Situated in the stunning Canadian Rockies, Banff has to be one of the most picturesque towns in all of Canada. It is as charming as it is beautiful, and not surprisingly, it is a very popular destination for holidays in Canada! Banff is one of Canada's most visited towns all year round, offering incredible snow in the winter for a perfect ski and snowboard holiday, with easy access to the Big 3 ski resorts - Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise – all of which you can enjoy on just one lift ticket.
With such great access to the Big 3, Banff really is a dream destination for both skiers and snowboarders. Mount Norquay is a friendly resort that is revered by tourists and locals alike, with runs for all levels from beginners to advanced skiers. Sunshine Village is a stunning resort high in the Rocky Mountains with panoramic views of the majestic mountains, yet is only 15 minutes from Banff. Lake Louise is Canada's biggest ski resort with runs to suit any skier; perfect for families or groups to enjoy together.
Banff is also a haven for anyone looking for a true Canadian adventure in the summer, with lots of outdoor activities on offer - you can hike, canoe and horseride your way through picturesque Banff National Park. Summertime is the perfect time for a trip to Canada for adventure seekers ready to discover the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Banff is especially popular with those looking for a walking holiday in the Rockies, with endless hiking trails through spectacular mountain vistas and waterfalls, plus plenty of opportunities to see lots of Canadian wildlife, too! Some of Banff's best hiking trails can be accessed from the top of the scenic Banff Gondola, where you can simply hop off and start exploring.
Whatever you are looking for, a Banff holiday has it in bucket loads – and all with a friendly smile and a warm Canadian welcome!
Things to do
Summer hiking in Banff
Summer in Banff is the perfect location for a Rockies adventure! Why not take a walking tour? These brilliant tours are considered to be one of the best ways to discover the majestic Rocky Mountains? There are endless hiking and walking trails to follow that lead from the town or from the top of the Banff Gondola. You'll be joined by a friendly local guide, ready with the knowledge to point out things you may not have noticed and share the history on the Banff National Park to truly enrich your experience.
Skiing in Banff
If you are heading to the town of Banff in winter then obviously hitting the slopes is the top priority! With Lake Louise, Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village on its doorstep, Banff has access to some of the best snow in North America!
Beginners can head to Mount Norquay to learn in a friendly and professional environment. Families can take to the slopes in Lake Louise and have fun sharing their ski experience, whereas advanced skiers can hit Sunshine Village high up in the Rockies, with breath-taking views as you speed down the slopes. All three resorts are worth a visit and all have lots to offer any skier or snowboarder, whatever your level or style.
Eating and drinking in Banff
Banff may be renowned for having some of the world’s finest pistes, but this town is so much more than a ski destination. After a long day on the slopes you may be in need of a drink! Banff has countless après options available, as well as a great range of bars and clubs to let your hair down! The town offers fantastic entertainment and shopping for anyone who fancies a day away from the slopes, as well as popular winter activities for those looking for an alternative to skiing -dog sledding and snowmobiling being favourites.
Banff is packed full of attractions, activities and things to do in both winter and the summer. So, who's ready to head to beautiful Banff?
Popular things to do in Banff
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
Top tips for visiting Banff
1. Canoe on Moraine Lake
• Moraine Lake is a glacier-fed lake, and is regarded as one of the jewels in Banff National Park’s crown. Visiting the lake is a great family or group activity for a peaceful afternoon in this beautiful spot.
2. Visit the Buffalo Nations Museum
• We highly recommend visiting the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum to learn about the fascinating history of the First Nations people of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies. See costumes, decorated teepees, hunting equipment, arts and items from the First Nations communities’ history and daily life.
3. Ride on the Banff Gondola
• A ride on the Banff Gondola will give you a stunning view of six mountain ranges. With several observation decks at the top there is so much to take in – this is definitely one to add to your bucket list.
4. Stroll along Lake Louise
• A visit to Lake Louise is definitely a must on your holiday to Banff, whether is it to take a stroll along the beautiful shoreline or to jump in a raft and have a wild water adventure!
5. Take a dip in the Banff Hot Springs
• The Upper Banff hot springs are the highest springs in Canada, and after a long day of adventure they are the perfect spot to relax and unwind. This is a great late night activity and is perfect for a spot of star-gazing.
6. Take in a Banff sunrise or sunset
• Words can’t express how stunning Banff is every hour of the day with its picture-perfect setting. But to see the area at its ultimate best, our top recommendation would be to take in this majestic scenery by experiencing a Banff sunrise or sunset in the midst of the Canadian Rockies.
If you’d like more information about booking your trip to Banff call one of our dedicated team who will help you plan the holiday of a lifetime!