Oh, Canada. A country that has so much room for activities. And yes, we’re Will Ferrell in Step Brothers excited about this one, because we’re talking big time here. ‘Big’ being the operative word. The mountains? Big. Glaciers? Big. Lakes? Big. Forests? Big. Bears? Big. Beaches? Wild. And it doesn’t stop there. This is the world’s second largest country and one that’s home to a whopping 47 national parks. Here, mile upon mile of unspoilt wilderness means one thing and one thing only: Canada is the earth’s natural playground and boy, are there adventures to be had. Sometimes good things don’t come in small packages.
With its endlessly epic landscapes, this is a country that was made for sing-your-heart-out road trips and sumptuously slow railway sojourns. Imagine traversing the glacier, mountain and forest flanked Icefields Parkway – the world’s most jaw dropping thoroughfare – on a self-drive that you will never forget, or taking to the tracks to admire the dramatic crags of the Canadian Rockies through the glass-domed luxury of the world-class Rocky Mountaineer. Travel just doesn’t get better than this.
And along the way, there’s a whole lot to see. Bears – both grizzly and black – bed down through winter, but come summer can be spotted swiping salmon from swollen rivers. Moose roam the enchanting forests and grey wolves can be heard howling from deep within. Head to the ruggedly handsome coastline and every which way you look people will be on the hunt for Free Willy. Erm. Hello. We’re not sure where your mind wandered to, but we’re talking Killer – and Grey, and Humpback – whales over here.
But there’s so much more to Canada than the diverse beauty of its wilds. With its skyscraper cities reaching out from dense, old-growth forests, rich indigenous culture, hip neighbourhoods spilling out into seal ridden harbours and a cowboy culture that refuses to be quashed, Canada is dazzlingly difficult to define.
Experience the best of the west on this unforgettable road trip. Start in cosmo meets cowboy Calgary, drive through the spectacular Banff and Jasper National Parks to the picturesque resort of Sun Peaks and onto the scenic city of Vancouver. Read more
Explore the Rockies by road and rail for the ultimate Canadian adventure. Start in cosmo meets cowboy Calgary before embarking on an epic road trip through the spectacular Banff and Jasper National Parks. From here, board the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer for a scenic train journey through the mountains via the remote city of Kamloops and onto Vancouver. Read more
Spend a few days in Calgary then collect your car and drive through the spectacular Banff and Jasper National Parks to the picturesque resort of Sun Peaks and onto the scenic city of Vancouver. Next up take the ferry to Vancouver Island to explore the quaint streets of Victoria followed by outdoor adventures in Whistler. Read more
Western Canada at its finest - the Epic Canadian journey starts in Calgary before embarking on one of the worlds most scenic road trips through the spectacular Banff and Jasper National Parks. From here, board the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer for a scenic train journey through the mountains via the remote city of Kamloops and onto Vancouver. After a few days in Vancouver take the ferry to Vancouver Island to explore the quaint streets of Victoria. Read more
Self-drive your way through the best of the West on this unforgettable road trip. Start in cosmo meets cowboy Calgary, drive through the spectacular Banff and Jasper National Parks to the picturesque resort of Sun Peaks and onto the scenic city of Vancouver, followed by outdoor adventures in Whistler. Read more
Gazing at gobsmacking glaciers in Banff, soaking in the city cool of Vancouver, spotting grizzlies in the wilds of Vancouver Island, or indulging in a High Tea in Victoria – Canada has it all. With so many bucket-list opportunities all in the same part of the world, creating an itinerary can be hard. That’s why we’ve hand selected Canada’s best bits for you.
Framed by the dramatic vistas of the North Shore Mountains and Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most scenic cities. A hub of cultural, culinary and creative action, with the chance to hike, bike and watch wildlife in the surrounding nature, it’s a place where urban exploration and outdoor adventures come hand in hand.Discover More
Nestled in between the snow-covered peaks of Fairview Mountain and Victoria Glacier in Banff National Park, you’ll find Lake Louise, the most photographed glacial lake in Canada.Discover More
A trip dedicated to seeing bears in their natural habitat just about screams adventure, are we right? Well in these remote wilds we are at least. Three lodges, three equally secluded locations off of the northwest coast of Vancouver Island and a whole lot of bears. Go on the hunt for black and grizzly bears before bedding down every night in a floating wilderness lodge – wildlife retreats don’t get much better than this.Discover More
Jaw-dropping mountain scenery and adrenaline-pumping activities make Banff a veritable paradise for nature-lovers and thrill-seekers. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Canada's highest town, marvel at the striking beauty of the glacier-fed Lake Louise and explore the scenic trails that weave through the picture-perfect landscapes.Discover More
Manicured gardens and mishmashed architecture meets the whale ridden waters of the Pacific on one side and a dense old-growth forests on the other – Vancouver Island’s Victoria presents quaint city living at its best. Head here to pair all the outdoor attractions of Canada’s enchanting wilderness coast with the timeless charms and hip downtown streets of British Columbia’s provincial capital.Discover More
Canada is a country that knows how to wow. From the shocking cyan of Lake Louise – Banff National Park’s glacier-fed, glittering jewel – to the towering drama of the craggy Canadian Rockies, this is natural world wonder at its very best and there’s no better way of seeing it than by taking to the tracks on the Rocky Mountaineer. Then there’s the manicured beauty of Victoria’s Butchart Gardens, or the urban cool of Vancouver’s Gastown – one thing’s for sure, you won’t be short on things to do and see in this destination.
In the midst of Vancouver’s urban sprawl, Stanley Park is an oasis of natural wonder and exciting attractions. Spread across 400-hectares of ancient rainforest, wildlife-rich lakes, seaside pathways and sandy beaches, this beloved park is a playground for walking, cycling and sightseeing. Stroll along the scenic seawall, count the historic totem poles and marvel at the mountain-and-sea views.Discover more
A favourite hangout for both locals and visitors alike, Granville Island is a celebration of Vancouver’s culinary, creative and cultural prowess. Just south of the Downtown peninsula tucked under the Grenville Bridge, this vibrant neighbourhood is famous for its food markets, theatres and artisan workshops. Don’t miss the chance to visit one of Vancouver’s coolest communities - we promise you won’t regret it.Discover more
With its spacious beaches, laid-back atmosphere and picture-perfect views, it’s easy to see why English Bay is one of the most popular hangouts in Downtown Vancouver. Find a sandy spot to flop down on, take a dip in the water or enjoy a scenic stroll along the Seawall. End your day watching the sunset across the glittering ocean.Discover more
With its independent galleries, boutique shops and fashionable food and drink scene, Gastown is the place to see and be seen in Vancouver. Hangout in the cool coffee shops, dine in stylish eateries and soak up the bustling atmosphere. Though the neighbourhood has had a modern makeover in recent years, it still has an old-world look and feel with its Victorian architecture and famous steaming clock.Discover more
The jewel in Vancouver’s crown, Grouse Mountain stands out as one of the city’s most spectacular attractions. A natural playground for outdoor activities, from scenic hiking trails to heart-stopping zip lines, this majestic peak lures locals and visitors from the city with its awesome alpine scenery. Relax and enjoy the views or unleash your wild side with action-packed adventures - the choice is yours.Discover more
Spanning across Burrard Inlet with the picturesque backdrop of the Coast Mountains, Lions Gate Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most iconic - and most photographed - landmarks. Admire the huge structure from the leafy walkways of Stanley Park or meander along the deck for panoramic views of the city and sea.Discover more
To travel to Canada, British passport holders will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) in advance of travel. If you’re flights connect in America, you'll also need to apply for an ESTA permit well in advance of your departure (it can sometimes be a lengthy process so be sure to keep on top of it). For up to date information on Canada visa requirements, it’s recommended that you check the gov.uk website before you travel.
Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. However, it’s best to see your GP 6-8 weeks before you travel to check whether they recommend anything different.
There’s no such thing as summertime sadness in Canada. The bears have awoken from their winter slumber, the snow has melted to reveal a rolling topography of wildflower smattered wilderness and the incredible national parks parade their majesty in the light of the summer sun – plus, visiting between May and October means that it will actually be warm enough to explore. It’s a no brainer, surely?
The currency that you’ll be using on this holiday is the Canadian Dollar (usually denoted as $, but will sometimes be more specifically defined with the use of C$ or Can$). Unlike back in blighty where tipping is a courtesy gesture, gratuity is generally expected in Canada. Leaving 15-20% of the pre-tax cost of a drinks, meal or cab fare bill is the done thing to make up for the low wages that people who work in the service industry get paid. It’s also worth noting that when purchasing anything in Canada you’ll be presented with the pre-tax cost, sales tax means that prices will be higher by about 5-15% when you go to pay a bill. You’ll be good at mental maths by the end of this holiday, that’s for sure.
Canadians are much like us when it comes to etiquette. As for clothing, you can never go wrong with layers, layers and more layers. We wouldn’t quite go as far as a Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes vibe, but you get the gist. Think hiking boots and your best outdoors-y wear on hand at all times.
Canada is largely a Christian country – with 67.3% of the population being either catholic or protestant – but religion isn’t a particularly evident part of life here. The rest of the country is divided into atheists, agnostics and numerous other religions. All are welcome here.
Our Canada holidays will have you swept away by this country's unbounded natural beauty. From the urban cool and historical sites of cities that grow out of its thick forests and mountainous lands to the drama of the glacier-fed lakes that punctuate its world-renowned national parks, this wild sprawl of a country is one that will manage to take your breath away at every turn. Canada is off the grid living – with trusty wifi on hand to keep you in touch with the modern world.
We’ve taken inspo from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel, travel magazines, influencers and travel trend reports to bring you the ultimate travel bucket list.
Handy tips to help you keep healthy on your travels.
Buckle up and discover the best of what Canada has to offer with a self-drive holiday.
From the flexibility of self-drive to scenic train journeys, we’ll be giving you the low-down on the best ways to see the breath-taking Rocky Mountains.
To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, we’ve done a round-up of Vancouver’s best pancake joints. Because where would be better than Canada to enjoy this staple North American breakfast treat?
We make planning and customising your holiday simple.
Where are you going to go?EXPLORE HOLIDAYS