Travel news: Summer cycling from Banff to Lake Louise, the U.K.’s major creative festival and Italy’s destination wedding perk


Scenic route

Last summer, part of Alberta’s Bow Valley Parkway — the road connecting Banff and Lake Louise since the early 1900s — closed to public cars, enabling bicyclists to ride traffic-free. The popular initiative will be back for summer 2022, and travellers can even take e-biking tours along the parkway from local companies like White Mountain Adventures and Banff Cycle. Keep your eyes open as you wind through the forest: beyond the mountain views and lookout points, the route is noted for sightings of wildlife — moose, bighorn sheep, mule deer and even the occasional bear.

Back in the skies

Soon, it’ll be easier to fly off to Europe and beyond. Air Canada has announced the relaunch of numerous summer routes. This month, non-stop flights have just resumed from Toronto to Tel Aviv, Paris and Amsterdam; service to destinations like Barcelona, Madrid and Milan — on pause since the pandemic’s start — will follow in subsequent months. Altogether, 34 international routes are slated to resume. Similarly, Air Transat has announced it will relaunch most of its summer routes. Beginning in April, the airline will fly from Toronto to 15 European cities, including Amsterdam, Dublin and Rome.

An artist's visualization of "Green Space Dark Skies," by Eduardo Armbrust.

Art for art’s sake

Unboxed: Creativity in the UK” has kicked off this month, with programming set to roll out across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online until Oct. 2022. The ambitious festival encompasses free large-scale events and installations, including “Green Space Dark Skies.” The open-to-all concept will enlist up to 20,000 people to come together in a series of mass gatherings at “secret” green spaces at dusk. Volunteers will then illuminate the landscapes with hand-held lights, creating a sort of enormous joint art project. The first gathering will take place in the Peak District National Park on April 23.

A new initiative hopes to entice couples to marry in the Italian region of Lazio, which includes Rome.

Icing on the cake

As if a destination wedding in Italy doesn’t sound dreamy enough, the central region of Lazio, which includes Rome, is hoping to attract couples with a new proposal: an initiative called “Nel Lazio con amore” (In Lazio with love) will reimburse up to €2,000 worth of local wedding-related expenses to those who marry, or have a civil union, there in 2022. The program is designed to boost the hard-hit wedding and tourism sectors in the wake of the pandemic, and foreigners are eligible to apply.

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