Reasons to Visit
The dramatic Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are thought to be the result of particles in solar winds emanating from the sun in the region of the magnetic North Pole. The Northwest Territories and the Yukon offer some of the best viewing of this natural phenomenon in Canada.
Canada enjoys a busy schedule of festivals and events, the majority of which take place during the summer months. Perhaps the most well-known of all the annual events is the Calgary Stampede, a ten-day festival which takes place in the second week of July. Dating back to 1912, the event showcases the area’s Wild West roots, with chuck-wagon races, a rodeo, bands, dancing and exhibitions.
There are approximately one million First Nations Canadians today. Their origins stem from the end of the last Ice Age, about 20,000 years ago, when nomadic tribes followed herds of bison and mammoth across the land bridge joining Siberia and Alaska.
Canada is well known for its salmon, as well as for fresh lobster. People travel from all over the world to fish in these amazingly clear waters, and both fish and seafood are a regular feature on restaurant menus.
Canada is blessed with some of the world’s most dramatic and beautiful scenery, from old-grown rainforests, deserted beaches and crystal-clear lakes, to rugged mountains, national parks and agricultural pastures, there is a different view to enjoy at every turn.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and therefore boasts a colourful maritime history which is proudly exhibited in a variety of museums throughout the country.
Canada is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast. Each province offers a diversity of year-round activities, with walking, white-water rafting, canoeing and kayaking, horse riding, fishing, skiing and dog sledding amongst the most popular.
There are some spectacular rail journeys on offer in Canada, taking you deep into national parks and through the mighty Rockies. You can choose to travel in style whilst enjoying the scenery as many of the routes have comfortable cabins and excellent on-board services.
Canada has wonderful roads – scenic, safe and largely empty. Self-driving is a great way to explore the country at your own pace, enjoying the beautiful landscapes as you go.
Canada is rightly famous for its bears – black, grizzly and of course, polar bears can all be seen in abundance, but the country is also home to wolves, caribou, moose, must oxen, whales and an array of spectacular birdlife.
The Okanagan region of Canada, located in central British Columbia between the Rockies and Vancouver, is fast becoming a well regarded wine producing area with a unique micro climate that enables several grape varieties to be grown. The area is renowned for its vineyards, warm climate, rolling fertile orchards and its proximity to Lake Okanagan.
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Canada & Alaska
Our Canada specialists are experienced and passionate about the country - between them they have spent many weeks a year researching new experiences and ensuring everything is of the highest standard. They know Canada inside out.
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With the spectacular Rockies to the west and The Great Lakes in the east, Canada’s vastness encompasses a diverse landscape.
Whether it is trekking in the mountains, coming face to face with a bear in the wilderness or spending time with a First Nations community, Canada has something for everyone: spend a day at the Calgary stampede, see polar bears in the Arctic or experience the vibrant city life of Toronto, Ottawa or Vancouver.
There are two official languages in Canada, English and French, although there are many native languages as well. Quebecois French differs from its European source, in style and accent.
In an area as large as Canada and Alaska the cuisine varies widely from region to region. Cities are hugely cosmopolitan, with all the cuisines of the world represented, and in urban centres such as Montréal there are plenty of restaurants putting a North American twist on their Gallic heritage.
The Pacific coast has developed its own Pacific Rim Fusion Cuisine, while the Atlantic regions have access to some of the world's freshest and largest lobsters amongst a wealth of other seafood. Inland meals are more likely to be made up of locally-raised meats, with barbecues and steaks a traditional favourite; servings are often generous.
North American breakfasts can be a real highlight and will often include eggs, pancakes and maple syrup or continental breakfasts that involve great spreads of cheeses, patés and hams.
The official currency is the Canadian Dollar. Canadian Dollar travellers cheques can be exchanged at all major banks, international airport and foreign exchange bureau points. Some shops will also accept them as long as they are presented with your passport.
All major credit cards are widely accepted and you will also be able to access Canadian currency from ATM machines as long as you have your four digit pin-code.
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is applied to most purchases, including food and beverages, throughout the country and is not included in the price advertised; this will be added at the point of sale. Most provinces also charge a Provincial Sales Tax which varies between each province but is never more than 10%, this is also added at the point of sale.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
'Blind Assassin' by Margaret Aywood and 'In the Skin of a Lion' by Micheal Ondaatje, are both set in Canada in the 1930's.
Ron Sexsmith, Cowboy Junkies, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young.
Bruce Macdonald's 'Dance me Outside', about contemporary Native Indian life.
Oka cheese from Quebec or maple syrup.
Parlez-vous anglais (Do you speak English?).
Moose, bears, the Rockies, smoked salmon, Bryan Adams, maple syrup, float planes, ice hockey.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Canada by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in CanadaRegions of CanadaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationCountry Guides
Other countries in Canada & The USA:AlaskaThe USA
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