Day One – Vancouver to Osoyoos
We start the day by meeting at Canada place. There are several options getting to the pick-up point, which your hotel concierge should be able to provide. If you are coming off a cruise ship, we are just a few hundred metres from the terminal. Your coach will depart promptly at 9:00 am, please arrive by 8:45 am. You will head along the road less travelled, Highway 3, through Manning Park and into the Southern Okanagan Valley. Along the way, you will stop for some little hikes and be greeted by the fascinating landscape and abundance of orchards. Much of British Columbia’s fruit is grown in this region. You will stop at Spotted Lake for a quick photo. This lake is not a high volume tourist destination, so your photos will not have the crowds that some other lakes in Canada have. You will check into your hotel in Osoyoos, the Holiday Inn & Suites. This lakeside hotel is the perfect location to unwind a little after the drive and allow you to enjoy the unique landscape of Canada’s only desert.
Day Two – Discover the Okanagan Valley
Today is the day that you will get to explore the Okanagan Valley and enjoy the Sip part of the adventure. After breakfast at your hotel, you will start the day by visiting the Nk’Mip (pronounced in-ka-meep) Desert Cultural Centre to learn more about the fascinating stories of Canada’s only desert and share in the rich living culture of the Okanagan people. Following this, you will sip your way through the Okanagan. You will be stopping at several wineries for tastings throughout the day and enjoy a delicious lunch along the way. This evening, you will have leisure time to enjoy the hotel and the lake.
Day Three – Osoyoos to Nelson
Again, this morning you will enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading into the Kootenay Region of British Columbia. There will be a stop at Anarchist Mountain Lookout to experience the fantastic farewell views over Osoyoos and the mountain ranges that surround the Valley. There are mountains, valleys and hot springs awaiting you. You will arrive in Nelson, a charming mountain town, in the early afternoon. For the rest of the afternoon, you will have the chance to explore Nelson and its little shops and boutiques. You will also have the opportunity to take part in the first Soak experience of the trip at the naturally heated waters of Ainsworth Hot Springs this afternoon. The views over Kootenay Lake are simply breathtaking! You will have the evening at leisure to eat in one of the many fabulous restaurants Nelson has to offer.
Day Four – Nelson to the Town of Fairmont Hot Springs
Start the day off with breakfast before boarding your coach as you head to your final destination of the day, the Town of Fairmont Hot Springs. You will have the opportunity to stroll through the dense forest of Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. This park is especially spectacular in early September as the salmon run is in full force. The area becomes a hotspot for bears feeding on the salmon as they run to their ancestral breed pools. No trip through the region would be complete without a quick selfie with Sasquatch at Creston. You will then come to a town with a slight identity crisis. Kimberly is a little town with german-bavarian heritage and Happy Hans. Who is Happy Hans, you may ask. He is famous for his yodelling for you from his giant cuckoo clock. Upon arriving in Fairmont Hot Springs, you will spend the evening soaking in the hot pools of the resort.
Day Five – Fairmont Hot Springs to Banff
You will have breakfast in your hotel this morning before we head towards the most famous town in the Rocky Mountains, Banff. You will explore Kootenay National Park, stopping at Radium Hot Springs, where you will be able to take part in the last Soak of the tour. You will then carry onto Paint Pots for a short hike and then onto Marble Canyon. Crossing the provincial border into Alberta, you will stop to take in the fantastic landscapes with the opportunity for stunning photo opportunities. Then for the truly special part of the day; Moraine Lake, possibly the bluest of all the lakes in the region, and one of the most photographed locations in Canada, Lake Louise. You will have plenty of free time to walk around the lakes or to rent a canoe and head out across the lakes to see parts that are not accessible by foot. Upon arriving in Banff, you will be taken on a tour of the town. You will stop for a remarkable photo opportunity at Bow Falls before heading to the magical spires of the Banff HooDoos. You will then circle to the Banff Springs Hotel, a site with many tales of ghosts, including the mystery of room 873. You will be spending two nights in Banff, so you can get a little more comfortable for the next two nights. Tonight you will have the opportunity to explore this gorgeous town and all the stunning dining options that there are.
Day Six – Explore Banff at Your Leisure
Today is a day of relaxation. After a leisurely breakfast, you will head up to the Banff Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in the hot pool that is naturally heated by the tectonic activity of the area. The rest of the day is for you to explore Banff. We do offer an optional activity today, the famous Ice Explorer at the Columbia Icefields. You will have the opportunity to walk on the Athabasca Glacier. This is a truly magical experience and will really make you realize how fragile our planet is. Once in Banff, you will enjoy a complimentary beer tasting at one of Banff’s top breweries followed by a farewell dinner with the group.
Day Seven – Banff to Calgary
You will start the day again with a relaxed breakfast. Following this, our guide will take you on a short tour of Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake, two of the lakes just outside of Banff. There are a few fantastic photo opportunities at these lakes. There will be time for some last-minute souvenir shopping along Banff Avenue. That being said, you may find that perfect item off the main avenue, so don’t be afraid to explore. You will leave Banff and head towards Calgary. You will have a tour of downtown Calgary before the adventure ends between 4 – 5 pm.