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Winter in Alberta

Winter  Alberta –

One of our reservation consultants, Adam recently returned from a fact finding trip to Alberta.  Alberta is a very popular area of Canada for winter sports and activities and although it is famous for sports like skiing and snowboarding, the trip was to discover other opportunities available during the winter months.

Kananaskis

Kananaskis is located one hour west of Calgary and is an easy drive from the city or the international airport. Kananaskis is a great resort for families with many facilities and places to eat. The nearest mountain is Nakiska, which played host to the Calgary 88 Winter Olympics Alpine Events. Nakiska has great facilities for beginners with easy runs and nursery slopes to help you stay on your skis/boards. I experienced tubing which entails sitting in an inflated tube and being pushed down a gradual slope while usually being spun around then riding a magic carpet lift to start the process again. 

An alternative option for Kananaskis is a tour over the Canadian Rockies by helicopter. The helipads are located just outside Kananaskis on the road back to Calgary so it would be a great introduction or send off for your visit to Alberta. There is a great choice of flights available from a short 20 minute ride around the Kananaskis mountain range to helicopter transfers to join a local dog sledding team. Your pilot will provide information on the sights to be seen enroute.

Evening options are plentiful with some great restaurants and bars and if the season is right, take a short drive to Canmore and watch the local ice hockey team, The Eagles. Hockey is not just a sport; it’s a way of life for any Canadian!

Banff

The Banff National Park was the first National Park in Canada.  Take a tour of the Cave and Basin National Historic Site which commemorates the birthplace of Canada’s National Park System which began in 1885. Although you can’t take to the warm thermal springs here, a short drive will take you to the Upper Hot Springs, where you can take a dip in the soothing hot water while overlooking spectacular alpine scenery.

A short walk from the Hot Springs will take you to the Banff Gondola, 4 person gondola cabins will take 8 minutes to lift you to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, which is at an elevation of 7,486 feet above sea level. From the viewing balconies you can take a 360 degree view over the Rocky Mountains and the town of Banff.

Take a walk along the Johnston Canyon, in wintertime snap on a pair of ice cleats and walk between the towering canyon walls, the trail takes you past the lower falls and then ends at the breath-taking upper falls.  Your guide will inform you of how the Canyon was formed.

The majority of the hotels in Banff are located within walking distance from the town centre.  Banff has many restaurants, bars and shops to spend your time in after being on the slopes. Finish the day in front of a roaring fireplace with fine Alberta Steak and a classic red wine.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is well known as the home of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel. If you are staying in a Lake View room, ask for a sunrise wakeup call and view the sun come up behind the hotel and slowly bathe the mountains opposite in glorious sunlight as the day begins.

Take a guided snowshoe tour of the Lake with your own personal Swiss Mountain Guide which has been employed by the hotel since 1899 when the hotel was just a chalet beside the lake.

For the more adventurous, take a dog sledding tour along the old road from Lake Louise into British Columbia and cross the Great Divide. Learn how the dogs are run and even take the opportunity to drive the team yourself.

 Return to the hotel in the afternoon and take cocktails in the bar and view the sun set over the mountains followed by a sumptuous meal in one of the hotel's restaurants.

Hotels

Grande Rockies Resort – Canmore

The Grand Rockies Resort is a luxury boutique hotel with all the facilities of a vacation home. Rooms have modern facilties including a modern steam shower for those aches and pains from the slopes. Rooms have full kitchen facilities which are excellent for families or small groups who prefer not to go out for their meals and eat in front of their own fireplace.

Delta Lodge Kananaskis

The Delta Lodge Kananaskis is a great hotel for families with a short transfer time to the slopes. There are many facilities at the hotel including indoor/outside hot tub and indoor heated pool. There is a wide range of rooms available.

Mount Royal Hotel – Banff

A traditional Banff hotel located at one of the major crossroads of the town and therefore within walking distances too many shops and restaurants.

Buffalo Mountain Lodge – Banff

Located just outside the town, the Buffalo Mountain Lodge is a boutique style property. Lodges can be found over 9 acres on Tunnel Mountain Road and offers a relaxing stay within the Rockies. The area is so quiet that elk can often be seen roaming the grounds.

Deer Lodge – Lake Louise

This former tea house in the centre of Lake Louise gives a guest a complete break from the stresses of modern life with its quiet non-tv rooms . Spend some time in the rooftop hot tub with its 360 degree views of the Rockies.

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