You may have visited the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and coastal city of Vancouver during the summer months, when the days are warm and long, but there is a lot to be said for visiting both during the colder winter months, when they take on a whole new look and feel. Hiking trails become ski piste, lakes and waterfalls freeze and the big cities come alive with regular winter festivals of all shapes and sizes.
• International Flights from London in economy class
• Nights in Calgary, Banff, Jasper and Vancouver
• Overnight on VIA Rail’s Canadian service in Sleep Plus Upper Berth
• Resort transfers (where mentioned)
• Jasper Snowshoeing tour
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Day 1 Calgary
Whilst being best known for the Stampede that takes place each July, Calgary has plenty to offer during the colder months of the year, even though your stay will be a short one. Head up to the Canada Olympic park, scene of the 1988 Olympics. Climb the ski jump where Eddie the Eagle made his name and you can even ride the bobsled track where the Jamaican team famously crashed out. If you would rather stay indoors, use the pedestrian skywalk to walk around the city, all without the need to go outdoors.
Day 2 Calgary – Banff
After being collected from your hotel enjoy the scenic drive out of Calgary and up into the Rocky Mountains and the town of Banff for the next two nights. Winter is a great time to visit Banff, as the town is not as busy as the summer months but still retains a great atmosphere. Skiers/snowboarders, winter sports enthusiasts and people just in town for a winter break, all mingle along Banff avenue, where you will find the best shops, bars and restaurants.
Day 3 Banff
Spend the morning exploring the local area before joining your included snowshoe tour to Marble canyon. This trip is mostly on flat terrain and is a great introduction to snowshoeing and the fur trade that became so important to Western Canada in the early days of the country. During your walk search for tracks by snowshoe hare, moose and wolves, before enjoying a typical Canadian treat as you near Marble Canyon, hot maple taffy.
Day 4 Banff – Jasper
A final morning of collecting those Banff souvenirs and photographs before joining your transfer to Jasper. You can look forward to one of the most scenic drives in the world (weather permitting), as you take the Icefields parkway through the Rocky Mountains. Arriving into Jasper, settle into your hotel for the next two nights.
Day 5 Jasper
Jasper National Park is a playground for all at any time of year, offering plenty of options during your stay. Hire equipment and ski at Marmot Basin for half a day or for something a little slower hire some cross country ski’s and explore the many trails or join a guided group. You can learn about the history of the area with a stop at the Jasper Yellowhead museum, where you can see how First Nation travellers, fur traders and explorers have all left their mark on Jasper national park.
Day 6 Jasper to Vancouver – VIA Rail
Your time in the Rockies comes to an end as you board VIA Rails Canadian service to Vancouver. With stunning scenery at every turn and so many new people to meet, train travel in Canada is never boring. Settle into your cozy berth for the night, enjoy a freshly prepared meal in the dining car and fall in love with the views from the lounge car with its domed glass ceilings.
Day 7 Vancouver
Arriving into Vancouver the next morning, you have a full day to explore the many cool neighbourhoods in the city, shop till you drop at all of the big name stores or just to relax at your hotel. In the evening why not indulge in Canada’s national sport and go to an Ice hockey game, take in a show or dine at one of the many fabulous restaurants that dot the city.
Day 8 Vancouver
As with all of Canada, this city and the surrounding area don’t hibernate when winter arrives, they just put on a warm coat and keep on going. Spend today exploring the beautiful Stanley park, you can walk the whole 9 km’s around its edge, or head into the interior and see the stunning First nation totem poles or visit the Vancouver Aquarium. If you wish to go further afield a visit to Capilano suspension bridge park or Grouse Mountain are well worth your time.
Day 9 Vancouver
The final day of your winter visit to Western Canada comes to an end as you check out of your hotel and independently head to the airport for your flight home.Want to alter anything?
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Selected departure dates between 1st Dec 2016 and 12 Apr 2017
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