Sample Itineraries

Sample Itinerary for an Authentic Experiencer - Summer

Day One:

  • Explore Banff’s Arts & Culture self-guided tour and discover the path less travelled.
  • Meet characters of the past with a guided tour at the majestic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
  • Swim in style with a 1930s-style bathing suit while you relax in the natural waters of the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
  • Enjoy some Canadian entertainment at a dinner show with music and dancing.

Day Two

  • Surround yourself with wild flowers on an alpine hike through Sunshine Meadows.
  • Use local knowledge of Banff National Park to discover wildlife by joining an Evening Safari Tour.
  • Savour AAA Alberta beef, Bison or Elk at a local steakhouse.

Day Three

  • Follow your nose to the nearest bakery or coffee shop and sample freshly-baked goods for breakfast.
  • Drive along the Bow Valley Parkway, a scenic route that connects Banff and Lake Louise, and liven up the trip with a GyPSy in-car tour guide.
  • Walk up past Johnston Canyon’s roaring waterfalls to picnic near the Ink Pots, a series of colourful ponds in a peaceful valley.

Day Four

  • Ride the Lake Louise Gondola and try to spot a bear while you soak up the breathtaking scenery.
  • Travel by foot or take a guided horseback ride to a tea house and enjoy a hot drink and homemade pie, or
  • Take a hike into the wilderness and stay overnight at a quiet backcountry lodge or campsite.

Day Five

  • Head north of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway – widely considered one of the world’s most scenic driving routes – and watch for enormous hanging glaciers and azure blue lakes.
  • Explore the Athabasca Glacier on foot or by helicopter or take The Icefields Explorer bus to see which snowmelt flows to 3 different oceans.

Sample Itinerary for a Cultural Explorer - Summer

Day One:

  • Grab a brochure for a self-guided tour ‘Walking through Banff ’s Nature’.
  • Enjoy a picnic in the sunshine or under the shade of a gazebo at the Cascade Gardens.
  • Visit the historic Banff Park Museum to discover all of the wildlife of Banff National Park.
  • Step back in time on an evening Voyager Canoe trip on the Bow River and follow the course of early explorers.

Day Two

  • Float by raft down the Bow River to see the Hoodoos, intriguing rock formations created by the power of nature.
  • Visit the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies or Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum to learn how early settlers and First Nation aboriginals lived.
  • Take in a captivating world-class music show or live theatre performance at The Banff Centre.

Day Three

  • Watch for wild animals along the Bow Valley Parkway, a scenic driving route that connects the Banff and Lake Louise communities. Use an in-car GyPSy self-tour guide to bring the trip to life and to discover local history and ecology.
  • Discover one of Lake Louise’s signature tea houses to sample elegance of a bygone era.
  • See the Rockies as the first explorers did with an evening trail ride in Lake Louise or a simple stroll along the lakeshore.

Day Four

  • Gain some altitude with a trip on the Lake Louise Gondola and learn about wildlife at the Interpretive Centre.
  • Hike with an interpretive guide and go deeper into the trails of Lake Louise and retrace the steps of the Swiss Guides, or
  • Add a breathtaking side-trip and hike into a backcountry lodge with homestyle cooking and spend a night in an incredible wilderness setting.

Day Five

  • Explore the world-famous Icefields Parkway and view enormous glaciers hanging beside the road.
  • Learn about the important environmental role of glaciers at the Icefields Centre.
  • Dine at the original Lake Louise Train Station Restaurant and check out historic photos and discover a restored private train car and heritage gardens.

Sample Itinerary for an Free Spirits - Summer

Day One:

  • Sip a cappuccino as you ride eight minutes to the top of the alpine world on the Banff Gondola to take in an amazing panorama of peaks.
  • Step into the luxurious surroundings of The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel that you may never want to leave. Take a stroll by the Bow River down to the crashing waves of Bow Falls.
  • Try the unique Mountain Sushi in Banff before checking out an exciting local band.

Day Two

  • Visit Lake Minnewanka and glide across the deep blue waters on the Banff Lake Cruise and explore the largest lake in Banff National Park.
  • Discover the rarely seen mountain underworld on a caving trip.
  • Hop on a helicopter for a scenic flight over the majestic peaks of Banff National Park.

Day Three

  • Visit one of Banff`s unique coffee shops for a breakfast of fresh baked goodies.
  • Cruise along the Bow Valley Parkway towards the Lake Louise Village and look for wildlife. Use an in-car GyPSy self-tour guide and bring the trip to life.
  • Stroll the shores of Lake Louise under the dramatic Victoria Glacier and enjoy the Swiss heritage of e Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
  • Hike to a fine tea house and soak up the spectacular views over a hot drink and homemade pie.

Day Four

  • Ride the Class 4 rapids of the classic Kicking Horse River on an exhilarating full day of white water rafting.
  • Enjoy an exclusive mountain spa experience combining luxurious treatment and a stunning setting.
  • Sip fine wine and sample exquisite Canadian cuisine at one of many fabulous restaurants.

Day Five

  • Drive the Icefields Parkway, a road considered to be one of the world’s great scenic routes.
  • Get the bird’s eye view of the enormous Columbia Icefield on a scenic flight.
  • Ride high in the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure, a specially built vehicle used exclusively to travel on the Athabasca Glacier.

Sample Itinerary for an Authentic Experiencer - Winter

Day 1

  • Take a trip back in time and learn about early settlers and aboriginal people at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies or the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum.
  • Visit the historic site of the park’s original hot springs, the Cave and Basin, or take an evening soak in the rejuvenating Banff Upper Hot Springs.
  • Take a table at a local bistro for regionally-inspired Canadian Cuisine.

Day 2

  • Catch tonight’s dinner with a day of ice fishing under the expert guidance of a local angler.
  • Discover the passion that Canadians have for their national sport of ice hockey. Watch the Calgary Flames take on other professional teams at a local pub.
  • Meet local families while night skiing or tubing under the lights at Banff Mount Norquay then warm up in the cozy log cabin-style lodge.

Day 3

  • Taste freshly-baked goods for breakfast at an artisan bakery or local coffee shop.
  • Push your limits in the vertical world with a day of ice climbing on a frozen waterfall with an expert instructor.
  • Kick up your heels with an authentic western evening full of AAA Alberta beef, dancing and good old-fashioned fun.

Day 4

  • Enjoy a Canadian pancake breakfast topped off with authentic maple syrup.
  • Rent some cross-country skis and glide through the forest at your own pace along the local’s favourite trails in Lake Louise.
  • Strap ice cleats or snowshoes on your boots and explore the mountains by moonlight with an interpretive guide.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Beginners, intermediates and experts can join a local Mountain Host and discover the secrets of three resorts in Banff National Park that offer more than 7,700 acres of terrain surrounded by pristine wilderness and mountain scenery that will take your breath away.

Sample Itinerary for an Cultural Explorer - Winter

Day 1

  • Explore ‘Banff ’s Arts & Culture’ or take a scenic drive around the area and find out the fascinating stories behind the views from your windows using an in-car GyPSy self-tour guide.
  • Check out the well-preserved site of Banff ’s original hot springs, the Cave and Basin, discovered in the 1880s.
  • Sample some local live music at one of Banff ’s bustling pubs and try some AAA Alberta Beef, Bison or Elk.

Day 2

  • Uncover the secrets of Banff’s history at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum or the Banff Park Museum.
  • Hike to natural ice sculptures in Johnston Canyon created by frozen water falls.
  • Bask in the mountain scenery and soak in the Upper Hot Springs to appreciate what first drew visitors to Banff.
  • Catch a live music or theatre performance at the world-renowned Banff Centre with local and international artists.

Day 3

  • Watch for wild animals along the Bow Valley Parkway, a scenic driving route that connects the Banff and Lake Louise. Use an in-car GyPSy self-tour guide to bring the trip to life and to discover local history and ecology.
  • or
  • Get behind your own dog team and try dog sledding, a traditional form of transportation that involved hard, but rewarding work.
  • Head out snowshoeing with a local interpretive guide that brings the history of this area to life. Discover places unaltered by people and visited by few.

Day 4

  • Enjoy a Canadian pancake breakfast topped off with authentic maple syrup.
  • Rent some cross-country skis and glide along the locals’ favourite trails in Lake Louise.
  • Take a ride on the gondola at the Lake Louise Ski Area to give you a bird’s eye view of a valley that challenged the journeys of early explorers.
  • Discover fine local crafts and authentic art in our museums and galleries.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Beginners, intermediates and experts can join a local Mountain Host and discover the secrets of three resorts in Banff National Park that offer more than 7,700 acres of terrain surrounded by pristine wilderness and mountain scenery that will take your breath away.

Sample Itinerary for an Free Spirits - Winter

Day 1

  • Get a bird’s eye view of the towering mountain peaks on a scenic helicopter flight.
  • Soak in the rejuvenating Banff Upper Hot Springs by moonlight and enjoy a relaxing evening with friends.
  • Sample, sip and savour fine Canadian wines and cuisine in the area’s fine dining restaurants. Dance off the calories later to live music at a local pub.

Day 2

  • Tour the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and soak in the breathtaking view of the Victoria Glacier while sipping on your favourite beverage.
  • Experience the passion that Canadians have for Ice Hockey by catching a Calgary Flames match.
  • or
  • Go night skiing or tubing at Mt. Norquay ski area. Warm up by the fire in the Cascade Lodge and enjoy a glass of wine or a hot drink.

Day 3

  • Venture into the wilderness on a roaring snowmobile day trip. Learn to drive it yourself or hang on for a thrilling ride through the Canadian Rockies.
  • Ice skate at the outdoor rink by e Fairmont Banff Springs then cup your hands around a warm cocoa by the fire.
  • Explore Banff ’s exclusive shopping options and don’t miss the local chocolates and fudge.

Day 4

  • Enjoy a Canadian pancake breakfast topped off with authentic maple syrup.
  • Snuggle under a toasty blanket on an authentic horse-drawn sleigh ride across the frozen surface of world-famous Lake Louise.
  • or
  • Fly into a luxury, fullycatered backcountry lodge for the night. Relax and enjoy the peace and quiet or venture out and explore on skis or snowshoes.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Banff and Lake Louise promise exhilarating skiing and snowboarding for all abilities on more than 7,700 acres of wide open runs in the Canadian Rockies. You’ll find three un-crowded ski areas set within the awesome scenery of Banff National Park along with two mountain communities alive with spirit and hospitality.