If you are visiting Canada on holiday in search of awe-inspiring scenery, then you have to visit Alberta. Home of the legendary Canadian Rockies, you will never forget the feeling that you get the first time you find yourself surrounded by the incredible jagged, snow-capped mountains. Spine-tingling, beautiful views are around every corner here. Whether you choose to travel onboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer, fly-drive or join an escorted Canada tour we can ensure that you visit the hottest areas of the province to capture the best scenic sights.
Calgary is known as the gateway to the Rockies, and as the place to be from 3rd-12th July 2015 when the annual Calgary Stampede, the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, takes over the city. The Calgary Stampede is the ultimate Western Canadian experience where you can enjoy rodeos, chuckwagon races, live concerts and much more. We think that the Stampede should be on everyone's to-do list, as you will experience nothing else like it in the world - truly spectacular!
On your Alberta holiday, make sure you head into the Rocky Mountains, one of the world’s most spectacular wonders. When you visit the Rockies, there are a few places that must be on your list, such as Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
Lake Louise is known as the Jewel of the Rockies, and what a dazzler it is! One of the most photographed lakes in the world, and still the photographs don't give justice to the feeling you experience when you first lay eyes on the incredible blue beauty. In the winter, the lake is frozen and becomes one of the best and most iconic outdoor skating rinks.
A scenic 40 minute drive from Lake Louise will bring you to the bustling mountain town of Banff. Nestled high in Banff National Park, it is surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain views and as the highest town in Canada, it is a real tourist hot spot during the months of July and August. It is the perfect stop for those that enjoy summer hiking in incredible scenery. Banff is an ideal base to explore the surrounding area; an exciting and adventurous day can be followed with a lively night as the town boasts a vibrant nightlife and a great choice of restaurants and bars.
Travel the scenic Icefields Parkway en route to the magical town of Jasper. The historic town, which has flourished around the landmark Canadian National Railway station, oozes old-worldly charm for you to discover. Channel your inner-explorer as you unravel the story of Jasper and how the community has grown since its inception to the beautiful mountain town it is today.
Alberta is also home to some of the world's most popular ski resorts nestled in the Canadian Rockies with amazing après ski, unparalleled views and varied terrain.
Things to do
Popular things to do in Alberta
Located 191 metres above the downtown core, the Calgary Tower observation deck offers a spectacular 360° view of the bustling city, the majestic Rocky Mountains, the rolling foothills, and the expansive prairie landscape. If you dare, stand on the amazing glass floor for a birds-eye view of the city streets directly below. Enjoy a complimentary tour and learn about Calgary's history, landmarks, and future plans for the city. Admission includes an audio guide with information in English, French, German and Mandarin.
Departures: Daily (except Dec 25)
Sample Calgary's culinary gems while strolling at a leisurely pace through the city.
6 to 8 stops are included on each tour, all while learning about art, architecture and historical landmarks along the way. On Wednesday’s tour visit Inglewood - one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods - where you will get to enjoy an Italian lunch, see a knife skills demonstration, learn about blending spices, savour a chocolate tasting plus a private tour of Rouge restaurant and garden with wine, honey and sweets plus lots more. On Thursday it is off to Kensington to enjoy fine French food, Albertan poutine, pizza, cheese, savvy wine and delicious cupcakes and cookies. Saturday is a special day as you head to Calgary Farmers’ Market, where you can taste the flavours of Alberta and meet the ranchers and farmers who bring their food to your table.
Departures: Every Thursday from Feb 15 - Nov 29
Duration: 3 hours
£15 per adult, £10 per child (3-14)
Explore Heritage Town Square, which includes restaurants, shopping and the world-class Gasoline Alley Museum. Discover how the introduction of the automobile changed Canada's culture. Seasonally, from May until October, step back in time to the lively Historical Village. Meet friendly pioneers, visit the First Nations encampment, ride an authentic steam train, enjoy the antique midway and immerse yourself in the old west. All rides are included with admission.
This excursion is a Signature Experience with Destination Canada.
Departures: Daily (Except Mondays Oct 23 - Dec 18 and Dec 25-26)
A breathtaking ascent to the pinnacle of sulphur mountain for an awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama of sheer mountain majesty, enjoy the interpretative hiking trails that lead along the ridge of the mountain.
Departures: daily- weather permitting (except Jan 8 – 19 when this closes for annual maintenance.
Duration: 2 hours
Take a guided bus tour through the towering mountains of Rundle, Tunnel, Cascade and Norquay. View natural attractions like the wind-shaped hoodoos and take a gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain for magnificent 360 degree views over Banff National Park.
Departures: daily May 1 to Oct 14
Duration: 9.5 hours
Independently travel into the Rocky Mountains, drive along the Columbia Icefields. Once you’ve reached the Athabasca Glacier, the trained ice explorers will take you on a 90 minutes ice age adventure to experience ancient ice and the moving glaciers.
Departures: Apr 15 - Oct 15
Duration: 1.5 hours
Prepare yourself for the experience of the Columbia icefield! Covering an expanse of 325sq. km and reaching depths of up to 320m, this impressive icefield forms one of the largest masses of ice south of the Arctic Circle. This scenic route provides spectacular views, and also a direct trip to Athabasca glaciers.
Departures: daily May 1 to Oct 14
Duration: 9.5 hours
Discover the beauty of Banff and Yoho National Parks and other landmarks. Enjoy hiking or simply appreciate the spectacular mountain scenery. You’ll stop at some of the many lakes including the most famous Lake Louise often known as the ‘Jewel of the Rockies’, so have your camera ready. The tour includes lunch.
(Also available from Lake Louise)
Departures: May 1 - Oct 18
Duration: 10 hours
Enjoy the panoramic splendour of the majestic Canadian Rockies in an open chair or gondola and thrill to the beauty of gleaming glaciers, alpine vistas, tranquil crystal lakes and really wild wildlife. At a top elevation of 2088m (6850ft) you will discover why this magical place is home to so many grizzly bears as you watch over one of the best bear habitats in Banff National Park and then view wildflowers and abundant plant life where two eco-regions meet. And when your aerial ride ends your adventure at the award-winning Wildlife Interpretation Centre begins.
Departures: Daily May 22 to Oct 4, 2015
This unforgettable journey begins calmly, allowing rafters to familiarize themselves with the raft, paddles and guides commands. Enjoy the serene upper section of the Kicking Horse River before heading into the mighty rapids of the middle canyon. As the Kicking Horse Canyon narrows, the waves build, taking rafters on whitewater journey through class 4 rapids, finishing 20km downstream! Enjoy 2 - 2.5 hours of Kicking Horse River time before heading back to the Hydra rafting base to enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch and view a slide show of the rafting photos. This trip is perfect for the first time rafter; no experience is necessary. BBQ lunch include: choice of Alberta Angus beef or vegetarian burger; fresh, baked, local buns; assorted salads, choice of dessert (triple chocolate fudge cake, triple berry crumble, butter tart squares or carrot cake); hot and cold drinks.
Departures: Daily from May 18 to Sep 15, 2015
Duration: 7 hours
The tour begins with a visit to Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This is one of the great photo opportunities in the Canadian Rockies. Cross the Great Divide into Yoho National Park via the scenic Kicking Horse Pass. Takakkaw Falls, in the magnificent Yoho Valley, will be the final stop before beginning the trek back home.
Departures: Daily May 1 to Oct 19, 2015
Duration: 5 hours
Travel from Lake Louise to Jasper with a guide and learn all about the famous local characters that made their mark on one of the world’s most amazing mountain highways. In the comfort of a luxury motor coach, your trip will allow opportunities for mountain wildlife viewing and visits to scenic viewpoints. Stop at the Columbia Icefield where modern day explorers can take an Ice Explorer out on to the surface of the Athabasca Glacier for a spectacular ice age adventure. Also included within this tour is the Glacier Skywalk, a 277m high glass platform overlooking the Sunwapta Valley with amazing views. The Ice Explorer ride, Glacier Skywalk and lunch are included within this tour.
Departures: Daily May 1 to Oct 16, 2015,
May 1 to Oct 14, 2016
Duration: 8.5 hours
The experience of being gently transported into Jasper National Park’s alpine tundra will captivate all ages and is merely the beginning of an experience the whole family will cherish. Jasper SkyTram is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada and the only guided aerial ropeway in the Canadian Rockies. Providing visitors with unprecedented views of six mountain ranges, glacial fed lakes, the Athabasca River (Alberta’s longest) and the scenic mountain town-site of Jasper. Enjoy the views from the interpretive boardwalks at an elevation of 7,500 feet or venture out onto the Summit Trail to explore the unique alpine plants and wildlife at an elevation of 8,100 feet above sea level! The Treeline Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items and is a great way to relax and enjoy the views with a full meal or just a drink and a snack. Visitors should allow 1-3 hours for this activity.
Departures: Daily May 1 to Oct 12, 2015
Independently travel into the Rocky Mountains and along one of the world's most spectacular journeys to the Columbia Icefield. At the Athabasca Glacier, Brewster's all terrain Ice Explorers will take you on a 90-minute ice age adventure to experience ancient ice and a moving glacier.
Departures: Daily Apr 19 to Oct 19, 2015
Duration: 1.5 hours
This one way excursion offers one of the most spectacular journeys in the world with mountains, lakes and wildlife. The Icefields Parkway is one of the few places in the world where features of the ice age still exist, and is home to bears, elk, moose, mountain goats, and sheep. The Columbia Icefield is its crown jewel, where modern day explorers can take an Ice Explorer out on to the surface of the Athabasca Glacier for a spectacular ice age adventure. Also included within this tour is the Glacier Skywalk, a 277m high glass platform overlooking the Sunwapta Valley with amazing views. The Ice Explorer ride, Glacier Skywalk and lunch are included within this tour.
Departures: Daily May 3 to Oct 18, 2015
Duration: 8.5 hours
Enjoy a cruise on one of the Rockies most picturesque lakes. This tour is operated in a glass enclosed, heated cruise boat and is fully narrated by a coastguard licensed crew. Midway through there’s a photo stop at Spirit Island where passengers disembark for a short walk to the lookout point, a wonderful photo opportunity not to be missed!
Departures: Daily Jun 4 to Oct 6, 2015
Duration: 1.5 hours
This trip is an excellent introduction to white water rafting. Travelling approximately 9-kilometres, you will encounter many Class 2 white water rapids. Commentary on the human and natural history will be provided during the calm stretches. In rain or shine, people from ages 6 to 90 have greatly enjoyed this memorable experience. Join the fun and incomparable views of Jasper National Park with your National Park licensed guide on the Athabasca River. Wet suits, neoprene booties and life jackets will be provided.
Departures: Daily May 7 to Sep 21, 2015
Duration: 2.5 hours
Let costumed interpreters take you back in time and experience life as it was between 1846 and 1929. Take a ride on a steam train, see "Northern Light" in 4D at the Capitol Theatre, stay for lunch at the Hotel Selkirk, or hit the Midway for rides, games and carnival fun. Fort Edmonton Park reveals the area’s fur trading roots and pioneer heritage.
Departures: May 17 to Sep 28
Discover the beautiful Edmonton River Valley and the blooming buds of spring, the lush greens of summer or the colourful fall foliage. This guided walking tour takes you along the river’s edge to Louise McKinney Park with spectacular views of the valley. All tours are led by a Park Expert who reveals facts and trivia about the park and the city of Edmonton.
Departures: May 1 - Mar 1
Duration: 1 Hour
Experience Edmonton in a whole new way! Glide through North America's largest urban parkland on this one-of-a-kind tour of the Edmonton River Valley. After a short Segway training clinic you will ride at varying speeds along a route designed to provide you with maximum exposure to the beauty of this natural parkland.
Departures: May 1 to Mar 1
Duration: 1 hour
Popular Alberta holiday ideas
Top tips for visiting Alberta
Top Tip 1
• Alberta’s scenery is some of the most spectacular in Canada; take a moment when you arrive to take in the awe-inspiring scenery as you feel very small amidst its splendour.
Top Tip 2
• Visit Canada’s Wild West of Calgary, also known as Stampede City. Every July this is Canada’s hottest destination, home to the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’ - the amazing Calgary Stampede, which is a great example of Western Canadian culture.
Top Tip 3
• Calgary is also the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada. Visit the charming mountain towns of Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper and explore some of Canada’s most beautiful mountain scenery.
Top Tip 4
• Practise your photography – Lake Louise is the jewel of the Rockies and one of the most photographed lakes in the world. Get a snap for your photo album!
Top Tip 5
• Visit a ranch and saddle up! This a great opportunity to experience the best of the Canadian west – horse riding in the day and relaxing in a traditional ranch by night, what could be better?
Top Tip 6
• Adrenaline junkies should visit the Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park, which stands a massive 918 feet (280 metres) over spectacular glacier-formed valleys and rushing waterfalls.
Top Tip 7
• Keep an eye out for our ‘Canadian Big 5’ – Alberta is a great destination for spotting wildlife.
Top Tip 8
• Foodies should try eating steak in Alberta – absolutely delicious!
If you’d like more information about booking your trip to Alberta call one of our dedicated team who will help you plan the trip of a lifetime!