- 10 Days
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Big wild wilderness, vibrant cities, quiet villages, and cold glass lakes skirting magnificent mountains – that’s Canada’s West!
Quaint Victoria, with touches of bygone Britain, gives us Butchart Gardens, named one of the most beautiful in the world (National Geographic). Travel the San Juan de Fuca Islands by ferry to Vancouver where Chinatown and artsy Gas Town never disappoint.
Head north along the Sea-to-Sky Highway where sheer rock faces and waterfalls fill DeNure’s large coach windows. Whistler’s refined backcountry shops and best-kept-secret food spots enliven the base of the mountain. You have a free day to explore the best of Canada’s Aspen!
Alberta wears North America’s raw beauty crown. Glacier National Park has elk, curly-horned sheep, and grizzlies! Take the gondola above Banff’s Sulphur Mountain and shoot the river on a Hoodoo River Float. Finish with a breathtaking drive on the Columbia Icefields (the largest icefield south of the Arctic Circle).
National Parks of Alberta
Jasper is Canada’s largest Rocky Mountain Park, one of the greatest swaths of nature in North America, and a sightseer’s utopia. Clear lakes mirror lush evergreen valleys and towering peaks. Ancient glaciers watch over crashing falls, charging rivers, deep canyons and wildlife. The Jasper Skytram lets you admire this view from up high, but if you prefer a low vantage, The Miette Hot Springs encourages admiration from a pleasant 40°C spa. Nature is outdone nowhere else… except for maybe in Banff! The peaks of Mount Rundle and Cascade cut through the sky in Banff National Park, and Lake Louise’s turquoise glacier-fed waters line its floor. Take a gondola up the eastern slope of Sulphur Mountain. Observation decks at the summit ridge show off the Bow Valley, where you might see elk and grizzly bears!
Glacier National Park
Glaciers carved this inspiring, ancient place, and people come the world over to stand before its enormity. The “backbone of the world,” the impressive Selkirk mountains (older and harder than the Rockies) dominate Glacier National park. Within its towering arms exist 200 pristine lakes and rare inland rainforests. Under its awesome domain, over a million acres preserve one of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems, including hundreds of species of animals, birds, and fish – some at risk, like the woodland caribou.
In the heart of the park you’ll see how humans have made their mark at Rogers Pass National Historic Site. An engineering feat, the pass is a tribute to the pioneering Canadians who carved their way through the mountains to build our national railway.
This is Canada’s mountain country, designed by nature’s best paintbrush. At sunrise, watch pink-orange peaks rise out of the blue, inviting you to fill your lungs and your camera roll. At sunset, take home memories that last a lifetime!
Victoria, capital of British Columbia, sits on the craggy southern end of Vancouver Island. With abundant parkland, it’s known for outdoor activities. The city’s British colonial past shows in its Victorian architecture, including stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion. Butchart Gardens, with 55 acres of vivid floral displays, plus statuary, water features and a carousel, is one of many formal gardens in the city.
Buchart Gardens: Step inside and explore The Gardens’ reaches, from the depths of a former quarry to the sweet scent of roses. With a former limestone quarry for her backyard, Jennie Butchart envisioned landscaping a sunken garden in its place, transforming the property for her family—and visitors—for generations to come. Today, The Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada. You’ll find remnants of the original cement plant and over a million bedding plants in over 900 varieties awaiting you as you wander The Gardens.
Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.
Did You Know: Vancouver is the eighth-largest municipality in Canada by population (631,486).
Sea To Skye highway: It’s about the journey. And if you subscribe to this philosophy, then you are in luck with BC’s cliff-hugging Highway 99, which winds in and out of Howe Sound’s steep fjords from Vancouver’s North Shore up to Whistler and the farm-filled Pemberton Valley. Lauded as one of the most gorgeous in the world, the Sea-to-Sky Highway is a drive to savour. How else can you catch sight of a bald eagle floating on air currents, a pod of orcas breaching or a climber scaling the 702-metre (2,303-foot) sheer granite face of The Chief?
Whistler: Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia just two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler is Canada’s favourite year-round destination. There are two majestic mountains with a vibrant base Village, epic skiing and snowboarding, four championship golf courses, unbeatable shopping, restaurants and bars, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world.
The Whistler area is not only a place of scenic wonder, but also a region that is rich with a fascinating history and cultural background. Before becoming a ski area and Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, this was a place that drew visitors from far and wide.
Kamloops is ideally located in the heart of British Columbia’s sunny Southern Interior. The word Kamloops is the English translation of the Shuswap word Tk’emlúps, which means “where the rivers meet” and has been the home of the Tk’emlupsemc, the “people of the confluence”, for centuries. Tk’emlúps has always occupied a place of great economic importance in the region. Traversed by two major waterways, traditional Tk’emlupsemc territory was the centre of major traffic and trade routes. Due to the community’s great economic and military strength, as well as ancestor’s pivotal role in the creation of peace accords, the Tk’emlupsemc were designated the Secwepemc7uwi, “the real Shuswap”. Kamloops is a great community that nurtures growth. They are one of Canada’s premier host centres for developing amateur sport, tournaments, cultural events, high performance training camps and national and international competitions. As Canada’s Tournament Capital, they foster a grassroots philosophy of inclusion, accessibility, and sport development. Incorporated as a city in 1893, Kamloops has transitioned into an urban city while maintaining its western hospitality. Kamloops takes pride in its vibrant arts community. Year-round locals and visitors alike enjoy professional and emerging art galleries and displays throughout the city. Amateur and professional theatre, music festivals, and established and emerging arts and culture organizations and events are held annually.
Banff is a resort town, located within Banff National Park. The peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, part of the Rocky Mountains, dominate its skyline. On Banff Avenue, the main thoroughfare, boutiques and restaurants mix with château-style hotels and souvenir shops. The surrounding 6,500 square kilometres of parkland are home to wildlife including elk and grizzly bears.
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park and was established in 1885. Located in the Rocky Mountains, Banff encompasses 6,641 square kilometres of mountainous terrain, with many glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise connecting to Jasper National Park in the north. The main commercial centre of the park is the town of Banff, in theBow River valley.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was instrumental in Banff’s early years, building the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise and attracting tourists through extensive advertising. As Banff has over three million visitors annually, the health of its ecosystem has been threatened. In the mid-1990s, Parks Canada responded by initiating a two-year study, which resulted in management recommendations, and new policies that aim to preserve ecological integrity.
Banff National Park has a subarctic climate with three ecoregions, including mountain supalpine and alpine. . The forests are dominated by Lodgepole pine at lower elevations and Engelmann spruce in higher ones below the tree-line, above which is primarily rocks and ice. Mammal species such as the grizzly bear, cougar, wolverine, elk, bighorn sheep and moose are found, along with hundreds of bird species. Reptiles and amphibians are also found but only a limited number of species have been recorded. The mountains are formed from sedimentary rocks which were pushed east over newer rock strata, between 80 and 55 million years ago. Over the past few million years, glaciers have at times covered most of the park, but today are found only on the mountain slopes though they include the Columbia Icefield, the largest uninterrupted glacial mass in the Rockies. Erosion from water and ice have carved the mountains into their current shapes.
Discover a Vast Glacial Landscape
Imagine a journey out onto the rugged icefields of an ancient glacier; the chance to experience the magnificence of such a powerful force of nature. If that sounds exciting to you, then you won’t want to miss the Icefields Parkway—a scenic drive that winds its way between Jasper and Lake Louise passing through the Columbia Icefield and providing stunning views of the Athabasca Glacier.
The Icefields Parkway and the Athabasca Glacier are one of the Canadian Rockies’ most beautiful and fascinating sights. Stop a while at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, check out the stunning views from the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, take a unique Columbia Icefield Adventure on a massive Ice Explorer. The glacier has been here for thousands of years—stay and explore for a while!
Lake Louise Experience a Piece of Paradise! One of the most photographed scenes in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Famous for its stunning turquoise lake, and beautiful chateau, the town is surrounded by some of the best hikes in Banff National Park and has a world class ski hill on the doorstep. As a visitor to Lake Louise you really do feel closer to nature. The town itself is a charming resort town with a small shopping centre containing everything you’ll need, and a handful of top-notch restaurants.
Jasper National Park is the largest of the Canadian Rockies national parks, and a rugged, unspoiled wilderness. The charming town of Jasper, is the perfect base where visitors can find a varied and eclectic selection of restaurants and diverse range of shops. Jasper is also home to large populations of wildlife including grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves.
Edmonton, capital of Canada’s Alberta province, sits on the North Saskatchewan River. Its past is recreated at Fort Edmonton Park, a living history museum with an 1846 fort and streets from 1885, 1905 and 1920. The city’s contemporary landmarks include the Royal Alberta Museum, with aboriginal-culture and natural-history galleries, and the futuristic-looking Art Gallery of Alberta, known for its First Nations art.
Return airfare from Toronto, deluxe motorcoach transportation, 9 nights accommodation, 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners, all highlights listed, Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST. If booking your own airfare reduce price by $500.
• Butchart Gardens
• Ferry to Vancouver
• Vancouver guided city tour including Gastown, Chinatown, and Stanley Park
• Travel to Whistler via Sea-to-Sky Highway
• Travel to Kamloops and cross the Coast Mountains
• Mount Revelstoke National Park
• Glacier National Park
• Roger’s Pass
• Banff National Park
• Gondola ride up Banff’s Sulphur Mountain
• Hoodoo River Float tour in Banff
• Lake Louise
• Columbia Ice Fields
• Athabasca Glacier
• Jasper National Park
• Victoria, BC: Doubletree by Hilton (2 nights)
• Whistler, BC: Delta Whistler Village Suites (2 nights)
• Kamloops, BC: Best Western Plus (1 night)
• Banff, AB: High Country Inn (2 nights)
• Jasper, AB: Sawridge Resort (1 night)
• Edmonton, AB: Westin Edmonton (1 night)
Arrive in picturesque Victoria and settle into your hotel. Get to know your travel companions at a welcome dinner this evening.
Stay: Doubletree by Hilton, Victoria, BC
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local guide for a tour of Victoria, one of the top ten islands in the world as voted by Travel+Leisure. The city’s blend of old world charm and new world experiences are a delight. After lunch, visit the renowned Butchart Gardens. Once a quarry, these remarkable gardens have been captivating visitors for over 100 years. The rest of the evening is free to enjoy at your leisure.
Vancouver, Whistler, BC
Travel by ferry this morning to vibrant Vancouver for a guided tour that highlights the beauty of the city’s parks and attractions, with stops at Gastown, Chinatown and Stanley Park. This afternoon travel the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler where you’ll check into your hotel for before enjoying a free evening.
Stay: Delta Whistler Village Suites, Whistler, BC
Today enjoy a full free day to explore on your own. There is lots to do Whistler so let our experienced DeNure tour director help you make the most of your free time.
Meals: B, D
After breakfast be prepared for stupendous scenery through the spectacular Coast Mountains to the arid Bench Lands of the Fraser River on the Duffy Lake Road. Arrive in friendly Kamloops and breathe in the fresh mountain air by strolling the charming streets or exploring one of the many walking trails.
Stay: Best Western Plus, Kamloops, BC
Many of Canada’s most treasured natural wonders are yours to discover today as you journey to Banff. Discover tranquil lakes, raging rivers, sparkling glaciers, rocky canyons and stupendous mountain peaks as you make your way to Banff, located in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travel past Craigellachie, the site of the Last Spike on the CP Railway. Drive through the Columbia Mountains into the heart of Glacier National Park including Roger’s Pass, known for its winter snow accumulation of approximately 10 metres per year! Here watch for some of Canada’s most iconic wildlife – you’re sure to spot elk and mountain goats! Settle into your hotel in Banff for the next two nights.
Stay: High Country Inn, Banff, AB
After breakfast, enjoy a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain aboard the Banff Gondola. This is a unique opportunity for a bird’s eye view of six mountain ranges. Afterwards, explore the beauty that Banff has to offer. Travel 7 km down the Bow River between Tunnel Mountain and Mount Rundle on a Hoodoo Raft! Bow River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a large variety of wildlife. Your guided raft tour does not require paddling and is the perfect opportunity to take fantastic photos.
Lake Louise, Jasper, AB
This morning, travel to Lake Louise, where translucent green waters are framed by the most famous mountain vista. Enjoy the spectacular views on the Columbia Icefields Parkway. At the Athabasca Glacier, ride aboard the SnoCoach and walk on top of 1,000 feet of ice over the largest icefield in the Rockies. Arrive in Jasper in time for dinner.
Stay: Sawridge Resort, Jasper, AB
After breakfast at your hotel, depart for Edmonton. Arrive in the afternoon and enjoy an orientation tour before a farewell dinner this evening.
Stay: Westin Edmonton, Edmonton, AB
Meals: B, D
Return Flight Home
After breakfast this morning transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
- Sunscreen is an essential product to have, regardless of the climate. Since UV exposure is unavoidable, a hat and sunglasses are also suggested for your protection, even in the winter.
- Mosquito repellent can prove useful in wooded areas or in the evenings in some regions.
- Comfort is important when on vacation. Bring comfortable walking shoes. And loose, casual clothing is suggested to keep you cozy.
- Pack extra batteries and memory cards for your camera.
- Always pack an extra jacket or sweater in case of inclement weather or cooler evenings. DeNureTours recommends you dress in layers, so you can add or remove layers if the temperature rises or drops.
- Use every corner, nook and cranny of your suitcase when packing. Rolled sweaters and bulky clothing occupy less space, but clothing that wrinkles easily should be laid flat. Roll socks or underclothing and pack them into shoes, and slip smaller items into side pockets.
- Use sample-sized toiletry items and always transport containers of creams and liquids in a sealed plastic bag.
- Keep an extra set of keys for your luggage.
- Always prepare for the possibility of rain. An umbrella, or rain jacket will easily fit in your luggage, and could prove to be the most useful article you pack. When travelling as a couple, bring two so neither person gets half wet.
- Pack your bathing suit.
- Pack a good book, or a deck of cards to keep you busy during free time.
- Leave items of monetary or sentimental value at home. Costume and faux jewelry always travels well.
- If you require corrective lenses, pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- If you wear dentures, and have a second set, pack them just in case. You’d be surprised how often these important items end up where they shouldn’t.
- Not all hotel rooms are equipped with alarm clocks. While most hotels offer wake-up calls, a small travel alarm clock might prove useful.
- Couples travelling together may find it wise to split their belongings between two suitcases. If one suitcase should go missing, neither person is left without a change of clothes.
- Remember to pack any medications or prescriptions in your carry-on and not in your suitcase in case of emergency or luggage misplacement. Medications should be packed in their original containers for security reasons.
- Keep a listing of your recent medical history with you, including medications you currently take, prescription or otherwise, as well as allergies you suffer from, and any medical conditions you have. Carry the listing in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact person at home.
- Identify your luggage with an identification tag as well as your DeNureTours luggage tags.
- If you carry travellers’ cheques, record the numbers of the cheques and keep this list in a separate location. When travelling as a couple, put some cheques in your partner’s name so you both have access to funds.
- Always carry your travel insurance policy with you, and read it carefully before you leave.
- Always carry your passport, or other important identification on your person. Make a photocopy to keep in your suitcase.
- Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date. This is a requirement for entering certain countries.
- Always check the spelling of your name on all documentation you receive. Often, your travel documents must match your passport or birth certificate. It is imperative that your legal name be listed correctly on your documents. Failure to comply may result in your being denied entry to a country, or boarding on an airplane or cruise ship. Name changes on documents may be subject to a change fee.
- Use extra copies of your travel itinerary and hotel listing to distribute to friends or relatives, so you can be reached in case of emergency.
- Keep a log of your purchases, including what you paid in foreign currency and the equivalent in Canadian dollars. This will assist you in filling out customs forms. Keep all receipts.
- Secure your home before you leave. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to pick up mail and check in periodically. Have someone cut your lawn (or shovel your driveway) and care for your property. Set automatic timers on the lights and television. Empty the refrigerator of perishables. Lower your thermostat to save on energy.
- When flying, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
- To avoid circulatory problems on a plane or coach, walk up the aisle every hour or so. Periodically, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and neck.
- Arrive early for flights. DeNureTours recommends to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, or 2-3 hours prior for international flights.
- An inflatable travel pillow can make you more comfortable on long coach rides or flights. The U-shaped pillow keeps your head from rolling during travel, reducing the risk of neck pain.
- Avoid the use of perfume or scented sprays on the coach or an airplane. These are confined spaces, so be courteous to your fellow travellers who may be allergic or sensitive to scents.
- Get as much rest as possible before you leave.
- Try your best to be flexible. Unexpected things can happen. Your holiday will be more enjoyable if you are open-minded.
Tips to waiters, taxi drivers, step-on guides, tour directors and drivers are a tangible way for you to express your appreciation for jobs well done. This practice, though customary, is voluntary and is not included in tour prices. As a guide to the amounts to tip, the following amounts are suggested:
- Taxi Drivers – Drivers should be tipped 10% of the taxi fare.
- Waiters – For meals that are not included in the tour price, tip waiters between 15% and 20% of your bill, but never less than $1.
- Tour Directors and Drivers – A gratuity of $4 per person per day is suggested.
The pace of a tour varies by itinerary, as each destination, its sightseeing and the activities are unique. Pacing is often subject to personal interpretation, but our trip pace indicator on each tour page may assist you in determining if a tour is suitable for you.
Day-by-day itinerary descriptions can be found on our website or requested from our office. Generally, the more activities included, distance travelled in a day, or number of hotel changes, will increase the pace of a tour.
Some of the most unique sightseeing is found in locations that can be a challenge for motorcoaches, especially in historic areas. For your comfort, we recommend packing walking shoes so you fully enjoy every aspect of your holiday.
Tours with the highest “On-the-go” ratings require a level of activity that is not suitable for those who use either walkers or wheelchairs. If a trip pace is not ideally suited for you, our reservations team will be happy to help you find your perfect vacation.