With an area of 9,984,670 km², 10 provinces, 3 territories and 6 time zones, there is so much to discover and admire in Canada! While a few provinces continue to impose strict COVID-19 rules and are not yet ready to welcome tourists – Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – the others are reopening their doors. So why not drop into Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, or go on a vacation to Quebec? Let’s take a look at what they have to offer!
How about a couple of activities and itineraries that will give you an escape from the ordinary? Instead of hiking with heavy backpacks full of gear, let’s travel along the roads of the region, discovering Quebec’s culinary and historical heritage.
We’ll start with a little pilgrimage on the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route in the Eastern Townships. That’s right, you don’t have to go to France to appreciate good wines and indulge in delicious food. You can discover this unique and multi-sensory experience only 45 minutes from Montreal! The four circuits of the Route can be traveled by car as you learn about and taste the many wines of the region. There’s a whopping twenty vineyards to choose from! Four other routes can also be traveled by bike, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist.
Want to learn more about the maritime history of Quebec’s coastline? Make your way to the lighthouses of the St. Lawrence! On this picturesque route from the Gaspé Peninsula to the North Shore, via the Magdalen Islands, there are about 40 lighthouses to discover. More than a dozen of them offer activities such as visiting the houses used by the lighthouse keepers and, of course, enjoying views from the tops of the lighthouses themselves!
When we think of Ontario, we typically think of Toronto and Ottawa, the province’s two metropolises. If you look a bit closer, however, you’ll see that the region is blessed with breathtaking views and national parks!
You could, for instance, head for Bruce Peninsula National Park. On the itinerary for your stay: a beautiful change of scenery! Anyone going to this particular park should see The Grotto, a natural cave on the Georgian Bay shoreline that boasts stunning turquoise waters.
From there, head to the iconic Fathom Five Marine Park, located 10 minutes from the peninsula. It was Canada’s first national marine conservation area! The park preserves a rich cultural heritage that includes some 20 shipwrecks and several iconic lighthouses.
Finally, set sail for Flowerpot Island, an island paradise with a hiking trail and emerald beaches that are as beautiful as the tropics!
I say “Alberta”, you say…Banff, of course! One of Canada’s most popular national parks is a collection of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests and rivers covering nearly 7,000 square kilometres. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s perfect for all outdoor activities, from hiking to trekking and more.
To take full advantage of your experience, take the Icefields Parkway, which connects Lake Louise to Jasper National Park. This 229 km long route is recognized as one of the ten most beautiful in the world. The landscape is dotted with over 100 ancient glaciers, waterfalls, and turquoise lakes.
After admiring the blue hues of the famous Lake Louise (early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the crowds of tourists), drive north to the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint and feast your eyes on Bow Lake. Take out your camera to capture the log and stone cabin built by legendary pioneer and mountaineer Jimmy Simpson. Then, head north to Peyto Lake, just a few minutes’ drive away. As you continue your journey, take your pick from many other gorgeous sights!
When travelling in B.C., it’s hard to resist going through Vancouver. It’s not just the most populous city in the province, it’s also one of the most beautiful in the country. Here are some destinations, just to name a few.
– Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: How about a 70-metre-high bridge that crosses the waters of the Capilano River? The park actually boasts quite a few suspension bridges and footbridges, each one as adventurous as the next. Get ready for an adrenaline rush!
– Victoria’s Inner Harbour: This beautiful site in the capital of British Columbia is home to yachts, small cruise ships, and ferries. During the day as well as in the evening, many musicians and street artists put on shows for onlookers to enjoy. You can also rent a kayak or go on a whale watching excursion!
– The Sea to Sky Gondola: During this ten-minute ascent, enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Howe Sound, Mount Chief, and Shannon Falls. Once you’ve reached the top, enjoy the scenery from three observation points, hike and walk trails, or climb the rocks!
What destinations in Canada are at the top of your must-see list? Let us know in the comments!