10 days in Canada – Ultimate 10-Day Itinerary

Recommended itinerary – 10 days in Canada

Are you going to visit Canada in 10 days during your next vacation? Excellent choice !

In order to help you organize your stay, I have prepared a 9, 10 or 11 day itinerary in Canada to allow you to discover the West of the Country. If you want to visit Eastern Canada ( Montreal , Toronto etc..), I recommend you read instead my article: A week in Eastern Canada. The program adapts very well for 10 days!

On this itinerary are some of the best-known cities in the region, such as Vancouver and Calgary , as well as the discovery of the main landmarks, including the famous Jasper and Banff National Parks.

This 10-day road trip to Canada is the perfect mix between city ​​trip and stroll in the most beautiful natural landscapes of the country! 

Throughout the article discover our detailed program day by day , our advice and good plans and of course our selection of the best accommodations for each stage.

So, what to do and see in Western Canada in 10 days?

Day 1-2: Vancouver

To begin your 10-day stay in Canada, I propose you to land in Vancouver, British Columbia. I will say right now that western Canada is a very large area for this circuit in Canada , so the return will be from Calgary. In 10 days, if you want to see the maximum of things, this is the best solution.

I recommend you start by visiting the historic district of Vancouver, Gastown .

This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere and see the beautiful Victorian buildings typical of the area. Do not miss to see the curiosity of Gastown, the famous Steam Clock!

Nearby, visit Chinatown to visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Chinese Garden, the first Chinese garden in the world to be built outside of China. The place is really beautiful and the atmosphere very soothing , perfect for recovering long hours of flight.

Then join Canada Place and its waterfront. The place offers a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and Stanley Park. Think about photographing Canada Place’s most famous item, the Digital Orca , a giant pixel art orca. One of Vancouver’s must-see!

Canada Place, a must in Vancouver

I also suggest you try Vancouver’s must-see attraction, Fly Over Canada, which takes you to Canada in 4D(not in 10 days but in 8 minutes!), Comfortably seated in dynamic seats. The experience is great but like everywhere in Vancouver, it’s not cheap.

For lunch, you will have no trouble finding something to eat, whether you are more street food or restaurants. Why not try Japadog , Japanese hot dogs?

For the rest of the program, spend a relaxing afternoon at Stanley Park, Vancouver’s largest park. You can explore it on foot or by bike , a walk of 9 km makes the tour. In both cases, do not miss to go to the Amerindian totem pole and from the point of view to admire the Lions Gate Bridge. 

At the end of the day, to admire the sunset, Vancouver’s best spot is atop the Vancouver Lookout. In the same style as the CN Tower in Toronto, the building has an observation platform at 170 meters to admire a 360 ° panorama of the entire city.

And to finish in style, this first day in Vancouver, heading to the Yaletown district , where are concentrated the best restaurants in the city. 

The next day, to continue to visit Vancouver, I propose a more original experience than usual during this tour in Canada: a flyover from Vancouver by seaplane!

Several companies are available, the rate will depend on the duration and places you want to see. If you want to fly over the city, the beaches and the parks, I advise you to book your excursion in advance with one of the most serious service providers right here. Count € 88 per person for 20 minutes by seaplane.

And because the emotions are digging, continue the morning on Granville Island , where you’ll find lots of vintage shops and local crafts but above all a huge indoor market !

For the lunch break I can only recommend that you make a picnic with local products or test the food court and its dishes from around the world. To enjoy with a good beer at the edge of the water.

Vancouver seen from Granville Island

In the afternoon, a cultural visit to the Museum of Anthropology to understand the history of First Nations , the Native American peoples of British Columbia and Canada. To see especially for his collection of totems. If you’ve ever visited the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa , it’s kind of the same.

At the exit of the museum, you can take a tour by the beach of Wreck Beach. It is right next door.

To find a bit of nature and greenery in Vancouver, head to the Van Elsen Botanical Garden. Considered one of the most beautiful gardens in North America , it has more than 7,500 species of plants and trees. Wooden bridges, waterfalls, fountains, the garden is really well done and very nice.

And to end the day, nothing beats a quick shopping session on Vancouver’s main commercial street, Robson Street. You have just arrived, it is obliged that you miss a T-shirt or a little dress in your suitcase !!! 🙂

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]To visit Vancouver in 2 days, you will not need your car. You can easily visit on foot or use public transport , which, as in any major tourist city, are highly developed and convenient.I advise you to rent a car from the 2nd stage of this 10-day trip to Canada. [/box]

To stay in Vancouver

Day 3: Whistler

The second leg of this 10-day trip to Canada takes you to Whistler. From Vancouver, it will take about 2 hours to drive to Whistler.

Whistler is best known for being a ski resort with some of the best ski slopes in the world. If you travel to this part of Canada during the winter, this is the perfect place to enjoy winter sports in Canada. You can also go on dog sled rides or snowmobiling. 

In the village, you can also indulge in shopping and eat in very good restaurants.

A good program for the day, is not it?

But do not worry, if you do not like skiing or if it’s not winter, Whistler offers the opportunity to do many other activities throughout the year.

Things to do and see in Whistler include the following activities:

Staying in Whistler

Whistler is the premier ski resort of choice in Western Canada. Even if you book as early as possible, expect still high rates, especially in the middle of winter.

For a slightly more economical alternative and if sleeping in a dormitory bed does not bother you, I advise you to sleep at Whistler Lodge Hostel. Everything is new, clean and you will have access to a jacuzzi in the middle of the forest. Bed in dormitory from 40 € per night.

Whistler

Day 4-5: Wells Gray Provincial Park

Third leg of this 10-day Canadian road trip, Wells Gray Provincial Park. Today is really a big stop to drive,as the drive from Whistler to the park takes about 5 1/2 hours. 

I know, it’s long, but it’s a must stop for all routes in Western Canada, with the park practically halfway between Whistler and Jasper (the next stop).

It allows you not to go all the way at once and it is truly a beautiful place in western Canada. It is a wilderpark and much less touristy than those of Jasper and Banff.

You have 2 possibilities:

The following day, according to your desires and interests, here is a list of activities to do in Wells Gray Park:

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]When you arrive in Clearwater, go through the Visitor Center to get a map of the park. Very useful for organizing your day.

To get to Clearwater Lake, it’s better to have rented an SUV: there is not really a road, only a 26 km track and with a classic rental car, it’s a bit of a hassle and it’s a risk take a lot of time. [/box]

Staying in Wells Gray Park

Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Park

Day 6-7: Jasper National Park

Visiting Canada in 10 days is all about taking a stop at the famous Jasper National Park , a landmark of Western Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From Wells Gray Park, it’s a 4-hour drive to get there. Just before arriving in Jasper, stop at Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

You will probably arrive in the early afternoon, for the rest of the day, so I suggest you go see the 2 most beautiful lakes of Jasper:

Spend the night in Jasper , the park’s only “city” where you’ll find shops, restaurants and hotels.

The next day, spend a day exploring the National Park on foot. After the day spent yesterday by car and the day ahead for tomorrow, I recommend you to do some hiking ! Jasper is the perfect place for this, as it offers plenty of different trails for all levels. Check with the visitor center for a map.

Among the most popular hikes, I advise you:

And to end the day and relax, there’s nothing like passing through another must-see place in Jasper, Miette Hotsprings. In other words hot springs of hot water located outside. You can relax while enjoying a magnificent view of the mountains and the park.

Accommodation in Jasper

Tip: Book your accommodation in Jasper as soon as possible! Most establishments are full months in advance, even campsites. Prices can also fly according to the weeks: a room proposed to 120 € passes to 350 € the week after. The rates of the hotels that I propose to you are therefore really random.

If you have a small budget to sleep in Jasper National Park, I recommend Jasper Downtown HostelThis hostel offers dorm beds from € 30 per night. Everything is super clean and modern.

Jasper National Park

Day 8-9: Banff National Park

For this 5 th leg of this 10-day trip to Canada, take the mythical route of the Canadian West, the Icefields Parkway.

The Icefield Parkways (Highway 93) is known to be one of the most scenic drives in Canada. It connects the cities of Jasper to Banff over 230 km through the two national parks.

I advise you to plan a whole day for the trip. There are indeed many places and points of view to admire all along the street. The car parks and lookouts are provided to be able to stop easily.

Stops to make when you travel on the Icefield Parkways:

To not miss any of the points of interest, you can visit the site of the glacier walk. 

The glacier walk

At the end of the day, you are at the end of Route 93. For this night and the night after, I recommend you to stay in Lake Louise, the closest town to Lake Louise. This lake is in Banff National Park and is one of the most photographed lakes in the world. In an intense turquoise blue, the lake is simply splendid and ultra photogenic.

In the program of the next day , you can practice the most widespread activity in the park, hiking! Many hiking trails start from Lake Louise but also from Moraine Lake, the second famous Banff Lake. The flyer for all walks is available at the Visitor Center in Lake Louise Village. 

In the list of easy trails , I recommend the one that goes around Lake Louise in just 1 hour, a good way to get in shape. You can also climb to the Fairview Lookout , in just 45 minutes to admire the lake and the famous hotel in the background. On the same principle, you can also go around Moraine Lake in 45 minutes. 

For medium difficulty hikes, the most beautiful is undoubtedly that of the Plaine des Six Glaciers. With a duration of approximately 4 hours it allows to discover a series of impressive glaciers and peaks.

To find out in advance about the state of the trails, and check out all possible hikes, visit the Canada Park site. 

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Our tips and tricks to better organize your day hike in Banff Park[/box]

1) Lake Louise and Moraine Lake both have parking. However the sites are limited, and during the tourist period (June to September), it is advisable to be there before 9 am if you want a place.

2) Once the Moraine Lake locations are complete, the road is cut off and you will not be able to access it. Note also that it is open only from May to October.

3) From Lake Louise (the village), a shuttle takes you to Lake Louise for free. Rotate approximately every 20 minutes until 6 pm for return.

4) Bears are very present in Banff Park, always have pepper spray with you and make noise  as you walk to hear you approach. The best is to move in groups.

Accommodation in Lake Louise / Banff National Park

Here, same recommendation as for Jasper National Park, book early! And also the same for the (very) high rates.

A much cheaper option for the budget, spend a night in a youth hostel. I recommend the HI-Lake Louise Alpine CenterBed in dormitory from 40 € per night, hard to find cheaper!

The Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel – The Best Hotel In Banff

Day 10: Calgary

Here you are on the last leg of this 10-day trip to Canada. Today, leave Banff National Park to join Calgary. From Lake Louise, a journey of approximately 2 hours awaits you.

Calgary is often a stopover town on the way to or from a road trip in Western Canada. Yet it deserves a little tour to discover the main places of interest.

To visit Calgary in 1 day , I suggest you visit the Glenbow Museum. The perfect way to learn more about the history of the city and the region of Alberta. With 33,000 works, the Glenbow is nothing less than the largest art museum in Western Canada. His visit is really very interesting.

Then head to Calgary Tower, Calgary’s iconic landmark. This tower offers a 360 ° view of the entire city and part of the Canadian Rockies. With a glass floor, sensations guaranteed to almost 190 meters high! Just like in the towers of Toronto or Vancouver, you can have lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top.

The city of Calgary at night

In the afternoon, I recommend visiting Heritage Park Village. Stroll through a typical western Canadian village of the last century. Browse stalls, the forge, the bakery , to discover the lifestyles of yesteryear. Take a seat in an authentic steam locomotive or embark on a paddle boat cruise 

If you spend 10 days in Canada with your family , it’s a great idea to do something in Calgary!

In the late afternoon, go to the coolest neighborhood in Calgary: Kensington Village. You can enjoy it for shopping and the latest souvenir shopping. This is also where I suggest you take your evening meal, the neighborhood of some of Calgary’s best restaurants. 

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]If you’re lucky enough to have an extra day and visit Canada in 11 days:

  • You can add a day around Vancouver to go whale watching or visit a suspension bridge in Capilano , the most famous place near Vancouver.
  • Another option: if you prefer nature to the city, add a day in Jasper or Banff to hike.[/box]
Staying in Calgary

Feel free to give us your opinion and suggestions on our 10-day itinerary in Canada!

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Calgary