You can visit up to six destinations in Canada in nine days. A road trip from Calgary to British Columbia's Pacific coast stops in Banff and Jasper, while a fast-paced train journey brings you to the eastern cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Québec City, and Montréal. Active travelers should add kayaking and hiking in Kelowna. For a summer adventure, visit Vancouver's national parks and go whale watching, and for winter activities, search for the northern lights in the Yukon and Northern Territories.

Itinerary #1: Western Canada Rockies to Pacific Road Trip

Take on the Canadian Rockies and Pacific coast with this road trip across Western Canada. From Calgary to Vancouver, nature lovers will experience outdoor activities such as soaking in Banff's hot springs, gazing at the stars at the Jasper Planetarium, riding the Peak 2 Peak gondola in Whistler, and enjoying the food scene in Vancouver. Top it off with a wildlife safari in Jasper National Park, a visit to the Columbia Icefields for a glacier adventure, and a hike on a trail to see otherworldly "hoodoos" in Kamloops.

 Drive the beautiful Sea-to-Summit Highway from Whistler to Vancouver
Drive the beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway from Whistler to Vancouver
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Calgary (Alberta), Dinner at Calgary Tower Calgary
Day 2 Self-Guided Tour of Calgary, Drive to Banff Banff
Day 3 Visit Upper Hot Springs, Ride the Banff Gondola Banff
Day 4 Drive to Jasper, Columbia Icefields Glacier Adventure Jasper
Day 5 Wildlife Safari in Jasper National Park, Visit the Planetarium Jasper
Day 6 Drive to Kamloops (BC), Self-Guided Tour of Kamloops, Hoodoo Trail Hike Kamloops
Day 7 Drive to Whistler, Peak 2 Peak Gondola Whistler
Day 8 Drive to Vancouver, Flyover Canada Experience, Walking Food Tour of Gastown Vancouver
Day 9 City & Seal Boat Tour, Depart Vancouver  

Start your Canadian adventure in Calgary, Alberta, and end the day with dinner in the Calgary Tower's revolving restaurant before taking the wheel to drive the Trans-Canada Highway the next day to the mountain town of Banff. Soak in the Upper Hot Springs and enjoy a scenic ride aboard the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for sweeping vistas. Continue Day 4 north along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, where you'll stand on the Athabasca Glacier during a Columbia Icefields adventure. You'll try to spot grizzly bears on a wildlife safari through Jasper National Park and see northern hemisphere constellations at a planetarium.

Next, drive west over rivers and through deep valleys to Kamloops, Canada's adventure capital in British Columbia, to hike the Hoodoo Trail among billion-year-old rock formations. Afterward, drive to Whistler, Canada's top ski destination, and ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for panoramas of glaciers, dense forests, and mountain peaks before heading farther west to Vancouver on your last full day. Sample poutine and "Japadogs" on a walking food tour of Gastown, the city's oldest neighborhood, followed by cruising English Bay for a different city perspective and to admire the antics of the local seal colony the morning before departure. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Explore Canada's Eastern Cities by Train

Travelers wanting a taste of Ontario and Québec can opt for this alternative highlights itinerary of eastern Canada by train from Toronto to Montréal. This itinerary combines urban exploration with cultural experiences, including visiting Toronto's landmarks, cruising in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River between the United States and Canada, admiring Niagara Falls, visiting Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and kayaking in Jacques-Cartier National Park. You'll also learn about the First Nations community as you wander the Huron-Wendat Museum and enjoy an evening river cruise in Québec City.

 Get an up-close look at the iconic Niagara Falls on a 20-minute boat cruise
Get an up-close look at the iconic Niagara Falls on a 20-minute boat cruise
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Self-Guided City Tour, Enjoy a Dinner Cruise Toronto
Day 2 Day Trip to Niagara Falls & Niagara-on-the-Lake Toronto
Day 3 Half-Day City Tour Toronto
Day 4 Train to Ottawa, Cruise the Rideau Canal Ottawa
Day 5 Train to Québec City, Old Québec Walking Tour, Evening Cruise Québec City
Day 6 Day Trip to Jacques-Cartier National Park Québec City
Day 7 Visit the Huron-Wendat Museum, Train to Montréal Montréal
Day 8 Old Montréal Walking Tour, Discover Mount Royal Montréal
Day 9 Mile End Food Tour, Depart  

Three nights in Toronto, Ontario, as a base gives you time to explore the city and its surroundings. You'll first enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Ontario, taking in the panoramic views of the city's skyline, followed by a day visiting famous Niagara Falls and charming Niagara-on-the-Lake before learning about the winemaking process and sipping local wines at a nearby vineyard. Day 3 has you touring Toronto's landmarks like Nathan Phillips Square (snap a selfie with the "Toronto" sign) and buzzing St. Lawrence Market (pick up treats like butter tarts). Catch the train on Day 4 bound for Ottawa and enjoy a city walk after cruising along the Rideau Canal.

Board your second train the next day, this time to Québec City, where you'll wander through the Petit-Champlain district on a walking tour of UNESCO-listed historic Old Québec and enjoy a boating trip down the St. Lawrence River. You'll have the following day to go hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or wildlife watching in beautiful Jacques-Cartier National Park. Then, you'll visit the Huron-Wendat Museum, which highlights the way of life of this First Nations group, before catching a train to Montréal in the afternoon. Climb to the hilltop park of Mount Royal and sample some of the Mile End's delicious food before your onward travels. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Self-Drive Summer Adventure on Vancouver Island

This self-drive summer adventure on Vancouver Island is perfect for wildlife lovers and active travelers who enjoy a relaxed pace. You'll get up close to Canada's nature in Victoria, British Columbia's capital, by visiting Butchart Gardens and Victoria Butterfly Gardens, hiking in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (and two other national parks), spotting orcas on a whale watching tour, and surfing the wave at Tofino. You'll also cover the capital's highlights on a horse-drawn carriage ride and wander North America's second-oldest Chinatown (after San Francisco). 

Vancouver Island's beaches are perfect for a summer break
Vancouver Island's beaches are perfect for a summer break
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Victoria, Visit Butchart Gardens & Victoria Butterfly Gardens Victoria
Day 2 Half-Day Whale Watching Tour in Victoria Victoria
Day 3 Drive to Tofino, Beach Afternoon & Surfing Tofino
Day 4 Hike in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Whale Watching Tour Tofino
Day 5 Self-Guided Trip to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park  Tofino
Day 6 Self-Guided Trip to MacMillan Provincial Park Tofino
Day 7 Drive to Victoria via Coombs & Chemainus, Horsedrawn Carriage Ride Victoria
Day 8 Explore Salt Spring Island or Visit Victoria's Landmarks Victoria
Day 9 Discover Victoria's Chinatown, Depart  

Begin in the coastal city of Victoria on Vancouver Island with a visit to the impressive Butchart Gardens to check out its floral displays and the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Set out on a whale watching tour the next day to seek out humpback, gray, and minke whales and transient orcas with a naturalist. Then, you're off on a road trip northwest to Tofino for beach time and surfing before hiking the rugged coastline at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and sailing toward remote Clayoquot Sound in search of whales. Take a seaplane or boat to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park to unwind in a geothermal pool.

Meanwhile, the next morning, you can drive a couple of hours to walk amid giants in Cathedral Grove, an old-growth forest in MacMillan Provincial Park. Drive back to Victoria on Day 7 for a horse-drawn carriage ride, listening to your guide regale you with tales of the city's history of noteworthy landmarks. The following day, catch a 35-minute ferry to Salt Spring Island, located on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people, where you can discover artisan studios and galleries, hike along verdant forest trails, kayak along the coastline, or relax on a beach. On your final day, experience North America's second-largest Chinatown before departing. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Western Canada Self-Drive Highlights: Calgary to Vancouver

This alternative highlights road trip of western Canada adds Sun Peaks and Kelowna to the mix, replacing Kamloops and Whistler. It's ideal for active adventurers with a penchant for nature and exploring at their own pace. You'll cover the highlights of Banff National Park, including an easy hike to Bow Falls and a tour of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Sun Peaks' and its beautiful scenery, and the Okanagan Valley.

 Drive along the iconic Icefields Parkway, surrounded by mountains and glacial lakes, to get to Jasper
Drive along the iconic Icefields Parkway, surrounded by mountains and glacial lakes, to get to Jasper
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Calgary (Alberta), Explore Prince's Island Park, Dinner at Sky 360 Calgary
Day 2 Drive to Banff, Sunsets & Stars Evening Walking Tour Banff
Day 3 Guided Tour of Banff, Sulphur Mountain Gondola Ride Banff
Day 4 Guided Tour of Lake Louise & Moraine Lake, Drive to Jasper Jasper
Day 5 Maligne Lake Cruise & Jasper SkyTram or Hike in Jasper National Park Jasper
Day 6 Drive to Sun Peaks (BC), Explore the Resort Sun Peaks
Day 7 Drive to Kelowna, Visit Okanagan Lake, Hike the Myra Canyon Trail Kelowna
Day 8 Wine Tasting in the Okanagan Valley Kelowna
Day 9 Drive to Vancouver, Explore the City, Depart  

Arriving in Calgary, you'll stroll around Prince's Island Park, admire the views of the Bow River, and enjoy dinner at the revolving restaurant, Sky 360. Then, drive to Banff, a resort town in the Rockies in Canada's first national park, and go on a sunset and stars evening walking tour. Next, ride the gondola up Sulphur Mountain for views of the rugged peaks and get a guided tour of the glacier-fed Lake Louise the following day. Follow Rockpile Trail to see Moraine Lake next before setting off north for Jasper, where glaciers await. Your second day in Jasper has you enjoying a Maligne Lake cruise, riding the Jasper SkyTram, and hiking in Jasper National Park.

On Day 6, you'll take in scenic views of Mount Robson as you drive along Yellowhead Highway alongside forests, glassy lakes, and towering mountains to Sun Peaks resort. Take a walk, play a round of golf, or indulge at a spa. Head south to Kelowna to sip wine in the Okanagan Valley, swim and/or kayak Okanagan Lake, and hike across wooden trestle bridges and through tunnels on the Myra Canyon Trail. Finally, drive to Vancouver and the historic district of Gastown to admire the Victorian buildings, artisan markets, and iconic Gastown Steam Clock before catching your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Northern Lights & Winter Adventures in Whitehorse & Yellowknife

On this winter adventure in the Canadian north, you'll explore Whitehorse and Yellowknife with nightly excursions to glimpse the northern lights. This itinerary is ideal for travelers wanting to try winter activities, learn about First Nations cultures, and chase the northern lights. Highlights include dogsledding, ice fishing, discovering the snow-covered landscapes of Kluane National Park, and snowmobiling into the snowy taiga forests outside Yellowknife.

You'll have plenty of chances to glimpse the elusive northern lights on this winter adventure in Canada's remote northern provinces
You'll have plenty of chances to glimpse the elusive northern lights on this winter adventure in Canada's remote north
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Whitehorse (Yukon), Safari in the Yukon Wildlife Preserve Whitehorse
Day 2 Dogsledding Adventure, Aurora Viewing Excursion Whitehorse
Day 3 Go Ice Fishing & Snowshoeing, Visit Kwanlin Dün Cultural Center Whitehorse
Day 4 Skiing at Mount Sima, Aurora Viewing Excursion Whitehorse
Day 5 Full-Day Excursion to Kluane National Park Whitehorse
Day 6 Spend the Day at Northern Lights Resort & Spa Whitehorse
Day 7 Fly to Yellowknife (Northern Territories), Aurora Viewing Excursion Yellowknife
Day 8 Self-Guided Tour of Yellowknife, Backcountry Snowmobile Adventure Yellowknife
Day 9 Depart Yellowknife  

In Whitehorse, Yukon, spot the Arctic fox, wood bison, and moose at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. The next day, try out traditional dogsledding before setting out on an aurora borealis viewing excursion. Continue with ice fishing, snowshoeing, and a visit to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre to learn more about First Nations culture. Then, go skiing or snowboarding on Mount Sima, followed by a guided hike in Kluane National Park, home to the world's largest nonpolar icefields. Spend a day at the Northern Lights Resort & Spa to snowmobile and hunt for the northern lights from the comfort of your cozy cabin.

The second part of your journey takes you to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Upon arrival, explore this small town and see the Bush Pilot's Monument. At night, while you wait for the northern lights to appear, your guide will key you into local history, and you'll enjoy a midnight meal of fish chowder and fresh-baked bannock bread. Visit the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre the morning of your final full day to learn about First Nations culture of the territories or Cameron Falls if you're more into the outdoors. In the afternoon, join a backcountry snowmobile adventure through the snowy taiga wilderness just outside Yellowknife. Learn more

More Great Canada Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Canada? Check out these other Canada itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 9 Days in Canada - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Canada - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas