Bus round trip in Western Canada for small groupsSightseeing bus tour for small groups through Western Canada with good hotels, easy walks and hikes, fun activities and visits. A round trip from Vancouver through the Canadian Rockies with flexible itinerary and time to make new friends.
Tour E, Western Round Trip with Local Flavour, 17-day hotel tourWhat do Canadians do on their holidays? During this round trip 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, a Ferry cruise of the Inside Passage through the fjords of the Pacific coast, ranches and logging towns of the interior plateau. You follow the guide on moderate hikes and walks among the majestic peaks and turquoise alpine lakes of the Canadian 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:Transportation in air-conditioned 15-seater minibus, 15 nights twin accommodation in good middle class hotels, breakfast on days 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, admission to the National Parks, BC Ferries Inside Passage, admission to ‘Ksan Indian Village, shuttle bus and day pass for Capilano Park, equipment and utensils for barbeques and picnics, experienced driver/guide from / to Vancouver.
Not included:Personal equipment, meals.
Demands:bus round trip with good hotels, 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, southern British Columbia
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: Banff, Alberta, in the Rocky Mountain National Parks
Stock up on fresh cherries, peaches or pears at a fruit stand beside the road. The visitor center 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. Base for the next two days is the bustling holiday town of Banff with colourful shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Day 4: Banff National Park, side trip to Lake Louise
The village of Lake Louise is in the heart of the Rockies with picture postcard scenery and premier hikes close by. 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 center of Canada’s first National Park. A walk 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: Icefields Parkway into Jasper National Park
Today you travel the famous 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, an immense glacier filed at the crown of the Canadian Rockies, 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, hiking at Maligne Lake
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: via Mount Robson to Prince George
Driving west to you pass beneath Mount Robson, with 12964 ft (3954 m) highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 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, so much to explore
The drive further north and west leaves a good impression of the vastness of the country – trees and little lakes as far as the eye can see. Smithers is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, an insider tip, overshadowed by the world-famous Rocky Mountain parks. Two days of exploring the mountains, valleys and lakes around Smithers.
Day 9: Smithers, options and activities
Only a short distance from Smithers is Babine Mountains Park with a choice of hiking trails to summits for spectacular views, abandoned mining camps and hidden mountain lakes. There are options for trail riding and mountain bike rentals, a flightseeing trip in a small float plane over glaciers and peaks. The Buckley Valley is studded with lakes - large and small. Here you can rent a kayak or paddle board for an afternoon on the water. For dinner the guide suggests another barbeque, or a lumberjack’s menu of steak and corn on the cob.
Day 10: historic 'Ksan and 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 11: Port Hardy via the Inside Passage with BC Ferries
Day 12: Port Hardy, whale watching
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 13: Tofino and Ucluelet, the far west coast
Campbell River calls itself Canada's Salmon Capital. If you book a fishing trip here you will certainly 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 14: Tofino / Ucuelet, Pacific Rim National Park
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 15: ferry to Vancouver
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 and Duncan, the city of totems. Around noon you are in Victoria, the easygoing, laid back capital city of British Columbia. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the sights around the picturesque Inner Harbor. Then the scenic Marine Drive to the ferry terminal and a 90 minute crossing back to the mainland. Hotel in downtown Vancouver for the last two nights.
Day 16: Vancouver downtown and Capilano Park
This morning the guide takes you on an orientation tour with Canada Place, Gastown, Chinatown and Stanley Park. Included for today is the shuttle bus up Grouse Mountain for a day of fun in Capilano Park. You walk through the Story Center with artifacts, antiques and voices from the past and First Nations totem poles. The first nerve tingling thrill is crossing Capilano Canyon on a 137 m (450 feet) Suspension Bridge high above the river. The Treetops Adventure takes you like the squirrels through the evergreens 30 m (100 feet) above the forest floor and during the Cliff Walk you cling to the granite cliff above Capilano Canyon. Back in downtown on firm ground there is the famous Museum of Anthropology and of course last-minute shopping and restaurants along busy Robson Street.
Day 17: Transfer on own to the airport. The Skytrain Canada Line station is a short walk or taxi ride away, then the 25 minute train ride direct into the airport. $8.75 per person.
Ask your guide for ideas and suggestions if you plan to spend an extra day in Vancouver.
|Optional adventures and activities||Prices are approximate|
|Driving range & bucket of golf balls
|2 hours trail ride||$100.00||5 hous fishing guide (minimum 4 pers.)||$150.00|
|1 hour canoe rental in Jasper||$65.00||2-3 hours whale or bear watching at Tofino||$125.00|
|Snowcoach and Skywalk at Columbia Icefields||$12.00||6-7 hours hot springs tour at Tofino||$150.00|
|90 minute boat cruise on Maligne Lake||$85.00||Extra night in Coast Hotel Vancouver||$365.00|
|3 1/2 hours whale watching, Telegraph Cove||$145.00|
|Hotels Tour E:|
|Day 1||Sandman Hotel Vancouver Airport||Day 2:||Quaaout Lodge, Chase|
|Days 3 & 4:||Brewsters Mountain Lodge, Banff||Days 5 & 6:||Becker's Chalets, Jasper|
|Day 7:||Ramada Hotel Prince George||Days 8 & 9:||Storks Nest Inn, Smithers|
|Day 10:||Prestige Hotel, Prince Rupert||Days 11 & 12:||Glen Lyon Inn, Port Hardy|
|Days 13 & 14:||Middle Beach Lodge, Tofino||Days 15 & 16:||Coast Hotel Coal Harbour, Vancouver|