Canada is famed for its big outdoors; its towering, snow-capped mountains, its horizon-wide lakes, its vast expanses of dense forest and its rugged coastline. Not to mention one of the world’s most dramatic water spectacles – the stupendous Niagara Falls.
But this 18 day tour shows you another side to the great Canadian experience. The world’s second largest country is also home to some of its most interesting cities. The walled city of Quebec with its history and flavour of France. Ottawa, featuring the UNESCO listed Rideau Canal. And, of course, Toronto with the CN Tower overlooking happening restaurants, busy markets, iconic architecture, theatres, galleries and a vibrant nightlife.
Just seven hours from the UK lies Canada’s largest city. Toronto is the gateway to the breath-taking scenery and vast horizons of the Canadian outback, but it is also an exhilarating destination in its own right. Queen Street’s chic boutiques, the upmarket malls and department stores like the Eaton Centre and Holt Renfrew contrast nicely with the tiny bohemian shops and stalls of Kensington Market. Besides shopping, Toronto features the CN Tower, great theatres and galleries, an energetic nightlife and a host of restaurant quarters, ranging from Irish Cabbagetown to Little India.
Stay: Three nights in the SoHo Metropolitan.
Simply unmissable. Sail to almost touching distance of the mighty falls in the The Horn blower and witness the sight and sound of millions of gallons of water crashing over a towering cliff. One of the natural wonders of the world – and you can even view the falls from a helicopter.
Stay: One night in the Sheraton Falls View Hotel, or the Pillar & Post Inn just a few miles away in Niagara on the Lake.
As a complete contrast to the city and the falls, experience the deep silence and still atmosphere of Ontario’s oldest and largest provincial park. Go swimming, sailing, canoeing and hiking.
Stay: Two nights at Killarney Lodge.
Canada’s historic capital is built on the confluence of three rivers. Enjoy the city’s national museums, the colonial architecture and the UNESCO listed Rideau Canal.
Stay: One night in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
Cross over into Quebec and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in France – with a pronounced Canadian accent! Quebec is vast, with 1,000,000 lakes, 100,000 miles of rivers and a coastline 6000 miles long. It is seven times larger than the UK, giving you plenty of room for a whole range of adventure activities, from riding to rafting.
Stay: Two nights in the Quintessence Resort Hotel in the heart of the Laurentians.
Spend more time in the great outdoors with lakes and mountains providing the backdrop for horse riding, hiking, fishing, kayaking and – when you’re ready to relax – sumptuous spa treatments.
Stay: Two nights in Sacacomie.
Explore this classy state capital on foot and you’ll discover superb restaurants, great sights and romantic little streets and parks. Step beyond the city and you can go whale watching, sea kayaking or cruising along the gorgeous Saguenay Fjord. Or ride Le Massif – Quebec’s delightful scenic train.
Stay: Choose between the five star Hotel Le Germain Dominion, Auberge Des 21 at the fjord or Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie.
Touring towards Montreal
Take your time and you’ll enjoy rolling farmlands and tiny, 19th century villages featuring antique and curio shops and historic architecture.
Stay: Two nights in Manoir Hovey, a grand country hotel.
Interesting fact about Montreal? It is the third largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and Kinshasa in the Congo! Cosmopolitan it may be, but this cool city is decidedly Canadian in pace and atmosphere. It’s streets are gridded – New York style – which makes the shops, restaurants, late night entertainment venues, different districts, botanic gardens, Mont Royal Park, museums, galleries and sights all the more easy to find. Even the airport for your return flight isn’t far from Montreal’s cobbled streets.
Stay: Two nights in the Ritz Carlton Hotel.