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Self-Drive Western Canada Circle

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Overview

This 16 day self-drive itinerary starts and ends in Vancouver and visits the interior of British Columbia, the amazing Canadian Rockies, includes a cruise down the famous Inside passage and travel through Vancouver Island before heading back to Vancouver.

16 Day Tour Begins & Ends Vancouver:  2nights Vancouver; 1 night Kelowna; 1 night Golden; 2 nights Banff; 1 night Jasper; 1 night Prince George; 1 night Smithers; 1 night Prince Rupert; 1 night Port Hardy; 1 night Campbell River; 2 nights Victoria.

Please note:  Tour departs every other day between 10th June and 4th September 2016.

 

Details

Day 1

Arriving in Vancouver

Arrive at Vancouver International Airport and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore this coastal city.

Standard Hotel: Sandman City Centre

Superior Hotel: Century Plaza Hotel

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Day 2

Vancouver Exploring

Full day in Vancouver and the surrounding area. Some suggestions: Stanley Park, the MacMillan Planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain and Stanley Park.

Standard Hotel: Sandman City Centre

Superior Hotel: Century Plaza Hotel

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Day 3

Vancouver to Kelowna (388 km)

Pick up your rental car this morning and travel through the Coastal Mountains into the interior of British Columbia. The city of Kelowna is located right on Lake Okanagan and the lush orchards and vineyards of the Okanagan Valley. The region is also renowned for its beaches and hot, dry climate.

Standard Hotel: Prestige Hotel Kelowna

Superior Hotel: Manteo Resort

Deluxe Hotel: Manteo Resort or Hotel El Dorado

Day 4

Kelowna to Golden (348 km)

Morning is at leisure to enjoy the Okanagan Valley. Scenic drive through Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass. Then drive past spectacular waterfalls, towering peaks and beautiful lakes en route to the mountain town of Golden. 

Standard Hotel: Best Western Golden

Superior Hotel: Prestige Inn Golden

Deluxe Hotel: Prestige Inn Golden

Day 5

Golden to Banff (140 km)

Depart Golden and travel the Trans Canada Highway en-route to Canada's oldest national park and the bustling resort town of Banff.

Standard Hotel: Banff International Hotel

Superior Hotel: Mount Royal Hotel

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs

Day 6

Exploring Banff

The entire day is free tour Banff and the surrounding area. Hot sulphur water bubbling from the side of Sulphur Mountain was well known by the local aboriginal peoples of the 1800’s. The hot spring was “discovered” by a pair of American hunters in 1875, and Canadian Pacific Railway surveyors who happened upon the location in 1883. The Canadian government declared the hot spring to be a “federal preserve” in 1885 and two years later, Rocky Mountain National Park, Canada’s first national park, was officially established.

Standard Hotel: Banff International Hotel

Superior Hotel: Mount Royal Hotel

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs

Day 7

Banff to Jasper (289 km)

Today travel the scenic Icefields Parkway. The Icefields Parkway is Canada’s second-highest paved highway, and is among the country’s most scenic drives. A kaleidoscope of new experiences is yours to discover amidst the waterfalls, mountain lakes and awesome glaciers, which dominate the landscape. Be sure to visit the Columbia Icefield, featuring a Parks Canada Interpretive Centre and Brewster’s famous Glacier Adventure on the Athabasca Glacier (Ice Explorer not included). The Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield, the greatest mass of ice outside the Arctic Circle.  The ice is 365 metres (1,200 feet) thick - about the height of the Empire State Building.  Only a few minutes away visit the Glacier Skywalk is Jasper National Parks’ newest attraction (admission not included).  Winner of the 2011 World Architecture Future Projects award, the Glacier Skywalk consists of a 400 metre interpretive boardwalk and a glass-floored observation platform extending 30 metres out over the Sunwapta Valley.  The walkway contains interpretive stations highlighting the ecology, geology, glaciology, Aboriginal history and social history of the area. 

Leaving the Athabasca Glacier, your camera should be ready to capture the majesty of the Athabasca Falls prior to your arrival into Jasper. Jasper, fascinating in beauty and history, is set amid some of the most rugged peaks in the Rockies.

Standard Hotel: Marmot Lodge

Superior Hotel: Chateau Jasper

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Day 8

Jasper to Prince George (375 km)

The Yellowhead Highway meanders past Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, and descends into the vast forests of northern British Columbia. Follow the northern arm of the Fraser River through the Cariboo Region.

Standard Hotel: Sandman Signature Prince

Superior Hotel: Ramada Prince George

Deluxe Hotel: Coast Inn of the North

Day 9

Prince George to Smithers (371 km)

Travel along the Yellowhead Highway and through the rugged wilderness terrain of the interior mountain ranges. Centuries before pioneers arrived to settle in this region, Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en Native villages prospered around the confluence of the Skeena and the Bulkley Rivers. The Skeena River was an important First Nations trade route; 60-foot long cedar canoes navigated the river carrying supplies to and from coastal villages. 

Standard Hotel: Sandman Hotel Smithers

Superior Hotel: Hudson Bay Lodge

Deluxe Hotel: Hudson Bay Lodge

Day 10

Smithers to Prince Rupert (348 km)

Follow the scenic Skeena River Valley to the active port city of Prince Rupert.

Standard Hotel: Pacific Inn

Superior Hotel: Prince Rupert Hotel

Deluxe Hotel: Crest Hotel

Day 11

Prince Rupert to Port Hardy (10 km plus ferry)

Enjoy a full-day ocean cruise on board B.C. Ferries along the British Columbia coastline. The famous Inside Passage cruise terminates in Port Hardy.

Standard Hotel: Glen Lyon Inn

Superior Hotel: Glen Lyon Inn

Deluxe Hotel: Quarterdeck Inn & Marina

Day 12

Port Hardy to Campbell River (232 km)

Your destination today is Campbell River, historically renowned as the “Salmon Capital of the World”.  Surrounded by the backdrop of Strathcona Provincial Park to the west and the Coastal Mountain range to the east, massive cruise ships pass right by Campbell River’s doorstep.

Standard Hotel: Travelodge Campbell River

Superior Hotel: Painters Lodge

Deluxe Hotel: Painter's Lodge

Day 13

Campbell River to Victoria (265 km)

Continue along the coast, past quaint seaside towns such as Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo. In Duncan, visit the Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre and in Chemainus, you can see the famous murals. As you approach Victoria, British Columbia's capital, you will travel along the scenic Mala hat Drive, which affords generous vistas of the water and the Gulf Islands beyond.

Standard Hotel: Strathcona Hotel Victoria

Superior Hotel: Best Western Carlton Plaza

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Empress

Day 14

Victoria Exploring

Spend the day exploring the city. Perhaps visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, famous Butchart Gardens or take in a whale watching tour.

Standard Hotel: Strathcona Hotel Victoria

Superior Hotel: Best Western Carlton Plaza

Deluxe Hotel: Fairmont Empress

Day 15

Victoria to Vancouver (112 km plus ferry)

A check out of your hotel and a ferry transfer to Vancouver, make you way to the Vancouver International Airport for your flight home.

Day 16

Arrive back home

What's Included

  • Transatlantic schedule flights
  • Car hire (economy size) from day 3
  • Accommodation for 14 nights
  • BC Ferries between Prince Rupert & Port Hardy including Car & Passenger fares
  • BC Ferries between Vancouver Island and Vancouver including Car & Passenger fares
  • Driving directions, maps and travel documentation delivered to your 1st hotel

Not Included

  • Airport transfers
  • National Park Entrance fees
  • Hotel Parking fees

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 4ºC
WED -2ºC
THU -1ºC
FRI 4ºC
SAT 2ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
7ºC
10ºC
12ºC
16ºC
19ºC
22ºC
25ºC
25ºC
23ºC
16ºC
10ºC
7ºC
9
5
6
5
4
3
2
2
3
6
10
8

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
7ºC
9
Feb
10ºC
5
Mar
12ºC
6
Apr
16ºC
5
May
19ºC
4
Jun
22ºC
3
Jul
25ºC
2
Aug
25ºC
2
Sep
23ºC
3
Oct
16ºC
6
Nov
10ºC
10
Dec
7ºC
8

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01342 3317969am - 9pm Mon - Sun

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Brendan White

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