The following itineraries span the entire length of this incredibly diverse country, from the historic cities of the east, to the plains and jaw-dropping mountains of the west and the Arctic wilderness of the north. Given the vast distances involved, you won’t be able to cover everything, but even picking a few highlights will give you a deeper insight into Canada’s natural and historic wonders.

03_Canada_Itineraries

Classic Canada

This three-week tour gives a taster of Canada’s main highlights from coast to coast, travelling by train, bus and plane.

1 Québec City

Savour the baguettes, cobbled streets, café au lait and rich French heritage of Canada’s oldest settlement.

2 Montréal

Head south to this hip and cosmopolitan city to enjoy the street artists, museums, smoked meats, bagels and North America’s largest jazz festival.

3 Ottawa

The Canadian capital is worth a day or two for its outstanding museums and galleries, with a side trip to the distinctive geography of Gatineau Park.

4 Toronto

Canada’s biggest city and commercial capital is best known for the cloud-scraping CN Tower, art from the Group of Seven and pulsing nightlife.

5 Niagara Falls

Canada’s major show-stopper is just a short ride from Toronto.

6 Take the train to Jasper

Fly from Toronto to Edmonton and take the VIA Rail service to Jasper, home to gorgeous Maligne Lake and Canada’s highest cable car.

7 The Icefields Parkway

Spend a few days immersed in the grandeur of the Rockies on the road to Banff, via the Columbia Icefield and Lake Louise.

8 Banff

The capital of the Canadian Rockies is surrounded by mesmerizing scenery, mountain trails and soothing hot springs.

9 Vancouver

After stops in Yoho and Revelstoke national parks, end your trip at the Pacific Ocean with a scenic stay at Canada’s dynamic western capital.

Best of the Maritimes

Maritime Canada – especially Newfoundland – is a land apart, with a distinct culture, stunning scenery and invariably empty roads. This two-to-three week tour is best experienced by car.

1 Halifax

The hip capital of Nova Scotia offers great museums, the notorious “donair” kebab, hundreds of pubs and the best live music in the east.

2 Lunenburg and the south shore

Take a day or two to see the best of Nova Scotia’s rugged coastline south of Halifax, ending at the charming fishing port of Lunenburg.

3 Bay of Fundy

Drive to the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy, where Hopewell’s flowerpot rocks and the misty forests of the Fundy National Park await.

4 Prince Edward Island

Cross over the Confederation Bridge for the bucolic charms and fresh lobsters of Anne of Green Gables country.

5 Cape Breton

Back in Nova Scotia, drive north to Cape Breton Island, where the jaw-dropping Cabot Trail takes in the best scenery, and Acadian and Gaelic culture.

6 Gros Morne National Park

Catch the ferry from Cape Breton to Newfoundland and drive up to this sensational national park.

7 L’Anse aux Meadows

Continue north to St Anthony and this remarkable historic site, home to Vikings some 500 years before Columbus.

8 Fogo Island

Cut across the vast wilderness of central Newfoundland to this untouched slice of traditional port life.

9 St John’s

End up at Newfoundland’s boisterous capital, where you can whale-watch, picnic at a lighthouse and get “screeched in”.

The Great North

Only when you travel in Canada’s immense northern wilderness will you begin to grasp just how big – and rich in wildlife – this nation is. Come in summer to enjoy the sunshine and take three to four weeks to complete this trip.

1 Winnipeg

Fly into the underrated capital of Manitoba and gateway to the prairies, home to the world’s largest Inuit art collection.

2 Churchill

Take the train to this Hudson Bay outpost to see hordes of beluga whales and – while you can – polar bears up close.

3 Alaska Highway

Fly or drive to Edmonton and then Dawson Creek before following the epic stretch of Alaska Highway up to the lively capital of the Yukon, Whitehorse.

4 Klondike Highway

Continue north from Whitehorse through the wilderness on the Klondike Highway, enjoying the toasty pools at Takhini Hot Springs.

5 Dawson City

Take a break from the road at this iconic northern frontier town, centre of the Klondike gold rush.

6 Prince Rupert

This port town is the stepping off point for the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary and whale-watching tours.

7 Haida Gwaii

Take the ferry across to this magical island archipelago in the Pacific, rich in First Nations culture, flora and fauna.

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