• Stroll the waterfront in stunning Vancouver
  • Take a whale-watching cruise through Claoquot Sound
  • Drive the Icefields Parkway, one of the world's most scenic highways
  • See glaciers, mountains and ice-blue lakes of Canada's National Parks
  • Stay in wilderness retreats and spectacular lodge hotels

This impossibly scenic self-drive will bring you to the heart of Canada's natural world. Begin in the cosmopolitan streets of Vancouver before a ferry transfer sees you to Vancouver Island and the colonial delights of BC's capital city, Victoria. From here, follow the coastal routes to Pacific Rim National Park, home to incredible wildlife – including whales, and the sandy beaches of Parksville. You'll return to the mainland to stay at Whistler, one of the world's favourite ski resorts, before heading into the majestic Rocky Mountains via Jasper and Banff National Park. The Icefields Parkway is a highlight – this scenic highway takes you past glaciers, mountains and sparkling turquoise lakes.

Days 1 – 2

UK to Vancouver

Enjoy VIP lounge access before boarding a daytime flight to Vancouver. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel on the waterfront, steps away from the bustling cruise harbour and Waterfront Sky Train Station. With two days to explore, perhaps head into the surrounding countryside – soar above the fir trees on the Grouse Mountain sky ride or cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge high among the treetops. Back in the city, sample the pubs and hip cafes of Gastown, shop the boutiques along Robson Street and explore the brightly coloured markets at Granville Island.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada

Fairmont Waterfront

Fairmont Waterfront

Days 3 – 4


Today you'll check out of your Vancouver accommodation and had to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for a crossing to Vancouver Island. Take in the picturesque scenery as you sail among the Gulf Islands before arriving in Victoria, the charming capital of British Columbia. Stately buildings and manicured gardens give an air of colonial elegance, while its busy waterfront is the perfect place for people watching. Spend two days exploring the city, from the grand architecture of the inner harbour area to the Butchart Gardens, home to world-famous floral displays.

Stay: Fairmont Empress, Victoria

Inner Harbour, Victoria, Vancouver Island

Inner Harbour, Victoria, Vancouver Island

Floating Home, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Floating Home, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress

Days 5 – 6

Tofino (Pacific Rim National Park)

You'll begin a scenic drive to the Pacific Rim National Park along Vancouver's rugged west coast today. Pause along the way at Duncan – City of Totems, visit Chemainus and its thriving artist community, and take in sweeping views of the Cascade Mountains' Sawtooth Range as you traverse Sutton Pass. It's a truly spectacular drive. Arrive into Tofino for an included whale-watching Zodiac tour, cruising Claoquot Sound in search of grey whales, sea lions, orcas, porpoises and puffins. If you look overhead, you might even spot an elusive bald eagle. On your second day here, perhaps journey by water taxi to Big Tree Trail on Meares Island or visit Hot Springs Cove for a healing soak in the natural hot springs.

Stay: Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Tofino

Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino, British Columbia

Killer whale, Vancouver Island, Canada

Orca, Vancouver Island

Days 7 – 8


Today you'll board the ferry back to the mainland en route to world-famous ski resort Whistler. Between the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains lie miles of pristine ski and snowboard trails, a playground for keen sport enthusiasts during winter, and in summer you can enjoy everything from white-water rafting and hiking among the impressive scenery to mountain biking and a round of golf. Over the next two days, perhaps take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola and Peak Chair for a view across the mountains high above the trees, and back in Whistler Village, explore the pedestrian-friendly streets lined with charming chalet-style buildings, boutique shops and cafes.

Stay: Fairmont Chateau, Whistler

Whistler, Canada

Whistler, Canada

Pool, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Pool, Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Day 9

Sun Peaks

Today you'll drive along Duffey Lake Road and take in panoramic views of the Joffre Glacier and Mount Currie en route to Lillooet. This is the home of the Goldrush Trail and the old Caribou Wagon Road. Activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, fishing and white water rafting are on offer here, and your resort accommodation is a relaxing haven among the unspoilt wilderness.

Stay: Sun Peaks Grand Hotel, Sun Peaks

Days 10 – 11


Today you'll take in the incredible scenery around Jasper National Park. Pass the gorges of the Yellowhead Highway and the waterfalls of North Thompson River, and on a clear day, see the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies – Mount Robson. On arrival in Jasper, a charming town set on the mountainside, you'll check in to your accommodation among the alpine forest. From here, explore the beauty of the park with hikes along well-worn trails or leisurely bike rides past rivers and trees. Highlights include the turquoise waters of Maligne Lake – where you can do a leisurely lake cruise – and the otherworldly hoodoos.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park, Alberta

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Days 12 – 13


Head South to Banff along one of the world's most scenic highways; the Icefields Parkway. This all-encompassing drive will bring you past mountains, glaciers and sparkling lakes to the Columbia Icefields, where you can take a giant Ice Explorer bus onto the Athabasca glacier to see it up close. Then, continue onwards to visit the breathtaking Lake Louise, perhaps pausing for a stroll around its peaceful shores, before continuing on to your accommodation in Banff. With two days here at your leisure, perhaps visit the Upper Hot Springs for a soak or take the Banff Gondola up the mountain for stunning valley views.

The Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway

Ice Explorer, Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Canada

Ice Explorer, Athabasca Glacier

Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff National Park, Alberta

Days 14 – 15

Calgary to UK

Today, you'll make your way to Calgary to drop off your hire car and board your overnight flight to London

About the itinerary

"This is one of the world's best self-drives. Clients love to visit Canada's stunning National Parks, and joining together the beauty of Vancouver Island with the might of the Rocky Mountains makes for an unforgettable holiday. I've even included a whale-watching cruise – definitely a highlight."

Andy Austen

Destination Specialist

Pricing information

Guide price from £4,430 pp incl. flights

01 - 10 May 2024 from: £4,430 pp
11 May - 02 Jun 2024 from: £5,380 pp
03 Jun - 30 Sep 2024 from: £5,645 pp
01 - 10 Oct 2024 from: £5,065 pp

Valid for travel: May to October


  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return scheduled flights from UK to Vancouver and returning from Calgary
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Admission to Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge from Vancouver
  • Return BC Ferries toll for vehicles and passengers, between Vancouver and Vancouver Island with reserved sailing time.
  • Victoria | Freedom of Choice - choose 1 of 2 Excursions - Butchart Gardens Admission or Eat Like a Canadian Food Tour
  • Tofino | Freedom of Choice - choose 1 of 3 Excursions - Coastal Bear Watch cruise or Whale watching cruise or Tofino Food tour
  • Peak to Peak Gondola ride in Whistler
  • Jasper | Freedom of Choice - choose 1 of 3 Excursions - Maligne Lake cruise or Jasper River Float or Jasper Nature Walk
  • Ice Explorer ride onto Athabasca Glacier & Glacier Skywalk
  • Banff | Freedom of Choice - choose 1 of 4 Excursions - Banff Gondola or Lake Minnewanka cruise or River Explorer canoe tour or Bow River Horseback Adventure
  • Car hire with personalised self-drive information pack with maps and driving directions