The scenery in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, running through Alberta and British Columbia is quite simply stunning. Vast snow-capped peaks overlook beautiful small towns and villages, while valleys and gorges covered in deep green forest lead to the crystal clear, if cold, waters of mountain lakes.
Our guided tours of Canada can be by coach, cruise or rail. Coach tours travel through steep mountain passes, with sheer drops of hundreds of feet by the roadside into the valleys below, offering the visitor an everlasting memory of spectacular scenery.
The rail tours may be aboard the historic Rocky Mountaineer - offering fine dining and fine wines while travelling through the incredible view of surrounding landscape. These tours take in the Columbia Icefield, the towns of Banff and Jasper and the amazing waters of Lake Louise.
Named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, Lake Louise occupies less than one square kilometre, but has the most astounding emerald green water, which is caused by rock flour carried into the lake from the glaciers which overlook it.
The Rocky Mountaineer and other rail tours visit all of the most spectacular spots in the Rockies, and not only provide unparalleled views of the mountains, lakes and forests, but also the wildlife. There are black bears, wolves, eagles, and deer to be seen as the trains amble through the almost overpowering countryside. Every bend and turn in the track provides a glorious new vista.
Visitors can explore the ancient Athabasca Glacier in the vast Columbia Icefield on foot. The Rocky Mountaineer visits all of the most imposing places in the Rockies, including the huge national parks of Banff and Jasper, and isolated settlements such as Quesnel and Whistler.
You cannot visit the Rocky Mountains without spending time in the town of Banff and its surrounding national park. The town itself is awash with shops, cultural attractions, restaurants and bars and offers the opportunity to sample the local cuisine. Take a trip out to the coal mining town of Bankhead and the Cascades of Time Gardens. Perhaps, even go for a swim in the local hot springs.
When you get to Jasper, make sure you ride in the Jasper Sky Tram, a cable car ride described as “Seven minutes to heaven” – surely an experience like no other. Visit the Jasper national park, covering just short of 7,000 square miles, and listed as one of only 15 UNESCO extraordinary sites in Canada. Then there is Vancouver, gateway to the north of Canada, and filled to the brim with opportunities to discover the maritime heritage and cultural delights of this buzzing metropolitan city.
Wherever you go in the Rockies, each day seems to be even more astounding than the previous one. The scenery is simply breath taking, and the whole experience is one that you will never forget if you live to be a hundred. Certainly, New Zealand has its fair share of outstanding scenery, but whatever you do you need to visit the Rocky Mountains of Canada. It is truly the journey of a lifetime.