Canada can be an excellent place for adventure, chilling out and much more. Here at WOT Travel, we decided to put together our 10 favourite ways to explore this vast country, to help inspire you to do more than the norm. We hope you are inspired! If you have any other new ways to explore Canada, we’d love to know, in the comments below.
- Drop pucks with hockey pros
Are you ready for a truly Canadian adventure? Lace up your skates and learn how to play hockey with some of Canada’s greats. Elite junior-league coaches and past NHL players share their expertise in this two-hour Canadian Signature Experience in the heart of Alberta’s hockey country. www.pinnaclehockey.ca/canadian-hockey-player.html
- Experience Canada’s Iconic Icefields Parkway…by bike
Acclaimed as one of the world’s best drives, the Icefields Parkway winds past alpine lakes, glaciers and jagged peaks deep in the Canadian Rockies. Now, a unique tour is giving travellers the chance to slow down and experience it all by bike. The Jasper to Banff Mountain Madness Bike Tour is a four-day cycle adventure, complete with meals, accommodation – and your fair share of elk, caribou and bear sightings en route. www.mountainmadnesstours.com
- Spend the night in your own lighthouse
Redefining the getaway experience, Newfoundland’s Quirpon Lighthouse Inn is a fully restored 1922 home at the base of an operating lighthouse on remote Quirpon Island. Inside are ten heritage rooms for guests, while outside offers rugged coast, the occasional passing iceberg and plenty of wildlife, including migrating whales. www.linkumtours.com
- Craft beer meets music fest in Vancouver
Western Canada’s biggest craft-beer festival just got bigger (and better, by all accounts). This summer, Vancouver Craft Beer Week is set to host more than 100 breweries and cideries from all over North America. New this year, the beer-garden-style fest adds live bands on three separate stages from June 3 to June 5. www.vancouvercraftbeerweek.com
- Enjoy a sub-zero gourmet dinner in Winnipeg
Winnipeg (unofficial nickname “Winterpeg”) can average temperatures around 18 Celsius (0 Fahrenheit) in its colder months, with wind chills dipping to even frostier depths. But that hasn’t stopped locals from putting on one of Canada’s trendiest pop-up dinners, outdoors. Heated tents on the iced-over forks of the Assiniboine and Red rivers are the setting for these gourmet meals, featuring seasonal menus from a rotating line-up of top chefs. www.raw-almond.com
- Get up close with the world’s only spirit bears
Distinct from polar bears, spirit bears are a unique breed of black bear that have cream-coloured coats owing to recessive genes. The only place they call home is British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Newly protected by a landmark environmental agreement, the region boasts some of the most expensive old-growth forests in the world. See the bears in their natural habitat on one-of-a-kind tours with the local Kitasoo / Xai’xais First Nations people. www.spiritbear.com
- Soak up the celestial sights in Jasper, Alberta
Night skies are the main attraction in this unique sanctuary in the Canadian Rockies. Jasper National Park’s 11,000sq.km dark sky preserve is almost entirely free of artificial lightning, making for some incredible stargazing. The park’s Dark Sky Festival each October draws astronauts from around the world and has even featured Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield. www.jasperdarksky.travel
- Get reacquainted with Toronto
Ranked seventh on The New York Times’ list of 52 must-visit places for 2016, Toronto is gearing up for a banner year. The city will see its first month-long Pride festival in June and host the World Cup of Hockey, as well as the NBA All-Star game and the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup. Combine this with TO’s trendy neighbourhoods, the re-opening of Queens Quay on Lake Ontario (with its influx of pretty people paths) and the acclaimed Toronto International Film Festival, and now is the time to see Toronto. www.seetorontonow.com
- Explore a sunken naval destroyer off the British Columbia coast
The aptly named Sunshine Coast stretches along 180km (112 miles) of British Columbia shoreline, and includes some of the best (and warmest) year-round diving sites in the province. New to the underwater ecosystem, the 112m-long vessel HMCS Annapolis was sunk this past year, joining the HMCS Chaudiere and HMAS Brisbane as popular diving sites. In terms of local wildlife, look out for burnt-orange Pacific octopi, jellyfish, curious porpoises, seals and even sea lions. www.sunshinecoastcanada.com
- Take maple syrup to gourmet heights
It’s not just for pancakes anymore. In Quebec – the undisputed centre of the maple-syrup universe – options have gone upscale. Maple-forward dishes are showing up on city menus and in pop-up urban cabins. Options include pork-belly doughnut sandwiches with maple syrup espuma at Quebec City’s Laurie Raphael restaurant and retro “sugar shacks” like La Cabana chez Jean outside downtown Montreal, serving sugar pie and other classic dishes. www.tourisme-montreal.org
If this blog has set your sense of travel on “overload”, why not contact Paul with your requirements, and allow him to organise a bespoke ATOL-protected travel package for you?
With flights from the UK and Europe to Canada, at an all-time high, you’ll have a good choice of options, with numerous departure points.
No matter where you reside, Canada can be reached easily and relatively quickly, so just let us know your preferred departure point, and we will do the rest.