Are the Rockies top of mind on your family travel bucket list? Perfect, because then this selfdrive, a Connections exclusivity, is just what you have been looking for. Thanks to the mega-cool and complete selfdrive programme you visit the most stunning, hip and picturesque highlights of Western Canada.
Do you remember those brilliant calendar prints you’ve been wondering where they were shot? Glacier, Banff & Jasper National Park gladly oblige. From the turquoise glacial lakes to the snow-capped peaks? Prepare to experience their splendour in real life!
Throw in the cities of Victoria and Vancouver oozing with charm and you know this is the start of a lasting love relationship and lifetime memory for all.
Day 1 - Calgary > Banff (145km)
Today you land in Calgary and continue to Banff while you enjoy the magnificent and enchanting settings of the Rockies.
Day 2 - Banff National Park
Fancy a trip by cable car to the summit of Sulphur Mountain? Or do you feel like having fun rafting, cycling, horse riding or walking? Bannf is just perfect for sports activities.
Day 3 - Banff > Jasper
Flanked by glaciers you drive towards Jasper via the spectacular Icefield Parkway. Make sure you stop near Lake Peyto (a nice walk away from the parking lot) and book a ride to the Athabasca glacier on a very special bus. With its snowy peaks, green prairies and waterfalls, this road is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Day 4 - Jasper National Park
Free day: visit Jasper and surroundings, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Maligne, float around in the therapeutic waters of Miette Hot Springs or take a ride aboard the tramway (cable car).
Day 5 - Jasper > Clearwater (320km)
On your programme today is the scenic Yellowhead Pass with views of Mt Robson, the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies. Floow the course of the Thompson River southwards towards Wells Gray Provincial Park. A stop at Blue River is a fun idea.
Day 6 - Clearwater
This day offers the perfect opportunity to go and explore Wells Gray Provincial Park. The park is home to one of the most famous waterfalls of the region, Helmcken Falls, and the largest lake in North America, Lake Murtle where you can go on a kayak trip. fascinating as well are the 20 'dormant' volcanoes, which were last active 7500 years ago. Green Mountain Viewing Tower, the basalt columns of Whitehorse Bluffs and the lava flow with the imaginative name Dragon's Tongue are a few of the many destinations your walking trail can end up at. And who knows, you may spot a variety of birds, caribou, grizzly or black bears on your way!
Day 7 & 8 - Clearwater - Whistler (425km)
On your way to Whistler you drive through the Cariboo-Chilcotin region with its varied landscapes. You even cross the half desert area of the Fraser Canyon. Do not forget to stop in the village of Lillooet, the starting point of the 'gold rush' route.
Tomorrow, a day at leisure is the perfect invitation to indulge in outdoor activities: hiking, sailing, windsurfing, golf, tennis and boating, or simply to go shopping in the village.
Day 9 - Whistler - Victoria (105km + 1h40 ferry ride)
Via the panoramic 'Sea to Sky' route and past the majestic cliffs of Howe fjord you reach Horseshoe Bay. Enroute you may wish to stop at the Shannon and cascading Brandywine waterfalls. You reach Vancouver Island by ferry, a relaxing and scenic ride.
Day 10 - Victoria
Victoria is a city that oozes with colonial charm. Make sure you walk or ride past the parliament buildings and the beautiful Victorian style facades. A stroll along the harbourfront is a must, but the absolute topper is a trip by catamaran in search of whales! Awesome.
Day 11 - Victoria > Vancouver (65 km + 1h35 ferry ride)
Today you board the ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawassen, a mere 40 km south of Vancouver. Here you can pay a visit to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or enjoy the water fun at the Big Splash Water Park (not included) before you drive to your final destination and stunner: Vancouver.
Day 12 - Vancouver
Today you can enjoy a leisurely discovery of stunning Vancouver. Activities and hot spots abound. Some of the most popular ideas are a vancouver trolley tram ride across town, a visit to the Capilano suspension bridge, Stanley park, the MacMillan planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island or Grouse Mountain. A bike ride along the bay is a relaxing way to head to Stanley Park and the beaches Vancouver.
Day 13 - Vancouver
Hotels & Meals
- All Belgian nationals travelling on a Belgian passport (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (electronic) containing min. 2 blank pages, valid for at least 1 day after their return home. All travellers to Canada must purchase an eTA or electronic Travel Authorisation online via the official website cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp prior to entering canadian territory via its airports. Price: 7 CAD or +/- 5 Euros. Your eTA is valid for 5 years and linked to your passport number. This implies that as soon as your passport expires, so does your eTA.
- To save time at Customs and Immigration in Canada, you can downmload the CanBorder eDeclaration app before your arrival. You will then receive a QR-code that remains valid for 24 hours. Thanks to the scanning of the QR code, you do not have to re-enter your data on the screen at the Customs counters. You can download via the Apple Store app or Google Play app.
- Please note: A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. All cross-border travellers with the USA must on top be in possession of an international passport and an ESTA. The digital passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the set date of your return flight. The electronic travel authorization must be purchased online by means of a personal credit card via the official link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ (14 USD on 20JAN2015). Your ESTA is valid for max. 2 years. Should your international passport expire within that period, so does your ESTA as it is linked to your passport number. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems.
- Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.
Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.
No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.
- In The East (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa): - 6 h.
- Alberta (Banff, Jasper, Calgary): - 8 h.
- British Colombia (Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops): - 9 h.
Winter time 2015: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on the night of Saturday, October 24th to Sunday, October 25th. Canada turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 1 November to Sunday, 2 November. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.
Canadian Dollars (CAD); 10 CAD = 6.62€ / 1€ = 1.50 CAD (16/08/2018)
Methods of Payment
A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. Credit cards are very convenient and widely accepted and ATMs are readily available.
The climate is comparable to ours. In spring, days are nice and nights are fresh.
In summer temperatures can reach peaks, especially in the East. In the West, there is more chance of precipitation and it is cooler than in the East.
On the coast and around the lakes it is usually a lot cooler.
Average Temperatures (in °C):
- 12 nights accommodation in listed hotels or equivalent
- Ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (day 9)
- Ferry ride from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen (day 11)
- Route info
What's not included?
Your intercontinental return flights and car rental, non-listed meals and beverages, tipping and personal expenses.
Good to Know
ENHANCE YOUR TRIP EVEN MORE :Book the excursion combo and increase the experience and fun level of your stay in Banff and Jasper with exciting family activities. What do you feel about a wild night safari in Banff (2h, day 2) and Whitewater Rafting Miles in Jasper (2h, day 4) : Price: Adult from € 99 / children (6-11) from € 52.