Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

Wow what a trip, 5 nights in the Rockies We flew from London Heathrow with Air Canada, I drove down night before and stayed at the Radisson Red at Heathrow, which is a great location trendy hotel and has swimming pool , sauna , steam room you can use free of charge they give you a towel and use of locker which is £1, a lovely Italian restaurant on site, but I chose to eat in the bar with a G&T (£10.30 for a single ) so early night for me. Parking at the hotel was included in my stay but it can be expensive if you don‘t include this in your package (£30 for 24hours). I also had in my package meet and greet parking at Heathrow so next morning drove to Terminal 2 , I missed the parking turning and when I got home had a fine of £40 as didn't pay the drop off fee I appealed and was let off as sent a photo of my parking voucher so make sure you watch for the signs but I know airports can be confusing.

Day 1

Met up with all the other agents ready to check in, we did a self check in and bag drop. flight was on time. Onboard we had a lovely meal and drinks included and a snack before getting off flight. landed in Calgary we just jumped in a taxi outside the airport took about 20 minutes to downtown Calgary and cost about 45 Canadian dollars. Our first night hotel was the Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Downtown, which is close to the National Music centre (Studio Bell), Calgary Stampede (normally in July) and the River Walk and Calgary Tower We met Chandelle Robinson for our first visit which was Studio Bell which has 5 floors of exhibitions that tell the story of Music in Canada A few treasures to see are Elton Johns songwriting piano on which he wrote songs from his first 5 albums Performance costumes form a range of artist like K. D Lang, Shania Twain and live shows at certains times We did a organised Calgary walking tour but I think you could do this yourself. Next we had our visit up the Calgary tower which officially opened in June 1968, its Calgary most famous and Identifiable Physical Landmark. You get great views from up here and if your brave enough you can stand on the glass floor which is 36 feet long and 4 foot wide We then had free time to explore and found ourselves at the heart of Stephen Avenue with many shops and restaurants, also worth a visit is Calgary Public Library. Our Evening meal was at the Charbar Restaurant an Argentine Wood Fired Grill which is a blend of Spanish and Italian Cuisine. Definitely worth a visit if you stop in Calgary, food and cocktails where great and you can walk along the river after your meal.

Day 2

A visit to the Heritage Park just outside Calgary Heritage Park is known as Canada’s largest living history experience. In the winter season you can experience the stunning Gasoline Alley Museum and Heritage square shop and restaurants. The summer season you can learn about early Western Canadian history and has a lot more open. We did a horse drawn Wagon tour after a presentation and the Gasoline Alley Museum. Think it would be better in Summer months as not fully open until then. Our journey into the Rockies begins this took about 1.5 hours and the views are breath-taking keep your camera close. Lunch time we arrived in Banff, wow this place is stunning Banff National Park Established after railway workers stumbled onto the thermal hot springs, Banff became Canada’s first national park in 1885 and today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore more than 1600km of maintained trails on foot, by bike or horseback. Come in the Winter and ski some of the finest powder anywhere. The alpine towns of Banff and Lake louise have all the amenities and everything you need to stay and explore this magical place. We stopped at the Three Bears Brewery for lunch a must dine if you can also we ate in the evening at the Bluebird Restaurant ( if you like steak this is a good place to go). During the afternoon we explored local areas visiting Bow Falls , Cascade point, Vermillion Lakesand Mt, Norquay Green Spot Hotel during our stay in Banff for the 2 nights was the Mount Royal Hotel centrally located with a rooftop lounge and hot hub, onsite dining at Brazen and lounge, has parking facilities which is $5 per night. Banff Gondola is about 10 minute drive from the hotel, with six stunning mountain ranges and the sweep of the Bow Valley laid out before you , views from Sulphur Mountain summit are nothing short of breathtaking. Its worth the extra little walk up there to see those views. There are 2 restaurants up there, we ate at the Northern lights Alpine restaurant which was buffet style.

Day 3

Breakfast at the Brazen onsite restaurant at the Mount Royal, then transfer to the Johnston Canyon which was about 30min drive. We did this with Discover Banff Tours. Johnston Canyon Icewalk 3 hours We wore grippers on our shoes which was a god send, get these or hire if doing this tour during winter months. Started with a gentle walk to the lower falls, wandering through a natural cave to gaze down at the flowing waters of the frozen falls up close. Then continued onto the spectacular upper falls- a glittering tower of ice that rises 30meters above you. We left early and got there about 845am which was great as we didn’t see anyone until our way back from upper falls, we stopped for a hot chocolate and a maple syrup cookie provided by our guide. This tour can be challenging if your not a good walker. Time now to visit Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and its Iconic Lake which is part of Alberta’s National Park a UNESCO World Hertiage site. We visited in April and the lake was still frozen, you can hire ice skates and walk on the lake, but we just had a guided tour with the resident guide from the hotel who is great fun but he’s retiring in October so hopefully they will get someone else just as good. In the summer months you can go canoeing on the lake , horse-riding , hiking and visiting nearby Moraine Lake but this has to be done by organised tour, otherwise you won’t be able to visit. Also they are renovating their spa at the moment so building work is happening during hours 8am-6pm. We had lunch here at the Lakeview Lounge, what a feast, worth popping in for lunch and a drink overlooking the lakeside. Back to Banff and a bit of free time before heading to the Bluebird Restaurant ( recommended Restaurant)

Day 4

Transfer to Jasper today stopping off at lots a viewpoint driving along the Icefield Parkway Main Road in the National Park. Peyto Lake Point view- The ambience at Peyto Lake lookout is one of the collective awe and appreciation. We walked through a winter wonderland, with snow flurrying down around the snowcapped alpine forest , is was like a fairytale. Stunning views of mountains and lake. Columbia Icefield Are and the Athabasca Glacier The Columbia Icefield is a surviving remnant of the thick ice mass that once mantled most of Western Canada’s Mountains, lying on a wide elevated plateau it is the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies. It wasn’t open when we visited but we got some photos from afar. The Ice Explorer & Glacier Skywalk opens this year in May 2024 until 13th October 2024 We also stopped at the Sunwapta Falls, lots of hike around these areas if that’s what you like to do Goats and Glacier Look out , think this is where we saw the Bald Eagle. But we saw lots of other wild life along the Parkway Road, such as Big horn sheep, elk, didn’t managed to see a bear, they were only just coming out of hibernation, so if you want to see one while in Canada going during summer months. Another lovely stop was the Athabasca Falls, approximately half an hour south of Jasper, the powerful and picturesque Athabasca Fall is easily accessed, Here you can take an awe-inspiring photo of the rushing water of the falls, framed beneath a towering Mount Kerkeslin. Jasper Part of the reason Jasper was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site is because of the abundant fauna that live in the national park including Elk, Caibou, Moose, Mountain goats, bighorn sheep bears and wolves plus a variety of birds and many smaller creatures like marmotes and pikas. Jasper townsite is like an oldy worldy town, with cute house which are fenced in to keep the Elk out from eating their plants. The is a big rail station where you can get the Rockie mountaineer from, the Jasper Park information centre is here and you can book tour like a downtown foodie tour or Peak nic which is a hike and a back country cooking lesson, this can be booked with The is a great little pub in Jasper called the Dead Dog , all the locals drink there and it has a great atmosphere. In the evening we had dinner at the Jasper Brewing Company Food was great, Poutine, chicken wings, cherry cola Ribs, Elk meatloaf to name just a few things on offer. If you love a beer this is a place to visit, with 6 signature beers brewed onsite. Time to visit Jaspers Planetarium and Telescope Experience at Fairmount Jasper Park Lodge, which is a gorgeous hotel and I wish we had longer here. The Planetarium experience for us didn’t go to plan as it was very cloudy and cold, so be prepared for this if you plan to do this. If it is cloudy on the day you do it, you can revisit they give you a 2 year pass to revisit. We stayed at the Lobstick Hotel , It’s a little walk into main town about 20mins but it’s a nice enough walk.

Day 5

We did a Sundog Tour of Maligne Valley with a local guide which took us to our first stop at Maligne Canyon over 2 bridges above the gorge. At Maligne Lake you can normally do a lake cruise to the world famous Spirit Island or enjoy a hike along Mary Schaffer loop approx. 2 miles. Next a transfer to Jasper Skytram which is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada. It takes 7 minutes to reach the top withan altitude of 2263 meters. Up here you can see views of 6 mountains ranges, glacier fed lakes ( some of which you could see had started to melt and was showing the beautiful blue glacier water), rivers and of course the mountain town of Jasper. While up there we had a go at snowshoeing , great fun but we didn’t walk up the summit of Whistlers mountain , but you can do if you have enough energy. Also during the summer months this would be great little hike (Maybe not little)

Day 6

Check out from Lobstick hotel Breakfast at the Terra at Terra Restaurant in Jasper Then another drive along the Icefield Parkway back towards Banff the views along this drive are stunning and you just can’t stop taking photos, that’s why a coach trip is good so you can concentrate on the scenery, and also these guides know where to take you for those perfect sites to see. A couple of hours in Banff for a bit of shopping then it was time to head back to the airport. Amazing trip and an amazing country It should be top of your destinations to visit, and I can help you organise this

Your Holiday Starts Now

Why not chat to one of our experts!

Heidi Phillips

Designer Travel Expert

07719 940718
07719 940718

Start your holiday now with a conversation with one of our Canada Personal Travel Experts!

We'll call you back

Leave us your contact details and we will be in touch.

Newsletter Signup

My Articles