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 country specialists have travelled the length and breadth of Canada - here are a few of their favourite things to do
Canada, with more than nine million square kilometres, is the second largest country on earth.
Spanning six time zones, it takes as long to fly from one end of the country to the other as it does to fly to the east coast from the UK.
The cosmopolitan cities are safe and clean, the people incredibly friendly, and Canadians take a real pride in their beautiful environment. Due to its vastness, the climate and terrain varies from the ice-capped wilderness of the high Arctic to the sun-drenched vineyards of the Okanagan Valley and the salty tang of the sea in the Maritime Provinces.
Canada has a population of 33 million, one of the lowest population densities in the world, and in many regions the wildlife vastly outnumbers the human population. In recent years the country has experienced a resurgence of indigenous First Nations culture which, coupled with early European settler history, combines to form a fascinating insight into a by-gone age.
Canada is the land of monumental mountains and countless sparkling lakes and is home to one of the last true wildernesses making it a truly inspirational destination to discover.
British Columbia, Alberta & The Rockies
The small town of Banff is dominated by the towering mountains of Banff National Park. Activities include walking, horse riding, mountain biking, canoeing and rafting.
Canada's Arctic, the Yukon & Prairie Provinces
Few places in Canada evoke such a strong sense of history as Dawson City, now registered as a National Historic Site. Experience the wooden boardwalks, historic saloons and wooden houses.
Jasper lies at the heart of the stunning Jasper National Park. Though it is small enough to walk around, it offers every amenity with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops.
The little town of Churchill is situated in northern Manitoba on the edge of Hudson Bay. It is probably the best place in the world for polar bear spotting.
Ontario & Québec
One of the natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls never fails to impress. You can get even closer to the falls from either a boat or helicopter trip.
Lunenburg is one of Nova Scotia’s most historic towns, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It captivates visitors with its colourful waterfront, narrow streets and old wooden buildings.
Ottawa is steeped in tradition which manifests itself in the magnificent Parliament buildings, the Governor-General’s residence and the many parks and gardens.
Unique in North America, Québec is the continent’s only walled city, which has now been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walking tour is a good way to explore and learn about its history.
This cosmopolitan city basks in a glorious natural setting, surrounded by the Coast Mountains. It has some of Canada’s finest restaurants, shops, entertainment and museums.
The small town of Tofino lies at the centre of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island’s Pacific coast. It's great hiking country and is famous for the annual migration of some 20,000 grey whales close to the shore.
Between 5.5 and 11 hours
Air Canada, British Airways, Icelandair & Virgin Atlantic
GMT -3 to GMT -8
Read first-hand tips and advice from our travel specialists.
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Further reading:Tours in CanadaRegions of CanadaWhen to GoItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout CanadaCountry Guides
Other countries in Canada & The USA:AlaskaThe USA
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