There is so much Alberta has to offer, and with it being one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada, it should be on your travel list for 2024.

View of the Canadian Rockies near Canmore, Alberta

If you're seeking a holiday destination that combines breathtaking natural scenery, thrilling outdoor adventures, rich cultural experiences, and vibrant cities, Alberta should be at the top of your list for 2024. This Canadian province is home to the majestic Rocky Mountains, stunning turquoise lakes, and vast forests that captivate nature lovers.

Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy activities year-round, while culture aficionados will find a treasure trove of art, history, and entertainment in Alberta's cities. In this guide, we have looked at some of the reasons why you should visit Alberta in 2024.

Why Visit Alberta?

The Natural Beauty of the Area

Alberta is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world. The majestic Rocky Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop, with snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and pristine alpine lakes like Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. These turquoise waters, surrounded by towering mountains and dense forests, offer perfect spots for kayaking, canoeing, and photography. The province's vast forests, part of the boreal forest region, provide countless opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting. The province is also the perfect place for a fly-drive or motorhome holiday as there is so much natural beauty to see here during your visit, and often, it is easier to see it on your own terms and at your own pace.

Kaz, a popular travel blogger at Travel Mad Mum, speaks about her time at Moraine Lake, where she visited the lake during sunrise at about 5:30am: “They call it ‘golden hour’ when the light slowly lights up the snow-dusted mountains encapsulating Moraine Lake. The colour of Moraine Lake is like no other. The bed of the lake can be seen through the pristine blue water. The reflection of the pine trees and mountains, along with the colourful canoes, is perfection!”

Outdoor Adventures and Activities

Skiing in Banff

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Alberta is a playground of possibilities. The province offers a diverse range of activities that cater to thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. In the winter, the Rockies transform into a snowy wonderland, offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding in North America. Renowned ski resorts in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper provide world-class facilities and stunning mountain views.

Come summer, these same mountains become a hiker's paradise with trails that cater to all levels. Whether you’re an avid hiker looking for challenging routes or a family seeking leisurely walks, Alberta’s trails offer something for everyone. The Lake Agnes Tea House hike near Lake Louise, for instance, rewards hikers with a charming rustic tea house and spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Kayaking on Maligne Lake, located in Jasper National Park, provides a peaceful yet exhilarating way to take in the scenery, while wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy encounters with animals such as bears, elk, and bighorn sheep during the warmer months. Alberta's diverse ecosystems support a rich array of wildlife, making it a prime destination for nature photography and wildlife tours.

Rich Cultural History

Sunrise glow over downtown Calgary

Alberta's cultural heritage is a tapestry woven from the histories of Indigenous peoples, settlers, and immigrants. Visitors can immerse themselves in Indigenous cultures, explore historic sites, and attend cultural festivals to gain a deeper understanding of Alberta's diverse heritage. 

The province's cities are vibrant cultural hubs, each offering a unique blend of history, art, and entertainment. Calgary and Edmonton are particularly noteworthy. Calgary, known for its dynamic arts scene, boasts world-class museums, art galleries, theatres, and music venues. The new SAM Centre, for example, features captivating exhibits, immersive multimedia shows, and compelling storytelling, bringing the great stories of the Calgary Stampede to life.

Edmonton, the provincial capital, is home to the impressive Royal Alberta Museum, which offers a captivating gateway to Alberta's rich natural and cultural history. This expansive museum boasts a diverse array of exhibits, from awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons and intricate Indigenous artifacts to a vibrant collection of local wildlife displays, making it a must-visit destination in Alberta's capital city.

Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, Banff is also a cultural gem. The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity hosts the Summer Arts Festival from June to September, featuring performances, workshops, and exhibitions by artists from around the world, whilst the Indigenous Voices exhibition at the Cave and Basin National Historical Site runs until October and is a must-visit to learn about the communities with traditional and contemporary ties to the area. In September, the Banff International String Quartet Festival attracts music lovers with its stunning performances by world-renowned string quartets.

Vibrant Cities

The Edmonton skyline

Alberta cities offer the perfect blend of sightseeing opportunities, cultural immersion and diverse cuisine.

Calgary, with its iconic Calgary Tower and vibrant downtown, offers a mix of modern attractions and historic sites. The Calgary Stampede, known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," is held annually in July celebrating Alberta's cowboy heritage with rodeos, parades, concerts, and more.

Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in the world, features an indoor amusement park, a waterpark, an ice rink, and a diverse range of shops and restaurants. Yaya and Lloyd, travel bloggers at Hand Luggage Only, shared their experience of visiting Edmonton Mall: “Visiting the Mall is one of the best things to do in Edmonton on a cold day. You see, it’s all inside, which makes it perfect in the winter months.”

The city also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, including the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, the second-largest fringe festival in the world. 

Another delightful way to explore the city is through a foodie bike tour. Pedalling through vibrant neighbourhoods, you'll discover a tapestry of culinary treasures, from bustling farmers' markets to trendy cafes and gourmet restaurants.

All-Year-Round Activities

Alberta is a destination for all seasons. In the summer, the province bursts into life with outdoor adventures, music festivals, and cultural events. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and golfing are popular summer activities, with numerous parks and natural areas to explore.

In the winter, Alberta transforms into a snowy wonderland, ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and winter festivals. The Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, held annually in January, showcases spectacular ice sculptures created by talented artists from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy ice skating on frozen lakes, dog sledding, and cosying up in charming mountain lodges.

One winter activity not to be missed is the Maligne Canyon Icewalk in Jasper National Park. This exciting excursion will take you into Jasper's deepest canyon to explore frozen waterfalls, ice caves and ice formations while learning about the Maligne Valley, karst topography and the mystery of the “disappearing” Medicine Lake.

No matter when you visit, Alberta promises a wide range of activities and attractions to keep you entertained and engaged. From the vibrant colours of autumn foliage to the blooming wildflowers of spring, Alberta's natural beauty and diverse activities make it a year-round destination.

How To Get There

Air Canada flight

Travelling to Alberta is easier than ever, with daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Calgary offered by Air Canada. This convenient connection ensures a comfortable and hassle-free journey, allowing you to start your adventure as soon as you arrive.

Explore Air Canada's flight options below to best suit you.

Flight Options

Economy Class

Ideal for price-conscious travellers, Air Canada's Economy Class offers comfortable seating with adjustable headrests, complimentary meals and beverages, and on-demand entertainment options. Passengers can enjoy a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games on personal seat-back screens, making the journey enjoyable and relaxing. Furthermore, families will receive pre-allocated seating free of charge once tickets have been issued,

Premium Economy Class

For those seeking extra comfort and amenities, Air Canada's Premium Economy Class is an excellent choice. This separate cabin class features larger seats with more legroom plus recline, priority boarding, enhanced meal service, and access to premium amenities. Passengers can enjoy a more relaxed and spacious travel experience, making the flight more comfortable. Don't forget you can pre-assign your seat as soon as you book!

Air Canada Signature Class/Business Class

For the ultimate in luxury and convenience, Air Canada Signature Class (also known as Business Class) offers lie-flat seats, gourmet dining, and exclusive access to airport lounges. Passengers can enjoy personalised services, including priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling. The lie-flat seats ensure a restful sleep, and the gourmet meals, prepared by top chefs, provide a fine dining experience at 30,000 feet.

With Air Canada having won in five categories at the 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards, you can be confident that you'll enjoy a comfortable flight with excellent onboard service and amenities.

Visiting Alberta offers an unparalleled holiday experience, combining natural beauty, thrilling adventures, rich cultural experiences, and vibrant cities. With direct flights to Calgary from the UK with Air Canada, your next great adventure is just a flight away. Whether you're planning a summer escape or a winter retreat, Alberta is ready to welcome you with open arms and unforgettable experiences. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible destination and create lasting memories in the heart of Canada’s wild and wonderful west. 

Explore Alberta holidays and start planning your adventure today!

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