Canada’s sheer magnitude is matched only by its remarkable diversity, offering sprawling landscapes, breath-taking scenery, and an abundance of outdoor and nature activities. It’s the second-largest country in the world by land area, covering approximately 3.85 million square miles and spanning six time zones – so there is no shortage of incredible sights and things to do in this formidable country!

From the majestic Canadian Rockies to the mind-blowing spectacle of the Niagara Falls, the vibrant cities of Toronto and Vancouver, and the maritime charm of Nova Scotia there’s something to discover in every corner.

In our latest travel guide, we’ve highlighted our eShores team’s favourite places to visit in Canada, showcasing the unique attractions and experiences that make this country a must-visit destination. Take a look and let us know if you’d like to experience everything that Canada has to offer – we’d love to curate the perfect tailormade multi centre holiday to Canada for you, so you can experience the Great White North, just the way you want to!

The Canadian Rockies: Mountains, Lakes, Glaciers & Pretty Towns

No visit to Canada is complete without exploring the breath-taking beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll find stunning scenery, pretty towns, rugged peaks, sparkling lakes, glaciers, diverse wildlife and a plethora of outdoor pursuits. This vast expanse of approximately 1000 miles makes for a great road trip experience, and many of our clients enjoy exploring the area on their own self-drive itinerary. Some of the must-visit places in the Canadian Rockies include:

Calgary: The city of Calgary, located in Alberta, is known for its oil industry and is considered the gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Apart from its famous ‘stampede’, an annual event in July when the city hosts one of the world’s largest rodeo events, it also boasts a great mix of parks, museums, and gardens. For a slice of the action, head to The Beltline and 17th Avenue, two of Calgary’s most vibrant areas offering entertainment, great dining options, and plenty of cool bars.
Banff & Banff National Park: A couple of hours’ drive from Calgary is the delightful town of Banff, situated within Banff National Park. With its awe-inspiring mountainous backdrop, this small town is a standout destination, and its compact size makes it easy to explore. One of the best ways to explore Banff National Park is via the plentiful and pristine trails that start off in Banff and lead you into the park with its wonderful scenery and fascinating variety of wildlife that can be spotted along the park’s roads and trails. For the best panoramic views, head to the summit of Sulphur Mountain via the Banff Gondola. For some R&R, Banff Upper Hot Springs is a must-visit and is one of the most popular hot springs in the area offering a chance to relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters while enjoying the views of the surrounding mountains. In winter, Banff transforms into a world-class ski resort that attracts skiers and snowboarders from around the world.

Lake Louise: The beautiful Lake Louise, also in Banff National Park, is a delightful sight with its startlingly blue waters framed by towering, ice-capped peaks. With the iconic Chateau Lake Louise at one end and wilderness stretching in all directions, it’s a great place to explore on foot, on a kayak, or by canoe. You can also head to the neighbouring Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, two of Canada’s most epic beauty spots.
Icefields Parkway: Taking a scenic drive along the 144-mile-long Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Banff is an essential part of any Rockies adventure, where you’ll take in breath-taking views of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife.
Jasper & Jasper National Park: Jasper is located at the northern end of the Icefields Parkway and is a serene mountain town with great food and the vast expanse of Jasper National Park on its doorstep. Jasper National Park is home to stunning scenery with towering mountain peaks, sprawling glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, and a wide range of wildlife – perfect for nature lovers. Stargazing in Jasper is a popular activity here due to minimal light pollution, allowing the night sky to transform into a sparkling masterpiece. It’s also a popular place for visitors to witness the fascinating spectacle of the northern lights during the winter months.
Athabasca Glacier: Located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park, the Athabasca Glacier, renowned for its stunning ice formations, is the most-visited glacier in North America. One of the best ways to visit the Athabasca Glacier is by an Ice Explorer tour, where you’ll be taken on a specialised vehicle through the icy terrain, allowing you to walk on and even take a drink from the glacier. Situated near the glacier is the Columbia Icefield Skywalk; an observation platform with a glass floor that provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, the glacier, and the plunging waterfalls of Sunwapta Canyon below.

Niagara Falls: A Spectacle Like No Other

The Niagara Falls is a true spectacle of nature’s immense power and beauty situated on the border between Canada and the United States. It’s no surprise that it attracts over 20 million visitors each year. There are three main waterfalls that make up the Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the largest and most well-known of the three falls and is located on the Canadian side of the border.

One of the best ways to get up close and personal to Horseshoe Falls is to take a boat tour, which takes you on a thrilling journey into the wild waters. One of the most iconic is the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which has been operating since the 19th Century. Hearing the thunderous rush of water, feeling the gentle mist on your skin, and sensing the immense power of the falls enveloping you is an experience beyond comparison. Another way to experience this incredible natural phenomenon is on a helicopter flight where you’ll fly over the rapids and be treated to a wonderful bird’s eye view – without getting wet! If you’d rather stay on terra firma, you can explore the scenic Niagara Parkway, which offers stunning views along the Niagara Gorge. Besides the falls, you should also visit Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is a pretty town with old buildings, charming cafes and wineries.

Toronto: City Life and the CN Tower

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Renowned for its cosmopolitan charm and cultural diversity, Toronto offers a great place to take in the arts, entertainment, and the city’s culinary delights. The iconic CN Tower dominates the skyline, and standing at 553 meters high, it was once the world’s tallest freestanding structure.

Take the high-speed lift to the main observation deck for panoramic views – and to go even higher, head to the SkyPod at the top of the tower, apparently the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. For those seeking an adrenaline-infused adventure, the CN Tower’s EdgeWalk takes the experience to new heights – literally. The EdgeWalk allows you to step onto the exterior ledge of the tower, suspended high above the city, giving you a rare opportunity to marvel at the views while securely harnessed, definitely not one for the feint hearted though! Away from the tower, Toronto is home to world-class museums, including the Royal Ontario Museum, and hosts major events such as the Toronto International Film Festival. The waterfront, featuring the picturesque Toronto Islands, is a great place for a leisurely stroll and for a taste of Toronto’s arts and culture scene, visit the Distillery District, once a collection of 19th-century whiskey distilleries and now a pedestrian-only village with narrow streets, Victorian buildings, art galleries, cafes and pretty boutiques.

Montreal: French Flair and Timeless Elegance

Montreal is situated in Quebec and is known for its significant French influence. While Canada is officially bilingual, with English and French as the official languages, Quebec is the only province where French is the primary language, and the city has a strong Francophone culture.

This distinct French character contributes to Montreal’s unique atmosphere and some of the highlights include Old Montreal, where you’ll discover the stunning Notre-Dame Basilica, Place Jacques-Cartier with its outdoor cafes and lively street performances, and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum where you can learn about the city’s history. For one of the best views of the city, walk or drive to the top of Mount Royal, a central park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Explore the Old Port, a historic waterfront district with charming cobblestone streets, trendy boutiques, and lively cafes. Foodies will be happy with plenty of diverse dining options reflecting the city’s French and multicultural influences.

Quebec City: Enchanting Walled City

Quebec City in Quebec is a walled city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the north bank of the South Lawrence river. The Old Town, ‘Vieux Quebec’ constructed by the French in the 17th century, is a charming place to wander around with its narrow, cobbled streets, old stone houses, and parks.

Explore Dufferin Terrace with its wonderful views of the St. Lawrence River and the iconic Château Frontenac. The city’s nightlife is equally enticing, featuring chic bars and diverse dining options in the myriad bistros lining the streets. There is plenty for history lovers to explore including the Citadelle, North America’s largest fort, and the site of the famous ‘Battle of Quebec’ where the French were forced to surrender Canada to the British. Today it’s a verdant park, ideal for a peaceful walk to take in the scenic vistas and the occasional ornamental cannons. Other important historic sites to explore within the city include the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame, the Musée de la Civilisation, and the grand Parliament Building.

Vancouver: Coastal City Beauty & Stanley Park

Vancouver is uniquely positioned between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast mountain range and allows the rare opportunity to sail and ski on the same day! Beyond the vibrant heart of the city with its diverse restaurants, galleries, and multicultural areas, Vancouver boasts natural wonders at its doorstep.

The iconic Stanley Park, popular with both tourists and locals, features a picturesque 17.4-mile-long Seawall path that encircles the entire park and offers a wonderful trail for walkers and cyclists, with stunning views of the Lion Gate Bridge and the North Shore. Away from the seawall, the park’s dense forest is also home to beaches, playgrounds, water parks and totem poles. Another must-visit in the city is the famous Grouse Mountain on the North Shore. You can either take the challenging almost-vertical climb to the top or take the easier option on the Skyride gondola which will whisk you to the summit in under 5 minutes. At the top you’ll be greeted by spectacular views of the coastal rainforest and the city. Also on the North Shore, head to Capilano Canyon, a famous canyon walk with a dramatic suspension bridge. Claiming to be one of the world’s longest and highest suspension bridges, it is pretty hair-raising as it wobbles and shakes as you walk over it. In the winter months, skiers will love Cypress Creek, a nearby ski resort, and the world-renowned Whistler which is only an hour away and easily accessible from the city. The marina at Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver is a great place for a stroll and to have a bite to eat, and from here you can also catch a short seaplane ride to Victoria on Vancouver Island to explore the Victorian buildings and the beautiful gardens.

Nova Scotia: Maritime Charm & Peggy’s Cove

Nova Scotia is situated on the eastern coast of Canada and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with an extensive coastline that is characterised by numerous bays, peninsulas and picture postcard villages. One of the highlights of the region is Peggy’s Cove, a charming fishing village, renowned for its iconic lighthouse and rugged coastline.

Halifax, the region’s capital invites you to explore its historic waterfront and fascinating Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Southwest of Halifax is the picturesque and historic town of Lunenburg, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site where visitors can explore its pretty waterfront, stroll along the narrow streets lined with shops and galleries, and learn about the town’s seafaring history. The iconic Bluenose II, a famous Canadian schooner (meaning a sailing ship with two or more masts), is often docked in Lunenburg, adding to the town’s scenic appeal. Another popular destination in Nova Scotia is the Kejimkujik National Park which is a mix of woodland and water, featuring forests, lakes, and rivers, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and canoeing.

Churchill, Manitoba: Polar Beach Capital & Arctic Wonders

Situated on the fringes of the Arctic, Churchill in Manitoba, is a remote gem that is known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World.’ The best time for polar bear sightings is in Autumn when these majestic creatures gather along the coast, waiting for the sea ice to form – and to catch a glimpse of these remarkable creatures, visitors can take a tour with a knowledgeable guide on a Tundra Buggy, a large, all-terrain vehicle with viewing platforms. During the summer months, the Churchill River becomes a haven for beluga whale watching, while in winter, it’s a great place to catch the enchanting display of the northern lights.

If our travel guide has left you wanting to experience the vast and scenic landscapes of Canada first-hand, let us curate the perfect Canadian holiday for you. Whether you’re dreaming of a self-drive adventure through the Rockies, or you want to experience the vibrant energy of the Niagara falls, or the country’s dynamic cities, our eShores travel experts are ready to plan your perfect Canadian holiday – so simply get in touch. Tailor-made holidays are what we do best, and we can’t wait to craft your dream holiday!

Nick Chadwick Personal Travel Consultant

Nick has only been with the eShores team for a year, but with his experience he quickly got to grips with the role and is now part of the furniture. Nick started working in travel straight out of university and has a passion for exploring new places and packing his holidays with activities .