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Trip Location: Calgary
Discover the dynamic scenery of Alberta on a self-drive to Banff and Jasper National Parks, the Alberta Badlands, Calgary and Edmonton.
This 10-day holiday provides the freedom and flexibility of exploring at your own pace, with the convenience of overnight accommodations and admissions to the best attractions of Alberta.
Itinerary at a Glance
Upon arrival into Calgary, pick up your rental car and begin your Rockies adventure. Take the short (2-hour) drive from Calgary to Banff on either the Trans-Canada Highway or the more scenic 1A Highway. Once in Banff proceed to your selected hotel to check in and the remainder of the day is yours to explore at your own leisure.
A full day to explore Banff and area. In town you’ll find lots of excitement - shopping, cafés, nightlife, museums. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (not included), Banff Gondola (included) where you will see a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, and then take a dip in the hot mineral pools at the Upper Hot Springs. (included)
Depart Banff today and travel along the lovely Bow Valley Parkway for a casual drive. The Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Lake Louise is a low-speed, two-lane undivided roadway with numerous scenic outlooks and pullouts. Be sure to stop for a quick nature walk at Johnston Canyon, where you can stand in the spray of a roaring mountain waterfall. Continue on to the “Jewel of the Rockies,” Lake Louise. Lake Louise is the most famous glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies, and one of the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere.
Today, travel through the spine of the Canadian Rockies along the amazing Icefield Parkway. You’re sure to be enthralled by the scenery, wildlife, incredible blue lakes and sparkling waterfalls en route A stop at Peyto Lake along the way is a must. Don’t miss the Columbia Icefield for a ride onto the Athabasca Glacier on board an Ice Explorer (included) and a stop at the award-winning Glacier Skywalk (included), before continuing your journey to Jasper.
Please note: Mountain lakes in this region will be frozen through to mid-June
Explore this charming mountain village close to many terrific scenic highlights. Take a tram ride up Whistlers mountain, or visit Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed lakes in the world, and enjoy a 90 minute cruise heading toward the south end of this postcard setting (Maligne Lake cruise not included). You will marvel at the magnificent shoreline with dense forest and glacial peaks rising abruptly from the water’s edge. Stopping at Spirit Island, you will have the opportunity to take your own version of the world famous photograph of the lake.
Journey through the beautiful landscapes of Jasper National Park, and into the golden prairies of Alberta. Arrive in the city of Edmonton, and spend the remainder of your day exploring. Don’t miss the walking trails and parks of the downtown River Valley, and the eclectic shops and cafes of Whyte Avenue.
Spend a day exploring West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping centre in North America. Complete with an expansive water park, amusement park, indoor skating rink, and mini golf park, and over 800 stores. For those looking to get outside, Elk Island National Park is less than an hour’s drive from the city, and offers great wildlife watching and hiking trails.
Depart Edmonton and head south towards the badlands of Alberta and the city of Drumheller. This fascinating destination is home to a unique landscape shaped by sandstone pillar hoodoos. Many dinosaur fossils have been excavated from this area, drawing palaeontologists from around the world. Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum (included) and walk amongst the impressive array of dinosaur fossils.
Today is a full day to explore Dinosaur Provincial Park. From Drumheller, travel two hours to Dinosaur Provincial Park, where you will have a chance escape the ordinary and venture into the rugged Canadian Badlands. The Explorer’s Bus Tour (included) provides the opportunity to experience the stunning views of the park’s Natural Preserve from the comfort and safety of the tour bus. You will be getting off the bus at various stops to see the badlands and fossils up close and personal. One stop includes a full body (articulated skeleton) of a Corythosaurus, the “helmet headed lizard”. Return to Drumheller for the night.
Conclude this memorable holiday with a quick drive from Drumheller to Calgary.
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