Western Discovery & Inside Passage
SELF DRIVE TOURING
VANCOUVER | KELOWNA | REVELSTOKE | BANFF | JASPER | PRINCE GEORGE | SMITHERS | PRINCE RUPERT | PORT HARDY | CAMPBELL RIVER | VICTORIA
From alpine meadows and gushing waterfalls to vast, ages-old ice fields and glaciers, verdant forests and pretty villages; this drive of discovery has it all.
- Okanagan, with its vineyards and orchards
- Icefields Parkway; stunning Rockies scenery
- The Inside Passage, for a cruise like no other
- Search for whales & marine life in Victoria
- Vancouver, Canada’s most liveable city
Western Discovery & Inside Passage
Day 1 : Arrive Vancouver
Upon arrival in Vancouver take an included private transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 : Vancouver
Today is a free day to enjoy the sights Vancouver, a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity, voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown. Discover the surrounding peaks of the Coastal Mountains or go whale watching on the Pacific Ocean. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
Day 3 : Vancouver - Kelowna (247 miles)
Collect your car this morning and begin your scenic drive to Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. You’ll cross the 175 metres high Dry Gulch Bridge and travel across the Great Bear Snow Shed before you reach the Okanagan Valley and the majestic spectacle of Lake Okanagan, over 56 miles long and sparkling in the sunlight.
Day 4 : Kelowna - Revelstoke (122 miles)
Enjoy the morning at leisure to enjoy the Okanagan Valley. Located in southern British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is one of the warmest regions in all of Canada. The Okanagan includes the cities of Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Osoyoos. There are countless sandy beaches, hot sun, and a variety of outdoor and water activities. There is also a spectacular backdrop to the golf courses, Okanagan wineries and popular ski resorts located in the rolling hills of this wine valley. The downtown area boasts a waterfront City Park and a lakeside district. Continue your journey past spectacular waterfalls, towering peaks and beautiful lakes en-route to the Revelstoke area.
Day 5 : Revelstoke - Banff (157 miles)
Drive through of Canada’s most breath-taking National Parks; Glacier National Park boasts exceptional alpine scenery and deep valleys filled with ancient forests. Then drive on through Rogers Pass; Kicking Horse Pass is sure to be a scenic highlight as is a stop at Lake Louise, the Jewel of the Rockies. Symbolic of the Canadian mountains this alpine lake, known for its sparkling blue waters, is situated at the base of impressive glacier-clad peaks. Continue to Banff.
Day 6 : Banff
Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies, Banff is a town that makes you feel at home and exhilarated with wonder all at the same time. This is a town that truly celebrates its heritage, lives and breathes mountain culture and never takes its backyard for granted. The town of Banff is a spirited place, alive with adventure and wonder. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground. You might even see a herd of deer wandering down the main street. The locals are warm, open and genuinely connected to the inspiring environment in which they live. Explore on your own today and discover the many sights and highlights of the town, as well as the picturesque scenery of nearby Bow River. Maybe you’ll take a heli-flightseeing tour for awe-inspiring aerial views of the Canadian Rockies. This evening take a trail ride along the banks of the Bow River and enjoy a tasty Steak Fry BBQ dinner.
Day 7 : Banff - Jasper (180 miles)
Drive to Jasper along the spectacular Icefield Parkway. Be sure to make a stop at Peyto Lake with its emerald blue waters before continuing to the Columbia Icefield. Experience the Icefield first hand as you venture directly onto the Athabasca Glacier in a specially-designed Ice Explorer for an included tour. An experienced driver guide will share a wealth of information about glaciers as he negotiates its surface. Then continue along the Icefield Parkway, past glistening lakes reflecting soaring mountain peaks and wooded slopes, through alpine meadows and past rushing waterfalls. Be sure to keep an eye open for moose, mountain sheep and even bears.
Day 8 : Jasper National Park
Enjoy a day of exploring at your leisure in Jasper National Park, the largest national park in the Rockies. With over 4,000 acres of alpine forests, white-water rivers, hot springs, soaring mountain peaks and tranquil river valleys there’s little chance you’ll see it all! Perhaps you’ll visit the limestone gorge of Maligne Canyon then drive along the shore of volcanic Medicine Lake, named by tribal elders who believed its waters had healing powers. Then admire the breathtaking beauty of glacially fed Maligne Lake and perhaps cruise to Spirit Island. Or maybe you’ll take the gondola to the top of Whistlers Mountain or visit the Miette hot springs.
Day 9 : Jasper - Prince George (240 miles)
Follow the Yellowhead Highway past Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, and descends into the vast forests of northern British Columbia. Follow the Fraser River through the Cariboo Region to Prince George, self-proclaimed capital of northern British Columbia.
Day 10 : Prince George - Smithers (230 miles)
Your journey continues along the rugged wilderness terrain of the interior mountain ranges to the alpine community of Smithers, located in the Bulkley Valley and set against a backdrop of the Hudson Bay Mountain. This naturally beautiful, welcoming and small Northern British Columbia town boasts stunning vistas in all directions.
Day 11 : Smithers - Prince Rupert (220 miles)
Follow the scenic Skeena River Valley through a mountain backdrop to the active port city of Prince Rupert. Discover British Columbia’s wild and beautiful Northwest Coast where nature, history and vibrant personalities collide. With over fifty percent of Prince Rupert’s population made up of several local First Nations, you’ll be immersed in local culture.
Day 12 : Prince Rupert - Port Hardy (ferry)
There’s a spectacular day in store for you today as you cruise south through the sheltered waters of the famous Inside Passage. Pass landscapes of incredible beauty with jagged fjords, snow-capped mountain peaks and sparkling glaciers. Look out along the way for the whales, porpoise and other marine life. We have included a day cabin for your convenience whilst onboard.
Day 13 : Port Hardy - Campbell River (150 miles)
Travel along Vancouver Island’s east shore to Campbell River, a focal point for sport fishing. Take a walk along Discovery Pier where you may see a whale, eagle or salmon.
Day 14 : Campbell River - Victoria (170 miles)
Continue along the coast, past quaint seaside towns such as Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo. As you approach Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, travel along the scenic Malahat Drive, with vistas of the water and the Gulf Islands beyond.
Day 15 : Victoria
This morning you join an included whale watch cruise on an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 km in search of orcas, minke and grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife. You will ride aboard either the Orca Spirit, a 50 ft certified 45 passenger covered vessel or a custom-built zodiac boat that offers high speed with extraordinary stability giving you an exhilarating, safe and intimate whale watching experience. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the sights of Victoria, quintessentially British and famed for its gardens and history, with many remnants of its 1840’s origins around the picturesque Inner Harbour.
Day 16 : Victoria - Vancouver (45 miles + ferry)
Before you leave Victoria’s charms and the beauty of the Inner Harbour, we recommend you visit Butchart Gardens, a magnificent display of flowers and shrubs set in an old stone quarry. You’ll have ample time to stroll through the wonderful estate and view the truly enchanting gardens with its 50 acre display of magnificent colour. Spend time wandering through the lovely Sunken Garden and relax in the beautiful settings of the Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden amongst 900 different varieties of flowers with a botanist on hand and to find out more about your favourite flora. Then enjoy a mini-cruise through the many Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia to the mainland before continuing to Vancouver for some last-minute shopping.
Day 17 : Depart Vancouver
Your tour ends today when you return your car at the airport.
Please note: Mountain lakes in the Rockies region will be frozen through to mid-June.