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Great Parks of the West

15 days Self Drive Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

There aren’t many places that rival Canada’s West for car-stopping scenery. And few places have such dramatic peaks, parks and lakes. Before your coast-to-country drive, Vancouver gives you a burst of urban adventure and plenty of hustle and bustle. Then it’s time for you to hit the highway, and make your way east through the mountains and past glistening waters. You’ll meander your way through villages and valleys, and stop for stays in Penticton, Revelstoke, and the famed Banff and Whistler. Jam-packed with chances for adventure, you’re most definitely get a taste of what western Canada is all about. 

Itinerary

Days 1-2: Vancouver

Fly to Vancouver from the UK, and on arrival pick up your hire car. Upon check-in, you'll be handed your road book which you can familiarise yourself with at leisure. On day 2, climb aboard a San Francisco-style trolley for a fully-commented Vancouver city tour. Sight-see at your own pace as you hop-on and hop-off for any length of time at many premier attractions. There’s plenty to see and do in this city - visit Vancouver’s No.1 attraction, Stanley Park, for a horse-drawn carriage ride. There’s also Vancouver Lookout for stunning 360 degree views of the city. Vancouver Aquarium, home to over 70,000 aquatic species, is a great way to spend a few hours and for the brave amongst you, Capilano Suspension Bridge, offers plenty of thrills and spills! Spend the next 2 nights in Vancouver.

Day 3: Vancouver – Penticton

Travel through the Coastal Mountains and Manning Provincial Park. In the park, you can take a walk on the remnants of the Dewdney Trail or the Rhododendron Flats. The town of Penticton lies at the lower end of Okanagan Lake and the lush orchards and vineyards of the Okanagan Valley. The region is also renowned for its beaches and hot, dry climate. Overnight in Penticton.

Day 4: Penticton – Revelstoke

Spend the morning at leisure, exploring the Okanagan Valley, then drive past spectacular waterfalls and mountain peaks before arriving in Revelstoke. Home to some fantastic recreation opportunities, there’s mountain biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing and white-water rafting to name but a few! If you’ve any time to spare, don’t miss a self-guided tour of the massive Revelstoke Hydro Dam. Overnight near Revelstoke.

Days 5-6: Revelstoke - Banff

Enjoy a scenic drive through Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass today, en route to Banff, Canada’s oldest national park. You’ll be staying for 2 nights in this bustling resort, jam-packed with fashionable shops, art galleries, stylish hotels and terrific restaurants. A renowned winter ski resort, there’s plenty to do all year round here, including river rafting, boat tours and hiking. You may also want to ride the Sulphur Mountain Gondola* for stunning views and take a walk to the Bow Falls. Spend the next 2 nights in Banff.

Days 7-8: Banff – Jasper

After Banff it’s onwards to Jasper via the spectacular Icefields Parkway, stopping en route at Peyto Lake or perhaps to enjoy an Ice Explorer Ride on the Columbia Icefield. The gateway to some of Canada’s most majestic and pristine wilderness, there’s plenty to see and do in Jasper. Explore the magnificent Maligne Valley, searching for osprey, bald eagles, deer and bears or take a cruise on Maligne Lake, one of the most beautiful in the Rockies. Athabasca River is also great for white water rafting excursions. Spend the next 2 nights in Jasper.

Days 9-10: Jasper – 100 Mile House

Drive the Yellowhead Pass, beside Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies. Stop in Blue River and Clearwater en route to 100 Mile House, the site of one of the earliest roadhouses built during the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Today, this area offers some of the finest cross country ski trails in winter and trout fishing in one of many lakes during summer. Nearby Centennial Park is one of the prettiest spots on earth! Spend the next 2 nights in 100 Mile House.

Days 11-12: 100 Mile House – Whistler

Head into Whistler today via the scenic Cariboo Highway. You’ve 2 whole days to enjoy this world-class resort, which offers no end of outdoor activities. Take a gondola ride to a mountaintop restaurant for delicious food and stunning views, enjoy a guided canoe trip in Whistler's wetlands or head to the mountain bike park with its adrenaline fuelled descending trails. There’s also great shopping in Whistler Village for those in need of some retail therapy and a very lively nightlife scene. Spend the next 2 nights in Whistler.

Days 13-14: Whistler – Vancouver

Morning at leisure to enjoy Whistler Village before you make the scenic 2-hour drive back to your overnight hotel at Vancouver Airport. Your evening is free for you to relax or head to Downtown for some last minute shopping or to sample Vancouvers fine cuisine and nightlife. Overnight in Vancouver.

Meals: this tour is based on a Room only basis.

*Denotes local charge – Optional trips and excursions suggested on the itinerary are bookable and payable locally.

Please note: this is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre/post or optional tour arrangements please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

Eastern Time Zone: GMT -5 hours
Western Time Zone: GMT -8 hours

Tour inclusions

  • Accommodation listed above
  • Day 2, Vancouver – Hop on/Hop off Trolley Tour
  • A personalised Jonview Canada Roadbook, containing essential travel information featuring overview notes of the area, local sightseeing and attractions, daily itinerary highlights provincial maps with city guides, hotel vouchers and customised day-to-day routing maps

Tour exclusions

  • All flights and airport transfers in the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Car hire and insurance unless this has been booked by the sales consultant
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Canada Electronic Authorization (eTA)
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

Room only.

Accommodation

Accommodation listed on the itinerary is a mix of 3-4V graded properties. Please note some tours are up to 3 weeks in duration and there may be some nights when staying in remote locations e.g. the National Parks, when the ‘V’ rating may vary. Hotels are subject to change up until 30 days prior to departure, but you will be advised of any changes.

Visa requirements

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

Visitors travelling to or transiting through Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. If you’re arriving into Canada by air from either the UK or another destination e.g. the USA, you’ll need an eTA. This costs CA$7 and lasts for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever is first. If you’re travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification, i.e. your passport.

For more information on eTA system, and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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