How to spend a week in Calgary*
Canada was a country that was never really on my bucket list but, thanks to The Travelista’s recent Instagram stories and my best friend being on a really cool road trip there at the moment, it’s really brought the country to my attention. Oh yeah, and they love pancakes and maple syrup!
Calgary was on both of their itineraries and it looks amazing, it’s known as the gateway to the Rockies and is home to national parks and trendy urban areas. Here’s what I’d like to get up to if I spent a week in Calgary.
You can fly direct to Calgary from London Gatwick, Manchester or Glasgow and flights take about nine and a half hours (which will feel like nothing after our flight to Australia!). You can get some really good deals and prices start from just £324 so when you book a flight to Calgary, make sure you search for the best deal.
Things to do
There are plenty of things to do in Calgary, a lot of which will depend on what season you visit – the area has very cold, snowy winters and plenty of warm sunshine in summer. It’s probably best to hire a car whilst you’re there as this will make exploring the area much easier.
If you’re after a skiing holiday, Banff is only 90 minutes away and has some of the best slopes in the world. Lake Louise is also situated in the Canadian Rockies and has great skiing. If you tire of the slopes, there is also an ice skating rink on the lake during winter and a canoe dock for water sports in summer.
There are plenty of hiking trails around Calgary so you won’t have to go far before you’re confronted with instagram-worthy mountain scenery. Hikes range from the easier Grotto Canyon where you can spot waterfalls and caves, to the more difficult Mount Lady Macdonald where your hard work up-hill will be rewarded by alpine meadows and beautiful panoramic scenery. The canyons reminded me of the wave walk in the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona, though they weren’t as difficult and didn’t require the wave guided tour!
Where to eat (and drink)
Calgary has a great up and coming foodie scene with one of it’s restaurants, Rouge, recently named as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world. At Rouge there is a focus on locally sourced and home grown produce which makes the carefully selected menu even more delicious. I like the sound of the Rouge duck breast – yum!
Craft breweries are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, and at least eight new micro breweries opened in Calgary in the last year. You can take tours of some of them (and do some beer tasting of course!) including the Banded Peak Brewing Co. and Cold Garden Beverage Company which boasts quirky features like fake grass on the tap handles and couches and picnic tables from which to enjoy a pint or two.
Where to stay
The Applause Hotel by Clique is rated number 1 on Trip Advisor and it’s not difficult to see why. This modern spacious hotel offers affordable luxury with two outdoor hot tubs available which have panoramic views of the city and the mountains. There are also complimentary snacks and drinks available in your room and a gym on-site. Just make sure you leave the room to check out everything else that Calgary has to offer!
What are your top tips for spending time in Calgary? Let me know in the comments!
[post in collaboration with Canadian Affair]