Best of the West

21 days from £3,995pp

This three week tour whisks you around the best bits of western Canada. You’ll cycle in Vancouver, go whale watching in Victoria, spot bears in Tofino, soar over Whistler on a zipline, camp and raft in Wells Gray Provincial Park, discover Jasper on a Harley Davidson and hike the legendary Athabasca Glacier.

Highlights

  • Camp overnight on a lakeside beach in Wells Gray Provincial Park after a day of white-water rafting

  • Brave the Sasquatch Zipline and whoosh between the imposing Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains

  • Take an exhilarating ride in the side car of a Harley Davidson as you see the scenic highlights of Jasper National Park

  • Watch black bears forage for food on the water’s edge in British Columbia

  • Spot killer whales off the coast of Vancouver Island on a whale watching tour

Sarah
Senior Travel Designer
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I fell in love with Canada when living there in 2004. Since then I have designed countless trips for all types of parties. Canada never disappoints.

Best of the West

21 days from £3,995.00pp
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Itinerary

This exciting trip to Canada includes international flights, float plane transfer, excursions as mentioned, car hire, BC ferry crossings, all camping equipment, accommodation with most breakfasts as well as 1 lunch and 4 dinners. We’ll take care of the boring bits leaving you to make the most of your holiday.

Day

Resort

Type

Vancouver, including historic Gastown and Chinatown is quite compact and easily explored by foot. Set on water and encompassed by mountains, this cosmopolitain city basks in glorious natural setting. The smart and arty Listel Hotel will be your base for the next two nights, perfectly situated for your whirlwind introduction to the city with the best restaurants and attractions just minutes away from your hotel.

On your second day, ride along Vancouver's beautiful Stanley Park's network of trails and along the seawall. This leisurely cycle gives you the best views of downtown Vancouver, the North Shore, Lion’s Gate Bridge and English Bay. Your guide will be on hand to tell you all the need-to-know facts and stories from Vancouver’s 125-year history.

This afternoon has more adventure waiting with a simulated flight over Canada. At FlyOver Canada, you’ll sit suspended surrounded by a huge spherical screen while you take a sensory journey that will have you seeing, feeling and smelling the Canadian adventures that lie ahead of you.

The evening is yours to take your pick of restaurants and choose whether you want to party the night away in one of the city’s livelier districts or get an early night ahead of moving on to Vancouver Island next day.

This morning board a seaplane bound for the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Flying in a seaplane is quite a thrill, and after touching down in the water off Vancouver Island make your way to your accommodation.

This afternoon has you getting familiar with Canada’s culinary highlights on a walking tour of Victoria. You’ll make six restaurant stops on the route from Fisherman’s Wharf to Government Street, so make sure you arrive hungry! There’ll be the opportunity to try classic Canadian dishes like candied salmon, poutine, Nanaimo bars and deliciously sweet maple syrup.

Day 4 has a Canadian must-do in store – whale watching! In the spring and summer, resident orca whales can be spotted off the coast of Vancouver Island. You’ll go in search of them on a zodiac speedboat, zipping across the waves and freshened by sea spray on an exhilarating ride.

Today you’ll make your way to the quaint beach town of Tofino. Have your camera at the ready as the journey there offers excellent wildlife spotting opportunities. The next morning you’ll head out on a wildlife sighting expedition where you’ll explore the fjord inlets of Clayoquot by boat in search of black bears.

Enjoy a picturesque ferry journey from Vancouver Island back onto the mainland and then drive the famous Sea-to-Sky highway northbound to Whistler. Be sure to make plenty of pit stops along the way to admire the increasingly impressive views.

Day 8 is yours to explore the area. The village of Whistler is a labyrinth of pedestrianised streets with lines of shops and restaurants that cater to the resort’s year-round visitors. If you’re in town on a Saturday, visit the Pemberton Distillery for samples of their craft spirits that includes artisan gin and vodka and dangerously good whiskey and wild honey liqueur.

Day 9 and the adventure dials up again. Today you’ll be hitting Canada’s longest zip line, Sasquatch Zip Line, whizzing two kilometres from high on Blackcomb Mountain down to Whistler Mountain. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Next, soak up the stunning scenery on the world record-breaking Peak 2 Peak gondola between the two mountains.

You’ll bid farewell to Whistler today, and head north to Clearwater on the southern edge of Wells Gray Provincial Park where you’ll check into Clearwater Lodge for one night.

The next two days are utterly exhilarating. You’re off on a two-day hiking, camping and rafting trip, riding some of Canada’s most thrilling free-flowing river rapids. You’ll see two incredible thundering waterfalls and camp on a riverside beach where a guide will cook and serve delicious fire cooked food.

After a night under the stars, return to the comfort of Clearwater Lodge for a final night in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Cross over into the province of Alberta today into Jasper. You’ll have some time to explore the rugged scenery, the deep river gorges and the soaring mountains. There’s an abundance of wildlife here – think elk, moose and bears.

Day 14 will surely be an absolute highlight of your trip, and if we were still in the age of writing postcards, this would be the experience you wrote home about. Today you’ll don some leathers and head out to explore the Canadian Rockies in the side car of a Harley Davidson. You’ll be driven by a professional rider, stopping for photos on a two-hour tour of the regions highlights. You’ll get to choose what you see – perhaps the Athabasca Falls? Mount Edith Cavell or Medicine Lake? Jasper has so much insanely beautiful scenery, it’ll be difficult to pick.

Next day and the adventures in Jasper continue, albeit on a calmer expedition today. You’ll embark on a cruise down the Sampson Narrows to Spirit Island. On-board, you’ll learn about the fascinating glaciology of Maligne Lake (and how the lake gets its intensely blue colour), drinking in the superlative-inducing scenery as you go. On arrival at Spirit Island, you’ll have time to walk to the viewpoint that overlooks that southern shores of Maligne Lake before your journey back.

You’ve got a short drive south to Moraine Lake. Along the way hike onto the Athabasca Glacier, guided by a specially trained glacier guide and led safely across the terrain, admiring the ice-carved landscapes as you go.

Later, you’ll be checking into the luxurious Moraine Lake Lodge where you will be very comfortable for the next three nights. Each cabin has views to the towering Ten Peaks and set in a tranquil forest. Each night, you’ll be treated to a sumptuous feast at the hotel’s restaurant. The days are yours to get to know the area better, you can canoe on Moraine Lake, go hiking in the wilderness or cover more ground by horseback. Perhaps some fishing will capture your fancy? But if you just want some quiet downtime, we think it’s well-earned after the adventures of the past two weeks.

Today you’ll drive to Canmore for two nights, your last stop on your discovery of western Canada. The following day the short drive to Banff and enjoy a gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain for far-reaching views across Banff National Park.

Day 21 and the adventure comes to an end. You’ll fly home from Calgary this evening, a 90 minute drive from Banff, so you might find you have some time on your last day to explore the area, or do a little last-minute shopping in the town, before it's time to head to the airport.

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