Spectacular scenery, skiing in winter and hiking, fishing, horse riding, and sailing in summer make the Canadian town of Jasper an excellent choice for holidays and breaks. This beautiful destination in Alberta is the only town completely within the Jasper National Park, and the Rocky Mountains, alpine meadows, roaring waterfalls and clear glacial lakes provide a magnificent backdrop.
Maligne Lake with its amazing multi-coloured waters is an essential stop. Spirit Island at its centre is one of the world's most photographed beauty spots and you can see it up close by taking a boat tour. Paradise Lake is also a big attraction, and sailing during summer or ice skating in winter are just some of the activities you might enjoy. The Colombia Icefield which feeds eight glaciers including the Athabasca is sensational, and is also well worth taking the time to see.
See the Athabasca Falls or hike on the Skyline trail from Maligne Lake to Jasper. The nearby Miette Hot Springs are a wonderful solution to your aches after a busy day. Take the Skytram to Whistler's Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views from the 7472 ft (2277 m) summit, or visit Marmot Basin to ski and snowboard during the winter season. Try dog sledding, snowshoeing or ice climbing; you'll find them all available from December onwards.
Several local tour companies specialise in wildlife spotting excursions, while those who have an interest in history and culture can explore historic landmarks like the Mystery Rock or the Two Brothers Totem Pole or visit some of the town museums and galleries including the Mountain Galleries.
Jasper National Park is one of the world's biggest Dark Sky Preserves. Visit in October for the annual Dark Sky Festival which attracts astronomy fans from all over the world.