Banff and Lake Louise
Vast, unspoiled wilderness and breath-taking scenery makes Banff & Lake Louise unforgettable destinations. The town of Banff is a mountain-lover’s dream; high up in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, with all the excitement of a major resort, and all the seclusion of the Canadian wilderness. It’s a welcoming place, with shops, bars and restaurants to explore, as well as a thermal spa, and great nightlife. Lake Louise offers a quintessentially Canadian mountain experience. This alpine lake, famous for its glacier peaks and sparkling blue waters, is in close proximity to world-class hotels, postcard-perfect lodges, and activities for any time of year. Whenever you decide to visit Banff & Lake Louise, there will be more than enough to keep any outdoor enthusiast occupied.
This excellent cable car is a must for any holiday in Banff, offering striking panoramic views of the entire national park. The gondola, which is enclosed on all sides, travels up 7400ft to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, where there is an observation deck with 360 degree views of the Canadian Rockies. There’s even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy a meal with an unforgettable view. During spring and summer you can also try the Banff skywalk, a fantastic kilometre long trail along the summit ridge with yet more breathtaking vistas.
Lake Louise, 60km west of the town of Banff, is another breathtaking spot. The lake itself is known by locals as the ‘Mona Lisa of the Mountains’, for its apparent calm demeanour and outstanding beauty. There are some excellent hiking trails starting here, or you can rent canoes and get out on the water during the summer months. The striking chateau set on the shores of Lake Louise is the perfect place to stop for a spot of lunch or a drink, and of course to admire the uninterrupted scenery of the forest, glacier and the tranquil lake.
Johnston Canyon is set in the Banff national park, and its Ice Walk is another opportunity for some great high-octane holiday fun. The ice walk starts with an easy trail accessed from the main highway, before following the canyon walls. You’ll be traversing icy streams and going past spectacular frozen waterfalls and freezing mountain pools along the way. On all sides you’ll be surrounded by picturesque alpine forest with its snow covered spruce and aspen trees. There are a variety of trails on the ice walk, from a short trail to the lower falls, or a longer more advanced route to the upper falls, affording yet more spectacular vistas. The more intrepid can continue on an unpaved trail to the ‘inkpots’, six blue-green mineral spring pools bubbling up from the ground. The trek is more difficult, but it’s worth it when you get there.
With plenty of choices across the resort and beyond, Banff & Lake Louise has a range of accommodation to suit your luxury holiday. Amongst our favourites are the Banff Aspen Lodge, a charming mountain-lodge style property with comfortable interiors and friendly service. Its location is only a short walk from Banff’s shops, bars, and restaurants. For the ultimate in prestige, opt for the Fairmont Banff Springs - a legendary 5 star holiday choice nicknamed ‘the castle in the Rockies’ because of its visually striking architectural design. Situated in a perfect location with spectacular views across the Rockies, the hotel provides a touch of old-world luxury with its lavish interiors set in the stunning alpine environment.
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