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Road to Banff

Alberta’s Rockies, Lakes & National Parks

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,530 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

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

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Highlights

  • 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
  • Visit the hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands

In Brief

  • 1 Night Calgary
  • 2 Nights Canmore
  • 1 Night Icefields Parkway
  • 1 Night Abraham Lake
  • 1 Night Red Deer
  • 1 Night Calgary

About

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
Calgary to Canmore

After breakfast this morning, head out of the 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 Kootenay River. Your accommodation for the night features a heated outdoor pool and hot tubs with panoramic views over the Three Sisters mountain range.

Stay: Malcolm Hotel, Canmore (Superior)

Day 3
Banff

From your base in Canmore you'll head into the unspoilt wilderness of Banff National Park. There's plenty to do here, whether you prefer hiking in alpine forests or paddling across ice-blue lakes. Visit the geothermal hot springs, take a boat cruise across Lake Minnewaka, or perhaps drive to nearby Moraine Lake and view its sparkling turquoise waters against a backdrop of dramatic mountain peaks. Alternatively, Banff Gondola is another way to see awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain views. This evening, return to your hotel at Canmore.

Stay: Malcolm Hotel, Canmore (Superior)

Day 4
Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway & Abraham Lake

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. Then, drive the Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most spectacular highways, pausing for photos and watching out for bears, elk and wolves along the way. Tonight, stay at Glacier View Lodge, where you will enjoy a welcome reception in the Moraine Lounge, be led on a tour of the Athabasca Glacier where you will enjoy hot chocolate and Apple cider on the ice, before returning to the lodge for a three course dinner.

Stay: Glacier View Lodge, Icefields Parkway (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 5
Athabasca Glacier to Abraham Lake

Enjoy breakfast in the Altitude Restaurant before setting out for your private morning Glacier Skywalk tour, suspended 280 metres over sparkling ice and jagged rock walls. Head south back down the Icefields Parkway to Saskatewan River Crossing where you branch off for the short drive to Abraham Lake, and your wilderness lakeside stay at Aurum Lodge, nestled in the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, overlooking the Abraham Lake, surrounded by forests in Bighorn Country, you will still have time to enjoy one of the range of hikes in the vicinity of the lodge.

Stay: Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 6
Abraham Lake to Red Deer

After breakfast this morning take a final walk to Abraham Lake, or a hike to Siffleur Falls. Then, hop in your hire car and continue on to your next destination. On the way, you might choose to stop at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site and learn more about the local indigenous culture. Later, arrive in Red Deer, a lively city surrounded by farmland and winding river trails, perhaps visiting a local brewery to sample craft beers. 

Stay: Sandman Hotel Red Deer (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7
Red Deer to Drumheller to Calgary

Before leaving Red Deer this morning, perhaps take advantage of its waterside location with a gentle float down Red Deer River to spot wildlife. Then, en route to Drumheller, stop at the Donut Mill, a quaint converted windmill serving delicious treats. Head into the hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands to Drumheller, where the Royal Tyrrell Museum showcases a vast collection of dinosaur remains and prehistoric plants. Finally, arrive back into Calgary, checking back into your original accommodation in the heart of this wild west city.

Stay: Le Germain, Calgary (Superior)

Days 8-9
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 9.

Map

Pricing

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

Accommodation rating: Superior

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,530 pp incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £1,530 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £2,020 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: April to October

Includes

  • Complimentary UK departure airport lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Calgary
  • Return private airport transfers including Meet & Greet 
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation including; 1 night at Glacier View Lodge FB and 1 night at Aurum Lodge, Abraham Lake on a BB basis, dinner is available at Aurum Lodge and is recommended due to the location, these must be booked at the time of reservation
  • Glacier View Lodge package includes accommodation, welcome reception including snacks and drinks, private evening Ice Explorer Glacier Tour, three-course dinner, breakfast, private morning Glacier Skywalk tour, and parking
  • 7 days car hire (pick-up Calgary downtown on Day 2 and drop off Calgary downtown Day 8)


During Calgary Stampede season (03 - 21 July 2020) 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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