Rockies and Rainforests

from £1603 excluding flights

  • 11 nights
  • May-Oct
canada alberta minnewanka banff national park istk

Rockies and Rainforests

from £1603 excluding flights

  • 11 nights
  • May-Oct

Customers rate Discover the World

Average score 4.9/5

Based on 84 reviews. Powered by

Highlights

In pictures
Black bear and cub

Search for bears and whales along the Pacific Coast

canada sea to sky highway vancouver to whistler istk

Drive the scenic Sea to Sky Highway from Whistler to Vancouver

canada alberta maligne lake boathouse adstk

Take your pick of included activities, from scenic cruises to food tours.

Cox Bay, near Tofino

Stroll through rainforests and endless beaches in Pacific Rim National Park

Canoeing on Alta Lake, Whistler

Explore the alpine village of Whistler and its surroundings

Icefields Parkway

See lakes, glaciers and mountains along the Icefields Parkway

Why this trip...

Aoraki Mt Cook National Park tailor made white

Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe

early morning kayak istk activity based 01 white

Activities included

This itinerary features a range of included activities

Cabot Trail explore at leisure white

Explore at leisure

With the route, transport and accommodation sorted, each day offers the freedom to explore

Overview

Explore the very best of Alberta and British Columbia on this 12-day self-drive holiday starting in Calgary and ending in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Discover spectacular mountains, emerald lakes and charming mountain villages, and on Vancouver Island’s rugged West Coast enjoy sensational scenery and an array of wonderful wildlife.

You'll travel through the heart of the Rockies taking in vivid lakes, vast glaciers, alpine meadows and soaring mountains and then on to Wells Gray Provincial Park with its steep-walled gorges and crashing falls.

After your stay in the alpine resort of Whistler you’ll travel along the scenic Sea-to Sky Highway and journey across to Vancouver Island by ferry. World-famous Pacific Rim National Park is one of the best places in the world to see grey whales, as well as humpbacks, orca and minke whales, and can be reached from Tofino, a laid-back small town that cannot fail to charm.

Enjoy a couple of nights in the quiet, attractive city of Victoria with its turn-of-the-century architecture to conclude your self-drive adventure.  Here you can take your pick of included excursions, to view the renowned Butchart Gardens or discover Canada's food scene.

Itinerary

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

Day 1 Calgary - Banff (115 km)

This morning begin your Rockies adventure. Collect your rental car and make the short (2-hour) drive from Calgary to Banff, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore.

This morning begin your Rockies adventure. Collect your rental car and make the short (2-hour) drive from Calgary to Banff, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore.

Day 2 Banff

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Banff Gondola - enjoy impressive views over Banff National Park with a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
Lake Minnewanka Cruise - take a scenic cruise across the turquoise-hued Lake Minnewanka to Devil’s Gap.
River Explorer Canoe Tour - pick up a paddle for a gentle exploration on the Bow River.
Bow River Horseback Adventure - saddle up for a horse ride along the shores of Bow River.

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Banff Gondola - enjoy impressive views over Banff National Park with a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
Lake Minnewanka Cruise - take a scenic cruise across the turquoise-hued Lake Minnewanka to Devil’s Gap.
River Explorer Canoe Tour - pick up a paddle for a gentle exploration on the Bow River.
Bow River Horseback Adventure - saddle up for a horse ride along the shores of Bow River.

Mt Rundle, Banff
canada horse riding in rocky mountains istk
Lake Minnewanka

Day 3 Banff - Jasper (289 km)

On the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, view a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald coloured lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Sarbach Glacier, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake and Crowfoot Glacier, before your arrival at the Columbia Icefield. Here you will take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier, and soak up the views from the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk (included). Leaving the Athabasca Glacier, keep your camera handy to capture the majesty of the Athabasca Falls prior to your arrival into Jasper.

On the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, view a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald coloured lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Sarbach Glacier, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake and Crowfoot Glacier, before your arrival at the Columbia Icefield. Here you will take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier, and soak up the views from the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk (included). Leaving the Athabasca Glacier, keep your camera handy to capture the majesty of the Athabasca Falls prior to your arrival into Jasper.

Wing mirror view of the Icefields Parkway
Glacier Skywalk
Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Icefields

Day 4 Jasper

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Maligne Lake Cruise - enjoy a scenic boat trip on one of Canada's most spectacular lakes, home to the much-photographed Spirit Island.
Jasper River Raft Float - take a gentle raft trip on the Athabasca River for a unique perspective of Jasper National Park.
Jasper Nature Walk - this guided walk offers spectacular views of jagged peaks, forests, meadows, marshes, streams, and stunning glacial lakes.

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Maligne Lake Cruise - enjoy a scenic boat trip on one of Canada's most spectacular lakes, home to the much-photographed Spirit Island.
Jasper River Raft Float - take a gentle raft trip on the Athabasca River for a unique perspective of Jasper National Park.
Jasper Nature Walk - this guided walk offers spectacular views of jagged peaks, forests, meadows, marshes, streams, and stunning glacial lakes.

Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park
Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park
Black bear

Day 5 Jasper - Sun Peaks (444 km)

Leaving Jasper National Park, travel the historic 'Yellowhead' route past the sprawling grandeur of Mount Robson and along the banks of the mighty Thompson River, before arriving in the alpine village of Sun Peaks Resort.

Leaving Jasper National Park, travel the historic 'Yellowhead' route past the sprawling grandeur of Mount Robson and along the banks of the mighty Thompson River, before arriving in the alpine village of Sun Peaks Resort.

Day 6 Sun Peaks - Whistler (357 km)

Continue to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail and ‘Mile Zero' of the Old Caribou Wagon Road. Leaving Lillooet travel the Duffey Lake Road to Whistler. Be sure to stop at Joffre Lake for breathtaking views of Joffre Glacier. (breakfast included)

Continue to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail and ‘Mile Zero' of the Old Caribou Wagon Road. Leaving Lillooet travel the Duffey Lake Road to Whistler. Be sure to stop at Joffre Lake for breathtaking views of Joffre Glacier. (breakfast included)

Day 7 Whistler

This charming alpine resort lies nestled between the world-renowned Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Experience the beauty of this alpine environment from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, offering expansive views of glaciers, extinct volcanoes, snow-capped peaks and more.

This charming alpine resort lies nestled between the world-renowned Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Experience the beauty of this alpine environment from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, offering expansive views of glaciers, extinct volcanoes, snow-capped peaks and more.

Hiking near Whistler
Peak to Peak Gondola, Whistler
Whistler Village

Day 8 Whistler - Pacific Rim National Park (329 km ex ferry)

Depart Whistler along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Horseshoe Bay. Highlights along the way include the cascading Shannon Falls and the granite cliffs of Stawamus Chief Rock. At Horseshoe Bay, board the BC Ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (1hr 45) and continue to the island's wild west coast. En route you may wish to stop and stretch your legs under the towering Douglas firs and cedar trees of Cathedral Grove, before arriving at Pacific Rim National Park.

Depart Whistler along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Horseshoe Bay. Highlights along the way include the cascading Shannon Falls and the granite cliffs of Stawamus Chief Rock. At Horseshoe Bay, board the BC Ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (1hr 45) and continue to the island's wild west coast. En route you may wish to stop and stretch your legs under the towering Douglas firs and cedar trees of Cathedral Grove, before arriving at Pacific Rim National Park.

Day 9 Pacific Rim National Park

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Coastal Bear Watch Cruise - search for foraging bears from the comfort and safety of a Zodiac. Black bears roam the shores here at low tide in search of their favourite delicacy, the Rock Crab.
Whale Watching Cruise - cruise through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound to view beautiful scenery and wildlife. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter gray whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea birds and resident bald eagles.
Tofino Food Tour - enjoy 7 delicious tastings from some of Tofino’s best restaurants & food vendors, and discover why this seaside town is home to one of Canada's best food scenes.

After your excursion enjoy some time at leisure - you may wish to walk along the famed Long Beach, with its miles of pristine sandy beach and pounding surf, or explore the coastal rainforest on a selection of well-marked hiking trails.

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Coastal Bear Watch Cruise - search for foraging bears from the comfort and safety of a Zodiac. Black bears roam the shores here at low tide in search of their favourite delicacy, the Rock Crab.
Whale Watching Cruise - cruise through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound to view beautiful scenery and wildlife. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter gray whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea birds and resident bald eagles.
Tofino Food Tour - enjoy 7 delicious tastings from some of Tofino’s best restaurants & food vendors, and discover why this seaside town is home to one of Canada's best food scenes.

After your excursion enjoy some time at leisure - you may wish to walk along the famed Long Beach, with its miles of pristine sandy beach and pounding surf, or explore the coastal rainforest on a selection of well-marked hiking trails.

Black bears on the shoreline
Tofino Harbour
Pacific Rim National Park

Day 10 Pacific Rim National Park - Victoria (313 km)

Travel back to the East Coast of Vancouver Island and head south to Victoria. En route stops can be made at the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town and Duncan the 'City of Totems'. If time permits visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village which provides you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people (seasonal hours - admission not included).

Travel back to the East Coast of Vancouver Island and head south to Victoria. En route stops can be made at the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town and Duncan the 'City of Totems'. If time permits visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village which provides you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people (seasonal hours - admission not included).

Day 11 Victoria

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Butchart Gardens Admission - this National Historic Site of Canada is renowned for its stunning floral displays set over 55 acres of gardens.
Eat like a Canadian Food Tour - from local ingredients to historic dishes, this tour is a great introduction to Canadian culinary culture. Sip and savour local cuisine, explore the iconic Inner Harbour, and meet the chefs and owners that make Victoria such an exciting culinary hot spot.

The rest of the day is free to explore Victoria at your leisure, with its turn of the century architecture and strong British traditions.

Today you can enjoy your choice of included excursion from the following options:

Butchart Gardens Admission - this National Historic Site of Canada is renowned for its stunning floral displays set over 55 acres of gardens.
Eat like a Canadian Food Tour - from local ingredients to historic dishes, this tour is a great introduction to Canadian culinary culture. Sip and savour local cuisine, explore the iconic Inner Harbour, and meet the chefs and owners that make Victoria such an exciting culinary hot spot.

The rest of the day is free to explore Victoria at your leisure, with its turn of the century architecture and strong British traditions.

Victoria Harbour
Butchart Gardens
BC wines

Day 12 Victoria - Vancouver (69 km ex ferry)

Leaving Victoria drive north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for the 90 minute ferry ride to Tsawwassen. Enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia. From Tsawwassen continue on to downtown Vancouver, where your road trip comes to an end.

Leaving Victoria drive north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for the 90 minute ferry ride to Tsawwassen. Enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia. From Tsawwassen continue on to downtown Vancouver, where your road trip comes to an end.

Accommodation Options

With a wide choice of accommodation in Canada, we can mix and match different grades and styles to suit your personal preference - from motels and hotels to design properties and wilderness lodges in stunning locations.

Discuss your options with our Travel Specialists.

Excursions

Prices and Departures

Price from £1603 excluding flights

Airfares start from around £550 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Car rental throughout
  • Choice of excursion in Banff: Banff Gondola / Lake Minnewanka Cruise / River Explorer Canoe tour / Bow River Horseride
  • Ice Explorer Ride & Glacier Skywalk
  • Choice of excursion in Jasper: Maligne Lake Cruise / River Raft Float / Jasper Nature Walk
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola Ride, Whistler
  • Choice of excursion in Tofino: Coastal Bear Watch Cruise / Whale Watching Cruise / Tofino Food Tour
  • Choice of excursion in Victoria: Admission to Butchart Gardens / Eat Like a Canadian Food Tour
  • Ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo
  • Ferry from Victoria to Vancouver
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Prices

This itinerary starts from £1,603 per person, based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom in standard hotels, and rental of an intermediate vehicle. Prices may vary depending on departure date. Please contact us for a detailed quote based on your preferred travel dates, vehicle category and style of accommodation, or to tailor this itinerary.

You may also like

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.

Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.

How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
Enquire Now
Browse the website

Find a holiday idea or suggested itinerary that inspires you, then send an enquiry or call us

Personalised Quote

Your dedicated travel specialist will create a quote based on your preferences

Refine & Book

Together we’ll refine your itinerary until you’re happy and ready to book

You’re in safe hands

From the moment you book until you return home we’re here for you no matter what