Day 1 UK - Calgary
Today you'll depart on your scheduled flight to Calgary and on arrival we'll transfer you to your downtown hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure.
Day 2 Banff
This morning, we'll drive through the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains to Banff, and when we arrive, we'll head out straight away to explore UNESCO-listed Banff National Park. Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, this incredible wilderness is home to snowy mountains, glistening glaciers and ice-covered lakes. You'll see vast swathes of pine forest, where wolves, elk and deer roam free, so keep your eyes peeled. Other scenic highlights are the Hoodoos of Bow Valley, imposing spires of rock carved by wind and water, and the sensational views at Surprise Corner. You'll then take a ride on the Banff Gondola. This cable car takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain for unrivalled views of Banff and six scenic mountain ranges.
The rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Perhaps you'll decide to take advantage of your hotel's facilities or maybe take a stroll around Banff. There's a great selection of bars and restaurants just a short walk away, where a warm welcome and possibly a roaring fire await.
Meals included: B
Day 3 Banff
There can be no better way to travel through a snowy landscape than on a horse-drawn sleigh, and that's the plan today. You'll be treated to magnificent views as you listen to the jingle of sleigh bells on this unforgettable journey. Later, you can warm up – and soak up some history – when you visit Banff's natural hot springs. They're located in an historic spa and bathhouse but with lovely modern amenities. As you relax in the soothing hot waters of a mountain spring, you can take in views of snow-covered peaks in every direction.
Day 4 Banff - Jasper
You can sit back and take in more stunning scenery today as we journey by road to Jasper, a former railroad town. At this time of year its national park is described as a Christmas card come to life, with its snow-dusted evergreens and frozen waterfalls. You'll get to see it for yourself tomorrow. But for now, just relax and enjoy your hotel's facilities, or head into town to one of its many cosy bars or restaurants..
Day 5 Jasper
Jasper National Park has been deemed by the World Heritage Committee to be among the most significant sights on earth. Today's the day that you get to explore for yourself and see what all the fuss is about! It is home to abundant wildlife, shimmering glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, thundering waterfalls and evergreen forests. And all this is surrounded by rugged snow-capped mountain peaks. We'll take all these wonderful sights in before you have the option to join a thrilling winter adventure on our optional excursion. In the company of a Local Guide you'll head off on an icewalk in the Maligne Canyon. As we head to the bottom of this deep gorge, we'll see frozen waterfalls, ice caves and incredible ice formations. You'll also learn about the spectacular landscape of the Maligne Valley and hear tales about the mysterious 'disappearing' Medicine Lake. This evening we'll gather around an open fire to make S'mores, a sweet treat made from marshmallows, chocolate and biscuits, served with mulled wine.
Day 6 Jasper - Lake Louise
Today we travel to picture-perfect Lake Louise, said by many to be one of the most beautiful places in Canada. This glacial, jade-green lake is situated high in the mountains surrounded by towering peaks on all sides. Our hotel for the next two nights, the stunning Fairmont Chateau, is situated in an enviable position right next to its shores. Built more than 100 years ago as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists, it has played a part in the colourful history of the Rockies. This evening is yours to enjoy everything this luxury resort has to offer.
Day 7 Lake Louise - at Leisure
How you spend today is entirely up to you. You might choose to stay exactly where you are and revel in your hotel's excellent facilities and wonderful surroundings. Another way to spend some time is on an amazing optional excursion which takes you on a snowshoeing tour of Lake Louise. This ancient and efficient mode of transport simply involves wearing specially designed snowshoes which distribute your weight over a larger area. This allows you to walk on the snow with ease, without sinking into it. Tonight we've a real treat in store , as we settle down by an outdoor fire-pit to enjoy a drink together.
Day 8 Lake Louise - at Leisure
We'll travel back to Calgary today, making a stop at the Canada Olympic Park, where the bobsleigh and ski-jump events of the 1988 Winter Olympics were held.
Famous for its annual Stampede, Calgary is a cosmopolitan city with some lovely parks, cafés and restaurants. We'll take in its highlights on a sightseeing tour before checking into our hotel.
Day 9 Calgary - UK
After some free time this morning, we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Day 10 UK
You'll arrive back in the UK today.
Please note: We want you to get the most from your holiday with us, so please be advised that this tour requires a good degree of physical fitness and is not suitable for anyone with limited mobility.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: Room Upgrade
Lake-view rooms are available at a supplement for the duration of your stay. Please speak to a Holiday Advisor for details.