By Emily Newton-Smith Destination Specialist

Canada is the ultimate experiential destination, a country so vast it's impossible to see it all in one go. If you're visiting for the first time, or even returning for another trip, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Our travel experts have put together five unmissable experiences in Canada, from luxury rail journeys to tracking grizzly bears. And, if you still need help deciding what to do in the Great White North, our specialists are just a phone call or email away.


Rocky Mountaineer

Travel specialist: Emma Sanger-Horwell

"This is undoubtedly one of Canada's most iconic experiences. I was thrilled to be able to journey on Rocky Mountaineer last year, especially when so many of my colleagues had recommended it, and I wasn't disappointed. The train itself is luxurious and elegant, both in the SilverLeaf and the double-level GoldLeaf carriages. You'll be served meals to your seat – or, for Gold Leaf passengers, in a separate dining car – and you should expect everything from multi-course menus of Canadian favourites to gourmet snacks and drinks. The highlight, of course, is the scenery. From the glass-domed carriages of the train you'll see bright blue lakes, lush forests, and even a grizzly bear or two (if you're lucky) as you traverse the jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Depending on your route, you'll stop in beautiful places such as Banff, Vancouver Island and Whistler – there are plenty of routes and extensions to choose from."

Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer

Bear Watching in Canada

Travel specialist: Patrick Griffin

"Bears are synonymous with Canada and seeing them in the wild is on many people's bucket lists. There are three species of bears native to Canada – grizzlies, polar bears and black bears – found across the forests of Québec and New Brunswick, in southern Manitoba and Alberta's Rocky Mountains. When clients ask me about bear-watching in Canada, I always recommend British Columbia – unless you want to see polar bears – home to the Great Bear Rainforest and the elusive Spirit Bear. The rugged coastline and pristine waters of Knight Inlet boast one of the world's best grizzly bear viewing sites, where you can make the most of a purpose-built viewing platform at the resort. Alternatively, from The Wickannish Inn in Tofino, you can join guided bear tours through the ancient rainforest or visit Clayoquot Sound – keep an eye out for whales along the coast too."

Bear Watching at Knight Inlet

Bear at Knight Inlet

Drive the Cabot Trail


Travel specialist: Rachel Mostyn

"The Cabot Trail winds for 298 kilometres around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia. In my opinion, it's one of the most scenic drives in the world, and it's less than seven hours' flight away from the UK. Aside from enjoying the panoramic ocean views and rugged cliffside scenery, you'll be poised to uncover some of Canada's finest hiking trails – the Skyline Trail is a personal highlight – and plenty of native wildlife. As you drive, keep your eyes peeled for eagles, Canadian moose, and whales, depending on the season. Add the Cabot Trail onto a journey among Atlantic Canada's many highlights, including the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, the Louisbourg National Historic Site, and charming Halifax. And, if driving's not for you, you can always skip the Cabot Trail and explore Atlantic Canada by rail."

Highlights of Atlantic Canada

Cabot Trail

Northern Lights holidays in Canada


Travel specialist: George Clissold

"Thanks to its northern latitudes and low light pollution in certain regions, Canada is a great place to hunt the Northern Lights. This year, a very special Aurora 360 experience offered the chance for the truly adventurous to view the phenomenon from a private charter jet. Just 70 seats were available on this exclusive flight, bookended by stays in Vancouver. Alternatively, those travelling on Rocky Mountaineer can extend their trip by heading to the Yukon for a good chance of seeing the lights – an overnight camp under the stars and hot-tub soaks at a Northern Lights resort provide the perfect opportunity. Although we're out of the aurora season now, you can contact us to find out more about Northern Lights holidays in Canada for 2021. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, I think, well worth the trip."

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Northern Lights in the Yukon

Helicopter flight over the Rockies

Travel specialist: Debbie Mayger

"While the Canadian Rockies look pretty amazing from the ground, nothing beats seeing them from above. A panoramic helicopter tour – one of the included excursions on selected routes with Rocky Mountaineer – is something I always recommend to clients looking for excitement on their holiday. You'll reach heights of 2,300 metres above sea level and enjoy unbelievable views of the mountains and surrounding glaciers and lakes. Paired with a ride on the Banff Gondola, which offers extraordinary views of the valley, you'll gain an entirely new perspective on the region. Our seven-day Highlights of the Canadian Rockies itinerary includes both, along with the warm hospitality Rocky Mountaineer is known for."

Highlights of the Canadian Rockies

Helicopter ride over the Rockies

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