Luxury Canada Tours & Travel
Luxury Canada Tours & Travel
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The world’s second biggest country, Canada stretches for 5,780 miles from its most westerly point at Mount St. Elias in the Yukon Territory to Cape Spear in Newfoundland in the east. The diverse landscapes include everything from soaring mountains and wild coastlines with remote beaches to ancient rainforests, sparkling glaciers, wide-open prairie and Arctic tundra.
The nation’s terrain provides an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, with world-famous skiing and boarding, hiking, rafting, biking, kayaking, canoeing, sailing and even surfing with the swells along Nova Scotia’s shores drawing many – and that’s just to name a few. The wildlife is impressive too, including a long list of possible whale sightings, grizzly bears, mountain goats, moose, and even polar bears.
In between there are cosmopolitan cities like beautiful Vancouver, a foodie’s delight, to Montreal and Quebec, which offer a bit of France in North America.
Toronto boasts a rich performing arts scene while Cape Breton hosts lively fiddle-playing Celtic parties and George Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland hosts more pubs and bars per capita than any other street in North America, with live music every night. Wherever you go, you’ll run into some of the world’s friendliest people, and mouthwatering foods to try, like poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), a comfort food popular throughout the country, fresh-caught wild salmon in British Columbia and mouthwatering lobster anywhere in the Maritime provinces. You might be surprised to find that Canada produces some fabulous red and white wines to pair with those delicious meals too.
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Where to visit in Canada
Our travel experts have collated their top recommendations of where to visit in Canada.
Canada’s most populous city lies on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario as the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe region which wraps around the lake to Niagara Falls. It’s home to around a quarter of the country’s population, and with a high immigrant population (over half of the people living here were born outside of Canada), entire sections are devoted to various cultures, such as Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal and Little India. Of course, that results in a wide array of tasty cuisine to sample too. There are many attractions as well, from explore from CN Tower to a historic castle.
British Columbia’s largest city lies on the west coast with majestic mountains meeting the ocean. It’s tucked between the Pacific and the Coast Mountains – around nearly every corner there’s a soaring peak, body of water or both. It’s also filled with picturesque parks and forests, world-class restaurants, museums, art galleries and a wide range of shopping opportunities. One of the top tourist destinations in Canada, many were drawn after getting a glimpse of its beautiful during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Activities abound in this natural playground, from swimming off the shores of city beaches to skiing down the slopes.
Located in Canada’s French-speaking province, Montreal is the country’s cultural capital. It’s truly an international city, although French and English are the primary influences. Vieux-Montreal has lots of European flavor with cobbled streets that can be explored by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride. The Plateau Mont-Royal district is filled with trendy cafes and boutiques, while legendary Olympic Park is known for its open-air events, nature museums and winter activities. The Olympic Velodrome is a must-visit with an indoor zoo, botanical garden and aquarium all in one. In the Montreal Biodome one can walk through five ecosystems, from the South Pole to the Amazon rainforest.
Particularly unique for North America, Quebec City is unlike any other place in North America. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is practically a work of art with its cobbled walkways lined with beautifully preserved 17th-century architecture. It’s also home to the only fortress walls that still exist north of America. At the Citadel Canadian troops stage military ceremonies that are fascinating to watch while Chateau Frontenac is the place to go for afternoon tea. Even the poutine is something special here with dozens of ways to order it, including foie gras-topped, the ultimate indulgence.
Banff has been likened to a Swiss ski village, a beautiful town that sits inside Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It offers small-town charms and abundant wildlife, with elk often seen grazing in the grass just steps from the museums, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, concert venues and nightclubs. It offers a surprisingly robust arts and culture scene, yet just minutes from town in any direction and you’ll be in the wilderness among elk, bears and wolves. There are three ski resorts within easy driving distance, endless trails to hike, including routes that lead to stunningly turquoise glacier-fed lakes.
The site of many of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler is less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver, offering a down to earth mountain culture, a pedestrian-only village, a world-famous ski resort and jaw-dropping scenery. The winter months bring some of the world’s most reliable snow for all sorts of winter sports, while the warmer months of the year draw many for hiking, mountain biking, golfing, zip-lining and other thrills. It’s also home to fine dining restaurants, lively bars, lavish spas and a host of luxury resorts.
The British Columbia capital, Victoria is located on Vancouver Island, easily reached by ferry from Vancouver in about 90 minutes. Known as Canada’s “Garden City,” it’s home to one of the world’s most stunning display gardens, Butchart Gardens, and is also considered one of North America’s most British cities with lots of tearooms, a dazzling Parliament building and even a castle. It has a modern side too, with plenty of trendy coffee bars alongside unique and quirky shops. Victoria is also a gateway to the island’s spectacular, wild ocean scenery, secluded coves, and inlets where whales often make an appearance.
The sophisticated city of Calgary grew out of the Canadian West. It became a popular tourist destination thanks to the famous Calgary Stampede with roots that date back to 1888. A century later as the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the whole world got a glimpse of its charms. It still hosts the annual Stampede which brings out the cowboy hats in droves to watch the rodeos and enjoy line dancing. Heritage Park is a must for history enthusiasts as Canada’s largest living history museum with a turn-of-the-century living historic village.
Lake Louise sits inside Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. It’s best known for its surreal turquoise-hued lake that’s fed by glaciers, ringed by towering peaks and overlooked by a magnificent chateau. Outdoor adventure abounds, including the short and rewarding trek from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to Lake Agnes Tea House. Tucked deep within the wilderness, it’s one of the most scenic places for afternoon tea you’ll probably ever find. By hopping on the Banff Gondola you’ll soar right over Lake Louise, enjoying a view of Banff, the Bow Valley and six mountain ranges.
The capital of Alberta, Edmonton is known as a city of festivals. Two of its most famous are the Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, but if you aren’t here for those events, you’ll find plenty more to do. The city’s biggest attraction is the largest shopping mall in North America, the west Edmonton Mall. It hosts around 800 shops, a full-size ice-skating rink, bungee jumping and a huge indoor water park with wave pools and water slides.
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Things to do in Canada
Visit Niagara Falls
The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is considered by most to be the best to visit – while they can be seen from New York in the U.S., in Canada you can join the Mist boat tour that will get you up close to the massive falls that plunge over 187 feet. You can get another perspective by walking down Clifton Hill.
Discover Banff and the Rocky Mountains
Banff National Park showcases some of the most breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery with soaring snow-capped peaks, blue-tinged glaciers, cascading falls and brilliant turquoise lakes. The crown jewel is Lake Louise, and nearby is Moraine Lake which boasts even more stunning surroundings. Visitors can get a bird’s-eye view by riding the Banff Gondola, sometimes bears can even be spotted in the meadows below.
See Toronto from the CN Tower
Located along the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto is the city’s iconic CN Tower. One of the most famous landmarks in Canada, it dominates the skyline at 1,820-feet-high. Visitors can ride the elevator to the top for a panoramic vista and dine in the revolving 360 Restaurant with a view of the lake and the city. At its base is Ripley’s Aquarium.
Visit Old Quebec
Vieux-Québec, or Old Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage City and a place that might make you think you made a wrong turn and landed in Europe. Consisting of the Lower and Upper Town, the Lower Town is the site of the original settlement and home to many treasures like the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, with cobbled streets for exploring them.
Go Skiing at Whistler
Whistler is only a two-hour drive from Vancouver, and while its long been popular for winter sports, the entire world took notice when it hosted many of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Not only does it offer world-class skiing and boarding, but it’s become popular for activities like hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining and golfing, as well as its thriving après scene.
Get Lost in Old Montreal
Old Montreal lies near the waterfront and is the most atmospheric part of the city with magnificent historic buildings and landmarks like Marché Bonsecours, the Notre-Dame Basilica, the 19th-century City Hall and Place Jacques-Cartier. It’s also a fantastic destination for fine dining and shopping. Saint-Paul Street is the epicenter with cobblestones lined with boutiques, art galleries and an abundance of eateries.
See Polar Bears in Churchill
Churchill, Manitoba has become famous for its polar bears, located along Hudson Bay just below the Arctic Circle. Known as “Polar Bear Town,” it offers tours for visitors in tundra buggies that allow for up close and personal visits with the massive animals. Peak time to visit is typically in October, although they may be spotted between late August and November.
Under a two-hour ferry ride from the city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island is the ultimate place for outdoor adventure, including everything from hiking and kayaking to surfing. While it hosts the capital of BC, Victoria, beyond that you’ll find wild, remote landscapes with ancient rainforests home to bears, driftwood-strewn beaches and often, more whales than you can count just offshore.
Play at Vancouver’s Stanley Park
Stanley Park covers 1,000 acres just west of downtown on a peninsula. The 5.5-mile-long seawall that circles the park has a path for walking and biking while enjoying gorgeous views of the city, mountains, and the water. The interior is filled with dense forest and natural trails, and also hosts the Vancouver Aquarium, totem poles and the Rose Garden.
Take the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver
A bucket-list adventure, the Canadian is the only train running between Toronto and Vancouver. Book a sleeper car and enjoy the journey that takes about four days, passing through wide-open prairie and the dramatic Rockies. Its glass-topped dome car showcases all the scenery, and as it stops in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Jasper, it’s easy to enjoy breaks in the cities along the way.
Eat the Best Lobster in Shediac
The Atlantic Maritimes are famous for lobster, but the town of Shediac in New Brunswick is considered the lobster capital of the world. Your first clue is a huge, 36-foot statue at the entrance. Capture a photo, attend the annual lobster festival in July or simply enjoy a mouthwatering meal featuring it at the famous Lobster Deck or Sand Bar restaurants.
Go Wine Tasting in the Okanagan Valley
The Okanagan Valley is one of Canada’s most picturesque wine country regions, surrounded by towering mountains and crystal-clear sparkling lakes in British Columbia. Home to some 160 wineries, there are many different grape varieties that are thriving thanks to the area’s unique climate. You’ll have practically an endless list for touring and tasting while enjoying the breathtakingly scenic views.
Enjoy Whale Watching
Canada offers some of the best whale watching whether you’re in the Maritime Provinces or visiting western British Columbia. Hundreds of humpback whales migrate through the waters around Nova Scotia and Newfoundland during the summer months, while orca and gray whales are commonly spotted off the shores of Vancouver Island. Whale watching tours from Victoria and Tofino, B.C. often guarantee sightings.
Picture Perfect Lake Louise
One of the most photogenic spots in all of Canada is Lake Louise, located in the heart of the Rockies in Banff National Park. A brilliant turquoise gem, its color is the result of rock flour carried in glacial melt, trinkling down to the lake. To make the most of the scenery, rent a canoe from the Lake Louise Boathouse and paddle around.
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