Travel

Enjoy a Canadian getaway this winter…slope-style!

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Enjoy a Canadian getaway this winter…slope-style!

Photography: Sam Egan, Sun Peaks Resort

Travel

Enjoy a Canadian getaway this winter…slope-style!

By:

Whether you have visions of swishing down pristine and powder-soft slopes or simply curling up in front of a cozy lodge fireplace and watching the snowy world outside go by...your winter wonderland vacation beckons. 

Among its many virtues, Canada really shines on a world-class scale in wintertime. Did you know that our home and native land boasts six world-class ski destinations? From sea to sea, there is a resort to suit your discerning travel tastes while celebrating our country's globally-renowned natural mountain wonders and snowy climate. Let’s explore your destination options to help you select the ideal getaway for mountains of fun this winter.

 

Sun Peaks, British Columbia

Located about 50km northeast of Kamloops, British Columbia, this resort boasts Canada’s second-largest ski area with over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain, a cozy central village, and a family-friendly atmosphere.

 

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Photography: Reuben Krabbe

 

On the mountain

Choose from over 130 runs spread across three mountains: Sunny Sundance Mt. caters to beginners and intermediates with groomed runs; Mt. Tod has more advanced terrain including open bowls, glades, and long groomers; and Mt. Morrisey has longer cruisers and some steeps. No matter what you choose, enjoy less crowded runs and almost non-existent lift waits. For a unique dining experience, try the Alpine Fondue and Starlight Descent where you indulge in a delicious three course Swiss fondue at mountain-top Sunburst restaurant and then ski down “Five Mile Run” by headlamp, pausing to stargaze along the way.

 

Off the mountain

For a day-off from skiing, explore the wilderness trails with fat biking, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing. For less active adventures, try a 45-minute evening snow groomer ride up the mountain. A lift-accessed tube park with curved lanes will provide hours of fun for the whole family. Prefer to stick close to the village? Skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and bungee trampoline will keep you entertained. Sundance Kids Centre offers children ages 3-12 their very own après-ski experience, too!

 

 

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Canada’s largest ski resort and British Columbia’s crowning natural jewel consists of two mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb which are connected by gondola. This world-class destination is about 125km north of Vancouver and features a large, bustling village with a range of cultural activities and entertainment, community services, shopping, dining, accommodations, and legendary nightlife.  

 

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Photography: Canada Brand Library

 

On the mountain

Whether you ski or snowboard, you’ll have 200km of slopes and 50km of ski routes with varying levels of difficulty to try out. A whopping 26 lifts allow you to make the most of your mountain play day. Non-skiers can ride the Peak 2 Peak gondola and visit several dining destinations atop both mountains, while sipping champagne and enjoying breathtaking views. The Crystal Hut Fondue Tour takes you 6,000 feet up the mountain by snowmobile or snowcat for a delicious candlelit dinner. For even more spectacular views, you can “flightseek” via helicopter to experience a glacier landing and explore ice caves.

 

Off the mountain

Partake in classic winter activities such snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling and even dog sled tours and tubing. Ziptrek Ecotours offers a network of ziplines and suspension bridges for a breathtaking and adrenaline-filled winter eco-adventure. Whistler Olympic Plaza has a small snow hill perfect for the little ones to play on. Or take it indoors and experience a booming arts and culture scene with main attractions like galleries, the cultural centre, museums, and shopping boutiques connected by a walking path.

 

 

Big White, British Columbia

Tucked between the Monashee Mountains and the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, family-operated Big White is Canada’s third largest and very family-friendly ski destination. The resort is located less than 90 minutes from the Kelowna airport, offering 2,765 acres of skiable terrain and receives 750cm of snowfall each year.

 

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Photography: Big White Media Library

 

On the mountain

Beginners and intermediates will enjoy the groomed areas—about 32% of all of the resort’s skiable terrain. Experts will love the moguls and off-piste terrain, including some challenging entrances into the steep alpine bowl. This is also Western Canada’s largest night-skiing area with 25km of runs. Snowboarders will delight in a variety of runs from glades to Gem Lake’s steep chutes. This resort offers a strong kids ski program, too. Non-skiers can take a free mountain tour to explore this winter wonderland by foot.

 

Off the mountain

Enjoy the crisp, winter air by spending the day snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, or tubing on the Mega Snow Coaster tubing park. In Happy Valley Adventure Park there is plenty of fun for the kids including mini-snowmobile rides. Or try something a bit unique and ice-climb on a 60-foot ice tower Family-friendly events such as carnival nights and fireworks occur regularly during the season. Be sure to sample some delicious local wines from the Okanagan Valley (Canada’s “Napa”) at one of twenty restaurants.

 

 

Ski Big 3—Lake Louise, Sunshine, and Mount Norquay

Experience a Banff National Park resort buffet with this unique trio of ski destinations nestled into Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Each resort has its own flavour: from the pristine, majestic scenery of Lake Louise to the stunning high-altitude vistas at Sunshine Village to the smaller and family-friendly Mt Norquay. The vibrant town of Banff sits 15km northeast of Sunshine, 6km from Mt. Norquay and 57km from Lake Louise.

 

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Photography: Ski Big 3 Media Library

 

On the mountain

With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, these three resorts offer a total of 7,748 acres of skiable terrain with an average of 30 feet deep feather-light dry powder and runs that cater to all levels. At Sunshine, delight in the experience of skiing in two provinces in one run on  “Continental Divide” or take your expert-level thrill-seeking self down world-famous “Delirium Dive”, a run that requires you to ski with a partner and avalanche safety gear. Swish along the longer runs at Lake Louise and be sure to hop on the long Grizzle Express Gondola for spectacular views. Beginners and families will particularly love smaller Mt. Norquay with shorter runs and less crowds.

 

Off the mountain

The breathtaking Banff region is dotted with historic castles like the Fairmont Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise and jaw-dropping views. As an option for the skier's day off you can explore 1,600km of wilderness trails via foot, snowshoe, cross-country ski, or even horse-drawn sleigh in an area that is home to over 50 species of mammals including: elk, deer, moose, cougars, lynx, wolverines, northern river otters, wolves, grizzly bears, and black bears. A must-do is a soothing soak under the open sky at the Banff Upper Hot Springs! Lots of shopping, dining, and indoor cultural activities as well as a vibrant nightlife will have your itinerary packed with memorable moments.

 

Le Massif de Charlevoix, Quebec

Experience a winter adventure that blends great skiing and other outdoor activities with the unparalleled cultural flair and joie de vivre of Quebec. Located 664km northeast of Quebec City, this resort directly overlooks the St. Lawrence River and has a season that runs from early December to late April with an annual snowfall that is higher than other Eastern Canada ski destinations.

 

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Photography: Getty Images

 

On the mountain

Enjoy one of the few resorts in Canada that offers skiers access to the mountain and the chalet at both the summit and the base of the mountain. There are fifty-three trails and glade across 307 acres with a balanced mix of all levels of expertise as well as the highest vertical east of the Canadian Rockies. Or, experience more than 15km of alpine touring including access to the off-piste area on Mount Liguori, with three summits accessible with backcountry skins or by boot-packing. On weekends throughout the winter, non-skiers can take in the incredible views via helicopter ride to the mountain top.

 

Off the mountain

Have some winter fun on the 7.5km long sled run that winds down Mont Liguori and offers tight turns and spectacular scenic views. You can also explore le Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix’s cross-country and snowshoe trails that wind through forests and enjoy breathtaking riverside views. Without a village per se, you can enjoy a more ski-focused and relaxing getaway.

 

Marble Mountain, Newfoundland

If the East Coast beckons this winter, you’ll find excellent skiing and more at this resort which is just minutes from Canada’s snowiest city of Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. Experience the beauty of the Long Range Mountains which overlook the Humber Valley and Atlantic Canada’s incomparable hospitality set in a cozy, small-town atmosphere.

 

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Photography: Canada Brand Library

 

On the mountain

Your ski needs will be satisfied with a mix of levels of difficulty across 250 acres of skiable terrain and 39 trails. Intermediates will find the most variety of runs but experts can experience the highest vertical drop of any ski area in Atlantic Canada. A terrain park will keep snowboarders entertained and challenged. Shorter lines mean more time on the mountain!

 

Off the mountain

Challenge yourself to a unique winter ziplining experience including an aerial obstacle course and a 300-foot high line where you zip across 1,000 feet at speeds of up to 80km/hr! You’ll be treated to a breathtaking views of Steady Brook's waterfall, the Bay of Islands, and Blow Me Down Mountains. Or, traverse the extensive snowmobile/ATV trails for a peek into Newfoundland’s winter wilderness. Experience après-ski at one of the world’s most beautiful lodges which features a bar, cafeteria-style restaurant, and sweeping wooden cathedral ceilings.

 

Make your winter adventure fantasy a reality by selecting an Air Canada Vacations package to one of these top-rated Canadian ski resorts. Flexible, family-friendly, and competitively priced, their 3, 5, and 7-night packages include round-trip flights, transportation, accommodation, and lift passes. By booking a ski collection package, you’ll benefit from carefully curated getaways by travel experts who’ve taken the guesswork out of planning. Happily, you’ll also benefit from their “Canada Promise”: free seat selection, future travel credit, and bonus Aeroplan miles to keep your travel dreams going. What’s more, if you find the same package at a better price, Air Canada Vacations will match it! Plan your escape with Air Canada Vacations to ensure your precious vacation time is winter-wonderful and make your downhill daydreams come true! 

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Enjoy a Canadian getaway this winter…slope-style!

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