Canada is a vast country with numerous exciting cities, an awe-inspiring wilderness and magnificent mountain scenery interspersed with tranquil lakes. Holidays in Canada are characterised by wide open spaces and magnificent mountain vistas which teem with wildlife.
Canada’s cities are without exception charming and picturesque. The capital city, Ottawa, is an elegant city situated on the Rideau Canal. Surrounded by mountains, forests and beautiful islands, Vancouver has one of the most beautiful settings of any city in the world. And then there’s Quebec City, the only walled city in North America, with a fascinating history that is evident at every turn.
Toronto, Canada’s largest city, boasts a marvellous cosmopolitan atmosphere and some world-class restaurants and entertainment. One must-see is the world-renowned CN Tower, which stands at 1,815ft tall and offers fantastic views across the city and beyond. Toronto is a city break in itself and a welcome addition to Canada holidays.
Just 80 miles from Toronto are the mighty Niagara Falls. Holidays to Canada would not be complete without a visit to this mesmerising natural phenomenon. The falls are divided into two parts - the American Falls and the larger and more impressive Canadian Falls: 180ft high with a crest of 2,200ft forming a horseshoe-shaped curve. The falls are dramatic from any viewpoint but for arguably the most dramatic view, take a journey on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat which takes you so close to the Falls that you will need to don waterproof clothing.
Victoria is the provincial capital of British Columbia. The city, situated on the Strait of Georgia on Vancouver Island, resembles an old English town with pretty streets and grand 19th Century buildings including the fabled Empress Hotel overlooking the picturesque inland harbour. Victoria is the perfect location from which to search for whales, and between May and September in particular you will be rewarded with plentiful sightings of the orca, humpback, minke and gray.
Montreal is situated in the French-speaking province of Quebec. This fascinating city boasts a large concentration of historic sites amidst 17th Century buildings, which are gently interrupted by a wealth of parks and gardens. The French influence is hugely evident throughout the city, particularly in the open air cafes, restaurants and markets which line the main streets. Be sure to take in the St Lawrence River which carves its way through the city, the Mount Royal and the Old Town, where you’ll discover the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica.
Banff is an attractive town nestled in the heart of Banff National Park. The park, surrounding the town, is a wonderland of snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, sparkling streams and vast pine forests which dominate the landscape. In the town itself it is not unusual to spot wildlife in the main street. To really appreciate the expanse and beauty of the park, a helicopter ride offers a wonderful way to take in the immense splendour.
Of course, Canada is perhaps most famous for the Rocky Mountain range, fondly referred to as the Rockies. This vast mountain range in western North America stretches for 3,000 miles and no tour of Canada would be complete without embarking on an adventure here. You’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, especially when the mountains are covered in glistening snow.
The Rocky Mountaineer train is famous all over the world as offering the rail journey of a lifetime. The train departs from the lovely town of Banff and carries her passengers through the majestic and mesmerising peaks. Enjoy the opportunity to relax and admire this world-class scenery and stop off at various significant points before finally arriving in Vancouver.
Icefields Parkway is a unique highway that cuts through the mountain ranges of the Rockies at a staggering 7,000 ft above sea level. The mountains that flank the highway rise to a mighty 11,000 ft - this is a remarkable location, incomparable to anywhere on earth. On your Canada tour, travel this spectacular highway en route to Jasper, a former railroad town in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful Jasper National Park. In Jasper you can enjoy spectacular views from Pyramid and Patricia Lakes and if you are feeling adventurous, perhaps take the opportunity to embark on an ice walk through Jasper’s Maligne Canyon.
Lake Louise can be easily reached from Jasper. Described by writers as the most beautiful place in Canada, this glacial jade-green lake is high in the mountains and surrounded on all sides by towering snow-capped peaks. It is hard to imagine a more idyllic location and the panorama across the lake and of the surrounding mountains are absolutely breathtaking - stay in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for the best views.
Canada is a vast land with a wide-ranging appeal and holidays in Canada promise fabulous landscapes, masses of wildlife, charming cities and inspiring journeys.