompanied by dazzling sunsets. 

Stay: Banff Caribou Lodge (Superior)

Day 5
Banff to Emerald Lake

Today take the leisurely drive from Banff on the Bow Valley Parkway following the course of the Bow River. Make a stop at Johnston Canyon and take a walk to the lower or upper waterfalls, before continuing into British Columbia to visit Yoho National Park and stay at the wonderful Emerald Lake Lodge. The national park is filled with coloured glacial lakes and waterfalls, snow-covered peaks and dense forests of western red cedar and western hemlock. Crossed by historic railroads, spiral tunnels with mountain sides and steep rock faces where mountain goats roam.

Stay: Emerald Lake Lodge, Yoho National Park (Superior)

Day 6
Emerald Lake to Jasper | Ice Explorer + Skywalk

Travel through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the Icefields Parkway. Stop along the way at the newly opened Glacier Skywalk and the magnificent Columbia Icefield and board a Brewster Ice Explorer for an unforgettable excursion onto the icy slopes of the Athabasca Glacier. Walk on the ancient ice and learn about glaciers and icefields. Stroll along a cliff-edged walkway that leads to the jaw-dropping glass floored Columbia Icefield Skywalk, separating you from the floor of the valley by a 918-foot drop. After the tour, spend some time at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre and visit the newly expanded Parks Canada Interpretative Centre.

Stay: Forest Park Hotel (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7
Jasper and Maligne Lake

Today you'll be introduced to Jasper with a short tour of the town before heading across the Athabasca River to Maligne Lake. A century after Mary Schaeffer's remarkable adventure, discover "World renowned" Maligne Lake for yourself. A stop at Maligne Canyon offers views of the river thundering through a series of waterfalls in a gorge 10,000 years in the making, before reaching Maligne Lake for an interpretive boat cruise bound for Spirit Island.

Stay: Forest Park Hotel (Superior)

Day 8
Jasper to Lake Louise

Today you'll drive to the world-famous Lake Louise – one of Canada's most photographed spots – where ice-capped Alpine peaks rise above a pristine glacial lake. You might wish to ride the Lake Louise Gondola for wildlife-viewing opportunities and more scenic views, or simply stroll around the lake's shores and breathe in the fresh Alpine air. Lake Louise is the most famous glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies, and one of the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere. The lake, named for Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, is 1730 metres above sea level.

Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Superior)

Day 9
Lake Louise to Calgary

Departing Lake Louise, travel through the foothills of the Rockies retracing your journey through Banff and Canmore, perhaps make a brief stop at the mountain playground of Kananaskis, before heading back to the city of Calgary, nestled where the prairies ad mountains meet.

Stay: Le Germain, Calgary (Superior) 

Days 10-11
Return to UK

On your final morning in Calgary, explore the city further on foot or add on a shopping trip at the CrossIron Mills. Then, head to the airport before your overnight flight to the UK arriving on Day 11.



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

11-day tailor-made self-drive
from £2,385 pp incl. flights


May / October

from £2,385 pp. incl. flights

June - September

from £3,345 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: May to mid October


  • Complimentary UK departure airport lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Calgary
  • 9 nights accommodation in Superior level accommodation
  • 9 days car hire in a Intermediate vehicle (from Day 2)
  • Lake Minnewanka Cruise to Devils Gap in Banff
  • Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain (reservations can be made for sunset dinner)
  • Ice Explorer ride onto Athabasca Glacier & Glacier Skywalk
  • Maligne Lake Cruise, Jasper

During Calgary Stampede season (July 2024) accommodation and flights to Calgary will be limited and at much higher prices

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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