It seems that everywhere I look Canada is being shouted about as a must visit destination for 2017 and it spectacular so I’m not surprised! I’ve previously posted Canada deals and here is one based on a similar itinerary I did myself. The trip starts and finishes in Calgary, and I’ve allowed two weeks which I think is a lovely paced itinerary. I went to Canada around end of May/beginning of June and it was the perfect time for a number of reasons. It is shoulder season so less tourists and better prices on hotels, etc. The bears are just waking up so plenty of sightings, and in some places such as Banff there was still snow and Sunshine Village in Banff was offering skiing so we were able to ski too so you get a good mix of seasons and it was great to see snow in some places, but other places the gorgeous blue lakes and melting ice.
One thing I’ve noticed is how much prices have changed and gone up! Seems the popularity of Canada has increased the prices of accommodation greatly. I’ve managed to find some pretty good offers for the period and it will only get more expensive as the peak season comes into force from June onwards.
Flights are direct from London with Westjet into Calgary.
22nd May 2017
Arrive in Calgary, pick up your car from Budget at the airport and drive 1 hour to Canmore. A lovely place to visit, even though technically you aren’t inside ‘the Rockies’, it’s well worth overnighting here and there are some nice shops and restaurants. It’s also not too far to drive either and I did the same drive after arriving into Calgary and it was just enough and a nice introduction to Canada! The first Canadian hike we did was Grassi Lakes and it is beautiful. Overnight at the Drake Inn in Canmore.
23rd-27th May 2017
Drive to Banff, spend 4 nights in Banff at the Red Carpet Inn. There is so much to see and do in Banff, for skiing head to Sunshine Village, there is also plenty of hikes - just watch out for bears. Make sure you take the opportunity to soak in the hot springs around Banff too. The Bow Valley Parkway, Johnston Canyon and Castle mountain Trail are all good hikes here. Also, if you hike up to Sulphur Mountain you can get the cable car down for free – or they did when I went.
I’d also recommend visiting Yoho National Park with Takkakaw Fall, the natural bridge and the Spiral Tunnel – I have never been so amazed by the trains as I was in Canada, sooooo loooooong, and the spiral tunnel was faschinating! Depending on the snow fall you could also head to Emereald Lake (you can also do Yoho when returning to Banff/Lake Louise later on in the itinerary).
27th – 31st May 2017
Drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, stay in Jasper for 4 nights. My own personal recommendation of accommodation is Elkview Jasper, which is the accommodation for the best your guide in Jasper called Joe. The wildlife tour is amazing. Details http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g154918-d2688901-Reviews-Jasper_Tour_Company-Jasper_Jasper_National_Park_Alberta.html#REVIEWS
The accommodation cost is around $80 a night, but I’ve stayed here myself and it is lovely. Right in the heart of Jasper and you are also getting the knowledge of Joe who gave us maps for hiking and even lent us his bear spray when we went hiking. Details of how to get in touch to book are in the breakdown.
In Japser, I’d recommend visiting Mt. Edith Cavell, the Maligne valley and Maligne Canyon as well as Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake. For longer hikes you can take a day trip to Mt. Robson Provincial Park in BC - Mt. Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and is an hour's drive from Jasper townsite. It's a stunning drive and you can also stop and see Overlander and Rearguard Falls too.
31st May – 2nd June 2017
Return towards the Banff area but stop at Lake Louise for 2 nights. You could stop again in Banff for 2 nights if you didn’t want to stay in Lake Louise (which is an expensive area to stay overnight in), however I’ve included 2 nights accommodation here as a different place to stay. There is also some lovely hiking in this area such as up to Agnes Tea House.
2nd-4th June 2017
Drive to Calgary and spend 2 nights there at the Econolodge which is central and has parking available too, before leaving on 4th June for your flight back to London.
Flights: £749.82 book flights online at Travel Up
Car Hire (coverted into GBP works out at £276.10) book on budget.com using code U305500 (enter this in BCD box).
1 Night in Canmore Drake Hotel - £42 book at booking.com
4 Nights in Banff at the Red Carpet Inn- £281.53 book at Expedia use code AFFUKMVC10HOTEL090117
4 Nights in Jasper - £200 You will need to get in touch with Elkview to book and confirm rates but it is not high season so you shouldn’t pay more than $80CAD a night. http://elkviewjasper.com/Elkview/Rates_Directions.html
2 Nights in Lake Louise - £202.02 book on Expedia use code AFFUKMVC10HOTEL090117
2 Nights in Calgary - £99.76 book on Expedia (code won’t work)