The world’s second-largest country by total area, Canada is a magical winter destination that is sometimes referred to as “the Land of the Great White North”. However there are many reasons to also consider a summer holiday in this vast and varied country – we’ve summed up some of our favourite Canadian summer stunners.
Summer is a wonderful time to explore the city of Quebec – you’ll be entertained by street performers as you stroll the cobbled streets of the Old Town, seek out the ideal picnic spot overlooking the St Lawrence River on the Promenade Samuel-de Champlain, walk the suspended footbridge that crosses the Montmorency Falls (which are 30 metres higher than the more famous Niagara Falls), or hire a bike to explore the city’s 400-kilometre network of cycle paths.
Beluga whales, with their white skin and lack of dorsal fin, are uniquely adapted to life in the frigid waters of the Arctic, but every year they migrate south to warmer waters for calving. The town of Churchill in northern Manitoba is one of the best places in which to see these unique animals in the wild in their thousands, while the long northern summer days mean there’s also plenty of time to check in on the town’s other famous residents: polar bears.
The island which, along with 231 smaller islands, makes up one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces, is Canada’s smallest by both size and population. Also referred to as “the Garden of the Gulf”, PEI’s economic backbone is farming – along with its strong maritime tradition, this makes the region a foodie’s idea of heaven. From freshly-caught lobster and oysters to freshly-dug potatoes; from Arcadian meat pie still warm from the oven to a decadent cranberry cheesecake, you can follow a trail of culinary highlights that showcases the island’s finest produce.
Cape Breton Island is the largest of Nova Scotia’s 3,800 islands, connected to the mainland by a man-made rock-fill causeway more than a kilometre long. Its rocky shores, rolling farmland and forested highlands make for ideal touring, and one of the most popular routes is the 298-kilometre Cabot Trail. As a cycling route, the Trail is considered one of the world’s finest, whether you choose for a self-guided camping trip or with the assistance of a ‘sightseeing-by-van’ operator who will pick you up for the more challenging sections.
Take a two-and-a-half-hour drive east of Calgary and you’ll find yourself in the Badlands region of Red Deer River, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dinosaur Provincial Park. Renowned as one of the richest sources of dinosaur fossils anywhere in the world, more than fifty species and 500 specimens of dinosaur have been found here amidst the unique landscape. Join an interpretive tour, go hiking amid the hoodoos or kayak a section of the Red Deer River, but be sure to allow time to visit the outdoor fossil displays – one a recreation of a dig site, the other a real, partially-excavated duck-billed dinosaur.
It may come as a surprise to learn that British Columbia has not just one, but five, wonderful, wine-producing regions that are growing in popularity every year, from Vancouver Island to the Fraser Valley. The largest region is the Okanagan Valley, centred around the long, deep and very beautiful lake of the same name, which is located around 400 kilometres east of Vancouver. The region is a summer holiday destination, thanks to its idyllic setting, mild climate and the hundred-plus wineries that have sprung up along the valley. These are complemented by an extensive collection of “farm-to-plate” style eateries to create a wining and dining destination that rivals any in the world.
Don’t be fooled by the name: Dawson City is a small town of just over a thousand inhabitants in the heart of the Yukon, but at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush it was home to more than 40,000 gold-fevered prospectors. Its location, just a few hundred kilometres from the Arctic Circle, means that during the summer you can take advantage of near-continuous daylight to revel in the many outdoorsy activities on offer, from hiking across wildflower meadows surrounded by mountain peaks to trying your luck panning for gold at the historic Claim 33 mining museum.
If you fancy some of these amazing Canadian summer experiences, talk to your personal travel manager today.