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Canada Itinerary

How long was your stay?

3 days

How did you travel?

As a couple

Tell us why you traveled to this destination.

We love nature retreats and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Banff seemed like the perfect getaway where we could unwind in the midst of the mighty Rockies and soak in all the enchanting landscapes.

Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.

We had been saving for ages to get the best out of our trip to Banff. To treat ourselves and splurge a little, we decided to stay in Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. It is safe to say that it was the best decision of our life. Waking up to the fascinating views of Banff National Park made every waking hour magical. We also benefited from its prime location right on the lake, and decided to spend our first day exploring Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake and Bow Valley Parkway. Lake Louise is a truly special place. The mountainous scenery makes an amazing backdrop to its immaculate waters, the peaceful environment making its way deep into your soul so that you forget the chaos of your mundane life and achieve complete Zen. It is also a great spot for taking pictures for holiday cards! We spent about 3 hours here. We were so engrossed with its beauty that we decided to skip the Lake Agnes hike and instead stayed at the Lake till lunch hour.

Our next stop was Moraine Lake. In the gleaming afternoon sun, the water had turned into this magical turquoise shade that makes you feel like you are in heaven. No photo can do justice to its beauty, and although we tried our best from the top of the Rockpile, we couldn’t capture it in its entire glory. We also learned that Moraine Lake keeps changing the intensity of its turquoise waters through the summer as glaciers continue to melt. Moving on from Moraine Lake, we passed by the spiral tunnels which is a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway with a rich but painful history. It was near evening when we arrived at Emerald Lake. True to its name, the blue-green color of the water looked pristine in sunlight. The tall forested banks surrounded by the towering President Range make a natural amphitheater. We didn’t stay here for long as we wanted to spend the sunset marveling at the beauty of the Bow Valley River. We loved that there were benches at every few steps so that you could sit and take in the view. We ate some snacks while taking in the magnificent view of the river and spotting animals along its forested trails. The lakes demand you to take them in slow, without a rush or wanting to indulge in too many activities, and we did exactly that. Our first day was quite relaxing and the perfect way to set your mind at a similar pace to the idyllic waters of Banff.

On our second day, we decided to explore the town and Lake Minnewanka. While there is a lot to do in the town of Banff, to really admire its beauty I can’t recommend the Banff Gondola enough! We decided to explore the town throughout the day and take the Gondola at sunset. We started our day by heading to Lake Minnewanka with an outdoor breakfast. As it was early hours, the lake was not crowded. We had booked a cruise on Lake Minnewanka and it was one of the best parts of our trip. The guide was super friendly and informative, telling us an in-depth history of the lake. It’s a lovely way to explore it and after the extended cruise, we took a short hike to Stewart Canyon along its lush greenery and views of the Cascade River. We spent most of the afternoon exploring Banff town, splurging on memorabilia like the leaf-shaped maple syrup bottles and cozy Banff sweaters. The scenic route gives you views of the Bow River and Bow Falls. We also stopped by Mount Norquay and Johnson Canyon on our way to the final spot – Banff Gondola. Banff Gondola encompasses six mountain ranges and stunning views of the valley as it carries you to the top of Sulphur Mountain with the sunset coloring Banff town in its mesmeric shades of orange and yellow.

For our third day, we decided to book a tour to cover some of the historic sites of Banff. The highlight of the tour was Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Besides the fascinating views with hot water seeping through the rocks, we learned so much about the birthplace of Canada’s natural parks and the cultural history of the mountains. The entire space is filled with the smell of minerals and there are several walking trails to explore the area at your leisure. Later, we took a scenic road trip through the Icefields Parkway where we were blessed with views of mountains and glaciers, with friendly wildlife popping up every few miles. The road trip itself is quite long so we covered only a small portion of it while stopping at Big Bend Lookout, Panther Falls, and Athabasca Falls.

Would you recommend this trip to a friend?

Yes

What was the highlight of your trip?

• Taking in the colors of Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Emerald Lake.
• Extended Cruise of Lake Minnewanka.
• Exploring the Cave and Basin Historic Site.
• The mesmeric views from Banff Gondola.

If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?

 I would like to visit Banff in the thick of winter and stay in one of the ski resorts for my next trip.

Sidrah Bilal
@sidelf (Instagram)


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