#1 Sky Bistro on top of Sulphur Mountain
The Sky Bistro is a very unique dining experience, not only because of delicious food and exceptional service that is provided, but also because of spectacular views you get to enjoy whilst having your lunch or dinner up on the mountain. It’s almost impossible to focus on the menu with the distraction of the snowy peaks of the Canadian Rockies, the turquoise Bow River in the Valley, the play of the light, and the clouds moving constantly around you.
From the top of the Sulphur Mountain and Banff Gondola you can see stunning views over the surrounding mountains, the town of Banff and Bow River in the Valley. Why not visit late evening and experience the cloudless sky filed with stars that present you with a spectacle of nature that is so hard describe in words.
#2 Winter Wonderland at Lake Louise
If you would like to capture true Canada in one picture this is the perfect place to do so. Picture this: Lake Louise surrounded by pine forest and dramatic Canadian Rockies, with Victoria Glacier in the background. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect place I don’t know what does. In the winter you can capture people ice-skating on the frozen lake, and in the summer you’ll get canoes paddling across a turquoise blue lake.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers one of the best hotel room views there is. Situated just at the foot of the lake, it has the best location to enjoy the view from the cosiness of a room.
#3 Athabasca Glacier at Icefield Parkway
Icefield Parkway is one of Canada’s most scenic roads, with plenty of photo opportunities on the way between Banff and Jasper. If I had to choose just one (as hard as it is) it would be the Athabasca Glacier. It is magnificent, huge and can be a little overwhelming (in a good way). Even on a hot day you’ll feel the chill coming from the ice which is thousands of years old. Athabasca Glacier is receding about 16 feet (5 meters) per year – so the time to picture it is now.
#4 Lookout Mountain
The view from the top of the Lookout Mountain in Sunshine Village lives up to its name. It’s worth taking a short break from skiing to embrace the stunning scenery. To get there, take the Great Divide Express Quad chairlift, and hike up a short distance to the viewpoint. From there, on a clear day you can see famous Mt. Assiniboine standing out above countless peaks.
Mt Standish, one of the slightly lower peaks in Sunshine Village, is another good picture opportunity spot. On the top of this peak you’ll get the chance to be in 2 provinces at the same time! You can stand with one foot in Alberta and the other in British Columbia. This is where the Great Continental Divide is, and as the locals proudly say: depending on which side you spill your water it will either go to Pacific Ocean on the West Coast or all the way to Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast.
#5 Banff Hot Springs
Banff National Park and the town was founded after discovery of the natural hot springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain. The hot springs is still one of the many reasons why so many people come to visit each year. One of the best photo opportunity spots is at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. The outdoor hot pool has the most stunning view overlooking Bow River in the Valley surrounded by the snowy mountains.
A few members of the Ski Independence team were away on a fam trip to Alberta a few weeks ago and stayed in some pretty amazing places along the way. Aodhan has given us a rundown of some of the incredible places they stayed on their trip; read on to find out his top 5.
These spacious units occupy one of the best locations in downtown Banff, giving you uninterrupted views of the surrounding mountains; Cascade, Rundle, Tunnel and Sulphur. Comprising two full bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a generously sized living room featuring a double sofa bed, these suites work perfectly for families or groups of friends up to 6. When you’re finished on the mountain, you can retire back to your home-from-home for the remainder of your day.
Alberta is full of hotspots and hidden gems that offer good food and have that all important welcoming & warm atmosphere. The Ski Independence team have spent many hours in the Canadian Rockies, and between us we’ve compiled a guide to our favourite restaurants. Perfect after a day in the mountains working up an appetite.
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria – Jasper
Famoso imports its ovens and key ingredients from Naples, & Campania in a bid to serve the best Pizza outside of Italy. The restaurant has a fun & lively atmosphere – perfect for relaxing after a long day on the slopes. From Pizzas to Pasta, there’s something for all at this restaurant. This family friendly restaurant has a great reputation with locals and regular visitors alike, and we can see why.
The legendary alpine town of Chamonix Mont Blanc is renowned for its steep, extreme ski terrain and its mountaineering legacy. But did you know that Chamonix also boasts a great range of dedicated novice ski areas? What’s more, many of these areas offer special lift pass rates to save you splashing out on a full area pass until you’re ready to venture beyond the beginner slopes. Below is our short guide to Chamonix for beginners: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve just returned from incredible Colorado multi-centre trip thanks to Colorado Tourism Office and Norwegian Airlines. I wanted to share a few of my standout experiences and recommendations.
Flight with Norwegian
The trip started off with an excellent flight with Norwegian Airlines from Gatwick to Denver – one of the great things about this flight is that you’re taking off at 10am so arriving in Denver around 1pm, with the full day ahead of you – so whether you’re heading straight up to the mountains, or into the city for a few days, it’s perfect.
On board Read the rest of this entry »
With such world-class ski resorts, you’d be forgiven for thinking skiing and snowboarding were the only winter activities on the menu in Alberta. But this beautiful Canadian province is packed with opportunity.
Whet your appetite with a sneak peek at our choice of the best winter activities away from the slopes:
Alberta boasts some of the largest dark sky preserves in the world. Protected from artificial light pollution, Jasper’s vast national park is the perfect place to gaze at the constellations. During the winter months, there’s also a good chance you may witness one of the most breath-taking phenomena in the world: the Northern Lights.
The Jasper Dark Sky Festival is held every autumn. It’s a fantastic celebration of stargazing, hosting informative workshops and events for all ages. Read the rest of this entry »
Our latest blog post comes from a long-standing Ski Independence client and veritable food, drink and skiing connoisseur. John shared his Jackson Hole ski resort review with us after he recently returned there many years after his first visit.
“I’m goin’ to Jackson, I’m gonna mess around,
Yeah, I’m goin’ to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town.”
Jackson Hole is a town-sized dude ranch. That’s not a criticism, it is a proper western town, but one can’t help noticing that the day of the cowboy and the wild west is more legend than present day reality. Still, I love the place.
From packing eco-friendly kit to the choices we make when in resort, there are so many ways to limit your footprint when heading off on holiday. Here at Ski Independence we’ve come up with some of our favouite eco-friendly travel tips to help you pack – and travel – more sustainably.
Named number one eco-friendly nation in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, measuring a wide array of factors including climate & energy, air quality, water & sanitation, biodiversity & habitat, Switzerland boasts amazing air quality and champions environmental best-practice. Benefit from the extensive (and highly efficient) Swiss Rail network and car-free environments in resorts such as Saas-Fee and Zermatt – keep an eye out for the silent electric taxis though! Read the rest of this entry »
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the whole team at Ski Independence. If you need to contact us please call 0131 243 8097 and below you’ll find details of our festive opening hours.
Festive Opening Hours 2018/19
- Monday 24th December, Christmas Eve: 9am – 1pm
- Tuesday 25th December, Christmas Day: Closed
- Wednesday 26th December, Boxing Day: Closed
- Thursday 27th December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Friday 28th December: 9am – 5.30pm
- Saturday 29th December: 9am – 4.00pm
- Sunday 30th December: Closed
- Monday 31st December: 9am – 1pm
- Tuesday 1st January, New Year’s Day: Closed
- Wednesday 2nd January: 9am – 5.30pm
- We then revert to normal winter hours: Monday – Thursday: 09:00 – 18:30 | Friday: 09:00 – 17:30 | Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00 | Sunday: Closed
Best Ski Holidays in 2019
The 2018/19 winter season is upon us, so what better time to let us plan your 2019 ski holiday?
As the UK’s leading tailor-made ski specialist, our experienced team will take the time to fine-tune every element of your ski holiday, from flights and accommodation to ski schools and restaurant reservations. Choose from hand-picked ski destinations around the world and make 2019 your best year on the slopes yet. We’ve carefully chosen an outstanding mix of world-class ski resorts to appeal to British skiers in:
- France: home to some of the most extensive ski areas in the world, it’s no surprise that France is Europe’s number one ski destination.
- Canada: superb skiing, an enviable snow record, staggering scenery and ski resorts with something for everyone.
- The USA: uncrowded slopes, amazing powder snow, first-class lodging and unparalleled customer service, wherever you ski.
- Switzerland: Switzerland exudes charm and our clients love the laid-back yet refined atmosphere of our featured resorts.
- Austria: excellent hospitality, a warm and friendly welcome, lively après-ski and luxurious spa centres.
- Italy: extensive terrain, good snow records, fabulous food & drink and some of the most stunning scenery in Europe
- Japan: Japan’s outstanding success as a ski destination can be summed up in one simple word – snow. You really have to ski it to believe it!
“The booking of our ski holiday for 2019 was handled very efficiently by the Ski Independence staff and we look forward to our winter break. The staff were very friendly, welcoming and obviously knew their ski centres!” Steven, November 2018.