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Canada Podcast - Mountain Hiking

Our Banff holidays will transport you to an all-seasons resort that is encircled by majestic peaks, home to crystal-clear lakes and full of historic charm; there is a reason that everyone has heard of Banff. This tiny mountain hamlet is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains and offers all the amenities – and world-class hospitality – you could ever ask for.

Located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banff National Park, this charming town has the ability to enchant and entertain in the middle of 6000 acres of wilderness. The entire region is a natural wonder in itself, and is home to hundreds of species of wildlife, from grizzly bears to bald eagles. From wildlife-watching experiences to outdoor adventures in the mountains, Banff National Park will allow you to feel truly immersed in nature.

In the colder months the town is dedicated to winter sports; skiing, in particular, is popular and there are 3 world-class ski resorts, as well as heli-skiing, snowboarding, ice-climbing and tubing throughout the magnificent park.

The warmer weather opens up a plethora of opportunities to experience Banff in all its glory. Hike through varying and ever-changing landscapes, stopping at quaint tea houses amongst the peaks for a bite to eat with a remarkable view.

As well as some of Canada’s most spectacular scenery, Banff is home to all the facilities that visitors could ever ask for. Take a dip in the renowned Upper Hot Springs, dine with a mountain vista in one of the many fine-dining establishments, shop in some of Alberta’s most delightful boutiques and stay in the most luxurious hotels.

Is it time for you to embark on a trip to the unforgettable town of Banff? Our Canada Travel Specialists will be delighted to tailor-make your trip to suit your exact requirements. With your own personal advisor, low deposits and holiday payment plans its easy to see why now is the time to embark on that holiday of a lifetime.

Banff & Lake Louise | Beauty in the Mountains | Canada Travel Specialists
Discover Banff Hot Springs | Canada Travel Specialists

Banff Travel Guides

Things to do in Banff

1. Cascade Gardens

Slightly off the beaten track on the south side of Banff Avenue, the Cascade Gardens are a beautiful oasis of tranquil, well-landscaped gardens. This is the perfect stop if you want to beat the crowds in the town centre. Enjoy as stroll through the flora or sit in one of the sheltered areas to take in the striking backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.

2. Lake Louise and the Fairmont

Both major landmarks within the park, you cannot visit Banff without stopping at Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau that clings to its shores. Prepare to be amazed by the vibrant turquoise of this glacier fed lake – after exploring, why not unwind in this luxurious hotel. Book a night here to really treat yourself and wake up to views more picturesque than you could ever imagine.

3. Cave and Basin National Historic Site

As one of Banff’s most famous spots, this historic site is a must visit. Experience the birthplace of Canada’s national parks in all its glory and gaze in wonder at the naturally hot water that seeps from the rocks. You can tour the site yourself, but we suggest you enjoy a guided tour so you can learn the history of the mountains as you go.

4. Banff City Tour and Gondola Ride

Both staple attractions in Banff, we suggest you do both to get the best overview of this mountain town. The Banff City Tour will take you around the key sights in the area with the knowledge of a local guide, and the Gondola Ride will allow you to take in the most awe-inspiring views of the town, lakes and surrounding mountain peaks.

5. Columbia Icefield and Glacier Skywalk

A force of nature, the Columbia Icefield is a sight to behold and provides panoramic views of the awe-inspiring Athabasca Glacier. Take a journey on an all-terrain vehicle and learn the history of the geology that surrounds you. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, venture along the Glacier Skywalk; a 1km walkway that leads to a glass platform is a 280m drop.

Places to eat in Banff

1. Truffle Pigs Bistro

If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a leisurely meal, Truffle Pigs Bistro is the place for you. Using only the highest quality local ingredients, the chefs have worked very hard to craft a menu full of delicious comfort food. We suggest you visit at lunch time for a great value, filling meal.

2. Melissa’s Missteak

Banff’s original steakhouse, Melissa’s Missteak has been beloved by visitors and locals alike for over 30 years. The décor is reminiscent of a log cabin and the atmosphere is welcoming – their family-style breakfast is legendary in the area. Try a steak or some slow-roasted prime rib.

3. Toque Canadian Pub

A toque is a traditional Canadian winter hat, so it is no wonder that this pub is dedicated to all things Canadian. Their extensive menu is packed full of homecooked favourites – the poutine in particular is delicious. They also have a variety of board games available, so you can enjoy fantastic comfort food while having fun – what a perfect family activity!

4. Lake Agnes Tea Room

Around since 1905, Lake Anges Tea House has been serving customers who hike the 3.5km from Lake Louise for over 100 years. You will find just rewards for your efforts – there are over 75 teas to choose from alongside light lunches and sweet treats. The views are exquisite, and this stop will be one of your favourites on your trip.

5. The Maple Leaf

Located in downtown Banff, this popular eatery has a log cabin interior and panoramic views over the town. Featuring only the best Canadian produce, game and seafood are particularly popular on the menu. You can try this place for either breakfast, lunch or dinner; no matter when you go, the food will be wonderful.

Top tips for visiting Banff

1. Shop on Banff Avenue

A combination of shopping, restaurants, museums and galleries, you will find countless things to do as you amble down Banff Avenue. We suggest you visit the smaller boutique stores to find yourself some authentic souvenirs.

2. Visit Lake Louise Early

If you want premium views of the stunning Lake Louise, we suggest you go there first thing in the morning. The lake is normally incredibly busy in the afternoon, so it is worth setting your alarm a little earlier to have it all to yourself.

3. See Lake Moraine

If you want to go slightly off the beaten track and avoid the tourists at Lake Louise, we suggest you visit the incomparable Lake Moraine. It is a little less popular but is without a doubt one of Canada’s most beautiful natural wonders – you won’t believe how blue the water is!

4. Golf at the Banff Springs Golf Course

Banff is known for its world class golfing, so practise your swing during your stay in the Banff Springs Golf Course. For something extra special, we suggest you take some time to explore the road leading to the club -  you won’t regret it.

5. Check Your Hike Online

If you want to hike one of the countless paths available in Banff National Park, we suggest you check the route online before you go. Here you will learn the intensity of the hike – if it is easy, moderate or difficult - as well as the length of time it will take, the distance it will cover and the sights you will spot along the way.