Alberta Canada Holidays
Places to visit
Alberta Canada is home to the legendary Canadian Rockies. Imagine jagged, snow-capped mountains, pristine alpine lakes, and incredible wildlife. Spine-tingling, beautiful views are around every corner here. The world-famous Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Peyto Lake, The Columbia Icefield and Maligne Lake are just a few of the many natural wonders in the Canadian Rockies attracting visitors from all over the world each year. Either onboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train or roaming the mountain ranges at your own pace on a fly drive or motorhome holiday, the Canadian Rockies are a once-in-a-lifetime experience you should not miss.
Banff and Banff National Park
Banff is the flagship town in the Canadian Rockies. It lays inside the iconic Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Canada’s first national park. Surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain views, Banff is a real tourist hot spot during July and August for those enjoying summer hiking and outdoor adventures. The town boasts a vibrant nightlife and a great choice of restaurants and bars, too. During the winter months, Banff turns into a popular ski destination, famed for its powder snow, incredible scenery and short distance from Lake Louise and Mt Norquay, all three known as the SkiBig3 resorts.
Lake Louise is known as the Crown Jewel of the Rockies. 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 turquoise waters surrounded by a soaring mountain backdrop and the majestic Fairmont Chateau Hotel on the lake shores. Visitors can choose among many epic ways to explore the lake and its surrounding area such as canoeing, hiking, horseback riding or gondola ride. In the winter, Lake Louise is frozen and becomes one of the best and most iconic outdoor skating rinks.
Jasper and Jasper National Park
The mountain town of Jasper is connected to Lake Louise via one of the most scenic roads in the world, the Icefields Parkway. Along the way, you will find the iconic Peyto Lake, Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier. Jasper itself is a charming historic town, an outdoor lover’s playground in the spring and summer and a popular ski destination in the winter. It offers a wide range of activities from hiking and canyoning to golfing and star glazing. Jasper National Park is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also Canada’s largest park in the Canadian Rockies and the world’s second-largest Dark Sky Preserve. It is home to the iconic Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, as well.
Calgary is known as the gateway to the Rockies and many Alberta Canada holidays either start from or finish here. It is the place to be between 8th and 17th of July 2022 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. The Stampede show should be on everyone's to-do list, as you will experience nothing else like it in the world - truly spectacular.
Canadian Badlands in Alberta
The Canadian Badlands can be found in several places in Canada but most remarkably in southern Alberta. The Dinosaur Provincial Park is a top attraction in the area with its impressive display of fossils of about 35 species of dinosaurs that date back 66 million years ago. These are some of the world’s most extensive dinosaur fossils. Other attractions include the Horseshoe canyon, as well as the iconic hoodoos, 5-7 meters towering sandstone pillars sculptured over millions of years by wind and water erosion.
Best ways to explore Alberta
Alberta Canada Holidays
Alberta province can spoil you with holiday options all year round. Vast open spaces, five national parks, incredible wildlife, jaw-dropping mountain ranges and pristine lakes wait to be explored by outdoor lovers, while perfect snow conditions and lively après ski attract ski enthusiasts. It caters well for visitors of all ages from families with kids to couples and groups of friends. It can offer something for every taste, too. Adventure seekers can opt for self-drive Alberta holidays 2022, while those looking to explore at leisure can board the Rocky Mountaineer train and enjoy the stunning Canadian Rockies views from the comfort of their seat. A holiday to Alberta can be combined with a wider Western Canada and Alaska holiday, too. Scroll left or right to read more about our recommended ways to explore Alberta Canada.
Fly drive holidays
A fly drive holiday in Alberta gives you the greatest freedom to explore the region at your own pace and liking. You can stop at any viewing spot of your interest to take a closer look at the scenery or a wildlife encounter and take a picture of these awe-inspiring views. Your holiday package typically includes international flights, hotel accommodation, car hire and insurance, so all you need to do is think of the places you would like to visit and give us a call, so that our Canada Experts can tailor-make your dream Alberta road trip.
Campervan holidays are another great option for self-driving holidays in Alberta that allows you to venture freely in this astonishing province. Canadian roads are made for driving and road rage doesn’t exist, so you should not be worried about hiring an RV on your Alberta holiday. Your motorhome will come fully equipped and ready to go with insurance and km allowance. Some of our packages even include campgrounds. Call our experts and they will make an itinerary for you including all unmissable spots and hidden gems in Alberta.
If your idea of a holiday is one at leisure, then your best option would be a rail holiday aboard the legendary Rocky Mountaineer. The luxury train operates three routes connecting Alberta with British Columbia and has stops at Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Kamloops, Whistler, Quesnel and Vancouver. Rocky Mountaineer is a daylight service, where hotel accommodation is provided overnight. Imagine unparallel views of the Canadian Rockies from the comfort of your own seat in a glass-dome coach, world-class cuisine onboard, glass of wine in your hand, and friendly hosts telling you stories along your journey. You can add extra days for exploration before or after your rail tour. You can even combine your rail holiday in Alberta with an Alaska cruise departing from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Banff National Park in Alberta is home to the SkiBig 3 resorts comprising Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay, three world-class ski resorts accessible on the same lift pass. The perfect powder snow conditions, varied terrain and lively après ski in the mountain town of Banff, makes Alberta a preferable ski holiday destination for travellers from all over the world. In Jasper National Park, you will find the Marmot Basin. This quiet, small-town atmosphere, uncrowded ski resort in Alberta is renowned for its stunning scenery and is perfect for those wanting to escape the crowds. The Canadian Rockies in Alberta province offer a wide array of winter activities as well. Dogsledding, ice-climbing, fat-biking, snowshoeing to name but a few of the amazing off-the-slopes activities available during your ski holiday in Alberta.
When to visit
A province of all seasons
Best time to visit Alberta Canada
Alberta is an all-seasons holiday destination. It has the highest number of sunny days compared to any other Canadian province. The average temperatures in the summer are between 20 and 25°C, with July being the hottest month. Winter average temperatures range between -5 and -15°C with the coldest months being January and February. What the best time is to visit Alberta Canada on a holiday, will widely depend on the type of activities you choose to do, the region you want to visit and if you wish to escape the crowds during the high season.
Best time for outdoor activitiesIf you want to spend most of your time outdoors on your Alberta holiday to the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, be it on a fly drive holiday, a motorhome, or a Rocky Mountaineer rail holiday, then the best time for you to visit is the summer. Between June and August, all lakes offer perfect conditions for canoeing or kayaking while all hiking trails, campgrounds, golf courses and lake boat tours are open. Keep in mind that June is the wettest month in the Rockies, with July being the hottest one.
Best time for winter activities
Although the winter season in the Canadian Rockies starts in mid-December and ends in mid-March, the best time to go on a ski holiday in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise in the province of Alberta is January or February when the snow is powdery, deep and of its best. This is the time when you can enjoy other winter activities as well. Try ice-climbing on a frozen fall, snowshoeing, dogsledding or ice skating.
Things to do
Find your adventure
Being home to spectacular scenery, mountains, turquoise lakes, prairies, glaciers, snow-capped peaks, incredible wildlife and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, no wonder why Alberta Canada is an outdoor-lovers playground. It has thousands of kilometres of hiking trails suited to most abilities. Go on an adventure around the Moraine Lake Shoreline or explore the Lake Agnes circular trail, Johnston Canyon, Athabasca Falls and Dinosaur Provincial Park to name but just a few of the amazing trails you will find on your Alberta holiday.
With over 600 freshwater lakes, Alberta province spoils with options for canoeing, kayaking and swimming on your holiday. Amongst the most scenic lakes you can explore on a canoe or kayak are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. White water rafting is another hugely popular water sport you may wish to try on your Alberta holidays. The Kicking Horse River in Banff offers adrenaline seekers the best and most thrilling rapids in the Canadian Rockies, while the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park is perfect for family-friendly white-water adventure. Other popular Alberta rivers for white water rafting are the Kananaskis River and the Horseshoe Canyon near Calgary, and the Sunwapta River and the Fraser River in Jasper.
Calgary Stampede Show
Visit Canada’s answer to the Wild West, Calgary, also known as the 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. Calgary Stampede is Canada’s largest festival and features rodeos, music concerts, evening shows, agriculture exhibitions, a parade, a funfair with rides and attractions and an incredible selection of food and drinks.
Admission fee tourist attractions
There are many paid-for attractions in Alberta ranging from organised events such as day trips and guided tours to solo activities. Speak to one of our Canada Experts to get a recommendation and book your tickets for popular attractions in advance. Embark on a two-hour scenic Banff Gondola Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain where a 360-degrees panoramic view of mountain majesty will unveil. Explore the 10,000-year-old Athabasca Glacier and step your foot on a 280-meters above the ground glass observation platform, The Glacier Skywalk, for some breath-taking views. Voyage on a boat cruise in Maligne Lake and witness the mesmerising beauty of Spirit Island yourself.
Alberta is a great destination for spotting wildlife. With its five national parks: Banff, Jasper, Elk Island, Waterton Lakes and Wood Buffalo, and more than 250 provincial parks, the province is home to over 600 species of wildlife. On your Alberta Canada holidays you can spot grizzlies and black bears, moose, elks, wood bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and more species. You can see them while hiking, camping or even driving as they often cross the roads. Wildlife watching options are in abundance and sure to be a highlight of your holiday to Alberta.
Alberta is renowned for its world-class ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies. However, skiing and snowboarding are only two of the great winter outdoor activities you can enjoy on your holiday. Go dogsledding through snow-capped forests and frozen lakes or try ice-climbing a 20-meter frozen waterfall. Embark on a discovery tour along secluded snowshoeing routes or try cross-country skiing and soak up the beauty of the majestic scenery around you.
Alberta’s culinary scene is blooming. It is a paradise for foodies with its top chefs, award-winning restaurants, local talents, diverse cuisine, and fresh ingredients supplied locally. Alberta is known for producing some of the highest quality beef on Earth, along with agricultural products such as hops, honey, vegetables, artisan cheese, berries and more. The two major foodie cities are Calgary and Edmonton and some of the iconic foods you must try on your holidays to Alberta are Alberta beef, ginger beef, Bloody Caesar, bison and Perogies.
Meet the locals
Grizzlies and black bears
Alberta’s Rocky Mountains offer the best opportunities for spotting grizzly bears in the wild. The prime grizzly bears habitat is in Lake Louise. During Spring female grizzlies and their cubs can be seen strolling down the lake’s shoreline in search for food. In Summer, the best chance to spot these majestic animals is from the Lake Louise Gondola. This is the time when the grass gets green again and berries start growing, hence the great chance of seeing grizzlies foraging around. Black bears are widely spread. They inhabit most of Alberta’s forested lands, however, density varies greatly in different regions.
A large population of about 700 plains and wood bison can be seen in Elk Island National Park, Canada’s only completely enclosed national park. Plains bison, known as the Wild West Buffalo, inhabit the Northern part of the park. The wood bison, which is about 15-25% larger and taller than the plains bison, can be seen mainly south of Highway 16. Both species roam freely in the park, so you need to know where to find them. Refer to the park’s recommended routes, as well as safety bison watching instructions.
Other wildlife encounters
Apart from grizzlies and black bears, Banff and Jasper National Parks are home to mammals such as elk, moose, caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and wolves. Along with bison, Wood Buffalo National Park is inhabited by wolverines, lynx and beavers, while Elk Island National Park is called home to elk, moose, wolves, foxes and black bears, as well.
How to book
Talk to our Canada Experts
How to book Alberta Canada holidays
To book your holiday, just call us on 0203 424 9654 and speak to one of our Canada Experts. We offer a wide range of Alberta holidays 2022 ranging from city breaks, fly drive, motorhome, rail, and ski holidays. Many of our packages include highlights from wider Western Canada and Alaska. Our Travel Experts can tailor-make any package to meet your requirements. Just give us a call or send your enquiry below.
Our Favourite Alberta Canada Holidays
Take a look at our best-selling Alberta holidays. Call our Canada Travel Experts at 0203 424 9654 for our full range of holidays or to tailor-make your own.
- Unforgettable loop holiday in the majestic Rocky Mountains
- See Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper
- Drive the iconic Icefields Parkway
- 13 days' motorhome rental, ready to go
- 2,000km allowance & insurance included
- Experience the best of Alberta and British Columbia, including Banff, Lake Louise and Whistler
- Enjoy activities like heliskiing, ziplining & golf
- 15 nights' accommodation
- 16 days' car hire, insurance included
- International flights from the UK
- 7 nights' full-board Alaska cruise
- 2 days onboard Rocky Mountaineer
- 9 nights' hotel accommodation in Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff & Lake Louise
- Transfers between Banff, Lake Louise & Calgary airport
- Return international flights included
Call us to book
Call our Canada Travel Experts at 0203 424 9654 to book your Alberta holiday 2022. Choose from dozens of packages or tailor-make your perfect trip from scratch.
See Alberta Canada for yourself
Watch these videos and get inspired by the stunning scenery, natural wonders, and incredible wildlife in Alberta province.