Discover the mesmerising beauty, rich heritage, and breathtaking landscapes of the Canadian Rockies in our meticulously crafted winter itinerary. Words by Hamish Lister.
The Canadian Rockies are a region where nature's grandeur is etched against the sky in imposing mountain peaks and tranquil azure lakes. In the Canadian Rockies, every moment is an invitation to savour and explore. From the luxurious retreats in Jasper to the frozen beauty of the Icefields Parkway, this winter journey is an ode to the finer things in life, set against a backdrop of unparalleled natural beauty.
Day 1: Calgary to Banff - An Elegant Beginning
Morning: Arrival in Calgary
Start your Canadian Rockies adventure as soon as you land in Calgary. Opt for a private transfer service for a smooth, scenic journey to Banff. This two-hour drive offers a preview of the majestic mountains and pristine landscapes that define the region.
Afternoon: Check-in at the Fairmont Banff Springs
Your first destination is the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs, known as the "Castle in the Rockies." This historic hotel blends luxurious comfort with stunning architecture. Check into your suite and take some time to explore the hotel's various amenities, including its award-winning spa and indoor pool.
Evening: Dinner at the Vermillion Room
Dine at the Vermillion Room in your hotel. With its French brasserie-inspired menu, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxed yet sophisticated meal. End your evening with a nightcap at the hotel's cosy Rundle Bar, enjoying views of the mountains under the stars.
Day 2: Exploring Banff - Skiing and Après-Ski
Morning: Skiing at Sunshine Village
Wake up early and head to Sunshine Village, one of the most renowned ski resorts in the Rockies. With a range of slopes suitable for all levels, it's an ideal spot for both beginners and seasoned skiers. Equipment rentals and professional instructors are available on-site.
Afternoon: Lunch at Sunshine Mountain Lodge
Take a break and enjoy lunch at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Banff National Park. Their menu offers hearty, comforting dishes perfect for refuelling after a morning on the slopes.
Evening: Soak in the Upper Hot Springs
After a day of skiing, relax your muscles at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, where you can soak in natural mineral waters while surrounded by snow-covered peaks. For dinner, head to Chuck's Steakhouse for some of the best Alberta beef, paired with a selection from their extensive wine list.
Day 3: Lake Louise - Ice Magic and Evening Elegance
Morning: Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise
Start your day with a visit to the Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise. This unique event showcases stunning ice sculptures and live carving demonstrations. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake, one of the most photographed spots in Canada.
Afternoon: Lunch at the Fairview
Enjoy lunch at the Fairview, located in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Their menu features locally sourced ingredients and offers breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.
Evening: Dinner at the Lakeview Lounge
Cap off your day with dinner at the Lakeview Lounge, also in the Fairmont Chateau. The lounge provides a more relaxed dining experience with a focus on creative cocktails and a diverse menu, all with the backdrop of the stunning Lake Louise.
Day 4: Helicopter Tour and Relaxation
Morning: Helicopter Tour
Experience the Rockies from a new perspective with a helicopter tour. Companies like Rockies Heli offer various tours that provide breathtaking aerial views of the mountains, glaciers, and untouched wilderness.
Afternoon: Spa Time at Willow Stream Spa
Return to the Fairmont Banff Springs and spend your afternoon at the Willow Stream Spa. Choose from a range of treatments designed to rejuvenate and relax.
Evening: Dinner at Eden
For dinner, visit Eden at the Rimrock Resort Hotel. This fine dining establishment is known for its exquisite French cuisine, extensive wine list, and panoramic views of the Rockies.
Day 5: Dog Sledding and Cultural Exploration in Canmore
Morning: Dog Sledding Adventure
Embark on a dog sledding adventure with Kingmik Dog Sled Tours. This unique experience allows you to explore the winter landscape in a traditional and exhilarating way.
Afternoon: Visit to the Canmore Museum
In the afternoon, head to the nearby town of Canmore and explore the Canmore Museum, where you can learn about the area's history and culture.
Evening: Dinner at the Trough Dining Co.
Conclude your day with dinner at The Trough Dining Co., a cosy restaurant in Canmore known for its intimate setting and innovative Canadian cuisine.
Day 6: A Gourmet Farewell in Banff
Morning: Leisure Time in Banff
Spend your last morning in Banff at your leisure. Explore the town's galleries, or simply relax at your hotel, soaking in the mountain views.
Afternoon: Lunch at Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar
Enjoy a farewell lunch at the Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar, located at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Their menu showcases local ingredients with an artistic flair.
Evening: Departure from Banff
As your journey in the Canadian Rockies comes to a close, take a private transfer back to Calgary for your onward journey, filled with unforgettable memories of a winter adventure combining luxury, relaxation, and the great outdoors.
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