Wednesday 25 September 2019

7 Amazing Places to Visit to Discover the Diversity of Canada

Image Credit: Lake Moraine by Garrett Parker on Unsplash
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I often think that people miss a trick when they pass Canada over in favour of a visit to the United States. This massive country has so much going for it, like 79 million hectares of protected wilderness, long summer days, winters that don’t stop day-to-day life and the eTA Canada is incredibly easy to gain too.

Of course, when you start planning your trip to a foreign country you want to check out the costs, safety, climate, health and travel requirements, and Canada is a hit on all fronts. Once you have booked your trip and made sure that you have your travel insurance in place, you want to get your electronic travel authorization (or eTA) in process by filling out the Canada eta application, then you can sit back and start to plan all the truly exciting places that you will visit whilst in the country.

As Canada is so big, you’re either going to need to be there for some weeks to travel all round or you’ll need a few trips to the different areas. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing places you can visit to discover just how diverse Canada is.

1. Lake Moraine, Banff National Park, Alberta 
Lake Moraine is only half the size of its sister, Lake Louise but many say it is even more beautiful. Well known for its clear turquoise colour, this glacier-fed lake is best viewed from late June through to August. In fact, you’ll only be able to visit from late May until early October as then the weather may become too harsh and unpredictable for the access road to be open. You can take one of the many trails along stone steps to see the magnificent mountain and lake views, including the iconic ten peaks.

2. Thunder Cove, PEI 
The north coast of PEI is known for its amazing beaches and sand dunes. Red sands and rock formations are a regular sight and if you are willing to go for a bit of a hike you might even arrive at Thunder Cove where you can enjoy sea caves, rock formations and even one that famously looks like a teacup! It’s not your average beach!

Image Credit: Tourism Saskatchewan

3. Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, Saskatchewan 
I bet you didn’t know there was a stretch of desert in Canada, did you? I certainly had no idea. The dunes stretch approximately 100 kilometres along the south shore of Lake Athabasca, and are the largest active sand surface in Canada, with the dunes reaching as high as 30 metres. The park is accessible by floatplane only and recommended for experienced wilderness users, although I think I’d book an experienced guide if I were going there.

Image Credit: English Beach, Vancouver by MikeBenna on Unsplash

4. Vancouver, British Columbia 
What a city Vancouver is, boasting a bit of everything. It’s a city full of fun, sure to delight even the best-travelled foodie or delight seeker, and always topping the ‘best places to live’ lists. Here you can also find the beach on your doorstep, skiable mountains as a backdrop and around half a million trees in the densely populated forest of Stanely Park.

5. Sucrerie de la Montagne, Quebec 
How can you come to Canada and not see where maple syrup is produced? Quebec is responsible for the bulk of production and this amazing authentic “sugar shack” at the top of Mont Rigaud is open all year round and has been designated as a Quebec heritage site. You can stay, eat, sledge, take wagon rides, listen to live music and of course see how the maple syrup is tapped and used.

Image Source: Tourisme Manawan

6. Manawan, Quebec 
Also in Quebec is the Manawan First Nations Reserve, where you can learn about how the native Indians lived. There is so much to do there, with trips in a traditional canoe (Rabaska), snowshoeing, fishing, craft workshops, and a Pow Wow in the summer, amongst many other things. Maybe you also fancy a stay in an authentic tepee whilst you’re there too?

7. Haida Gwaii 
This archipelago of 450 small islands lays around 80km west off the British Columba coast. Formally known as the Queen Charlotte Islands you have to visit to truly believe the beauty on offer here. Giant sitka spruce and cedar tower over the wild beaches where you can find bears fishing for wild salmon, bald eagles flying overhead and whales, porpoise and sea lions swimming locally. On the islands you can find hiking, biking, caving, zip-lining, fishing, sailing and windsurfing for the outdoors types.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my virtual tour across Canada, this is just a very small selection of the places available to visit. There really is so much diversity in one country. Now, it is time for you to make your booking, sort your travel insurance and apply for your eTA. All the best!

So, where do you fancy going? Which of these truly stunning places has captured your imagination?