Multi-stop tour or city trip? East or west? If you have the time, you should plan a few weeks in Canada to explore at least one region in detail, ideally by car or with a camper van. Toronto, the largest city in the country, awaits you on the East Coast, where you will find several other highlights. In the west, Vancouver is the most frequented destination. From there you can head to the Rocky Mountains or to the nearby national parks.
The following destinations are among the most beautiful and popular in the east and west of Canada.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada. It is considered a melting pot of cultures but also the most "American" city. Highlights include the CN Tower with spectacular views over the city, the alternative Kensington Market district, and the Toronto Islands on Lake Ontario, which you can visit by boat from downtown Toronto.
Not far from Toronto, the Canadian Horseshoe Falls plunge 670 meters into the depths, forming a unique natural spectacle. From the Canadian side you also have direct views of the falls on the American side. If you're lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, you may see a rainbow connecting the falls (hence the name of the transition point from Canada to the US: the Rainbow Bridge.)
Pirate Tip: If you visit Canada in the winter, you might have a chance to admire the frozen falls.
Ottawa has a surprisingly European flair. Consider architecture like the Victorian-style parliament buildings and the city's oldest church, the Notre Dame cathedral basilica. It's evidenced in the culture as well, from high-profile museums to bars and restaurants dishing out European cuisine.
The oldest national park in the province of Ontario enchants visitors with pristine nature and wonderful hiking trails at different degrees of difficulty. Wolves, bears, elk, and beavers all have their home here, and you can cross the park by canoe or set out on foot.
Pirate tip: In September and October, the temperatures are still pleasant for hiking and the whole park is a marvel of beautiful colors.
Vancouver is considered to be on of the liveliest cities in the world, with historic neighborhoods such as Gastown, a trendy waterfront, and winter sports and hiking on the doorstep of the Coast Mountains. Vancouver Island, an offshore gem, is a surfer's paradise.
Panoramic, picture-perfect views abound in Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains: crystal-clear mountain lakes, snow-capped glaciers, dense coniferous forests, roaring mountain streams —it's no wonder Banff is Canada's most visited national park.
For the more adventurous sort, the Great Bear Rainforest in the western Canadian province of British Columbia is a must. For more than 400 kilometers, the rainforest stretches along the Pacific coast, full of dense trees, mossy rocks, thunderous waterfalls, and glacier fjords.
Pirate's tip: A journey through the Great Bear Rainforest is also an adventure because of the wildlife. In the ocean you can see humpback whales and sea lions, while on land there are wolves, pumas, and grizzly bears.