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The Ultimate Canadian Summer Road Trip Itinerary

schedule6 Minute Read

07-Feb-2024 Karl Page

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The Ultimate Canadian Summer Road Trip Itinerary

Discover the beauty of Canada through this ultimate road trip

Canada is renowned for its enchanting mountainous terrain, showcasing a blend of vibrant cities and towns, along with a striking coastline and an abundance of remarkable wildlife. Given the wealth of captivating sights, one of the most immersive ways to discover this picturesque nation is by taking a scenic drive on a road trip.
Lucy from the blog Absolutely Lucy explains why a fly-drive holiday to Canada should be on anyone's bucket list, explaining more on her blog: "One thing that is hugely appealing for those looking to book fly drive Canada holidays is getting to enjoy adventure travel without being held to an itinerary. Perhaps you don't have the time to plan a trip independently, so getting a team of experts to do it for you can be a great idea. But fly drive trips allow you to still remain independent and to structure your days the way you like. If you want to drive a certain route, stop off to take pictures or have a picnic along the way, or take a detour to check out a view. The choice is yours."
Embark on thrilling adventures, from helicopter rides over glaciers to taking in the iconic Rocky Mountaineer route through breathtaking Alpine scenery. The magic of Canada's west coast awaits, inviting you to experience a different yet equally dreamy side to these majestic heights. Take a journey following a bespoke road trip itinerary exploring Vancouver, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff, unveiling the captivating beauty of this truly spectacular country.

Canadian Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1-4 Vancouver, Canada
Day 4-5 Rocky Mountaineer
Day 5-7 Jasper, Canada
Day 7-10 Moraine Lake
Day 10-12 Banff, Canada

Day 1-4 Vancouver, Canada

Map showing points of interest in Canada.
Vancouver and Victoria
Nestled on the southwestern coast of Canada, Vancouver effortlessly stands as an icon of breathtaking beauty. Embraced by the gentle grip of the Pacific Ocean and cradled by majestic mountain ranges that seem to touch the sky, this city unveils a mesmerising tapestry of natural wonders and architectural marvels. The stunning interplay of elements is gracefully mirrored in the cityscape, where an array of gleaming glass skyscrapers stands as a testament to Vancouver's modernity and cosmopolitan allure.
Beyond its physical splendour, Vancouver is a vibrant cultural hub, pulsating with a dynamic energy that resonates through its diverse districts. From the historic charm of Gastown to the trendy vibes of Yaletown, each district has a unique story, contributing to the city's rich tapestry of life.
In every corner of Vancouver, you will find an adventure, making it the perfect place to start your road trip. To ease yourself into your trip, you should start at Stanley Park, a sprawling expanse of greenery which is one of North America's grandest urban green spaces and captivates admirers with its breathtaking views of forests and mountains against an oceanfront backdrop.
Beneath its aesthetic allure, this 400-hectare woodland conceals a tapestry of nature trails, family-centric delights, beaches which glow during sunset, and delectable dining spots. A walking tour or hiring a bike to explore this part of Vancouver is advised so you have a chance to see this beautiful area of the city.
After taking the time to explore this green area, it is time to take to the skies to see the West Coast from a different angle. Board a floatplane from Vancouver to Victoria, a calm and peaceful place with a strong British history. This city is full of beautiful differences, where the charm of the past meets the stylishness of today. You'll be captivated by the pretty gardens and the scenic walks by the water, giving you beautiful views of the ocean.
You will now you will be on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which is one of the best places to see orcas, minke whales, grey whales, harbour seals, porpoises and more. Embarking on a boat trip to enjoy whale watching is advised to have a chance to see the wildlife which resides in the waters of the surrounding Pacific Ocean.
If you have time, head north of the city to Butchart Gardens, as this is a spectacle of beautiful flora. Additionally, a cruise through the Gulf Islands before heading back to Vancouver shouldn't be missed.
When exploring Vancouver, use the Rosewood Hotel Georgia as a retreat and respite of comfort after each day's adventure. With its central location, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia serves as the perfect base for exploring Vancouver's cultural gems and natural wonders.

Day 4-5 Rocky Mountaineer

Map showing points of days 4 and 5 on a Canada road trip.
Rocky Mountaineer
After spending your first few days exploring Vancouver, it will be time to head onto what some adventurers will see as the main event, the Canadian Rockies. This sprawling mountain range captivates everyone who visits with its rugged beauty and pristine landscapes. As you wind your way through the picturesque roads of Alberta and British Columbia, the towering peaks of the Rockies will serve as a breathtaking backdrop to your journey, as well as having the opportunity to traverse through Banff and Jasper National Parks, where crystalline lakes mirror the towering snow-capped peaks, creating a scene straight out of a postcard.
Take a break from driving and experience an unparalleled trip aboard the acclaimed Rocky Mountaineer train on a two-day journey through one of the world's most diverse countries aboard the acclaimed Rocky Mountaineer train. Witness breathtaking landscapes that are exclusive to this mode of travel as you marvel at spectacular vistas through an expansive panoramic glass dome, ensuring you catch every moment of this unforgettable adventure.
Whether you choose to explore charming mountain towns or venture into the heart of untamed wilderness, the Canadian Rockies promise a lavish adventure that seamlessly blends comfort with the breathtaking ambience of nature.

Day 5-7 Jasper, Canada

Map showing points of days 5, 6 and 7 on a Canada road trip.
Jasper and Lake Moraine
Nestled within the breathtaking expanse of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park stands as a crown jewel, inviting road trippers to immerse themselves in natural wonders. Start your journey with a private tour curated to your desires, unveiling the park's highlights., and take some time to marvel at the sculpted beauty of Maligne Canyon, where turquoise waters meander through limestone walls, creating a mesmerising sight. For the adventurous spirit, the Skyline Trail promises panoramic vistas of towering peaks and pristine alpine meadows.
Ascend to new heights aboard the Jasper Skytram, offering a bird's-eye view of the sprawling landscapes. The panoramic vistas from the summit are a testament to the park's untamed beauty, providing a picturesque backdrop for your trip. After a day of exploration, indulge in the luxurious amenities of the Jasper Park Lodge, where rustic elegance meets modern comfort, ensuring a serene retreat amidst the wilderness.
For a more leisurely experience, relish the freedom of free time in Jasper. Stroll through the charming town, lined with boutiques and cafes, or embark on a serene boat cruise on the azure waters of Maligne Lake, surrounded by towering peaks. Embrace the luxury of choice as you tailor your Jasper experience, forging memories that seamlessly blend opulence with the raw, unbridled beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

Day 7-10 Moraine Lake

Map showing points of days 7, 8, 9 and 10 on a Canada road trip.
Lake Moraine and Banff
You're coming to the end of your trip, but the stunning locations don't end just yet. You awaken, looking at the breathtaking Moraine Lake from the window of your luxury room in the Moraine Lake Lodge. One of the most iconic and breathtaking lakes in Canada, the deep blue waters are surrounded by high-rise mountains and encapsulated by mother nature.
By day, the lake offers a splendour of options, whether you want to take to the water for kayaking or canoeing or you're looking to head off on one of the many walking trails that meander through the iconic surroundings.
The blog Family Boarding Pass commented on the beauty of Moraine Lake in a blog on their website: "Surrounded by mountains, Moraine Lake truly is a wonder to behold. The unbelievably turquoise colour of the water looks like a Photoshopped scene in real life. The colour is due to sunlight reflecting off the rock flour deposited into the lake by surrounding glaciers." Family Boarding Pass
Lake Louise is only a 20-minute journey from Lake Moraine, and Yoho Provincial Park is 40 minutes, offering you so many exploration opportunities. Every destination in Canada needs to be seen to be believed.
By night, the lake is closed, and only exclusive lodge guests can enjoy its splendour, so sip a cocktail whilst enjoying the view or watching the sunset over the top of the imposing mountains.
Your journey continues into day 10 of your trip when you head on the short journey down to Banff, a town that sits in Banff National Park.

Day 10-12 Banff, Canada

Map showing points of days 10, 11 and 12 on a Canada road trip.
Spend your last few days surrounded by the stunning scenery of Banff, where craggy mountains meet dense forests. A wander around Banff is a must, but there is no better way to experience the city than via the Banff Gondola, which offers you 360-degree views of six mountain ranges and the Bow Valley, which are nothing short of breathtaking. Departing from striking Sulphur Mountain in a glass dome, you'll get to experience the mountains from a whole new perspective.
You could remember the lakes by taking one last dip in the local sulphur springs or getting the adrenalin-pumping in a white-water rafting trip. Stroll along the main street of Banff for last-minute souvenirs of your time in Canada. Dine casually in town or formally at the Fairmont for a special end to your Canadian adventure.
With your time coming to an end in Canada, the journey to Calgary Airport starts, but with a few last stops on the way. Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is open for visits from Wednesday to Sunday and is a great stop before dropping your rental car off at the airport.
If you're looking to visit the magnificent country of Canada on a luxury holiday and don't know where to start with your Canadian summer road trip travel plans, we can help you to experience the enchantment of Canada's majestic landscapes by joining us on a tailored journey through Vancouver, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff.
Embark on thrilling adventures, from helicopter rides over glaciers to iconic journeys aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train, immersing yourself in the breathtaking country, and get in touch to embark on your tailor-made Canada road trip.
For more inspirational travel articles like this, make sure you explore Elegant Traveller.
Are you looking for more travel inspiration? Filled with first-hand travel tales, expert destination guides and more, our luxury online travel blog can help.
Karl Page

Karl Page

Digital Experience Manager

With a genuine love for all things travel, I love exploring new destinations and discovering something new, gaining a wealth of experience in luxury holidays along the way.

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