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Self-Drive: Natural Wonders of Alaska

13 days from £2189 per person

This itinerary is an ideal option for those seeing the perfect balance of breath-taking scenery, wilderness, exploration and quintessential Alaskan charm. You’ll begin your journey admiring the contrasting sceneries and visiting cultural sites in Anchorage before following the Susitna River north along scenic roads to Denali National Park, an enchanting 6 million acre wilderness that houses Mount McKinley, Alaska’s tallest peak. You’ll continue to Fairbanks, a world of native history and gold-mining heritage, from which you can take a tour of the Arctic Circle or relax in the nearby hot mineral springs. Embark on an epic journey south to Valdez, where you’ll find some of Alaska’s most dramatic scenery and exhilarating outdoor pursuits, before crossing the Prince William Sound by ferry to Seward. Explore the mighty Kenai Fjords National Park and uncover Seward’s historical past; Alaska truly is a land of natural wonders, just waiting to be discovered.

Route: Anchorage – Denali National Park – Fairbanks – Valdez – Seward - Anchorage

Itinerary Highlights

Explore vast areas of rugged Alaskan wilderness in Denali National Park, also home to Alaska’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley and the perfect natural retreat for outdoor activities.

Despite not being easy on the eye, Fairbanks is brimming with a deep-rooted gold-mining history and indigenous traditions that are just waiting to be discovered.

Prepare to be amazed by the jaw-dropping glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, where mountains, ocean and ice meet; a truly mesmerising habitat for marine life.

Itinerary: Self-Drive: Natural Wonders of Alaska

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international flight to Anchorage, Alaska. On arrival you will collect your hire car from the airport and drive to your accommodation in downtown Anchorage. The rest of the day is free for you to relax, or start exploring Alaska’s cultural core. (N)
Accommodation in Anchorage: Copper Whale Inn (or similar)
Anchorage is nestled between the Chugach Mountains and sparkling waters of Cook Inlet, making it an ideal base to enjoy a variety of activities, all in one day; from glacier hikes, zip lining through forests, visiting wildlife conservation centres and learning about Alaska’s indigenous natives. (N)
Accommodation in Anchorage: Copper Whale Inn (or similar)
Today you will leave Anchorage behind and drive for around four hours north to Denali National Park. Enjoy the scenic views as you cruise alongside the Susitna River, admire the impressive mountain ranges and spot wildlife roaming freely as you go. Denali National Park is 6 million acres of rugged Alaskan wilderness, home to Alaska’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley, and a playground for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rafting and flightseeing. (N)
Accommodation in Denali National Park: Earthsong Lodge (or similar)
Today you might choose to explore Denali by taking one of the bus tours that take you around the park. There are various durations and routes available that cover different areas of the park. Alternatively you could use your own car for that extra bit of freedom and flexibility or rent a bike to cycle at your own pace. (N)
Accommodation in Denali National Park: Earthsong Lodge (or similar)
Today is free for you to follow another park route by bus, car or bike, alternatively you could take your pick from the variety of activities available in the park. (N)
Accommodation in Denali National Park: Earthsong Lodge (or similar)
Today you will continue your journey north for around 2 and a half hours until you reach Fairbanks. Fairbanks is the gateway to some truly monumental routes; Denali, Canada and Arctic Alaska. Although it’s not the most attractive looking town, it is filled with a deep-rooted gold-mining history and native traditions. You might choose to climb on board an authentic sternwheeler riverboat for a cruise along the Chena and Tanana Rivers this afternoon, taking in views of the area’s natural beauty. (N)
Accommodation in Fairbanks: Hampton Inn & Suites Fairbanks (or similar)
Enjoy your free full day in Fairbanks. You might choose to join an Arctic Circle day trip where you’ll drive along the famous Dalton Highway, enjoy lunch in the arctic landscape and learn about the regions geology and indigenous Eskimo culture. Alternatively, you could drive to Chena and spend the day relaxing in the healing waters of the hot springs here. (N)
Accommodation in Fairbanks: Hampton Inn & Suites Fairbanks (or similar)
Most of today will be spent driving south along the Richardson Highway, Valdez bound. The drive will take around 7 hours, but the views of glaciers, dominating mountain ranges and wildlife are incredibly rewarding. You’ll want to make regular stops along the way for photo opportunities and to stretch your legs, the Summit Lake rest area is a great midway place to stop for impressive views and a picnic lunch. (N)
Accommodation in Valdez: Best Western Valdez Harbour Inn (or similar)
Valdez, affectionately referred to as little Switzerland offers dramatic mountain views and ample adventurous activities amidst its wild and rugged terrain. The surrounding Prince William Sound is home to an array of marine life, including sea otters, seals, sea lions, humpback and orca whales which you might spot from the shore. The town is fairly flat and barren, but houses interesting museums where you can find out more information about Alaska’s mining history. If you want to get into the thick of Valdez, head out of town to enjoy the various outdoor pursuits available here. (N)
Accommodation in Valdez: Best Western Valdez Harbour Inn (or similar)
Today you will cross the Prince William Sound by ferry to Whittier, saving you travelling time and providing an opportunity to spot marine life and the impressive Columbia Glacier. When you reach Whittier, you will drive for around two hours to Resurrection Bay in Seward where your lodge accommodation is located. In Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest and most charming towns, you’ll find a blend of old and new; historic downtown and the commercial waterfront, overlooked by towering mountains and remarkable views out to sea. (N)
Accommodation in Seward: Resurrection Lodge on the Bay (or similar)
We recommend dedicating a whole day to exploring Kenai Fjords National Park, where mountains, ocean and ice meet. Here you’ll find around 40 glaciers, wildlife flourishing in icy waters, evergreen forests and colossal mountain peaks. The best way to experience these contrasting natural elements is by cruise, with daily departures from Seward. (N)
Accommodation in Seward: Resurrection Lodge on the Bay (or similar)
Today is free for you to continue exploring Seward and the surrounding Kenai Fjords National Park. The area offers wonderful sea kayaking, varying hiking trails and the chance to enjoy some off road biking. Alternatively, you might choose to spend some time learning about the town’s local history and going for a stroll along Waterfront Park. (N)
Accommodation in Seward: Resurrection Lodge on the Bay (or similar)
This morning you will drive around three hours to Anchorage International Airport where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. (N)
Today you will arrive back into the UK, where you will continue your journey home. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

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