What made you choose this trip/destination?
With my last big trip being throughout Europe for two months and having visited various other countries through the years, I decided it was time to tick off another bucket list destination. The extreme natural beauty of Canada and Alaska is the main reason I decided it was time to explore these countries.
What were some of the places you visited on this trip?
Our trip began in Banff and Jasper in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, then we caught the VIA Rail to Vancouver where we spent a few days in this cosmopolitan city before venturing into Whistler. From here we went back to Vancouver and finished our trip on a Celebrity Cruise for an 8 day journey through the Alaskan Inside Passage. I felt this was the perfect three week itinerary!
My favourite memory was definitely the day we visited Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. We had a hire car and drove from Banff town through the Rocky Mountains and that scenery along the highway alone was stunning. But it simply took my breath away when we walked down to the banks of the lake and I finally got to see the iconic view. The soaring snow-capped mountains and frozen lake created such beautiful sights which I will never forget.
What surprised you the most about this trip?
How impactful the sights of the Rocky Mountains are. I remember driving along the highway and the mountains just kept going and going as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful.
What are some words you would use to describe your travel experience?
- Memorable, Visually Outstanding and Refreshing
Did you do anything on this trip you wouldn’t usually do at home? Try a different cuisine? Any adventurous activity? Something that pushed you out of your comfort zone?
Not exactly anything I wouldn’t do at home, but we did do some adventurous activities such as walking on glaciers and suspended cliff walks and ziplining through mountains and valleys. Canada provides some of the best landscapes to get out amongst the beautiful nature, especially for hiking. My favourite adventure was Ziplining through Whistler’s backcountry. There were four zip lines; the first was the highest at over 200m above the canopy floor, the second was the longest at over 1.3km in length, the third was the fastest where we reached over 100km in 3 seconds and the fourth was the ‘most romantic’ as the lines were the closest together and you could hold hands. It was great fun!
Did you discover any hidden gems you would like to share?
I explored most of the well-known sights in Western Canada, however for some ‘hidden gems’ I would definitely suggest hiring a car and simply driving the roads through the beautiful Rocky Mountains. There are plenty of places to pull over or exists leading to some lesser visited sights. I would also suggest visiting some of the smaller towns on your way from Banff to Vancouver or vice versa.
What advice would you give to future travellers?
- If you are looking for the bright turquoise waters of the lakes then you will need to travel from mid-June on wards as summer takes a lot longer to reach the Rocky Mountains and most lakes stay frozen until then.
- Leave yourself enough time to explore all the beauty of the region. I could easily suggest 8-12 days for the Rocky Mountains alone.
- If you have the time I would definitely add on an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise. This was a lovely way to explore the rugged Alaskan coastline and also gave us a relaxing end to our holiday.
What is your next dream destination?
I wish to visit everywhere in the world, however I would love to explore East Africa and all of the landscapes, wildlife and culture that it brings.
Best time to go to Canada
- Lakes will still be frozen – creating amazing photos and a romantic atmosphere
- Bears just coming out of hibernation
- Plenty of deer, big horned sheep, eagles and the occasional coyote
- Average temperatures: Vancouver – 16 degrees, Ottawa – 16 degrees
- Ice melts on lakes to display its famous emerald colour.
- Long summer days – sun rises early and sets late.
- Best time of year to see wildlife
- Average Temperatures: Vancouver – 22 degrees, Ottawa – 25 degrees
- The bears are common sights
- Emerald colour in lakes
- Autumn colours are mesmerising especially on the East Coast.
- Average Temperatures: Vancouver – 18 degrees, Ottawa 23 degrees
- Perfect for those who have always dreamed of a white Christmas
Top 5 things to do in Canada:
- Visit Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in the heart of the spectacular Rockies
- Ride on one of the best rail journeys in the world – The Rocky Mountaineer.
- Visit the SPECTACULAR Butchart Gardens in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Even the non-garden enthusiasts will be enthralled at the spectacular floral display.
- Travel on the Icefields Parkway road from Lake Louise to Jasper and be overawed with over 100 visible glaciers. While you are there walk on Athabasca Glacier within walking distance from the road.
- Visit Canada’s East Coast during Autumn to view the striking autumn colours.