Best activities to ensure a relaxing trip
Far from the clamor of cities and the drudgery of work, there’s a paradise filled with awe-inspiring mountainscapes, pristine wilderness, endless outdoor adventures, jaw-dropping sights, and a vibrant history and culture. A place to rejuvenate and commune with nature. There is a lifetime’s worth of things to do and explore in Banff and Lake Louise.
There is also a history of wellness here—a peaceful place where rejuvenation takes many forms. You’ll discover it in the majestic setting of Banff National Park, the soothing waters of the Banff Upper Hot Springs, the meditative effects of yoga, the cozy solitude of a quiet cabin in the woods, the restorative pleasures of a spa, the brilliant blue hues of Lake Louise.
There are a million ways to experience the magic of Banff. Here are some suggestions to take you off the beaten track.
Cozy Backcountry Retreat – Comfort & solace in a serene setting
Discovering mountain rejuvenation is easily done when log cabins and crackling fires are set among the snow-capped peaks of Banff and Lake Louise. Why not stay in a cozy lodge or cabin, curl up by the fire, enjoy superb ethically sourced food, and take advantage of every opportunity to relax and explore in a stunningly beautiful natural setting?
Backcountry lodges offer a very special experience. Spend all day hiking or skiing in the unspoiled backcountry of Banff National Park and then return to the cozy lodge to enjoy gourmet food and a comfortable bed. The next morning, wake up to freshly brewed coffee and a delicious breakfast and get set to do it all again. It’s an adventurer’s bliss in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Backcountry lodges are far off the beaten path and are accessible only via a ski or hike in.
Tucked away in the protected forests of Banff National Park, sit three front-country lodges that are unique and accessible—offering a pure and authentic way to experience all that Banff and Lake Louise has to offer.
Banff and Lake Louise also has a large selection of quaint inns and bed & breakfasts with a wide range of sizes and cost. A bed & breakfast offers a uniquely warm and personal element to your choice of lodgings—with convenient access to the great outdoors.
Yoga with a View – Blissful joys
There are at least a dozen studios and venues for yoga and meditation in Banff. Surrounded by majestic mountain vistas and serene rivers and gardens, there is no better place to connect your mind, body and spirit. Exceptional teachers from around the world guide you on your journey into the blissful joys of this ancient art.
The Banff Yoga Festival (May 26–28) brings together experienced teachers of yoga, meditation and mindfulness from Banff and beyond to create a conscious connection to yoga, culture and adventure in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Immerse yourself in this 3-day festival with yoga classes, hiking adventures, canoeing and enlightening cultural experiences.
Wake up to the sun peeking over the mountains as you take it all in over a cup of tea. Head to a yoga class to connect to community and transformational teachings. A short hike up Tunnel Mountain gets your blood pumping and your creativity stirring. As you canoe along the Bow River, its tranquil flow mirrors your peaceful state of mind. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and renewed in mind, body and soul.
Spa & Massage – Therapy for Body & Spirit
Vacation time is a great chance to savor some well-earned rest and rejuvenation for your mind and body. The longstanding tradition of rejuvenation is alive and well, thanks to a rich range of spas and wellness providers in Banff and Lake Louise. Many spas in town offer massage, facials, pedicures and other treatments that will lull you into a blissful state of relaxation. Drawing energy from the unique healing powers of the alpine air and the sacred waters, these sanctuaries use essential oils and time-honored botanical extracts to help balance the rhythms of your body and reawaken your senses.
Treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage after a big day of hiking or skiing—your legs will thank you the next day on the hill. It can be difficult to fit beauty treatments into your everyday busy schedule, so take the opportunity while on vacation to book in with a beauty salon for a body and hair treatment.
World-Famous Banff Upper Hot Springs – A must-do wellness activity in Banff
Rejuvenate your mind and body with a luxuriating soak in balmy outdoor pools with a view over the valley to Mount Rundle. You slowly lower your body into the healing hot waters… Aaaahhh. The aches melt away as you let your legs lift and float. Sinking deeper into the water and tipping your head back, you gaze up at the dark sky pin-pricked with stars. You relax and let the water do its magical rejuvenating work. It’s going to be another big day tomorrow.
The Banff Upper Hot Springs are a favorite among visitors and locals. It’s magical to sit in the pools in the wintertime, watching snow fall on the surrounding peaks. The natural temperature of the water that emerges at the Upper Hot Springs outlet varies depending on the season. During the winter, the temperature is as hot as 47°C (116°F). In the spring, the flow increases and the temperature cools off, to a minimum of 27°C (81°F).
Sunrise and sunset at any time of the year are wonderful times to visit, as the mountain air cools down during these times of day. The facilities at the Banff Hot Springs include a large pool and café—and are open until late in the evening all-year-round.
The Magnificent Outdoors – Get back to nature
Banff and Lake Louise offer some of the most pristine and magnificent scenery you’ll ever experience. No matter what time of year you visit, the clean, fresh air, spectacular mountain vistas, and pure, turquoise waters will fill you with awe and serenity.
What can you do here in the outdoors? Pretty much anything you can dream of! Start with skiing and snowboarding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, hiking, biking, golf, climbing, fishing, gondola rides, hot springs, tubing and tobogganing, canoeing, sleigh rides, horseback riding, sightseeing—and so much more!
Banff is a place where you become a part of all that surrounds you—and a life-changing experience you’ll never forget.
Banff is located just 90 minutes from the Calgary International Airport. Click here to search deals on flights to Calgary.
What activities would you like to do in Banff and Lake Louise?
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