Drive Through Western Canada

Azura Holidays > Drive Through Western Canada

drive through western canada

Road trips have always been one of our favourite ways to get to know a country. Windows rolled down, foot on the gas and the latest soundtrack on the stereo; you see and you connect so much more than when you soar above it all. Over the years, we’ve built up quite the passport of road trips but there’s one place we keep coming back to – Canada, and when it comes to hitting the road, you’ve got to head West.

Taking the epic drive over the Rockies is ideal for a short trip or an ambitious adventure.Take a week and stop off at the main sights such as Banff and Lake Louise or extend your trip and linger at Kamloops and unwind at the tranquil thermal springs surrounded by pine forests.

DAY 1

Calgary

Olá, traveller! You’ll get a warm welcome to Canada in Calgary, a traditional cowboy town that’s a sprawling mass of malls and skyscrapers with the Rockies right on your doorstep.Every August sees thousands of cowboys and enthusiasts descend on the city, kitted out in their finest chaps and hats for the famous Calgary Stampede. Pick up the keys to your luxury SUV and head out west into the wilderness. Take a tour of Stanley Park so you’ll quickly get a feel for Calgary. Trip up the Calgary Tower and enjoy a lavish dinner in the sky.

Where to stay?
The Fairmont Palliser is a former railway hotel that oozes luxury. The grand entrance hall is a perfect welcome to the city, and downtown restaurants are within lassoing distance cuisine.

DAY 2

Banff

Heading west out of the city, your first destination is Banff, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. At an elevation of 1380 metres, this small resort town is known for its superb alpine setting. The road out of Calgary is flat, but you’ll see snow-capped mountains peek into view as you near the National Park. Red-suited Mounties patrol the main street with its clusters of souvenir shops and restaurants. A trip on the Banff Gondola is a must – standing on top of a mountain looking over the vastness of summits and valleys puts everything into
perspective. For a once in a lifetime experience, go one further and take a helicopter ride over the Rockies.

Where to stay?
The Fairmont Banff Springs floats above the pine tree forest on a hill just outside of town.The fairy-tale castle has eight bars and restaurants and offers activities such as river rafting and a 27-hole golf course.

DAY 2

Banff

Heading west out of the city, your first destination is Banff, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. At an elevation of 1380 metres, this small resort town is known for its superb alpine setting. The road out of Calgary is flat, but you’ll see snow-capped mountains peek into view as you near the National Park. Red-suited Mounties patrol the main street with its clusters of souvenir shops and restaurants. A trip on the Banff Gondola is a must – standing on top of a mountain looking over the vastness of summits and valleys puts everything into
perspective. For a once in a lifetime experience, go one further and take a helicopter ride over the Rockies.

Where to stay?
The Fairmont Banff Springs floats above the pine tree forest on a hill just outside of town.The fairy-tale castle has eight bars and restaurants and offers activities such as river rafting and a 27-hole golf course.

DAY 3

Lake Lousie- Jasper

Leaving Banff behind, head just 30 minutes along the road to Lake Louise. The impossibly turquoise waters are one of the Rockies’ main draws and, depending on the season, you can either skate or canoe on the lake. Zigzagging hiking trails are etched on the mountains, but for most it’s a base on the way to Jasper National Park. It’s here that the real breath-taking scenery begins as you wind through the mountains following a ribbon of road, passing glaciers and canyons. Next, strap on your crampons for a tour on the Colombia ice field. Be sure to tick off the Glacier Skywalk tour here.

Where to stay?
Check in in the heart of it all at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and rest up in one of the rustic-luxe lakefront cabins before heading off on another adventure.

DAY 4

Jasper

You have an entire day to spend in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. No trip to the Canadian Rockies is complete without a cruise on Maligne Lake! Visit the most beautiful attractions, including the picturesque Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, the most photographed island in the world. If you love immense landscapes and breathtaking views,you will be enchanted by the Japer Sky Tram that ascends into the alpine tundra zone. Not just this, you could also take a hike along the spectacular trails of Maligne Canyon and
Mount Edith Cavell.

Where to stay?
Continue your stay at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.  After an active day outdoors, rejuvenate with a signature treatment at the luxurious Fairmont Spa, inspired by the energy and beauty of Jasper National Park.

DAY 4

Jasper

You have an entire day to spend in Jasper National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. No trip to the Canadian Rockies is complete without a cruise on Maligne Lake! Visit the most beautiful attractions, including the picturesque Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, the most photographed island in the world. If you love immense landscapes and breathtaking views,you will be enchanted by the Japer Sky Tram that ascends into the alpine tundra zone. Not just this, you could also take a hike along the spectacular trails of Maligne Canyon and
Mount Edith Cavell.

Where to stay?
Continue your stay at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.  After an active day outdoors, rejuvenate with a signature treatment at the luxurious Fairmont Spa, inspired by the energy and beauty of Jasper National Park.

DAY 5

Kamloops

From Jasper, drive west on your final leg of the journey. Stop for a night in the historic railroad town of Kamloops to break up the drive. Ride the heritage railway, taste the delights of local wine on the Kamloops Wine Trail or head to the Kamloops Art Gallery, great for learning about the local culture.

Where to stay?
Relax at Hampton Inn by Hilton Kamloops and enjoy a refreshing countryside suburban retreat with an array of facilities.

DAY 6

Whistler

Take the scenic long drive to Whistler – a truly year round destination. Nestled in a beautiful natural mountain setting, Whistler is a vibrant and lively resort town. Experience the panoramic sea plane tour and soar over the majestic glaciers, rugged mountain peaks, unique volcanic formations and lush alpine meadows that surround the turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake. The dynamic village has all sorts of dining options but Rim Rock Café and Oyster Bar is a cut above the rest – the menu changes seasonally but Elk and seafood platters are regularly featured.

Where to stay?
Styled as a luxury mountain lodge, the Four Seasons Whistler is the ideal place to cosy down after a day outdoors.

DAY 6

Whistler

Take the scenic long drive to Whistler – a truly year round destination. Nestled in a beautiful natural mountain setting, Whistler is a vibrant and lively resort town. Experience the panoramic sea plane tour and soar over the majestic glaciers, rugged mountain peaks, unique volcanic formations and lush alpine meadows that surround the turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake. The dynamic village has all sorts of dining options but Rim Rock Café and Oyster Bar is a cut above the rest – the menu changes seasonally but Elk and seafood platters are regularly featured.

Where to stay?
Styled as a luxury mountain lodge, the Four Seasons Whistler is the ideal place to cosy down after a day outdoors.

DAY 7

Vancouver

Today you take the panoramic Sea to Sky highway to the Pacific coast. Its stunning views will take your breath away. Just a short hour and a half away, you’ll find yourself amid the buzz of downtown Vancouver in no time. Once you reach downtown Vancouver, pay a visit to the Harbour Centre Tower lookout. At a height of 167 metres, the panoramic view is a spectacular way to begin your stay in Vancouver. Spend some time exploring the city’sattractions such as Stanley Park and Gastown, and do some shopping on Robson Street and Broadway Avenue. Combine fine dining and sightseeing with a sunset dinner cruise exclusively planned for you in magnificent Vancouver Bay. It is sure to be one of the high points of your trip!

Where to stay?
With captivating views of the harbour and its wreath of mountains, Fairmont Pacific Rim is located in one of Vancouver’s prime spots.

Thats not all, you can extend and continue your globetrotting journey with the Alaskan Cruise sailing from Vacouver.

Alternatively, if you think it’d be too tiresome to road trip all seven days, embark on theRocky Mountaineer for a part of your journey.

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