Alberta, Canada - Holiday Supermarket

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Welcome to Alberta

The wild side of Canada

If you're a lover of big, wide-open spaces, endless vistas and crisp, clear air, Alberta Canada is likely to appeal! This is big country, wild country, the full wilderness experience in parts. Alberta is a land-locked state, bordering Montana in the south and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northern Territories.Calgary Alberta is the largest city and your likely transport hub into the province, although the capital of Edmonton is just as well-served by flights. Check out Holiday Supermarket for flights to Canada and hotel information and bookings. (We can handle all your Canada holidays, so get clicking!)

Alberta Canada boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. You'll find world-class skiing here and outback experiences like the Calgary Stampede and the Edmonton Capital Ex (a kind of Ag Society fair and exhibition with rides , exhibits and the like which runs for ten days near the end of July).

What are you up for? Skiing? Lake Louise is a scenic beauty that will grace your photo album for years. It's in Banff National Park and there's 139 runs awaiting the slap of your freshly waxed parabolics. Banff itself is a wilderness dream with forests, soaring snow-capped mountains and wildlife galore. Sunshine Village is another ski haven with fast-access gondolas and plenty of back country to explore. The Calgary Stampede is ten days of madness every July as rodeos, music, and 'the greatest outdoor show on earth' takes place.

Canada holidays are a reminder of a world beyond package trips to Europe; this is wild, beautiful country and there's nothing like waking to a crisp vista where you can see for miles down a sunlit valley - and the best part about Alberta Canada... those views are around every second corner.

Information & Facts

Climate

The weather in Alberta Canada can be chilly! Especially during winter. Summer can range from 21C to about 27C in the dry southeast. If you're in the mountains it'll be cooler. The Chinook weather phenomenon in winter can see warm winds blow down from the mountains and take the temperature from way below freezing to well above zero in a matter of an hour or so.

Winter temps can vary from -8C to -21C depending on where in the province you are. Thunderstorms are common in summer. Spring in the snow melts and as buds start to shoot is absolutely glorious.

Eating Out

Cheap, expensive and everything in between.

You'll likely find yourself in Calgary, Edmonton or one of the resorts in Banff National Park, so let's look at the choices in each.

The budget options - BBQ is big in Canada and with good reason - this is the home of meat! Holy Smoke Barbecue and Smokepit is at 4640 Manhattan Rd, Calgary with sandwiches, ribs and steaks. Edmonton boasts the Swiss Donair at 8308 144 Ave serving up a mean kebab. Banff has the Balkan The Greek Restaurant at 120 Banff Ave - you'll get what you think you should get!

Mid price options - Calgary's mid-price options include Aida's Mediterranean Bistro at 2208 4th Street - there are even a couple of vegetarian options.Dadeos in Edmonton at 10548 82 Ave does the whole po boy, blackened fish thing really well. Over in Banff, you'll get really good Indian at Masala at 229 Bear St.

Splurge - Canada is not short of truly excellent restaurants and the Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue in Calgary is superb. Keeping with the Brazilian theme, thePampa Brazilian Steakhouse in 109 St, Edmonton is a meat-galore place done with style. The Maple Leaf at 137 Banff Ave does international cuisine very well - lamb shanks, chilled noodles, mustard jus, you get the picture.

Sightseeing

Alberta has major outdoor attractions not to be missed.

In such a large province there's an exciting range of activities, whether it's skiing in winter or salmon fishing in spring and summer. The outdoor scenery, the roads that take you there and the awesome Rockies are all treasures of this region.

Calgary Stampede - this kicks off late July and if you're in town you can't help but be swept up in all the excitement. It's a massive county showcase, with all the fun of the fair - from theme park style rides to agricultural displays and of course, rodeo riding, cattle lassoing and the like. Bring your line dancing boots and enjoy!

Icefields Parkway - don't rush to Banff from Jasper; take your time on one of the most scenic roadways in the world. The Icefields goes through breathtaking scenery and you enjoy stops at the Columbia Ice Fields on the way. You'll see the majestic Rockies and awe-inspiring glaciers up close.

Peyto Lake - the stunning blue colour of this magical place takes you by surprise and yet it's only a small hike up to the top of the hilltop viewing area from the car park. The glacial milk water provides the colour and the glacier that gouged the valley can take the rest of the credit.

Maligne Canyon - if you want to see something really special, head out from Jasper to the Maligne Canyon. It's especially spectacular during the spring snow melt as the rush of water thunders down through the narrow clefts. There are walking trails with plenty of viewing spots.

Head-Smashed - In Buffalo Jump - yup, that's the name of this World Heritage site and it's where native Indian trapped and killed buffalo. It is located in a rather remote area, but you'll be glad you made the journey! If you get there early, park close to the site and take the free shuttle up the hill. There are exhibits, celebrations and a great building.

The must see - the Moraine Lake at Lake Louise is on every tourist guide brochure cover, every travel book written about Banff - and with good reason. The electric blue colour, the postcard scenery and the majesty of the mountain peaks are twice as good in person and there's a little cafe at the lake to whet your whistle if you've hiked up from the Lake Louise Village. Spring is ideal, but it's glorious any time of year.

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