Ranchland & Prairies
Discover a world of fossils, cowboy culture and central Canada treasures on a unique new itinerary combining new destinations in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The communities and landscapes that dot the roads leading west to the grass and wheat fields of the country are seldom seen by larger tours and offer a distinctive perspective on the area and its history. Authentic ranches demonstrate how life on horseback was for the settlers of the 19th century, and stays in modern urban centres show the changing face of their community and philosophies. Historical re-enactments, authentic Indigenous cultural museums and guided tours round out an intriguing holiday experience.
- La Reata Ranch
- Jasper & Banff National Parks
Arrive Calgary International Airport and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure for perhaps visiting Heritage Park, the Calgary Tower or one of the many other attractions the city has to offer.
Leaving the city and heading east, you pass through the outer reaches of Calgary’s expansive communities and bass into the Badlands – an arid, rocky region displaying the geological and paleontological history of the last 200 million years. This area is one of the largest, accessible dinosaur fields in the world, producing thousands of fossils with new discoveries every year. You may like to independently visit the Royal Tyrell Museum that tells the story of the ancient animals that roamed the land eons ago.
Kyle & La Reata Ranch
Today we journey across Alberta over the provincial border into Saskatchewan – the Bread Basket of Canada. Although famous for its near endless wheat fields, the province is home to a diverse environment of rolling plains, northern forests and waterways. Arriving at La Reata Ranch, the next two days are yours to explore this beautiful landscape on horseback during the day, and spend the evenings living the social life of a Canadian cowboy.
Spend your time here on horseback with your knowledgeable guides as they reveal the natural wonders, the history of the land and the stories of its ancient and modern peoples. The ranch offers guests the opportunity to see how cowboys lived and worked the ranches, and how a modern ranch has adapted to today’s reality.
The journey today leads farther into the heart of the province past numerous shallow lakes, grasslands and a horizon-filling Big Sky. Arriving in Moose Jaw, you find yourself in what used to be one of the only two major settlements in the province during its formative years. As a result, the cultures of the immigrants that came to the prairies over the last century have left their mark on the buildings and architecture of this small but intriguing town. Explore the Asian influences on the area with a historical tour and re-enactment in the tunnels below the town streets. Afterwards, tour the Heritage Centre of the world-famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Afterwards, continue on to Regina for the evening.
Driving northward, the road leads to Saskatoon – once a meeting place and formative centre for popular rock and folk music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Take the remainder of the day and explore this quintessential Canadian town.
Visit the spectacular Wanuskewin Heritage Park, known for centuries as 'The Gathering Place'. Six thousand years ago, Wanuskewin echoed with the thundering hooves of bison and the voices of Indigenous peoples from across the Northern Plains. The nomadic tribes who roamed the lands gathered on this site of natural beauty where today visitors can relive the stories of a people who came here to hunt bison, gather food and herbs and escape the winter winds. Walking in their footsteps throughout the incredible interactive displays, you will understand why this site was a place of worship and celebration, of renewal with the natural world and of a deep spirituality.
Today you head for the provincial border - and stop on the very edge of it! Lloydminster is a town of two regions with half the residents living in Saskatchewan and the other half in Alberta. Aside from its unique location, the community has come to embrace the arts and culinary diversity with its small galleries, restaurants and casual eateries.
After a short 2.5-hour drive, you arrive at the seat of Alberta’s provincial government, Edmonton. Although it is the administrative head of the province and boasts the grand public buildings and monuments that commemorate its title, the city is also home to large urban parks, bike paths and pedestrian walkways that let you discover fascinating sights and unique neighbourhoods.
Jasper National Park
The grandeur of the Rocky Mountains awaits! As you drive west into the foothills, the mountains grow in the distance until they are suddenly looming outside every window on today’s scenic drive. Winding your way through the passes and valleys, you arrive in the outdoor-adventure hub of Jasper. This quiet alpine town is home to magnificent lodges and the jumping off point for excursions, tours and other exciting attractions in Jasper National Park.
Perhaps take in a lunch at one of the many restaurants, or browse some of the local shoppes. Jasper is renowned as the starting point for days of adventure to be had around the park. You may wish to arrange a Maligne Lake boat cruise or take a ride on the Jasper SkyTram.
Banff National Park
Drive to Banff via the spectacular Icefields Parkway. We suggest a stop at Peyto Lake en route. Enjoy glorious photo opportunities of snowcapped peaks, waterfalls and alpine meadows as you travel this route considered one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Make today a day of discovery in Canada’s most famous Rocky Mountain community! The exclusive shops and restaurants that line Banff Avenue bring the tastes and goods of the world to your fingertips. Elk stroll along the wide central boulevards, creating a surreal mix of human and wildlife habitation. Perhaps arrange a visit to Banff Natural History Museum or gondola ride. Or for the more adventurous, try river rafting or a sidecar tour.
Calgary & Home
Today you descend from the mountains back through the foothills en route to Calgary International Airport in time for your return flight.
- 13 nights' accommodation and room tax.
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required).
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available).
- A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving directions and maps.
Daily departures from June to September.