A Tour of Western Canada with Topdeck Travel

by Brenna Holeman

Tour of Western Canada

I am so proud to be Canadian. Despite travelling the world and living abroad, my heart has always (and will always) remain in Canada. My only gripe? There is so much of Canada – no, really, it’s the second biggest country in the world – that I know it will be impossible to see all of its glory in my lifetime.

But ask any Canadian where some of the most beautiful parts of the country are – yes, even devout prairie girls like me – and we will all, at some point, mention Western Canada.

Because holy crap, Western Canada is beautiful.

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

When Topdeck Travel got in touch and asked if I’d like to take one of their tours of Western Canada, I jumped at the chance. Starting in Vancouver, the tour would take me across British Columbia and Alberta, stopping in Whistler, Big White/Kelowna, and Banff. Although I’d been to all of these places before, I had never been in winter. Despite the chilly weather (I wrote about what to wear in Canada in winter here), I fell even more in love with Western Canada than I had before – with everything blanketed in white, there was a commanding beauty and a stillness to this region that I still haven’t been able to forget, even as the snow begins to melt here in Canada. There is nothing like driving down the highway and watching those craggy mountains come into view… nothing.

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

For those ten days across Western Canada, I truly fell even more in love with my country, especially as there was so much to do and see. I was initially worried about partaking in such a tour because I am not a skier or snowboarder, and I was heading to some of the world’s most infamous slopes. That wasn’t a problem, however; with snowmobiling, ziplining, wine tasting, and snowshoeing, not to mention the sightseeing, shopping and drinking eating, I had plenty to do, and I hope to highlight some of the individual activities in future posts. In this case, however, I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves. Because, C’MON…

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

This trip through Western Canada meant so much to me; as someone who has spent the majority of her adult life away from Canada, to spend some solid time as a tourist in my home country made me appreciate and love it even more than I thought possible. It renewed a sense of patriotism as well as a desire to see even more of the country. I hope to go back to Western Canada soon, whether it’s to take advantage of all the things to do in Revelstoke, to explore some of Alberta’s best hiking trails, or to finally see Haida Gwaii.

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

Not only that, it was FUN. I grew up as the kid who always bemoaned having to get involved in any physical activities – I much preferred to sit in my room and read – but getting out there and trying things I’ve never done before, like snowmobiling or ziplining in the snow, was 100% worth it. The tour was set up so that you could as much or as little as you wanted, though I chose to do something different every single day in order to fully appreciate my surroundings.

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

And I’m not going to lie – I stepped on that bus thinking I was going to know everything and have seen everything before. I didn’t expect to fall in love with the vineyards of Kelowna, nor did I expect to fall in love with snowmobiling. I certainly didn’t think that I would keep being blown away, again and again, no matter how many times I saw those mountains and snowcapped trees.

Tour of Western Canada

I was happy that this trip humbled me a little bit, brought me back down to Earth. That letting go and allowing myself to be completely and utterly wowed by the beauty of Canada – that realising that I didn’t have to fly across an ocean to experience such feelings of awe – made me even more adamant that spending more time at home is the right choice for me. I mean…

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

Western Canada is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life. If you’re looking for a trip where you can not only immerse yourself in nature but have a ton of fun doing it, I can’t recommend visiting enough.

Tour of Western Canada

what to wear in canada in winter

I’m not much of a tour person usually, but I will admit that being able to sit back and let someone do all of the work – arranging transportation, activities, and accommodation – was a very welcome and a very relaxing change. This particular Topdeck Travel tour – the Great White North – was a budget trip, meaning we stayed in budget accommodation (hostels and budget hotels) but, considering how little time you spend at your accommodation, it was totally fine. I was nervous that, at 33, I’d be one of the older patrons on the tour… and I was, with the average age falling somewhere in the mid-20s, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t make friends or didn’t connect with others. My fellow tour buddies were incredibly welcoming, fun, and excited to be in Western Canada, so it made for a fantastic group to travel with.ย 

Tour of Western Canada

Thanks to Dave and Alan for a great trip!

While the tour covers your accommodation, transportation, and some meals, you pay extra for ski rentals, lessons, mountain passes, and any other activities like snowmobiling, although all come with Topdeck discounts. A huge thank you to Topdeck Travel for this amazing opportunity; while my trip was paid for, all opinions are my own.ย 

Tour of Western Canada

Tour of Western Canada

Have you been to Western Canada, or would you like to go?ย 

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16 comments

Cate April 5, 2018 - 6:50 pm

My mom and I just had an amazing time in Vancouver Island- SO PRETTY! The forest there is magical

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Brenna Holeman April 11, 2018 - 4:47 am

Totally agree – it’s such a beautiful part of the world!

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Ashley April 5, 2018 - 10:42 pm

Amazing photos! As a Canadian, I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen shockingly little of Canada. BC is at the top of my list.. if only we had an EasyJet or Ryanair equivalent for domestic flights!

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Brenna Holeman April 11, 2018 - 4:48 am

I know! I think about that all the time. Hopefully soon… I think there’s one coming this summer!

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Paige April 6, 2018 - 4:04 pm

This looks like an amazing trip! I really want to make it to this part of Canada in the next couple of years and a tour like this might be perfect for me as I haven’t done a ton of solo driving trips and am definitely not much of a “camper,” haha! Amazing pictures–pretty great argument for a winter visit, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brenna Holeman April 11, 2018 - 9:12 pm

I hope that you get there soon! It really is such a gorgeous part of the country… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nicole April 9, 2018 - 7:09 am

Your photos are stunning! I was in Banff a few summers ago and loved it, but it looks like I’ll have to return in the winter! I never would have guessed that there would be so many activities other than skiing/snowboarding, so I’m glad to see I’m wrong. Thanks for sharing!

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Brenna Holeman April 11, 2018 - 4:46 am

Thank you so much, Nicole! Yes, I was totally surprised, too. I’m so happy I had a chance to see it in winter as it’s totally different! I hope you get there in winter soon, too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Victoria @TheBritishBerliner April 10, 2018 - 7:13 am

I haven’t yet been to Canada at all. but it’s certainly on our list! ‘Nice one Brenna!

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Brenna Holeman April 11, 2018 - 4:45 am

Thank you so much, Victoria! I hope you get there soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Katie April 11, 2018 - 4:55 am

Western Canada is one of my absolute favorite places in the world too and I have mostly only traveled around there in summer or autumn so would love to do a winter trip too! I’m trying to decide where I want to go for my annual Canada trip this year – at the moment it’s between Newfoundland, the northern Rockies, Haida Gwaii and northern Quebec. In my opinion, New Zealand (my home country) and Canada are the most beautiful countries in the world. We are both very lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brenna Holeman April 16, 2018 - 1:58 am

There is so much to see in Canada – I honestly don’t know when I’ll ever get to see it all! I’d love to see more of the North, definitely… and yes, NZ is absolutely beautiful, too!

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Dominique | dominiquetravels.com April 12, 2018 - 8:55 pm

Gorgeous! I think I like mountains more because my home country is so incredibly flat – yes, The Netherlands I’m looking at you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brenna Holeman April 16, 2018 - 1:59 am

Ha ha, I can see why you love mountains! I’m like that, too, as I’m a prairie girl ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Leandra April 17, 2018 - 2:08 am

Oh my gosh, Brenna! Yaaaaaaay! I don’t actually know you, of course, and you *definitely* don’t know me, but I was so excited to see your new site up today! Your posts never fail to make me smile (I mean, not when you’re talking about heartbreak, of course), and I’m just so excited for you to finally launch this new project of course. Plus… I do feel it’s easier to navigate all the topics and fall down many rabbit-holes of posts I’ve never seen before…

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Brenna Holeman April 17, 2018 - 4:43 pm

Aw, thank you so much, Leandra! That really means so much to me – I couldn’t do any of it without the support of people like you ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be saving this comment in my “comments to look at when I’m having a bad day” folder!

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