Best Places To Visit In Canada Over The Winter and Holidays

By discovercanada | November 18, 2022
Winter has finally started in Canada and that means the countdown to the ski season and of course, Christmas is on! While many people may shiver at the thought of a Canadian winter, we Canadians are accustomed to the cold and snow and many of us look forward to it every year! Even here on the west coast, where winters are mild, November is an exciting time for our nearby ski hills, just a short drive from Vancouver that will start to get snow.©FairmontBanffSpringsHotel-Winter.jpg©DCT-LisanneSmeele-RoadtoRockies.jpg

Now for a true Canadian winter experience be sure to visit Banff, a quintessential Canadian mountain town. Throughout the winter season, Banff is a snow-covered winter wonderland that everyone needs to visit at this time of year. Now to be sure, you’ll want to dress warmly on a visit to Canada in the winter, whether you are skiing down a mountain or not. With the right clothing though, you’ll never be cold. If you want to avoid buying heavy-duty ski clothes that you may only wear for a few days, is to dress in layers. A thin underlayer made from Merino Wool is very popular and no one would ever notice it under your normal fashion choice. Otherwise, it’s just best to layer up. Undershirts, t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and a good rain and windproof jacket will be sure to keep you warm. Last but not least, be sure to wear good footwear, there is nothing worse than cold, wet feet! Also, be sure to pick up a toque (wool hat) during your visit. A toque is the perfect Canadian winter fashion choice (and makes a great souvenir).

When in Banff you will probably want to try out the most popular winter activity: skiing or snowboarding. There are 2 local ski resorts within a 15-minute drive of Banff: Banff-Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay ski resorts. There is also nearby Lake Louise Ski Resort, home to some of the world’s biggest downhill ski events. When on a winter tour with Discover Canada Tours, like the Rockies Winter Premium we have built-in free time so you will be sure to have time to hit the slopes!©BanffLakeLouiseTourism-ReubenKrabbe-LakeLouiseSkiResort.jpg

If skiing and snowboarding aren’t your things though, there are plenty of other easy and fun winter activities to try out. From skating on frozen mountain lakes to snowshoeing through forests or taking a relaxing horse-drawn sleigh ride there is so much to see and do in the winter! And if you just want to relax in comfort, be sure to visit one of western Canada’s numerous hot springs, like Sulphur Mountain in Banff.©DCT-SleighRide-RockiesWinter.jpg

As we move into the winter season, we also are starting the countdown to Christmas! Banff is a magical town to spend time during the holidays. A newer event called “In Search of the Christmas Spirit” is a great experience. Here, visitors walk along a pathway through a forest filled with illuminated artworks and sculptures and even sound effects, which all help tell the story of the local wildlife of Banff National Park. Banff also enjoys celebrating the Christmas spirit with festive markets throughout November and December, as well as a Hot Chocolate Trail – see how many local cafés and restaurants you can visit for a different hot chocolate treat.

Our most popular winter tour is the Rockies Winter Premium tour. This is a 5-day,4-night tour that takes you from Vancouver to the town of Banff, nestled in the Canadian Rockies and back again. Highlights you can experience on this tour include a visit to Banff Hot Springs, snowshoeing, and other exciting winter activities!

Even more exciting, if you are in Vancouver close to Christmas, be sure to sign up for our Rockies Christmas Premium Tour. This special tour offers the same great itinerary as our Rockies Winter Premium tour, but also features a unique winter sleigh ride and a special Canadian Christmas dinner – the perfect Canadian Christmas tour!©BanffLakeLouiseTourism-NoelHendrickson-BanffAve-ChristmasRockies.jpg©BanffLakeLouiseTourism-PaulZizka-ChristmasLights.jpeg

For all the huge ski and snowboard fans, be sure to check out some of the great ski tours we offer too. From day trips to Whistler to multi-day trips to Revelstoke  or Sun Peaks resorts the perfect ski day awaits!

So be sure not to get scared by stories of frozen Canadian winters – you’ll be so busy having the time of your life in you’ll never feel cold – and good a hot chocolate won’t hurt either!


Written by Lucas Coldwell. Photos courtesy of ©Lisanne Smeele/Reuben Krabbe/Paul Zizka/Noel Hendrickson.