Peaks and Grapes of Canada
Experience the amazing beauty of the Canadian Rockies, British Columbia's High Country and Coastal regions on this 19 day driving tour of Western Canada's Greatest Parks.
- Sun Peaks
Upon arrival in Vancouver, pick up your rental car and take the leisurely drive along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. Highlights along the way include the cascading Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief Rock where climbers from all over the globe migrate to climb the granite cliffs. Arrive into Whistler by late afternoon or early evening and have an evening at leisure.
Explore this charming alpine resort, nestled between world renowned Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Spend the day relaxing or for the more energetic, enjoy an extensive range of Summer activities from Hiking, Championship Golf Courses or water activities such as White Water Rafting on one of the numerous rivers in the area.
After a busy day exploring the Mountains you can sit back and enjoy some of the many fine cafes and restaurant and mountain top dining, this European inspired Alpine village is famed for.
Sun Peaks Resort
Today, leaving Whistler you will begin your drive on the Duffey Lake Road where you will see breathtaking views of Joffee Glacier. Continue on through Lillooet known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail and onto Cache Creek where you could stop to visit the historic Hat Creek Ranch. From here travel a short distance to your overnight accommodation in the stunning resort of Sun Peaks.
Today, follow the Thompson River through rolling plateaus to the snowy peaks of the Monashee Mountains. View Pyramid Falls and the expansive glaciers of the Albreda Icefields.
You will also pass by Mount Robson, which at 3954 metres (12,972 ft), is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in Jasper by later afternoon.
You've plenty of time to explore this charming mountain village, close to many terrific scenic highlights. Take a tram up Whistlers Mountain, or visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world. Here you can enjoy a 90 minute cruise heading toward the south end of this postcard setting. Marvel at the magnificent shoreline with dense forest and glacial peaks rising abruptly from the water's edge, and take your own version of the world famous photograph of the lake when you stop at Spirit Island.
Make sure you take a slow and scenic drive through the Park visiting Mount Edith Cavel, Sarbach Glacier, Peyto and Bow Lakes (with Bow Glacier providing the backdrop), and not forgetting the majestic Athabasca Falls.
Leaving behind beautiful Jasper, your drive today will take you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies, along the Columbia Icefields Parkway and onto Banff. Along the way you will get ample opportunity to view a never-ending procession of mammouth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and more stunning emerald coloured lakes. Break your journey en route with a stop at the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier. From Lake Louise choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footpath to either the lower or upper waterfalls.
Continue on to Banff in time for early evening. Later, when you have checked into your chosen hotel you will still have time to enjoy some of Banff's many cafes and restaurants.
Banff is a small town surrounded by one of the most beautiful parks in the world. One of its greatest assets is the accessibility of its natural wonders - most highlights are located close to the road system. For the more adventurous there is an excellent system of hiking trails that lead to alpine lakes, along glacial valleys and to spectacular viewpoints where crowds are scarce and human impact has been minimal. Head to the mountaintop by the Sulphur Mountain Gondola for fantastic views of Banff townsite, Bow Valley, Cascade Mountain and Lake Minnewanka.
There are many outdoor activities including canoeing, horseracing and hiking to be enjoyed here and you can always end your busy day with a long soak in the Hot Springs at Sulphur Mountain. When considering hiking in this region, always visit the Banff Visitor Centre where staff can advise you on the condition of the trails and any closures.
Also, take a short drive to nearby Lake Louise and smaller but equally beautiful Moraine Lake, where you can take a canoe out on the crystal clear water.
Meantime, back in the town itself you'll find excellent shopping and museums as well as many cafes, bars and restaurants.
Your journey today takes you through some of the most spectacular stretches of highway in Canada. Follow the Kicking Horse Pass, which takes you to Rogers Pass and onto the beautiful shorelines of Shuswap Lake, home to Canada's largest sockeye salmon spawn, and finally onto the south fork of the Thompson River. The highway then follows the Thompson into the dry interior grasslands and the city of Kamloops. At this point the highway begins the long descent into the hot, dry interior initially through cattle country and then down into the orchard country of the Okanagan Valley. Set on the shores of Lake Okanagan, over 90 km long, Kelowna has become a large lakeside resort with long hot summers.
Discover all this beautiful coastal city has to offer. Vancouver is Canada's third largest metropolitan centre, and a busy port with a multi cultural ambience. The city's spectacular setting invites you outdoors to explore it's multitude of diverse restaurants, shopping, galleries, museums and much more. Downtown Vancouver is an intriguing mixture of steel, concrete, mirrored glass buildings, modern sculptures and old-fashioned fountains.
There is so much to see and do in the city - rent a bike to ride around the Seawall in Stanley Park or try rollerblading if you are feeling adventurous! Take the ferry across False Creek to the refurbished Granville Island - the place to be on a sunny day. Here you can shop in the Public Market, walk round the marina, browse in the gift shops or sample some of the local food. A visit to Lynn Canyon and the suspension bridge is well worth it. Take along your bathing suit and you can have a dip in Lynn Creek after a short walk in the forest. Enjoy dinner at the top of Grouse Mountain, where you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the city lit up at night and you can reach the summit by the Skyride Gondola.
There will also be plenty of time for shopping on Robson Street in its trendy shops and the Robson Public Market.Visit Chinatown - the second largest Chinese community in North America and home to the beautiful and peaceful Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. No visit is complete without wandering through Gastown where Vancouver started. The brightly painted buildings date back to 1886 and old gas lamps and trees line the red cobblestone streets. There are many galleries, restaurants and gift shops here The Boathouse Restaurant is a great place for dinner, while watching the sunset over English Bay and people watching all the evening strollers.
An amazing trip awaits you today, from Kelowna to Vancouver. Travel via the Okanagan connector to the Coquihalla Highway. Along the way stop at any of the roadside stalls offeringlocal freshly picked fruit and berries. Turning onto the Coquihalla Highway you will climb to an elevation of 1244 metres where over 10 metres of snow can fall in an average winter. You will bear witness to incredible feats of engineering as you travel through the Great bear snow shed, crossing the Dry Gulch Bridge (over 280m long and 175m high). Begin decending from the summit pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the province. This dramatic change of environment is always exhilarating, as you go from the bright sunlight on the high rock faces to the misty coastal cedars and tall firs in the space of half an hour!
Approaching the Pacific coast, the canyon opens into the broad fertile Fraser Valley. A stop at Minter gardens in the Fraser Valley is a must. Arrive Vancouver by late afternoon.
- Direct return flights from London (please ask about other departure airpoprts)
- 12 nights hotel accomodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
- A detailed travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps and suggested excursions
Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.
We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties such as lodges and small inns.