For the nature lover, the adventurer, and the romantic – Alberta is not to be missed! From the Banff hot springs and serene Lake Louise to the enchanting province cities of Edmonton and Calgary, these tours will fill your heart and camera roll with memories to cherish for life! We’ve got 3 for Winter and 3 for Summer lined up for you and some bonus tips at the end – here we go!
Adventures in a Winter Wonderland
Starting with Winter, we’re giving you the top 3 tours to the iconic spots with that extra something. Of course, the Rocky Mountains are top of the list but finding the right tour with the right inclusions for you. Let these tours guide you to the Northern Lights, the frozen waterfalls of Johnston Canyon, and the magical panorama of Banff National Park with the recommendations below.
1. Northern Lights, Banff and Lake Louise
For the ultimate full-fledged Alberta adventure, we highly recommend this 11-day tour from beautiful Edmonton to bright Calgary, each with museums and a meandering river to discover. Heading to Peace River, the otherworldly Northern Lights will take center stage on your two nights here, while you can enjoy snow-hiking, hiking along the river, or visiting Wildland Provincial Park. This just might be the ultimate Alberta Winter adventure, with bonfires under the starry sky and free time to relax and re-energize or kick back and socialize.
Some truly unique experiences on the itinerary that will give you grand memories to cherish include scenic lunches at Jasper Brewing Co, Canada’s first National Park Brewery, and another at The Station Restaurant at Lake Louise, which has an actual 1925 dining car from the old railway, so you can really savor not only the local cuisine but the history that envelopes Alberta. You’ll also have the opportunity to have tea at the majestic Fairmont Chateau if you can resist the many outdoor activities like snowshoe hiking and admiring the frozen waterfalls of Johnston Canyon in stunning Banff.
2. Amazing Alberta in just 4 days
While you could spend weeks in Alberta and still not see everything, it’s a luxury not all of us have. For the very best the province has to offer in a compact but captivating tour, this 4-day adventure is what you need! Starting and ending in the bright, scenic capital of Calgary, you will discover all the must-sees, starting with the incomparable Banff National Park. Just imagine riding the breathtaking Sulphur Mountain Gondola, ice-walking Johnston Canyon, and experiencing the moonlike landscape of the hoodoos!
An adventure in Alberta is not only about the magnificent views; the province is packed with activities, and while short, this tour gives you plenty of options. As we follow the itinerary onwards to Lake Louise and Yoho National Park, you can look forward to snowshoeing through the amazing landscape as well as the optional activities of tubing, riding the gondola, flying a helicopter over Rocky Mountain and the Banff Upper Hot Springs when they are open, so bring your swimsuit!
3. Western Canada: Jasper, Banff, Whistler, and Vancouver
Lastly, let us invite you to a year-round expedition from Edmonton that gives you the best of Alberta while going beyond the province border as the tour continues into British Columbia, ending in Vancouver. Begin this 10-day adventure with all the Albertan wonders of the Rocky Mountains; Jasper National Park with a day trip to amazingly scenic Maligne Canyon, a lake cruise to Spirit Island; the magnificent Banff National Park, including spectacular rides in a gondola and a helicopter; and visit the serene Lake Louise! Packed with activities, your heart pumping and phone snapping on this tour as you discover waterfalls, mountain peaks, wildlife, and in winter, even an ice bar!
Going beyond Alberta, the tour takes you to the iconic resort Whistler, perfect for mountain biking in summer and skiing/snowboarding in winter. On the way there, you’ll visit Cloudraker Skybridge, providing once-in-a-lifetime views over Whistler Mountain top. The adventure reaches its culmination with 2 days on the West Coast with visits to the cultural melting pot of Vancouver and a scenic seaplane ride to picturesque Vancouver Island, on which you can see whales if Mother Nature is with you!
Discovering your Summer Serenade
As the seasons change, leaves unfold, and meadows start to bloom, we’re moving on to the Summer section of this Top 6 list. The Canadian Rockies will enchant you no matter the time of year! Alberta has so much to offer in summer when camping becomes a prime draw; the lakes and rivers invite you to go swimming, canoeing, and rafting, and the flora and fauna are their most active. Let’s uncover how you can experience an unforgettable summer adventure up north.
1. An Active Adventure
For the full camping experience this unique part of the world deserves, this 8-day tour starts from Calgary and will have you camping throughout and visiting the must-sees like Waterton Lakes, Kananaskis, and Banff, of course. You’ll enjoy plenty of hiking in these masterful landscapes, and you can rent canoes or bikes and take a scenic raft tour, and the Banff gondola is not to be missed! Take in the sight of the mountains and skies from above, reflecting themselves on the lakes. That’s a view you’ll never forget!
There’s probably no better way to end the day than by the campfire, under the stars, and the next day, make your way to Lake Louise, where you’ll hike up Mount Fairview or the Plaines of 6 glaciers trail; either path comes with fewer crowds and jaw-dropping views you will cherish for life. Yoho National Park then awaits, filling your final days with hiking and picnic lunches in this world of wonders before finalizing back in Calgary with a world of sights, memories, and encounters in your camera roll and in your heart.
2. Along the Athabasca River
If you’re looking for that extra something to make your Alberta adventure truly stand out from the rest, this 14-day tour not only gives you the highlights of the Rocky Mountains with Banff and Lake Louise but includes a 3-day canoe adventure along the Athabasca River, where you will set camp on the islands and shores along the way. Starting in Calgary, you’ll have the pleasure of a hotel night before you set out on this active summer adventure with a full-day hike (5- 7 hours) to the awe-inspiring Banff National Park. Once there, you can take your pick of the amazing trails and uncover the magic of the Rockies!
There are a number of trails of varying length and grade to explore around Lake Louise, where you’ll set camp and get a good night’s rest before continuing to Yoho National Park, where you can view the grand Takakkaw Falls, the turquoise-colored Emerald Lake and have the chance to go whitewater rafting on Kicking Horse River, what a ride! After visits at Icefields Parkway and Maligne Lake, the Canadian canoes await, and you’ll have training and practice before beginning the epic adventure down Athabasca River, where you’ll be truly immersed in the wild with good chances of seeing wapiti elk, moose, beavers, geese, eagles and maybe even a bear! How far you get depends on your progress, and after 3 days of fun on the river, you can look forward to ending your escapade with a comfy hotel night in verdant Edmonton.
3. The Full Experience
Starting and ending in Calgary, this 12-day tour gives you the opportunity to explore some of the most fantastic scenery in all of Canada! Start with Banff National Park, where you’ll hike, get introduced to landscapes like nowhere else, and learn how to set up camp with your fellow nature aficionados. The first day is spent hiking these wonderful lands, and later you can explore Banff town, including Banff Avenue, Bow Falls, and the Hoodoos! The adventure continues to Jasper National Park, right along the Athabasca River, and after a long day of hiking, you head to Miette Hot Springs for a dip in the natural springs, said to have therapeutic benefits beyond just pure pleasure, of course.
This tour will provide have time to enjoy things beyond hiking; rent a bike and escape to a nearby lake for a dip there, or take a guided horseback tour in the lush surroundings, giving your legs a well-deserved break. You’ll discover the magical Icefields Parkway, where your local guide will take you off the beaten track and tell you about the pioneers of the province while taking in the incomparable sights here; lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers wherever you look! Toward the end, you’ll discover Yoho National Park, try a guided rafting adventure on the Kicking Horse River, and visit the iconic Emerald Lake before heading back to Banff to learn about how this panoramic world was created and how first animals, then humans have explored it. Your final day would be well spent with a well-deserved dip in the Banff Upper Hot Springs. What a journey!
BONUS – Calgary & Edmonton – the cultural gems of Alberta
As you’re bound to spend a night or two in these cities before and/or after your tour – be sure to make the most of it! Both cities have fascinating histories, world-class cuisine, beautiful surroundings, and rivers to explore. On top of that, no matter when you go, Calgary and Edmonton have plenty of annual events to add some cultural flair before or after your tour; there are beer fairs, food fairs, theater festivals, gay pride, and an absolutely flourishing music scene. In fact, Edmonton has even earned the nickname ‘Canada’s festival city,’ so check our tips out!
- Edmonton International Ice-Carving Competition – over a few days in January, some of the world’s top carvers converge to participate in this chillingly exciting competition where they have just thirty-four hours to create magic in ice!
- Calgary Folk Music Festival – The city comes to life for 4 days every February with indoor and outdoor live shows and events featuring local and international stars to warm up the winter in a family-friendly celebration.
- Edmonton Indigenous People’s Festival – On the days surrounding the summer solstice, on the 21st of June, Alberta’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated with dancing and music, ranging from traditional to modern rock music.
- The Calgary Stampede – Experience the excitement of rodeo at this annual festival happening in July; there’s a parade through the city with an invitee celebrity marshall, and at Stampede Park, tons of amusement rides, rodeo shows, fun, and games!
Whether you visit in Winter or Summer, Spring or Fall, Alberta is a place like no other and the theater of adventures and encounters you’ll cherish for life. The featured tours are but a slice of the cake, and you can head over to TourRadar for the full portfolio of Canadian magic our operators, and we can offer in stunning Alberta.