Your adventure in Canada will come to an end at the Calgary Stampede, a world-famous event filled with toe-tapping music, delicious food, and a spectacular rodeo atmosphere.
CITY TOUR of Banff
SCENIC DRIVE along the Icefields Parkway
VISIT Jasper National Park, ride aboard an Ice Explorer on the Athabasca Glacier, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Hockey Player Experience
CONNECT WITH LOCALS Enjoy a BBQ at Boons Barn and meet your host Julie, her team and their animals personally including draft horses, some that compete in the Calgary Stampede, saddle horses as well as mules. (Day 6)
DIVE INTO CULTURE Lace up those skates, hit the ice and learn about being a real hockey player. (Day 5)
LOCAL SPECIALIST Meet a retired Royal Canadian Mountie in Banff. (Day 4)
First Class Travel Highlights:
Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Cherry-picked hotels all tried and trusted
Optional Experiences and free time
All porterage and local charges included
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
VIP entry to many sights
Tip your Stetson to Canada's 'Cowboy Country', kick-starting your adventure through the inimitable Rockies in Calgary. This evening, gather at your hotel joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Calgary – Lake Louise – Jasper National Park (2 Nights)
Embark on a spiritual encounter with the Canadian Rockies, admiring the ethereal beauty of Lake Louise, the surrounding summits and Victoria Glacier, before we continue along the Icefields Parkway. Skirt the craggy peaks, waterfalls and luminous glacial lakes keeping an eye out for bears, elk and mountain goats as you make your way through the wilderness to Jasper.
Soak up pristine natural surroundings enjoying a morning at leisure. Then venture to Maligne Lake and indulge in a Regional Lunch with wine at the Maligne Lake Chalet, a rustic log building situated on a rise of land offering magnificent views of beautiful Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. Take to the aqua waters of Maligne Lake later this afternon (seasonal), admiring views of its three glaciers and Spirit Island, named by the Stoney Nation indigenous people for the experiences their ancestors had at this place centuries ago. It's a tiny grove of trees set in pristine nature separated from the mainland by an isthmus. Spirit Island becomes a true island for a few short days during the summer. Then enjoy the dramatic views as you take a guided walk to Maligne Canyon. Later this evening, indulge in a Regional Dinner.
Jasper – Athabasca Glacier – Banff (3 Nights)
We crunch across the glistening icefield of Athabasca Glacier this morning, stepping aboard an Ice Explorer to learn about glaciers and their impact on the environment. Take a sip of ice cold glacier water and admire the surrounding snowcapped panorama before continuing your journey to the alpine village of Banff. Before dinner, you'll enjoy a rare opportunity to meet a retired Royal Canadian Mountie, dressed in the traditional red serge uniform. This Local Specialist will share colourful stories about life in the 'force' and even pose for a photo or two. Tonight, enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers.
Learn the art of playing the puck like a pro when you meet a real Canadian hockey player in Canmore. Dive into Culture and embrace Canada's national sport, learning the secrets and superstitions of hockey players as a professional coach walks you through a day in the life of a player. Go inside the players' dressing room and put on the full hockey gear with help of a real coach. Grab your stick and it's off onto the ice where you're soon find out whether you are a lefty or righty and learn how to score the big goal. A sightseeing excursion around Banff reveals the exquisite natural beauty of the area. Admire the classic viewpoint of Surprise Corner, spectacular Bow Falls and the hoodoo rock formations.
Banff Free Time
After a day in the Rockies, meet Julie, Owner and Entrepreneur of Banff Trail Riders and dive into the world of horsemanship in the Rockies. Meet a blacksmith, visit the leather work shop, and learn about the history of the barns followed by a traditional BBQ dinner.
Banff – Calgary (2 Nights)
Bid farewell to your newfound friends and transfer to your hotel in Calgary. Brace yourself for the wonder of the GMC Rangeland Derby, and the TransAlta Grandstand Show. Chuckwagon racing is followed by an epic stage show.
Don your Stetson and put on your finest pair of cowboy boots and immerse yourself in the action today. This 10-day spectacle has drawn in fun-seeking cowboys and cowgirls for the past 100 years, and you’ll immediately feel part of it today. Originally a farming festival, the Stampede has evolved over the years, attracting crowds that are looking for so much more. Today you’ll easily find something that suits your tastes - from western culinary shows to rollercoasters, there’s always something to do. You could find yourself at a concert singing along to some of the world’s greatest country musical acts or watching in awe at the pageantry of a marching show band. There are shows featuring ice-skating and acrobatics, and for dog lovers, there’s a show that’s sure to delight. You’ll also love to browse the stands packed with traditional Western arts and crafts, and you can talk to the artists about their work, purchasing work directly from their stands. After all this exploring you’re sure to be hungry, so take a stroll around the main grandstand and re-fuel with some succulent barbecue and a refreshing drink as you soak in the atmosphere of this world-famous event.
Take a transfer to the Calgary International Airport this morning.