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Banff

Jaw dropping National Park and great value for money.

Spectacularly set in Canada's original National Park, Banff and nearby Lake Louise are primarily summer resorts that luckily happen to have some excellent skiing on their doorsteps. This, coupled with short transfers and regular charter and scheduled flights into Calgary make skiing in the Canadian Rockies extremely attractive to the UK visitor.

The town of Banff is mostly spread along the central thoroughfare of Banff Avenue, with the majority of hotels, apartments, shops, bars and restaurants being on or just off the central stretch (although some hotels on Banff Avenue are a good walk to the centre of town). Lake Louise Village, about a 45 minute drive away, is less of a village, more an accumulation of accommodation with a few shops and a petrol station. Lake Louise itself, with the imposing Victoria glacier looming over the lake and famous Chateau Lake Louise, is a couple of miles further up the road.

Lodging in Banff has something for every budget, from the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs to a local youth hostel. Other accommodation options include the Rimrock, next to the Upper Hot Springs, and Banff Avenue hotels including the Banff Caribou Lodge, the Fox Suites and the good value Inns of Banff.

Accommodation options in Lake Louise are more limited, with the luxury end of the market being centred on the aforementioned Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Relais & Chateaux rated Post Hotel. The Deer Lodge provides a good alternative for those on more of a budget.

Snow conditions vary from area to area. Sunshine prides itself on not requiring artificial snow, with Mt Norquay having snowmaking on all green and blue slopes. Lake Louise has about 40% of its terrain covered by snowmaking facilities. All in all, lack of snow is rarely a problem in a normal season.

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Canada