DAY 1 - Vancouver to Whistler
Welcome to the Pacific Coast and the start of your trip! Not many cities can claim fusing big-city living with the great outdoors, but with its skyscrapers, beaches, forest and mountains, Vancouver has somehow nailed that perfect mix. We'll cruise along the glorious clifftop Sea to Sky Highway in search of Whistler.
How’s that fresh mountain air? The rugged, handsome landscapes of Whistler are gorgeous all year long, from the ancient mountain peaks to the alpine hiking trails. First up though, stretch out those legs for an optional zipline on the 'superfly'. One of the world's best, do it alone, or jump in a tandem with a buddy - after all 102km an hour is not for the faint hearted. Dinner’s on us tonight – make sure you rest up, because adventure is on the cards all day tomorrow.
DAY 2 - Whistler
Come winter, Whistler may be a haven for snowbunnies, but when the weather is warm, it’s activity central. Test your Popeye strength by canoeing along the River of Golden Dreams, zipline over churning rivers or take a hike through scenery that puts most postcards to shame. If you’re feeling lazy, take a gondola or a chairlift to the mountain tops, but don’t forget to explore the village itself – you’ll melt at its cuteness.
DAY 3 - Whistler to Sun Peaks
We're headed out of Whistler to the largest ski area in Canada, Sun Peaks. Along the way we'll enjoy a scenic drive through the Lillooet Mountain Range, admiring the various reservoirs and lakes that sparkle in the wintry sun.
Welcome to Sun Peaks! This elegant little village will be our home for the night. Why not take a gondola ride between the two peaks, to soak up those glorious panoramas?
DAY 4 - Sun Peaks to Jasper via Mt. Robson
Well rested, we'll take in some incredible scenes on our drive this morning, and you might even see the highest point in the Rockies if weather permits.
Eating outdoors is essential in these parts, so we'll load you up with a picnic lunch against a beautiful backdrop. And then the outdoors is yours to explore. Want to take the adrenaline levels up a notch? Get involved with our optional white-water rafting experience on the Fraser River. There's nothing like a rafting adventure to confirm that there is no 'I' in team.
Jasper will be your home for the next two nights – convenient really, considering it’s the perfect base to explore the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.
DAY 5 - Jasper
Rise 'n' shine - it's time to get out there with an easy hike though Maligne Canyon. Towering limestone walls will watch over us as we take in the scene, making our way across bridges to the thrilling soundtrack of rushing water. Nature goals achieved, we'll jump on the coach and head to Maligne Lake, famous for the azure colour of its water, and today we’ll show you why. Drink in the beauty of the surrounding snow-capped mountains from the shore, or take an optional cruise out to iconic Spirit Island, the most photographed image in the Rockies - we'll bet you know the one. Later, we'll leave you to your own devices to explore the cute town of Jasper.
DAY 6 - Jasper to Banff
On our way to Banff today, you’ll be glued to the windows as we pass the waterfalls, lakes, meadows, glaciers and towering mountains that make up the Columbia Icefield Parkway. Take a walk to the Athabasca Falls, wheel across the Athabasca Glacier on the Ice Explorer, and cure that cotton-mouth with a drink of pure H2O – just be careful not to stick your tongue to the ice... Peyto Lake and Lake Louise (you're sure to have seen these on Instagram) are the perfect place to snap your next profile pic, and make sure those eyes stay peeled for wildlife.
We’ll roll into Banff – the unofficial capital of the Canadian Rockies. You’re in cowboy country now, and who are we to buck tradition? Saddle up for a round of drinks before dinner and check into your chalet.
DAY 7 - Banff
There’s loads on the menu today in Banff: hop on a gondola (and hold your nose) up Sulphur Mountain, take a heli-tour of the high country or play knock-and-run in the 800 rooms that make up the landmark Banff Springs Hotel – a gothic monstrosity that is definitely worth a visit. At night, toast the moon with a horseback ride through the back-country complete with a fire-cooked meal to round off the day.
DAY 8 - Banff to Calgary
Catch you later, Banff - Calgary, we’re on our way
This sun-soaked city in Alberta is known for its close proximity to the Canadian Rockies, a thriving art scene, delicious food, a ‘wild west’ heritage and much, much more. We’ve got some time on our hands today, so feel free to check out the Calgary Heritage Park, enjoy a craft beer, or try visiting Calgary Tower for a 360 degree view of the city, foothills and the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
DAY 9 - Calgary
Today is all about seeing and experiencing the very best of this world renowned ‘Cowtown’. Grab your cowboy hat (mandatory), your frayed chaps (optional) and let’s hit the town. There’s plenty of things to choose from for today’s action, from mechanical bull riding, to horseshoe toss games, or line dancing with the locals. Bars, restaurants, mock gun fights and country bands will keep the action going long after the sun goes down. We’ll be in town during the Calgary Stampede, however tickets to the show are not included, but can be purchased by going to www.calgarystampede.com.
DAY 10 - Calgary to Vernon
With cloudy heads and western spirits on high we'll leave Calgary in our dust this morning. Keep those eyes to the horizon as today's drive to Vernon promises to be nothing short of spectacular.
Wild, rugged and impossibly beautiful, our drive through Yoho National Park will see heads swivelling in every direction as you struggle to take in the incredible landscape of waterfalls, meadows the the ice blue Kicking Horse River
Hitting the second out of the three national parks we see today we stope in Revelstoke and then on to stunning Glacier National Park.
DAY 11 - Vernon to Vancouver
We’re sure you’ll agree that meandering through Canada's wine country – the famed Okanagan Valley - is a great way to kill time on the drive back to Vancouver. It's time to see everything of this magical metropolis that you missed the first time around, we'll treat you to a whirlwind tour of the historic sites.
It’s time to see everything of this magical metropolis you missed the first time round. Vancouver’s downtown is world class, and its locals take immense pride in its multiculturalism. Stop for pics at the city's nine Totem Poles - these colourful carved sculptures stand tall in Stanley Park and are a must-see sight that were gifted to Vancouver City. Get out there and get local, do some boutique shopping or even rent a bike and explore the city on wheels. Tonight, give your ears a treat with some live music in the alleys of Yale Town.
DAY 12 - Vancouver
A hidden grassroots art scene, eating adventures in abundance, and a pretty seaport setting - your free day in Vancouver will not be short of magic. If the galleries and cute cafes get old, roam one of the city's many parks or gardens or find a spot to take in the surrounding mountain vistas. Top off the day with a dinner cruise and your Vancouver experience is whole and complete.
DAY 13 - Depart Vancouver
All good things must come to an end, and so does our alpine adventure this morning. We wish you all a fond salute and bon voyage. We hope we'll be seeing you again soon...