Western Round Trip with Local FlavourVacationing like Canadians - eh! A bus sightseeing tour for small groups with good hotels from and to Vancouver, round trip through BC with the National Parks of Banff and Jasper in the Rockies, fun activities and visits.
Tour E, 16 daysWhat do Canadians do when they take holidays? During this bus tour you should not feel like a tourist but more like an explorer. We make certain you see the real western Canada with local flavour, playing and relaxing like the locals. The program touches on the great places and sights in British Columbia and the Rockies, fjords of the Pacific coast, ranches and logging towns of the interior plateau, majestic peaks and turquoise alpine lakes of the Rocky Mountains. You learn about the history of the Aboriginal peoples and the early pioneers. A glimpse of old times Canada as well as the modern way of life in different regions of this vast and colourful country.
What's Included:All transfers, transportation in air-conditioned 15-seater minibus, 15 nights twin accommodation in good middle class hotels, admission to the National Parks, ferry crossings as per program, admission to ‘Ksan Indian Village, equipment and utensils for barbeques and picnics, experienced driver/guide from / to Vancouver.
Not included:Personal equipment, meals.
Demands:Easy walks and activities combined with sightseeing.
Meeting time: 18:30 in our Vancouver hotel
Group size: 6 to 12 persons
Tour DetailsDay 1: VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA
Transfer from the airport by hotel-owned shuttle bus. Hotel near the Vancouver airport for the first night. Meet the guide this evening for pre-trip information.
Day 2: SHUSWAP LAKES
Departing from Vancouver you drive through the fertile valley of the Fraser River east into the mountains and into the arid Interior Plateau with huge lakes and wonderful beaches. Coffee break at Tim Hortons, the popular Canadian doughnut shop where you can try every Canadians favourite; the Timbit. Warning: Timbits can be addictive. Your lakefront hotel for tonight is operated by the Native Shuswap Band and features a restaurant with Native cuisine and a state-of-the-art golf course. How about shooting a bucket of balls down the driving range. We all play like beginners, nobody can lose.
Day 3: LAKE LOUISE / BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Stock up on fresh cherries, peaches or pears at a fruit stand beside the road. The visitor centre at Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park shows the ongoing battle between the highway and railroad builders and Mother Nature with her avalanches, raging rivers and rock slides. You reach the Rocky Mountains in Yoho National Park where a stop is made at the Natural Bridge and beautiful Emerald Lake surrounded by towering peaks. A 2 km walk along the lake shore takes you to the far end and if you feel ambitious you can take the easy uphill climb from here into Yoho Pass. The village of Lake Louise is base for the next two days. Now you are in the heart of the Rockies with picture postcard scenery and premier hikes close by.
Day 4: LAKE LOUISE / BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Suggested is a moderate hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House, other options are renting a canoe, joining a trail ride or a whitewater rafting trip. Or just enjoy the view of the turquoise lake surrounded by snow covered giants and Victoria Glacier as backdrop. Late afternoon a short drive into Banff, the bustling holiday town and centre of Canada’s first National Park. A stroll along Banff Avenue with colorful shops, boutiques and restaurants. The outdoor pool of the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs is heaven after a busy day.
Day 5: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Today you travel the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic high alpine routes with photo opportunities and so many reasons to stop and admire. At the Columbia Icefields you have the opportunity to take a driving tour on the glacier or a short but very rewarding hike with the guide. Then on to Jasper and your hotel in this small mountain town. For dinner the guide will be happy to arrange the first barbeque, all the necessary utensils are part of the group equipment. Today’s special is Bison burger with all the trimmings.
Day 6: JASPER NATIONAL PARK
A day to soak in the magic of this mountain paradise. One of Jasper’s many attractions is Maligne Canyon. A short hike takes you to breathtaking views into the depth of the canyon, water roaring up to 165 feet (50 m) below. On a side trip to Maligne Lake you have best chances to see bear, moose and other wildlife right be the side of the road. Several premier mountain trails start at the lake, even reaching a summit is not impossible for the average hiker. You can take a 90 minute boat cruise to Spirit Island at the far end of the lake, rent a canoe, try your luck catching a trout or enjoy a cool drink by the dock. Other options are guided trail rides or renting a mountain bike to explore the surroundings.
Day 7: PRINCE GEORGE
Driving west to you pass beneath Mount Robson, with 12964 ft (3954 m) highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. During a walk beside the roaring Robson River you find trees and plants which are more typical for the rain forest of the west coast realize yet they thrive here in the micro climate created by this colossus of a mountain. In Prince George, the hard working logging town, we can check out the local entertainment: a game of baseball, the bowling alley, or try your luck at the bingo hall.
Day 8: SMITHERS
The drive further north and west to Smithers leaves a good impression of the vastness of the country – trees and little lakes as far as the eye can see. Only a short distance from Smithers is Babine Mountains Park with a choice of good hiking possibilities. Then perhaps another barbeque, or a lumberjack’s menu of steak and corn on the cob.
Day 9: PRINCE RUPERT
From the bridge over the Buckley River Canyon you can observe Natives fishing salmon during July and August. Today’s highlight is a visit and tour of the ‘Ksan Indian Village in Hazelton. The reconstructed Native settlement consists of five traditional longhouses and several totem poles. You then continue to Prince Rupert, the harbor town on the Pacific. In the guide’s favorite tavern they serve beer by the jug, perhaps you should share.
Day 10: PORT HARDY VIA WITH BC FERRIES INSIDE PASSAGE
Early start for the cruise through the world-famous BC Ferries Inside Passage from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy. During the 15-hour-trip there are good chances to watch wildlife: bald eagles, dolphins, sea otters and sometimes even whales. You arrive late evening in Port Hardy and for the next two nights you check into your waterfront hotel.
Day 11: PORT HARDY
This morning you have the opportunity for a 4-hour whale watching tour starting in Telegraph Cove or a fishing trip with an expert guide. Suggested as well is a visit of a salmon hatchery where you can learn about the life cycle and importance of this iconic creature.
Day 12: TOFINO / UCLUELET
Campbell River calls itself Canada's Salmon Capital. Whoever books a fishing trip here will almost certainlz not be disappointed. You now cross over to the rugged and exposed western shores of Vancouver Island. Home for the next two nights is a motel by the beach. Watch powerful waves rolling in all the way from across the Pacific and the amazing west coast sunsets.
Day 13: TOFINO / UCLUELET
Pacific Rim National Park is a magical place with fairy tale forests of ferns and mosses and thousand year old trees. There is more: artists have made the charming villages of Ucluelet and Tofino their home, small shops offer unique and special souvenirs. A 7-hour boat excursion (optional) features a short hike to natural hot springs. Grey and humpback whales spend summers in these waters, you can join a wildlife sightseeing tour where you get very close to bears feeding on crabs and clams in tidal pools. Surfing lessons, sea kayaking are other fun activities can all be arranged. Ask your guide to organizing a clam bake by the shore, the oysters don’t come any fresher.
Day 14: VICTORIA
The half hour walk along Wild Pacific Trail is your farewell to this coastal paradise. Along the picturesque coastal highway you drive along the beaches of Parksville, pass through Chemanius with it’s colorful downtown murals, Duncan, the city of totems and reach your hotel in central Victoria, the easygoing, laid back capital city of British Columbia. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the sights around the picturesque Inner Harbor.
Day 15: VANCOUVER
A fun impression for the last day of your western Canada round trip would be an optional float plane crossing from Victoria Inner Harbour to downtown Vancouver, or the Vancouver airport. The normal land- and water way includes the scenic Marine Drive to the ferry terminal and a 90 minute crossing back to the mainland. In Vancouver the guide takes you on an orientation tour with Canada Place, Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park and time for last minute shopping and restaurants along busy Robson Street.
Day 16: Transfer to the airport.
Ask your guide for ideas and suggestions if you plan to spend an extra day in Vancouver.
|Optional adventures and activities|
|Driving range & bucket of golf balls
|2 hours trail ride||$80.00||5 hrs fishing guide (minimum 4 pers.)||$140.00|
|1 hour canoe rental||$45.00||2-3 hrs whale or bear watching at Tofino||$115.00|
|Snowcoach and Skywalk at Columbia Icefields||$99.00||6-7 hrs hot springs tour at Tofino||$150.00|
|90 minute boat cruise on Maligne Lake||$70.00||Extra night in Sheraton Hotel Vancouver||$220.00|
|31/2 hrs whale watching, Telegraph Cove||$115.00||Float plane Victoria to Vancouver||$230.00|
|Hotels Tour E:|
|Day 1||Sandman Hotel Vancouver Airport||Day 2:||Quaaout Lodge, Chase|
|Days 3 & 4:||Lake Louise Inn||Days 5 & 6:||Mountain Park Lodges, Jasper|
|Day 7:||Ramada Hotel Prince George||Day 8:||Storks Nest Inn, Smithers|
|Day 9:||Highliner Plaza Hotel, Prince Rupert||Days 10 & 11:||Glen Lyon Inn, Port Hardy|
|Days 12 & 13:||Tofino Harbourview Motel||Day 14:||Embassy Inn, Victoria|
|Day 15:||Four Points Sheraton Vancouver Airport|