For a honeymoon to remember, explore the National Parks along the West Coast of Canada, with a self drive holiday or on an organised tour.
Honeymoons in Canada offer plenty for active couples to enjoy; hiking, kayaking, zip wires, horse riding, mountain biking and white water rafting are all readily available. See grizzly and brown bears, moose, wolves, elk and perhaps even mountain lions amid fantastic scenery.
To get the most of the experience we would suggest travelling in June, July or August while the days are hot and the nights cool. This suggested itinerary is based on camping, however there are hotels or lodges in all of the places visited.
A few hours drive from either Seattle, in North America, or Vancouver, the first stop on this trip is at the aptly named Bridal Veils Falls near Kamloops, just off Highway 1, where you can enjoy a picnic lunch and a quick walk to the base of these spectacular falls.
Overnight at Paul Lake campground where a steep trail takes you down to the beaches and park areas around the lake.
Another long drive north takes you to Golden on the edge of the Yoho National Park. Beaverfoot Lodge, 20 minutes along a sandy track, has accommodation in the main lodge and in a circle of wagons, as well as a large grassy campsite with a large covered kitchen area and traditional saunas. Prepare for horses, dogs and even a lone wolf to call their campground their own during your stay.
Golden is the best base for rafting the famous Kicking Horse river, with trips ranging from gentle family floats to level 3-4 half day adventures. There is also an interactive wolf refuge nearby. Within Yoho park, kayak and walk around Mirror Lake and take the hike up to Sunwapta falls where you can have a refreshing shower below the falls.
Heading north takes you past Lake Louise to Banff National Park, stopping on the way to hike up the popular Johnston Canyon Falls. The main campground is conveniently close to a laundry, mini-mart and off license, however it is also next to the main railway line, with trains sounding their horns throughout the night. More comfortable is the luxurious, but overpriced, Banff Springs hotel. While in Banff don’t miss the Sulpher Springs where you can hire a towel and old fashioned swimsuit and relax in the naturally heated spring water, which is totally refreshed every morning. A team of excellent massage therapists are based at the Springs, booking advised.
A gondola takes you to the top of Mount Sulpher behind the Springs where there are great views from a short decking trail at the top of the mountain, or enjoy a satisfying hike up the mountain and buy a half price ticket at the top to come back down in the gondola.
Banff is a popular tourist destination and has a huge number of tourist shops, hiking shops and restaurants along it’s main street.
At nearby Lake Louise there are a number of stunning hikes into the mountains, some of which need bear spray and a minimum group size of four, and a few with conveniently situated tea rooms at the top of the trails. Lake Louise can be explored by kayak, a available to hire by the hour.
At one end of Lake Louise is the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, with shops and ice cream stands on the hotel’s ground floor.
From Banff take route 93, the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. This 230km road is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world and takes you past huge mountain ranges and bright blue glacial lakes. Pause at the Icefields Centre for lunch, a trip to the museum, and most importantly to take a guided icewalk on the Athabasca Glacier. Prebooking is essential, and they will supply you with the required cold weather gear. Alternatively, there are all terrain bus tours onto the Glacier which can be arranged when you arrive. The glacier is not safe to explore without a guide.
At the northern end of the Icefields Parkway is the small town of Jasper, the perfect activity base for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and rafting. The river is a calmer option for rafting than Kicking Horse, with grade 2 and 3 options. If the weather is wet, there is a great aquatic center and gym on the edge of the town, and the usual tourist shops, hiking shops and restaurants.
Heading back towards the city of Vancouver, stop for a day or two at Wells Gray Provincial Park near Clearwater. At the Black Horse Saloon you can stay in the main lodge or one of the cosy log cabins where you can sit on your porch watching the stars in the hope of a rare glimpse of the northern lights. There is also a more basic bunk house and a campsite. The adjoining stables offer horse trekking on well mannered horses suitable for complete beginners, using western saddles, with a variety of treks all done entirely in walk. The Saloon staff also offer wildlife treks in search of bears, moose, cougars and coyote, but only on days when they feel there is a reasonable chance of a sighting.
Leaving the Rockies behind, Vancouver boasts the highest property prices in Canada, and it is easy to see why. Wander down Robson Street for designer shops, galleries and boutiques, or explore the adjacent streets for their picture perfect houses and gardens.
The Number 1 tourist attraction in Vancouver is Stanley Park. Hire bikes, tandems or rollerblades for the one way 10km trail around the island taking in harbour seals, beaches, lighthouses, marinas and views of the sea and estuary as you go, explore the parks, water park and forest, or visit the island’s excellent aquarium.
We travelled with The Adventure Company who offer over 135 different worldwide adventure trips, ranging from walking & trekking trips, safaris, other wildlife encounters, cultural discovery trips, activity weeks and polar expeditions.
They also offer a selection of trips to classic destinations with a more relaxed feel, with more comfortable and distinctive accommodation than that offered on the adverture trips.