Oh, Canada! This massive country is filled from coast to coast with jaw-dropping scenery, from rugged mountains to icy glaciers, with the wildlife to match – you could see grizzly bears and whales, just for a start. There’s a melting pot of cultures in Canada’s diverse cities, readily apparent in the food scene whether you’re enjoying a croissant in Montreal or Chinese dumplings in Vancouver. You can also explore the country’s cultural side in venues like the Ottaway National Gallery or events like the Montreal Jazz Festival...
The capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax is famous for its maritime history. The city’s dominated by its star-shaped Citadel fortress situated at the top of a hill. Titanic fans won’t want to miss a visit to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which features the ship’s only surviving deck chair! Explore Peggy’s Cove for a trip up its scenic lighthouse and seafood restaurants, or venture to UNESCO-rated Lunenberg.
European charm meets Canadian scenery in Montreal. This picturesque city is Quebec’s largest, a hub for French-Canadian culture, art and cuisine. Visit the Montreal Biodome to wander in and out of different ecosystems, or why not take a hike up Mount Royal to admire the views over the city? Montreal’s Old Town is also a must-see with its French colonial architecture, Gothic Revival Notre Dame, and charming cafes.
From the gothic architecture and cobbled streets of Montreal’s Old Town to the adorable village of Saguenay, there’s plenty of attractions to put on your to-do list in this charming province! Quebec City offers a taste of France in the heart of North America, with its European-styled Place Royale and La Citadelle fortress. Don’t miss the chance to visit Montmorency Falls, which trump Niagara at a height of 275 feet.
Toronto offers big-city attractions combined with a beautiful natural setting, positioned along the shore of Lake Ontario. Modern skyscrapers dominate the city skyline, but you’ll also find examples of classic architecture like the Casa Loma with its lush gardens. See exhibitions in the Royal Ontario Museum, go shopping for big-name brands along Dundas Street, or enjoy a meal with a view at the top of the CN Tower.
Tucked between ocean and mountains, Vancouver is best known for its gorgeous natural setting, and mild climate. Queen Elizabeth Park is a highlight with its 130-acre arboretum and modern sculptures, while Gastown offers a blend of independent art galleries and hip cocktail lounges housed in historic Victorian buildings. Admire the sea views from historic Stanley Park or shop until you drop on Granville Island.
Find British culture in the heart of Canada when you visit Victoria! This charming city is famous for its colonial elegance and natural beauty. It’s the capital of British Columbia, situated at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Don’t miss the floral beauty of Butchart Gardens, or the Victorian style of Craigdarroch Castle. It’s also a top spot for sea kayaking, allowing you to come face to face with sea life.
Canada enjoys four clearly defined seasons, so you can expect plenty of delicate wildflowers in the spring and colourful foliage in the autumn. The main season for cruise travellers falls between the months of May and October, with the foliage being a major highlight for visitors during September and October. If you’re a whizz on the slopes, you won’t want to miss a visit to British Columbia’s Whistler ski resort in the winter! The colder months also bring Quebec’s European-styled cities to life with Christmas markets and ice skating. For hiking and enjoying the sunshine, the summer is hard to beat.
Because Canada is such a large country, there’s a staggering range of natural and city-based highlights to choose from! Over on the west coast you’ll enjoy the traditional villages of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, a top spot for autumnal scenery. Pay a visit to Niagara Falls, soak in the French-influenced charms of Montreal, or visit the National Gallery and Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Over on the west coast of Canada, you’ll have all the natural beauty of British Columbia to explore, and Vancouver is an impossibly beautiful city framed by sea and mountains. You can also visit Vancouver Island to enjoy the teahouses and gardens of Victoria.
Canada’s food is as varied as its landscapes! Poutine is a glorious combination of fried potatoes topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy, and butter tarts are another comfort food stuffed with a simple custardy filling. Don’t miss the lobster rolls in Nova Scotia, or smoked deli sandwiches in Montreal. In the winter, you can expect plentiful takes on warming soups and hearty stews whether it’s seafood chowder in Vancouver or split pea soup in Quebec. And of course, maple syrup is one of the country’s most famous exports – try the maple taffy to enjoy a concentrated hit of its complex sweetness.
The Capilano Suspension bridge and Grouse Mountain tour is so fantastic I’ve done it twice! I also recommend the lumberjack show and seeing the Grizzly bears – Grinder and Coola.
The Rocky Mountains make their way through the western portion of Canada, home to some of the world’s last untapped wilderness. The city of Calgary is the perfect home base if you want to explore the Rockies, giving access to Jasper and Banff National Parks. Highlights of the Rockies include the waters of Moraine Lake or Lake Louise, along with the unforgettable scenery of the Icefields Parkway drive.
There are unique museums dotted throughout Canada, offering a glimpse into frontier lifestyles and historic events. A good introduction to your Canadian visit is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, where you can also see Titanic memorabilia.
Canada’s pine forests and vast grasslands are home to a staggering range of wildlife! See American bison, bobcats, reindeers, lynxes, coyotes, and grizzly bears on land, or whales and orcas by sea. Bird watchers will enjoy the colourful creatures like the burrowing owls and ruby-throated hummingbirds that keen eyes might see.
Snow sports are big business in Canada, which features some of the world’s top ski resorts. While it can be dangerous to go off-piste in Europe, ski areas are all avalanche controlled in Canada so you can explore anywhere within the resort boundaries. Top resorts include Banff, Tremblant, and Whistler.