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Home » Destinations » Canada » British Columbia » First Class Holidays Best of the West
The silhouette of mountains reflected in the waters of the still lakes; the boundless curiosity of black bears as you journey along one of the world’s most picturesque highways; views of snow-capped mountainous landscape as you soar up on Whistlers Peak2Peak Gondola.
Arrive at Calgary Airport, collect your car and take the short drive to Banff.
Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies, Banff is a town that makes you feel at home and exhilarated with wonder all at the same time. This is a town that truly celebrates its heritage, lives and breathes mountain culture and never takes its backyard for granted. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground.
Take the short drive from Banff to Lake Louise. Choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to take a stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footway to either the lower or upper waterfalls before continuing to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. From Lake Louise your scenic drive takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the Icefield Parkway.
The day is free for your to explore this charming mountain village close to many terrific scenic highlights. This pleasant alpine village is nestled amidst some of Canada’s most stunning scenery. The “Gem of the Canadian Rockies” is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, thundering waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and rivers running in deep canyons, a region where wildlife abounds.
Your drive today takes you to Wells Gray Provincial Park along the scenic Yellowhead Highway with breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River.
Begin the day travelling via 100 Mile House to the gold rush town of Cache Creek, where you stop to visit the historic Hat Creek Ranch (included), which literally takes you back to the days of the gold rush. Continue south to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush and along the Duffey Lake Road to Whistler.
Whistler is a world-class mountain resort and hive of activity for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. Think of Whistler and you may think of skiing and snowboarding, but this pretty alpine village has gained a reputation for attracting summer visitors because of its quaint village, excellent cuisine and friendly cafés. Today is at leisure to immerse yourself in the electrifying alpine ambience of this well-known resort, a hotspot for skiers, hikers and nature-lovers, set in the lofty surrounds of the Coast Mountains.
Depart Whistler along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway. Discover scenic ocean vistas, soaring mountains and dramatic waterfalls on your way to Horseshoe Bay, before boarding the ferry to Vancouver Island. This scenic cruise takes you through fjord like waters with mountains blanketed with virgin forests and glaciated peaks.
Travel along the East Coast of Vancouver Island and head south to Victoria. Stop at the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the 39 giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town, browse the quirky antique shops and enjoy lunch. Continue to Duncan on Cowichan Bay, home to 80 totem poles dotted around the town which give it its “City of Totems” nickname.
Today is free to explore Victoria, with its turn of the century architecture, British traditions such as high tea and shops full of woollens and china. Admission is included to the Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s premier floral show gardens established by the Butchart family in 1904. Here, you will have ample time to stroll through the wonderful estate and view the truly enchanting gardens with its 50 acre display of magnificent colour.
Leaving Victoria drive north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for a 90 minute ferry cruise (cost included) through the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia to Tsawwassen, then continue to Vancouver.
Visit two of Vancouver best tourist attractions today. At the Capilano Suspension Bridge, spend time exploring temperate rainforest and learn all about salmon at the fish Hatchery. Then continue to Grouse Mountain where you’ll take the Skyride to the Peak of Vancouver with breath-taking views over the Lower Mainland and Coast Mountain Range.
Day 13: Vancouver – Free Day
A free day to explore Vancouver, voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada; a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown.
Your tour ends with the check out of your hotel and the return your car to the airport rental office. Or perhaps you’ll decide to stay a while longer and take a cruise to Alaska.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
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