Offering the perfect balance between nature’s delights and Canada’s rich culture, our Totem Peaks Canada self drive itinerary is one of our favourites. Explore the alpine resort towns of Banff and Jasper, uncover the beauty of the Canadian coastline, and take in the majesty of some of the world’s most impressive peaks as you embark on a journey through British Columbia and Alberta.
Your Totem Peaks itinerary begins in Vancouver, where you’ll be treated to bustling city life, enhanced by the beauty of majestic mountainous landscapes and ice-blue sea. Your next stop is the orchard rich Penticton, which is located within the Okanagan Valley. Trek through the dense pine forests before taking your leave and heading to Revelstoke, a close-knit mountain community not too far away.
Your adventures will eventually lead you to the popular resort town of Banff where you’ll have the opportunity to visit Banff National Park, and walk through the Banff National History Museum, affording you an up close look at the wildlife of the Rocky Mountains.
You’ll depart one resort town for the next as your journey takes you to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway, where the sights become even more magical as you continue. On your way to Prince George, you’ll pass Mount Robson - the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. Follow the Fraser River through the rustic Cariboo region, keeping an eye out for caribou – the region’s reindeer namesake.
Arrive at the coast in Port Hardy, followed by Campbell River, ‘the salmon capital of the world’. Your travels will take you on a full day cruise across the British Columbia coastline. You can also hop aboard a mini cruise to get a closer view of the Gulf Islands near Victoria, before finally ending up back in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver in time to catch your return flight.
- Witness nature’s masterpieces as you travel through Okanagan Valley and Glacier National Park
- Spend time exploring the refreshing alpine resort towns of Banff and Jasper
- Sail the spectacular inside passage to Vancouver Island and explore Port Hardy, Campbell River, and charming Victoria
- Enjoy the best of both worlds as you spend time in both British Columbia and Alberta
Start your Journey
Arrive in Vancouver
Arrive in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver and make your way independently to your hotel. Rest peacefully in the comfort of your room or head out into town to experience its incomparable natural beauty for yourself, from majestic mountainous landscapes to ice-blue sea.
You probably touched on the enchantments of this wonderful city the day before, but now is when the adventure really begins. Sightsee at your leisure. Feel the wind flutter through your hair as you ride a bike along the paved pathway in massive Stanley Park, or satisfy the science nerd in you with an educational stop off at the MacMillan Planetarium. Why not end the day with a plate of delights from the ocean?
Vancouver - Penticton
It’s time for a rustic road trip as you make your way from Vancouver to Penticton in the Okanagan Valley. The city’s name means ‘a place to stay forever’, and it certainly is a quaint and cosy little haven that you won’t want to leave anytime soon. Take in the lovely views of its lush and plentiful orchards and enjoy the warmer weather before turning in for the night at your hotel.
Penticton - Revelstoke
Day four offers another day of travel, but you will first have some time to really make the most of the natural wonders of the Okanagan Valley. Trek through the dense pine forests and soak up the morning sun in one of the tranquil provincial parks. From here, you will drive past picturesque scenery, including cascading waterfalls, gigantic peaks, and immense lakes with rolling waters as you head for Revelstoke, a close-knit, peaceful mountain community.
Revelstoke - Banff
After a quiet evening in Revelstoke, this morning it’s time to drive through Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass en route to the Canadian Rockies. You may want to pay a visit to Lake Louise, the gem of the Rockies’, before concluding the day in the resort town of Banff.
Banff National Park
No more travelling today – now is the time to get adventurous as you tour through the Banff area and explore the natural beauty of Banff National Park. Be sure to head to the Banff National History Museum to get an up close look at Rocky Mountain wildlife, from bears to birds and everything in between.
Banff - Jasper
Say goodbye to Banff as you weave your way to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway, which is best known for offering one of the world’s most scenic driving tours. Stop off at the glacier fed Peyto Lake and marvel at its vibrant turquoise hue before taking a picture with the majestic, snow-capped peaks and crashing waterfalls as your backdrop. Eventually, you will arrive in the resort town of Jasper, where you’ll be spending the night.
Jasper - Prince George
You’ll get back on the road early this morning as you hurtle towards Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies, via the Yellowhead Highway. Stop to take in the sheer magnitude of the peak as you stare up from the foothills. From here, follow the northern arm of the Fraser River, the longest river within British Columbia, as you make your way through the Cariboo region towards Prince George. Keep an eye out for the endangered American badger meandering about, as well as the graceful caribou, after which this region has been named.
Prince George - Smithers
You’re in for even more jaw-dropping scenery as you travel the rugged wilderness terrain of the interior mountain ranges of Prince George. You’ll pass Fort Fraser, a unique settlement of around 500 people. Burns Lake, a quaint rural village, is another possible stop along the way. The village is home to Decker Lake Trading Post where you’ll find a host of interesting off-the-wall items to take home to your friends. You’ll arrive in Smithers with a bit of time remaining before nightfall to take part in some exploring.
Smithers - Prince Rupert
Travel through the beautiful, winding Skeena River Valley as you make your way to the coast and, specifically, to the port city of Prince Rupert. The town is celebrated for its salmon canning history and fish-filled waters, making it the ideal place to enjoy an exquisite array of local seafood dishes.
Prince Rupert - Port Hardy
Why spend the day admiring the ocean from a distance when you can get a much closer look? It may mean an early start, however you will savour a full day ocean cruise on board BC Ferries, giving you ample time to gaze in awe at the British Columbia coastline.
The cruise will conclude in rugged Port Hardy, which currently serves as the crossroads for air, marine and ferry transportation networks in the area. End the day by watching the sun set and taking in the memorable views of the glittering, still waters that extend as far as the eye can see.
Port Hardy - Campbell River
Greet the day with a short trip across the eastern shore of Vancouver Island to Campbell River, which is often hailed as ‘the salmon capital of the world’. A succulent salmon dinner complemented with crisp, white wine is in order before you turn in for the night.
Campbell River - Victoria
Pick up where you left off as you continue along the coastline, passing numerous seaside towns, such as Nanaimo and Parksville. You’ll make a stop in Duncan to explore the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre, owned and managed by the Cowichan Tribe. As you get closer to Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, you can also stop off in Chemainus, a community that originated as a logging town in the 1800s and is now celebrated for its 53 outdoor murals.
After this, your journey will carry on along the scenic Malahat Drive, taking in views of the Gulf Islands that enthusiastically decorate the landscape. Soon enough, you will arrive in Victoria and settle in at your hotel.
Victoria - Vancouver
No visit to Victoria would be complete without a visit to Butchart Gardens for a lesson in botanical beauty before hopping on a ferry back to the mainland British Columbia. The ferry will take you around a number of the Gulf Islands that you admired the day before. You’ll then float along through the Strait of Georgia to mainland British Columbia. Grab a bite to eat in a quiet cafe or spend some time shopping for souvenirs before heading to your hotel and commencing the packing process.
End of Tour
Wave goodbye to Vancouver and all of its wonders as you reflect back on your Canada adventure. Soon, you will journey to the airport in time for your departure flight.
- International flights and airfare taxes
- Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 14 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
- Board basis: Room Only
- Car hire and insurance
- Visa arrangements and fees
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
- Attractions and excursions
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