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Skyline in Calgary, Canada

You might not picture cowboys when you think of Canada, but on Calgary holidays you will experience the cowboy heartland of the great wilderness.

Calgary is the Canadian capital of all things cowboy - but don't expect it to be all dust and rodeos - this clean and buzzing city offers a vibrant slice of cosmopolitan Canada together with an action-packed platter of winter sports right on the doorstep.

Holidays in Calgary can be spent enjoying city life, agricultural life, and life on the slopes - it's a fascinating and unique mix that charms visitors.

Found in the province of Alberta, in Canada's west, the city of Calgary sits on the eastern foothills of the great Rocky Mountains, with Banff National Park in easy reach. The popular ski resort of Lake Louise can be found in beautiful Banff.

Calgary International Aiport (YYC) welcomes direct flights from the UK after a flight time of around nine hours. Every July, more than one million visitors arrive in the city to catch what is billed as, “the greatest outdoor show on earth” - the annual Calgary Stampede. This rodeo and festival is a highlight in the events calendar.

Away from the Stetsons and chaps, Calgary provides a delightful city break with plenty to keep visitors amused.

Sitting on the Elbow and Bow rivers, Calgary features a striking skyline against a backdrop of the impressive Rockies. The range of hotels is wide and accommodation is good value here. The city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1988 and you can opt to stay in the sprawling Olympic Village.

This is an active and sporty city, with Canada's Sports Hall of Fame taking pride of place in Olympic Park.

Lake in Calgary

 

Two of the other major draws for the city are Calgary Zoo and Calgary Tower. The tower is unmistakable on the city skyline and it features an observation deck as well as a revolving restaurant, for stunning 360-degree views.

To see the Canadian west how it once was, Calgary does a great job of honouring and showcasing its past. You can dive into at Fort Calgary, Glenbow Museum and the Heritage Park Historical Village.

For a look into the future, the city's Telus Spark Science Centre is an amazing and interactive experience for the whole family, and the new National Music Centre, due to open in 2014, is sure to be a hit. The family will also enjoy Calaway Park, where rides and amusements keep the kids smiling all day long.

As the city continues to grow, with skyscrapers such as The Bow going up at rapid speed, you can picnic in Fish Creek Provincial Park and see where the city started. This huge urban parkland has been left untouched as the city has grown around it and it's a lovely spot for some peace and picnic grub.

Families, groups and couples will feel at home in friendly Calgary. Search for your holiday today using the tool on TravelSupermarket.

Weather

The hottest month is July and Calgary experiences daily averages in the early twenties during summer, though July is also the wettest month. Minus figures are the norm in the freezing winter months, though it's a stunning time to visit thanks to clear skies and crisp days. Spring and autumn temperatures average around 10C.

Events

Calgary Winter Festival; February: Wrap up warm to take part in this annual fun-packed event. It features all things winter and was created to cheer up residents following the citywide slump after the Olympics. It features ice-sculpting contests and lots of music and food.

Calgary Rodeo Royal; March/April: If you can't be here for the Calgary Stampede, this is a spring great taster of the big summer event.

Canada Day; July 1: Celebrate with the locals as they go wild during their nation's birthday. There is plenty going on throughout the day, topped by an incredible display of fireworks when night falls.

Calgary Stampede; July: You can't ignore the buzz of the stampede if you're in Calgary in summer. This is the big one for the city and seeing cowboys thrown off bucking horses and kicking bulls is not the only activity. This is a celebration of all things Calgary and all things Alberta. Immerse yourself in the action and hold onto your (cowboy) hats!

Calgary Fringe Festival; August: Expect the unexpected in this Canadian take on the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe. Shows take place at various venues throughout the city, with plenty of street action to witness too.