Canada is matchless in its beauty, from its awe-inspiring mountains that loom heavy with snow to azure lakes, so pristine they look like a painting. The landscapes here are vast, spectacular and staggeringly diverse, ranging from the snaggletooth Rockies in the west to sweeping sandy bays in the east and untamed Arctic wilderness in its far-flung northern reaches.
As such, it's the outdoors where Canada really excels. And, while winter resorts such as Whistler and Banff have long been recognised as some of the world's best, there's far more to this country's wild expanse. In summer, these same regions are transformed, their forested slopes paving the way for magnificent hikes and bike rides while lakes, frozen over during the colder months, set the scene for lazy days spent fishing and kayaking. These great swathes are perfectly explored from a collection of luxury lodges where the likes of fine dining and hot-tub soaks provide the perfect counterpoint to days of exhilarating adventure.
In Alberta and the Rocky Mountains, you'll find the emblematic national parks of Jasper and Lake Louise, bordered by desert badlands, boreal forests and colossal ice fields. There's perhaps no more iconic way to witness these scenes than with a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey, traversing rushing river canyons and cascading waterfalls, and bookended with city stays exploring Vancouver's coastal charm and Calgary's Western brashness.
Perhaps you want to embark on an epic self-drive along the rugged cliffs and sandstone beaches of Prince Edward Island, or taste fresh lobster and learn of Acadian culture in New Brunswick. More drama can be found in the majestic peaks and plunging fjords of Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland & Labrador, and in the far north provinces of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and The Yukon, polar bears and Northern Lights dominate the vast sub-Arctic tundra.
Sample delicious poutine among Montreal’s European cobbles or Quebec’s colonial delights – a region fiercely proud of its French heritage, or explore the country's First Nations history and gold-rush heritage in Saskatchewan's prairie towns. And, in Ontario, the epic roar of Niagara Falls provides one of the country's true icons.
Canada’s spectacular experiences vary wildly from season to season. Come summer, waterfalls swell and emerald lakes are revealed; perfect for hiking, biking, fishing and rafting among the unspoiled wilderness in the mountains of Alberta or along the lighthouse-dotted beaches on the Atlantic Coast. Go wildlife-spotting on epic self-drives through Jasper and Banff, or head east to take in national parks home to roaming caribou herds and grizzly bears, taken in on expert-led wilderness hikes, while the coasts offer endless opportunities to spot, and even swim with whales in iceberg-studded seas. And, in the northern wilds along the shores of Hudson Bay, walk with polar bears or spot them from specially built tundra buggies under the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights.
Luxury cruises are a wonderful way to explore Canada's seemingly endless coastal landscapes, while inland the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train pairs five-star service and included gourmet dining and fine wines with unmatched views from glass-domed carriages; there can be few better ways to take in the Rockies' granite jags and rushing rivers.
Experience indigenous traditions in the northern territories and prairies, head to French-speaking Québec to return to a time gone by, or immerse yourself in Montréal's 18th century architecture. Come winter, go skiing and snowshoeing in some of the world's best alpine resorts, or seek the aurora borealis in distant Nunvanut, the Northwest Territories and The Yukon.
Highlights of the Canadian Rockies on Rocky Mountaineer
7 days from £2,725 pp incl. flights
Begin with Vancouver’s coastal charms before you board the iconic Rocky Mountaineer to head through the majestic Rockies to Calgary, enjoying included gourmet dining and drinks throughout. Expert-led tours of Banff and Yoho National Park, and a thrilling helicopter ride are included.
Vancouver & Bear Watching at Knight Inlet
7 days from £3,250 pp incl. flights
Explore the beauty of Knight Inlet's British Columbia on this seven-day break, where you'll bear watch at one of the world's best grizzly viewing sites, bookended with Vancouver's coastal charms.
Grand Circle Tour on Rocky Mountaineer
14 days from £4,890 pp incl. flights
From snow-covered summits to azure lakes, the Rocky Mountaineer one of the world’s most spectacular rail journey. Enjoy gourmet dining, stays in the region's best hotels and included cable car rides, off-road excursions and wildlife spotting as you head from Alberta's Wild West to Pacific Vancouver.
The Wickaninnish Inn & Vancouver Break
8 days from £2,160 pp incl. flights
Experience Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast with this itinerary, where you’ll bear watch in ancient rainforests and spot humpback and orca whales breaching by your boat or kayak, bookended with a stay among Vancouver's coastal gems.
Ultimate New Brunswick Fly-Drive
10 days from £1,970 pp incl. flights
This fly-drive is the ultimate adventure in Atlantic Canada's charming New Brunswick province, encompassing two of the region's most spectacular road trips.