- 20 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,399
FIRST-CLASS | SELF-DRIVE: Canada’s West is as much a state of mind as it is a geographical destination. Enjoy the meaning of this as you leave the cosmopolitan excitement of captivating Vancouver and its lush Pacific playground, before experiencing an invigorating journey through authentic Gold Rush territory. Breathtaking scenery awaits in Whistler, Jasper and Banff, the cleanest air imaginable in Kootenay National Park, before a leisurely drive down the mountains introduces you to Penticton in the fertile Okanagan.
This 20-day journey through Western Canada gives you a taste of cosmopolitan cities, historic Gold Rush towns and breathtaking mountain scenery. Not to mention the wines, orchards and lakes of the Okanagan.
Following your arrival in Vancouver, try a little shopping on Robson Street or take a stroll around vibrant Chinatown before settling in for a great meal.
In North Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain are two attractions well worth a visit. Stanley Park and the market and shops of Granville Island should be high on your list.
The next day you’ll pass the rugged coastlines of the Gulf Islands on your ferry ride to Victoria. Check out Abkhazi Garden, or try one of the many craft beer or coffee places in town.
Back on the road, the Vancouver Island eastern coastline is dotted with charming villages and offers breathtaking views. Consider a detour visiting the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan.
Your next day is in Parksville, where you’ll find a glorious beach and three nearby provincial parks. The Parksville area resort tempts visitors with tennis, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking trails.
From Parksville you’ll ferry back to the mainland to drive the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler. Admire Shannon Falls on your way north.
In Whistler, try a round of golf beneath towering mountain ranges, or go white water rafting down a fast-rushing river. Of course, you also could relax in the enchanting pedestrian village and sip a coffee or a glass of wine.
The next day it’s on to the 1862 Gold Rush stop of 100 Mile House. Located on the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail”, this small community is famous for its fishing.
For day nine, travel through soaring mountain canyons on your way to Quesnel. Don’t miss a visit to Barkerville, a restored gold rush settlement.
Continuing your journey, check out the turn-of-the-century railway boom town of McBride. Nearby Koeneman Regional Par offers sensational views of the Cariboo Mountains.
The next day you’ll traverse the Rocky Mountains and cross into Jasper. From there, take the spectacular Icefields Parkway, passing snow-covered mountain ridges, blue-green lakes and cascading waterfalls.
After an overnight at iconic Lake Louise, you’ll take the short drive to Banff, which boasts wilderness scenery and a range of international dining.
With a full day in Banff, you can visit the famous Bow Falls or take a thrilling gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. A boat ride on Lake Minnewanka also is a huge treat.
The next day you’re treated to a drive through rugged Kootenay National Park. Check out the cascades of Takakkaw Falls or have a soak in the warm waters at Radium Hot Springs Resort.
A day in Invermere offers a chance to enjoy a summer paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Try hiking, fishing, bird watching, boating, or windsurfing on Lake Windermere.
Driving high above a beautiful valley today you’ll reach Rossland, home to world-class mountain-biking facilities, two museums, scenic lakes and hiking trails.
A leisurely drive down the mountain the next day will carry you to Penticton, which features endless fruit orchards and world-class wineries on the shores of Okanagan Lake.
Check out some great wine-tasting spots, or try a swim in the lake in Penticton the next day. Another local highlight is the beached SS Sicamous, a lake sternwheeler that travels the waterways as it would have done over a century ago.
As you head back to Vancouver, enjoy a brief stop in Hope, which attracts film crews from around the world because of its rugged, spectacular scenery.
- 20 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,399
Arrival in Vancouver
Following your arrival at Vancouver International Airport, transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received has all the information needed for your holiday/trip/journey. Enjoy the rest of your day exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife in neighborhoods such as Yaletown or Gastown, venture along the meandering pathways along the ocean, visit a gallery, or indulge in a little shopping on Robson Street.
You have the entire day to explore Vancouver and its surroundings. You found out on your day on arrival how much there is to see and do in the city itself, but the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain are two attractions close by that are well worth a visit. Back in the city, Granville Island and Stanley Park should be high on your list too.
Vancouver to Victoria (70 km / 43 miles)
Today, the BC Ferries cruise across the Strait of Georgia takes you to Vancouver Island, passing the rugged coastline and tranquil beaches of the Gulf Islands. Make your way to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, with its maritime heritage and colonial charm. You may end your day with a visit to the Empress Hotel for traditional High Tea.
Victoria to Parksville (149 km / 93 miles)
Back on the road, explore the coast driving along gently winding Malahat Drive. The coastline is dotted with charming villages and offers breathtaking vistas and nature reserves with abundant wildlife. Consider a detour visiting the murals of Chemainus, the Forest Museum, Cowichan Bay area and the quaint Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan.
A glorious beach, three nearby provincial parks and excellent fishing opportunities have made Parksville a popular resort. Enjoy angling for trout or salmon against the backdrop of fir forests, waterfalls, and lush rainforests. The Parksville area resort tempts active visitors with tennis, volleyball, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking trails.
Parksville to Whistler (139 km / 86 miles)
The day begins with a scenic BC Ferries ride back through the Strait of Georgia to the mainland. From there, follow the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler Resort, located at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. Admire Shannon Falls and explore the dramatic canyons, ravines, and lofty peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park on your way to Whistler.
Trade the freedom of the road for the adventure of the wilderness. Play a championship golf course in the shadow of towering mountain ranges, hike along endless trails and high alpine meadows, ride on horseback past spectacular glaciers or whitewater raft down one of the turbulent rivers. You may wish to just relax in the enchanting setting of the pedestrian village and enjoy the boutiques, restaurants, and cafés.
Whistler to 100 Mile House (306 km / 190 miles)
‘Smile, you’re in 100 Mile!’ is the catchphrase welcoming visitors to this 1862 Gold Rush ‘truck stop’. Located exactly 100 miles from Lillooet on the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail”, this small community has been welcoming travelers since the early pioneer days. A gateway to over 100 recreational and fishing lakes, the 100 Mile region is home to some of the best lake trout and kokanee salmon in North America.
Overnight 100 Mile House
100 Mile House to Quesnel (205 km / 127 miles)
Follow in the footsteps of pioneering adventure seekers today and travel further down the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail.” As you pass through soaring mountain canyons, you encounter numerous logging villages and gold ghost towns on your way to the wilderness town of Quesnel. On the way, do not miss a visit to Barkerville, a restored 19th-century settlement. Overnight Quesnel
Quesnel to Mcbride / Valemount (319 km / 198 miles)
Continuing your journey through history, do not miss the turn-of-the-century railway boom town of McBride. Situated on the fertile land around the Fraser River, this bustling market town offers visitors a rare glimpse of a true Canadian rustic lifestyle. If you have time, drive just 1.5 km outside McBride to Koeneman Regional Park. Named after an early homesteading family, this Park is home to Rainbow Falls and Dear Mountain with spectacular views of Robson Valley and the Cariboo Mountains.
Overnight Mcbride / Valemount area
Mcbride / Valemount to Lake Louise (395 km / 245 miles)
Today, traverse the Rocky Mountains along the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Flanked by snow-covered mountain ridges, cascading waterfalls, and sparkling glaciers you can admire the spectacular Athabasca Glacier, where you might want to take an Ice Explorer ride.
Overnight Lake Louise
Lake Louise to Banff (58 km / 36 miles)
The Trans-Canada Highway leads you to Banff, the famous year-round resort region that boasts true wilderness scenery, lots of outdoor activities, and a wide range of international dining. Banff offers an incredible range of sightseeing choices, and you are going to have great opportunities to indulge in activities or just enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Banff National Park
Today, you might like to visit the famous Bow Falls, or the Cave and Basin National Historic site, both of which have trails. A thrilling gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain is another great option.
Banff to Radium Hot Springs (171 km / 106 miles)
Today drive through Kootenay National Park, a landscape dominated by lofty peaks, glaciers, deep valleys, and crystal-blue lakes. A visit to the park’s hot springs or the Radium Hot Springs Resort offers many activities and sights. Wildflowers decorate the alpine meadows, while grizzly bears, moose and mountain goats roam the park.
Overnight Radium Hot Springs
Radium Hot Springs
Spend a full day in Invermere, a summer paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and spending a day here is pure pleasure. Enjoy a myriad of activities, such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, boating, and windsurfing on Lake Windermere. You can also visit Invermere’s museum housing pioneer artifacts and local archives. The local hot springs offer a relaxing mineral bath, soothing body, and spirit alike.
Overnight Radium Hot Springs area
Radium Hot Springs to Rossland / Castlegar (390 km / 242 miles)
Driving high above the valley today you eventually reach Rossland, one of Canada’s more unusual townships. Nestled within the crater of a long extinct volcano, Rossland was the largest town in British Columbia at the height of the Gold Rush. Today, this charming alpine village is home to two Canadian Olympic Champion skiers, world-class mountain-biking facilities, two museums, scenic lakes and hiking trails that conveniently begin in the heart of the town.
Overnight Rossland / Castlegar area
Rossland / Castlegar to Penticton (283 km / 176 miles)
A leisurely drive down the mountain will carry you to Penticton, situated between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes. A native word meaning ‘place to live forever’ Penticton is the thriving fruit capital of British Columbia. Every spring, the city blooms as thousands of fruit trees cast an unforgettable fragrance and wash of color across the city limits.
More time today to further explore this fertile farm region. Do not miss the Okanagan River Channel, a man-made canal running between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes and a marvel of modern engineering. Another local highlight is the beached SS Sicamous, a 72 m lake sternwheeler that travels the waterways as it would have done over a century ago.
Penticton to Vancouver (418 km / 260 miles)
Traverse the very heart of British Columbia on the final day of your trip. At the halfway point, you may enjoy a brief stop in Hope, which often attracting film crews from Hollywood and around the world because of its ruggedly spectacular scenery. For outdoor enthusiasts, Manning Provincial Park is a favorite destination with its deep valleys, Blackwall Peak alpine meadows, Cascade Lookout, and azure-blue lakes. Continue through and down the mountains to arrive at the coastline and delightful Vancouver.
Return to Vancouver International Airport in time for check-in for your return flight or stay in town if you plan to extend your trip.
Daily departures: May 1 - October 19, 2023
- 20 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Vancouver
- 1 night first-class accommodations in Victoria
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Parksville
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Whistler
- 1 night first-class accommodations in 100 Mile House
- 1 night first-class accommodations in Quesnel
- 1 night first-class accommodations in McBride
- 1 night first-class accommodations in Lake Louise
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Banff
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Invermere / Radium Hot Springs
- 1 night first-class accommodations in Rossland/Castlegar
- 2 night’s first-class accommodations in Penticton
- 1 night first-class accommodations in Vancouver
- Ferry crossing: Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (1 hour 35 minutes)
- Ferry crossing: Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (1 hour 35 minutes)
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- National Park Fees
- All visitors to Banff and/or Jasper National Parks are required to obtain a National Park Visitor’s Pass. The pass can be obtained either at the airport or at the information centers in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. If arriving by car the passengers may obtain the pass at the park entrance gate.
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
2 Oct 2023