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Canada Rockies in Winter

Best of Canada's Winter Destinations

Canada's Best Winter Destinations

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13 January 2016 by Emma Sanger-Horwell

Winter is Canada's longest season. However, rather than shut down the country comes alive with opportunities for activities and festivities. Essentially the country is one big winter playground.

Although some people opt to hibernate like bears or head south like birds, the majority of folk embrace the experience and turn the season into a fun-filled time of year. So, don't be afraid of the sub-zero temperatures, bundle up warm and jump into a Canadian winter.

Our Top 5 Canada holiday ideas


Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Banff National Park, set up more than 125 years ago, was Canada's first national park. 80 miles from Calgary, deep within the Rocky Mountains, it offers every imaginable winter sport, including skiing, which takes place on Mount Norquay. Banff itself has hot springs, unusual shops, art galleries and good accommodation. There's even the chance to spot elk ambling in from the nearby forest.

Lake Louise

Less than an hour on from Banff, Lake Louise has one of the largest ski areas in North America; there are 4,200 acres of land to explore. At the heart of the area is the Victoria Glacier where you can snowshoe, dog sled, skate or hike through an ice canyon. There are plenty of chic lodges, such as Chateau Lake Louise and even one of Canada's finest restaurants to try at the Post Hotel.


The road north from Banff to Jasper is one of the great, scenic drives of the world. At the end of the three-hour journey through the Icefields Parkway, past the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier, lies Jasper National Park, home to the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, which makes an exceptional base from which to explore.

British Columbia

Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada


Whistler, North of Vancouver, has been a winter sports favourite forever; it also hosted the Winter Games in 2010. It's home to the largest ski area in North America with more than 200 marked trails and 37 chair lifts amidst 8,100 acres of tree and glacier skiing. Check out Blackcomb too for bobsled and skeleton rides. There's also a panoramic PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola spanning the 2.7 mile long gap between the two summits; the 11 minute journey is as exhilarating a ride as any on the snow below.

Resorts at the foot of the mountains, including the Fairmont Banff Springs, Chateau Whistler and Four Seasons are well planned, fun and full of great places to stay and eat. If you're still here in April, enjoy the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, a celebration of snowsports, music, arts and mountain life.

Monashee and Bugaboo

Heli-skiing started in the Bugaboo Range almost 50 years ago, with choppers carrying adventurers to uncharted slopes with pristine powder to carve their way through. Combine this range with the Monashee Mountains and you've a massive ski terrain to explore. Hire a guide and take to the wilderness for a ski trip unlike any other.


Stood on the western coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is part of the Pacific Rim National Park. There's little snow here but the windswept beaches boast towering waves, making it ideal for the tough characters who tackle the O'Neill Coldwater Classic pro surfing championship. Hole up in a cosy inn such as the Wickaninnish Inn and watch the wave riders do battle with the gnarly surf from beside a roaring fire or even the comfort of a hot tub. Alternatively, grab a good wetsuit and join in.


Polar bear, Manitoba, Canada


North of Winnipeg lies Churchill, on the shores of the Hudson Bay. Hurry here in October and November as large numbers of polar bears begin to come together in preparation for the moment the ice freezes and they can start to hunt seals.

Photo safaris and wildlife watching expeditions abound, with chances to see Arctic foxes, wolves, caribou, moose and snowy owls as well as bears. In March, the Northern Lights dance across the night sky in a surreal spectacle. in the same month, look out for the epic Hudson Bay Quest, a 250-mile dogsled race across the ice. Don't worry though if you don't have the gear to to insulate and protect you from the Arctic weather as this can be hired for the duration of your stay.

Ontario and Quebec

Ottawa Rideau Canal Canada

Quebéc City

With more than 400 years heritage, Quebéc City is a romantic, architecturally interesting place to spend winter. Hip hotels such as the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac overlook the St Lawrence River or hide in the heart of the old quarter. Every January the Ice Hotel is remade; the only one in North America, it is fashioned from chunks of ice and stands 5m tall. It boasts fireplaces and fur-lined beds as a means of combatting the cold. Cross country ski through the town or downhill ski on the nearby slopes of Mont Ste Anne. Come from the end of January to mid-February and enjoy Carnival, which celebrates a host of winter activities and includes night parades, fireworks and concerts.


Fashionable, funky Montréal is home to a number of excellent places to eat and drink. The culmination of winter features the High Lights Festival, which celebrates the city over 10 days. The entire city also turns out for Montréal en Lumiere, a succession of live music performances, light shows and free events every February. Close to the city are the Laurentian Mountains. The highest peak, Mont Tremblant, is one of the biggest ski resorts in the region, with good-quality skiing, snowboarding and sleigh rides. Thrill seekers can also scoot along rails on a toboggan for close to a mile at Mont Saint Saveur.


Canada's capital, Ottawa, is home to the Rideau Canal Skateway, the largest naturally frozen rink in the world. Over almost 5 miles, skaters slip past the Canadian parliament buildings, the National Arts Centre and ice sculptures. Warm up with cocktails overlooking the canal or dive into the ByWard Market to find more than 120 places to eat, drink and shop. For culture hit the National Gallery, famous for Inuit art. In February the city hosts Winterlude, a fantastic festival for family winter fun.

Related offers

Northern Lights in Yellowknife & the Rockies

12-day tailor-made journey from £2,510 pp incl. flights

This 11-day tailor-made winter holiday sees you travel to north to the remote city of Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories and Canada's most reliable location for spotting the Northern Lights.

Winter Adventure at Hotel Sacacomie

7-day tailor-made Journey from £1,775 pp incl. flights

Beginning with a stay in Montréal, this weeklong winter break brings you to Hotel Sacacomie for roaring log fires, home-cooked gourmet food and three days of snowbound adventure.

Winter Rockies Tour: Vancouver to Calgary

11-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £2,045 pp incl. flights

This ten-day, tailor-made Canadian adventure takes you across the spectacular landscapes of the Rocky Mountains from the exciting coastal city of Vancouver in British Columbia to Calgary in the province of Alberta.

Why book with Wexas Travel?

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.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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