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Canada Holidays

Canada Holidays

Canada was made for the intrepid. Its vibrant cities are connected to breathtaking nature, promising unique adventures, new discoveries and an incredible tailor-made holiday. To the west you’ll find a plethora of national parks, incorporating a wealth of soaring mountains and tranquil mirror lakes, as well as Vancouver – a laid-back metropolis that sits in the shadow of forest-clad peaks, witnessing humpback whales and orcas breaching along its coastline. Together the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta showcase the country’s best wildlife, landscapes, road trips, cities and food, not to mention one of the greatest rail journeys on the planet: the Rocky Mountaineer.

Experiences abound in the east too – from seeing the mighty cascades at Niagara, to exploring the fjords and charming towns of Newfoundland. Canada is a destination where you can step beyond the most famous tourist trails and discover something new…

Can’t wait to begin? Check out our best travel advice and tailor-made Canada holidays below, and become a travel pioneer.

Popular Tailor-made Canada Holiday itineraries

Want to choose your own adventure? Then you’ll love our tailor-made Canada holidays. Covering the east to the west coasts, these itineraries have been designed by our Experts to include everything you could want from a Canada holiday, from flights to hand-picked accommodation, day tours, car hire, unique experiences and more.

Best of all, these itineraries are just suggestions and can be tailored to suit you, whether you want to change the suggested hotel, add a stopover in the USA, include a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer or upgrade your flight. For inspiration, browse our tailor-made Canada holidays above or, for a specific itinerary, talk to our team of Experts today.

Choose an option to start Tailor-Making your holiday

Places to Visit in Canada

Canada can be split into three distinct regions: west, east and the north. For a laid-back vibe, try Vancouver and the west coast, where lofty mountains meet with thriving cities and wildlife-filled national parks. Or why not head north to Churchill for a chance to spot a polar bear? If it’s moose you prefer, opt for Ontario’s Algonquin National Park or, for windswept landscapes, the easterly Maritimes. Then there’s Toronto and Niagara, where city and natural wonders fuse together. Top that off with a dose of culture in the Francophile Quebec City or Montreal, and you’ve covered off Canada’s best bases. Click below to learn more about the most popular cities in Vancouver. 

Canada Holiday Types

There’s a holiday for all seasons and all types in Canada. Whether by car or rail, into the wild or a city break, our Canada holidays are designed to suit all types of travel styles, interests and budgets. Looking for something specific? Talk to our Experts today and we can create a bespoke itinerary for you.

Canada Holiday Ideas and Advice 

With so much going for it, it’s hard not to fall in love with this North American gem. Learning all there is to know about Canada is so much more than a job for us, which is why we love sharing our best holiday ideas and advice. Here, our Canada Travel Experts and army of knowledgeable bloggers share their first-hand experiences to help you plan your ultimate Canada holiday.

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  • Top things to do
  • When to go
  • Extra info

Things to Do in Canada

A heady mix of vast wilderness, soaring mountains and hip or historical cities, Canada was made for the intrepid. You can’t possibly see the highlights of this huge country in one trip, but at least this list – hand-picked by our Travel Experts – will give you a place to start. Here are 10 things you just have to do in Canada:

Drive the Icefields Parkway

Quite possibly the most magical stretch of tarmac on the planet, the 144-mile Highway 93 – otherwise known as the Icefields Parkway – has such a high concentration of breathtaking natural scenes that it is blissfully overwhelming. Whether you’re driving from Jasper to Banff or the other way round, you’ll find it difficult not to make regular pit stops at the abundant pull-ins and spend more than just one day exploring them. Not to be missed are Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, the Columbia Icefields, Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. Our favourite though is Hector Lake; if you’re lucky you’ll have this secluded spot all to yourself.

How to do it: Visit Jasper and Banff (and the iconic highway in-between) on our Western Canada Peaks & Cliffs Journey.

Feel the thunder of Niagara

You can hear the roar of the Falls before you even reach your hotel. That’s the beauty of Niagara. This crashing behemoth of a cascade likes to make its presence known – and who could blame it? The Canadian ‘Horseshoe’ Falls (the biggest of the three that make up Niagara) sees 2.2 million litres of water crash over its ledge every second, creating a mist that simultaneously soaks and enchants. Naturally tourists flock here, but that doesn’t detract from the sheer might of this flagship Canadian attraction.

How to do it: Our Toronto and Niagara Journey will get you up-close to the Falls on a Hornblower Cruise.

Hunt for the aurora in Whitehorse

For a light display like nothing you’ve ever seen before (and may well never see again), head to Whitehorse, in the Yukon. From September to March this is prime Northern Lights territory. Patience and a willingness to move around and sit in the cold are crucial but, hopefully, in doing so you’ll be rewarded with emerald lights swirling and dancing across the inky-black sky above. There aren’t many experiences quite like it.

How to do it: Go aurora hunting on our Winter, Whistler and the Northern Lights tour.

Search for the elusive spirit bear

British Columbia is home to the Great Bear Rainforest. Stretching along the coast for 250 miles, it is not just a verdant, pristine wonderland, but it’s also home to the elusive Kermode (spirit) bear – a sub-species of the black bear, but born with a snow-coloured coat. Seeing one in the wild is a really rare experience, and starting your search here offers the best chance of a sighting.

How to do it: Spend several days at the Spirit Bear Lodge when you book our Vancouver and the Bears holiday.

Dangle off the CN Tower

…or at least go up it. Once the world’s tallest tower, Toronto’s CN Tower soars over the city, its spire dominating the skyline no matter where you are. Visitors who ascend to its 114th floor LookOut Level will be rewarded with views of Canada and beyond, while those who want to feel really at one with the skyline can take the EdgeWalk – a harnessed stroll around the circumference of the observation deck roof; the highest full circle hands-free walk on the planet. Terrifying, but incredible. GULP.

How to do it: Discover Toronto, Niagara, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal when you take our Eastern Canada Highlights holiday.

Ride the Rocky Mountaineer

With a gourmet meal in front of you, your worries behind you, and the might of the Rocky Mountains all around you, cruising through Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer is simply one of the best ways to travel. You’ll get to see landscapes not accessible on foot or in a car, while comparing the different topography – from the dusty, semi-arid Kamloops to the lush humidity of Jasper. Way more than just a restaurant on wheels, this experience promises to be an unforgettable one.

How to do it: Ride the rails from Vancouver to Jasper or Banff on our Rocky Mountaineer itinerary.

Discover the secrets of Ontario

Most think of Ontario and immediately head for Toronto, but in reality there’s plenty to do in this eastern state beyond the city. With 250,000+ lakes to kayak, canoe and stroll around, not to mention moose to find, it pays to get under the skin of the region. Blue Mountain, Algonquin Provincial Park and 19th-century Kingston are particular highlights.

How to do it: Go canoeing in Algonquin and more when you embark on our Forests and Lake of Ontario Journey.

Take on nature’s stairmaster in Vancouver

At 1,231m, North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain isn’t the tallest peak on the planet – not by a long stretch. But what it does have is a gruelling hike to the summit, which will undoubtedly make you feel like it is the tallest peak on the planet. We’re not trying to put you off, far from it in fact. This arduous climb may be steep and a tough slog at times, but it only makes the reward of reaching its busy top all the more worthwhile. Because, once you’ve completed the task, you can stuff your face with a beer and a burger at the café before watching a lumberjack show, taking a beehive tour, and meeting the mountain’s two resident grizzlies. Take the gondola back to the bottom for unmatched views of the city skyline.

How to do it: Our West Coast Wonders holiday gives you time to tackle the Grouse Grind and cross the nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Go whale watching in Halifax

That moment when a tailfin emerges from the water, fluking just metres from your boat, is something you’ll remember forever. No doubt a hush will fall across the vessel, you’ll hold your breath for a few seconds and you’ll be overcome with emotion when seeing such an incredible creature in the wild. And when you have a chance to spot fin, humpback, minke, blue and northern right whales, the likelihood of you making incredible whale-watching memories is even higher.

How to do it: Our The Maritime Provinces and Bay of Fundy Costal Towns trips both include whale watching excursions from Halifax.

Have an Arctic adventure

If it’s an adventure you’re craving – look no further than Arctic Canada. Here you can spot Polar bears, beluga whales and gaze out across the gloriously-blue saltwater of Hudson Bay. Expect freezing temperatures, lots of snow and holiday snaps that no one else is likely to have.

How to do it: Our aptly-named Arctic Adventure itinerary will take you to Winnipeg, Churchill and the Lazy Bear Lodge

When to Go to Canada

Canada may be huge but, luckily for us, its weather is fairly consistent across the country. The coastal regions are typically a bit milder and the interior is chillier/snowier, but generally speaking you can pick a month and expect the outlook to be similar no matter which destination you go for. There are four distinct seasons to choose from. Each one has its magic too: think wildflower blooms in spring; sun-soaked cities in summer; brown, red and yellow leaves in the autumn; and Champagne powder snow in the winter. Narrow down which season suits you with our when to go to Canada guide:

Spring: March to May

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Canada. The mountains are still snow-capped, but at ground level there’s an explosion of colour; Ottawa hosts a city-wide tulip festival to celebrate the arrival of the flower. Be prepared to enjoy late spring flurries of snow in high-altitude spots like Jasper and Banff, but equally expect warm, temperate days. Average temperatures hover around 13-16ᵒC in the west and 2-19ᵒC in the east.

Best places to visit in spring:

  • Ottawa for the Canadian Tulip Festival
  • Vancouver for the cherry blossom season
  • Whistler for skiing

Summer: June to August

With great weather, come great crowds: summer in Canada is a buzzing time, with tourists arriving from all over the world. And who could blame them? The sun barely dips below the horizon in the Arctic regions, while both east and west are equally blessed with blissful temperatures. High altitude routes and highways that are shut throughout the rest of the year; now open their barriers to motorists now that the snow has melted, simultaneously opening up new opportunities for exploration.

Best places to visit in summer:

  • The forests and lakes of Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island for unbeatable shellfish
  • Nova Scotia for maritime culture

Autumn: September to October

Autumn is one of the most laid-back, beautiful times to discover Canada. The summer crowds have dissipated – and thus the prices have dropped – while the temperatures remain pleasant. If that’s not enough, the fall colours are in full swing: check out the changing maple trees in Algonquin Provincial Park or Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains in particular.

Best places to visit in autumn:

  • New Brunswick for the Fundy Coastal Drive
  • Lake Louise for stunning autumnal sunrise and sunset vistas
  • Niagara for autumn leaves, wine and the falls

Winter: November to February

Winters in Canada can be fierce, but they’re also beautiful and the locals really know how to make the most of them. Eastern Canada, Montreal and Toronto in particular, see several inches of thick snowfall, bringing a real magical feel to the region. The Rockies are transformed into a winter playground of horse-sleigh rides, ice climbing and snowshoeing. 

Best places to visit in winter:

  • Yellowknife for the Northern Lights
  • Johnston Canyon, Banff, walking amid vast walls of ice
  • Practically anywhere with a hill or mountain for skiing

More About Canada

Capital city: Ottawa

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Language: English

Vaccinations: Extra vaccinations are not required.

Flight time: London to Vancouver flight time is just under 11 hours. London to Toronto flight time 7 hours 50 minutes.

Visas: British Citizens require a tourist eTA visa, which you can apply for online.

Why Book Your Canada Holiday with Flight Centre

We know Canada: Many of our Travel Experts have visited, lived in or are from Canada, and can easily craft a tailor-made trip to suit your needs and budget.

Local knowledge: Flight Centre has stores and offices throughout Canada, giving us access to fantastic local knowledge. With a team on the ground in Canada, we’ll not only ensure you have a fantastic experience, but also offer you insider information and tips that only locals will know.

Flexibility: We offer flexible deposits, the opportunity to pay the balance of your holiday just 10 weeks before departure and fixed change and cancellation fees.

Flight Centre concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance Service: When you book a holiday to Canada from our range of tailor-made Journeys, you’ll also enjoy access to our inclusive concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance services.