Wonders of West Canada

Looking for space, nature, comfort and experiences you’ll remember many years from now?

Nowhere does this combination better than Western Canada.

Yes, the world’s second largest country is far away. But wow, what wonders it holds. Canada invites you to be an adventurer, without you leaving your comfort zone.

It’s a great destination for kids too. And it’s best visited during the summer months, when you enjoy long days and comfortable weather.

But where do you even start in a country so big? Can you truly experience Canada in a single holiday?

Planning a Canada Holiday

Lake O’Hara, British Columbia

We recommend focusing initially on one or two areas of West Canada.

When you dream of spectacular Canadian nature you’re probably thinking about British Columbia, where adventure awaits and there’s a superb collection of top hotels to keep you comfortable.

Alberta is also a dreamland for nature lovers. It’s a fine destination in its own right, made even better when it’s combined with neighbouring British Columbia. It makes the outdoors accessible, while preserving the rugged, untouched feel of nature.

In our experience, holidays to West Canada can neatly follow a similar itinerary structure. Of course every holiday is different for everyone, but this basic structure makes sense for a lot of reasons.

It’s the easiest and most efficient. You really get to experience Canada’s diversity. And we know it receives great feedback from our clients.

But this isn’t an itinerary to follow. Why would you follow somebody else’s premade itinerary, in a country offering as much as Canada? This is a starting point for imagining your personal Canadian experience.

First, Vancouver

Vancouver city

One of the most beautiful cities in the world and a great base to start your trip. Especially as you will need a couple of leisurely days to overcome the jet lag.

Vancouver offers two complimentary experiences. Vancouver city and Vancouver island. We like the option to connect them by seaplane for day trips.

The culturally diverse city is a haven for art lovers, foodies, and urban explorers. It’s memorable for its atmosphere, surrounding nature and juxtaposition of Victorian townhouses and skyscrapers.

Tofino, Vancouver Island

Out on Vancouver island you can already enjoy the raw Canadian nature experience, on beaches, in mountains, through misty forests and much more. Think boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking to island hot springs.

Vancouver is a one-stop flight from Prague, on Lufthansa or Swiss Air. We recommend either the art deco heritage and glamour of Rosewood Hotel Georgia, or the contemporary and central Fairmont Pacific Rim.

Next, explore the Rocky Mountains

Brandywine Falls, Whistler

The dazzling Canadian Rocky Mountains start just 30 minutes outside the beaches and towers of Vancouver.

Whistler is a must, only 90 minutes by car from Vancouver. Take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola between two mountains, embrace the fantastic outdoors and enjoy all the facilities.

Four Seasons Resort Whistler would be our choice but overall, the destination epitomises Western Canada’s mix of spectacular untouched nature and genuine modern luxury.

Consider whether to include Alberta

Banff National Park

Alberta offers more Rocky Mountain adventure. If you do include Alberta, you may prefer to start your holiday there, in Calgary. This is also a one-stop flight from Prague on Lufthansa or Swiss Air.

There’s a great route between Calgary and Vancounver, through mountain towns like Banff (we recommend staying at Fairmont Banff Springs), stunning Lake Louise and Lake Moraine, plus the vineyards of Kelowna.

These are the most iconic stops on route, but there are many more we can tell you about. Our Operations Director Stepan Borovec lived in Banff and knows plenty of the region’s secrets.

For example, how about a day trip to do glacier kayaking?

Another option is to travel on the Rocky Mountaineer, in GoldLeaf class. It’s not quite the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express because you don’t sleep on the train. The gastronomy is excellent though and it’s all extremely comfortable.

In the highest GoldLeaf class, glass dome carriages provide a phenomenal view onto the Rocky Mountains. We can advise you on the different possible routes.

Rocky Mountaineer train (note the fully panoramic windows in GoldLeaf class)

Don’t miss a rare wilderness experience in British Columbia

Canada offers space. Even in popular destinations you can easily find places and trails with very few other people.

Canada also offers an opportunity to comfortably explore extremely remote wilderness that is inaccessible by road. This is a different experience entirely to the destinations between Vancouver and Calgary.

How adventurous do you want to be?

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is located on a sound on Vancouver Island, a 45-minute seaplane from the city. It’s very accessible, while providing a safari-type explorer experience.

It’s not a log chalet, You sleep in these magnificent canvas suites, out in the wild, in an area that nobody except lodge guests can access.

Chilko Experience Wilderness Resort is one hour by seaplane charter from Vancouver, or a ten-hour drive. This secluded hideaway is 60 kilometres to the nearest power grid and 250 kilometres from a grocery store.

You really escape the nine to five and all the noise in the pure nature of places like this. At Chilko you can track eagles, track the nighttime stars, and see grizzly bears feasting on salmon. The accommodation is more of the log cabin style you might expect in Canada.

Sonora Resort is located on the Discovery Islands, a 50-minute flight from Vancouver. It’s larger than Chilko and Clayoquot, much more like a typical lodge, with big villas ideal for large families.

Humpback whales, bears, heli-fishing, paddle boarding on a glacier, boating to waterfalls, watching black bears forage for crabs…British Columbia creates these pure wilderness experiences without you giving up on any comforts.

Most of these places are best accessed from Vancouver. So if you want to explore Alberta and the British Columbia wilderness, the best routing would be Calgary – Vancouver – British Columbia wilderness.

Finally, add a North American layover into your journey home

On the coast in California

West Canada is just about as far as you can travel west, without continuing across the Pacific and going around the world.

Which gives you so much opportunity on the journey home. Which places in North America are on your travel bucket list?

Somewhere in California? New York? Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon? Perhaps national parks like Yellowstone in Montana?

It depends on the time you have and flight schedules, but generally we can always find a great final destination as you make your way home.

And if you do have three weeks or more, it can make complete sense to keep flying west until you get home. Hawaii and Fiji are a direct flight away from Vancouver. As are Japan, Dubai, Thailand and Australia.

Summer is the time for Canada

Summer is when we typically have the time for a longer holiday. And Canada deserves time.

Canada will bring out the adventurer in you, even if you demand the most modern comforts and luxuries all of the time.

This mix of high quality accommodation, easy travel options, and real untouched nature is a completely different holiday proposal to almost anywhere else.

Will Canada make an adventure of you?

Let’s plan your next holidays

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