Oh Canada! Arguably one of the most idyllic travel destinations on the planet, there’s literally nothing this outrageously beautiful country doesn’t offer – awesome cities, first class food, magnificent nature, the best winter sports scene in the world, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the warm, welcoming nature of Canadians themselves, often cited as the friendliest people on earth. If you’re planning a trip to Canada, we have one piece of advice – do it!
Let’s jump in with the cities, shall we? A tour of Canada with Contiki could see you stopping off in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City, each one offering an entirely different vibe to the next. ‘Turrono’, the city that gave us Drake, the Blue Jays and the iconic CN Tower, is hipster in a totally non assuming way, whilst Vancouver takes the biscuit when it comes to two things – accessibility to nature, and the foodie scene (just don’t tell the other cities that). Eclectic Montreal is arguably the country’s cultural juggernaut, whilst charming Quebec is romance, grandeur and class personified.
But enough city talk, we know why you’re really here – for a Canadian Rockies tour, am I right? An adventure into Canada’s most outstanding area of natural beauty will take you through Jasper and Banff, rubbing your eyes in disbelief at the emerald hues of Lake Louise & Peyto Lake, white water rafting down the pounding Frasier River, or maybe hopping on horseback for a back country hack followed by a campfire meal. When we say Canada doesn’t mess around when it comes to outdoor pursuits, we really do mean it.
Adventuring all day every day is hungry business, so it’s lucky really you’re in a place that takes food very seriously. Local specialties like poutine, bannock, peameal bacon and beavertails are all essentials you need to try, but maybe given their calorie count space them out between trialing out the diverse foodie scenes of each city. Whether you’re looking for food trucks, trendy cafes complete with bowling lanes or gourmet dining, the opportunities are boundless.
Need more convincing about the perks of Canada travel? Then read on…
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Speaking off adventures, how’d you like the sound of white water rafting on Fraser River, the longest river within British Columbia? Wet, wild and crazy fun, there’s nothing like bouncing around on a raft half terrified, half exhilarated, to bond with a group of new friends. Flowing through rugged canyons, large rapids, whirlpools and (thankfully) patches of calm, this is a white knuckle ride experience you won’t be forgetting any time soon. A summer only activity, you’ll be truly deserving of a plate full of poutine and a frosty cold one once the great Fraser River is done with you.
As North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler is the place of dreams for those who love all things winter sports. Boasting over 8,100 acres of snow covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, premium snow parks and 200+ marked trails, you could spend an entire season here and still find yourself discovering new routes and snowy playgrounds every single day. No matter your level of experience, Whistler can accommodate what you’re after. For beginners just learning the ropes, you’ll get the chance to learn from some of the best instructors in the world, whilst for those who know the drill, why not take your skills up a notch with the chance to do heli-skiing? When your legs get tired, there’s one activity you must try – snowmobiling. Think of it as a jet ski on snow and you can’t go wrong…
Food, art, comedy, fashion, and of course some of the world’s best music - that’s what the Field Trip experience is all about. Taking place in early June on Toronto’s Fort York & Garrison Common, Field Trip pulls in some of the coolest acts including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric and Damian Marley.
Renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, the Museum of Anthropology and its collection of works has a special emphasis on the First Nations people of British Columbia. Dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of cultural diversity, MOA is also a research and teaching museum offering courses in art, anthropology, archaeology, conservation and museum studies.
Indulgent, decadent in smothered in gravy is generally how Canadian’s do food. This is a country not afraid to try new flavours (salmon candy, anyone), where piping hot pastries, decent coffee and chips doused in gravy and topped with cheese curds (otherwise known as poutine) is the name of the game. Want a pick of the bunch? Don’t leave Canada without trying these tasties...