The following itineraries span the entire length of this incredibly diverse country, from the historic cities of the east, to the plains and jaw-dropping mountains of the west and the Arctic wilderness of the north. Given the vast distances involved, you won’t be able to cover everything, but even picking a few highlights will give you a deeper insight into Canada’s natural and historic wonders.
This three-week tour gives a taster of Canada’s main highlights from coast to coast, travelling by train, bus and plane.
1 Québec City
Savour the baguettes, cobbled streets, café au lait and rich French heritage of Canada’s oldest settlement.
Head south to this hip and cosmopolitan city to enjoy the street artists, museums, smoked meats, bagels and North America’s largest jazz festival.
The Canadian capital is worth a day or two for its outstanding museums and galleries, with a side trip to the distinctive geography of Gatineau Park.
Canada’s biggest city and commercial capital is best known for the cloud-scraping CN Tower, art from the Group of Seven and pumping nightlife.
5 Niagara Falls
Canada’s major show-stopper is just a short ride from Toronto.
6 Take the train to Jasper
Fly from Toronto to Edmonton and take the VIA Rail service to Jasper, home to gorgeous Maligne Lake and Canada’s highest cable car.
7 The Icefields Parkway
Spend a few days immersed in the grandeur of the Rockies on the road to Banff, via the Columbia Icefield and Lake Louise.
The capital of the Canadian Rockies is surrounded by mesmerizing scenery, mountain trails and soothing hot springs.
After stops in Yoho and Revelstoke national parks, end your trip at the Pacific Ocean with a scenic stay at Canada’s dynamic western capital.
Maritime Canada – especially Newfoundland – is a land apart, with a distinct culture, stunning scenery and invariably empty roads. This two-to-three week tour is best experienced by car.
The hip capital of Nova Scotia offers great museums, the notorious “donair” kebab, hundreds of pubs and the best live music in the east.
2 Lunenburg and the south shore
Take a day or two to see the best of Nova Scotia’s rugged coastline south of Halifax, ending at the charming fishing port of Lunenburg.
3 Bay of Fundy
Drive to the New Brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy, where Hopewell’s flowerpot rocks and the misty forests of the Fundy National Park await.
4 Prince Edward Island
Cross over the Confederation Bridge for the bucolic charms and fresh lobsters of Anne of Green Gables country.
5 Cape Breton
Back in Nova Scotia, drive north to Cape Breton Island, where the jaw-dropping Cabot Trail takes in the best scenery, and Acadian and Gaelic culture.
6 Gros Morne National Park
Catch the ferry from Cape Breton to Newfoundland and drive up to this sensational national park.
7 L’Anse aux Meadows
Continue north to St Anthony and this remarkable historic site, home to Vikings some 500 years before Columbus.
8 Fogo Island
Cut across the vast wilderness of central Newfoundland to this untouched slice of traditional port life.
9 St John’s
End up at Newfoundland’s boisterous capital, where you can whale-watch, picnic at a lighthouse and get “screeched in”.
Only when you travel in Canada’s immense northern wilderness will you begin to grasp just how big – and rich in wildlife – this nation is. Come in summer to enjoy the sunshine and take three to four weeks to complete this trip.
Fly into the under-rated capital of Manitoba and gateway to the prairies, home to the world’s largest Inuit art collection.
Take the train to this Hudson Bay outpost to see hordes of beluga whales and – while you can – polar bears up close.
3 Alaska Highway
Fly or drive to Edmonton and then Dawson Creek before following the epic stretch of Alaska Highway up to the lively capital of the Yukon, Whitehorse.
4 Klondike Highway
Continue north from Whitehorse through the wilderness on the Klondike Highway, enjoying the toasty pools at Takhini Hot Springs.
5 Dawson City
Take a break from the road at this iconic northern frontier town, centre of the Klondike gold rush.
6 Alaska Marine Highway
Cut back to Haines or Skagway to catch this scenic ferry service south through coastal Alaska.
7 Prince Rupert
The marine highway re-enters Canada at this port town, stepping off point for the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary and whale-watching tours.
8 Haida Gwaii
Take the ferry across to this magical island archipelago in the Pacific, rich in aboriginal culture, flora and fauna.