The worlds’s second-biggest country has an endless variety of landscapes. Sky-high mountains, glinting glaciers, spectral rainforests and remote beaches are all here, spread across six times zones.
Most beautiful and highly recommended are two of the ten Canadian provinces to discover during your stay. If you have more time I recommend to visit Ontario and Quebec as well, but due to the big distances in this country I would recommend to start with BC and Alberta.
What you must see in British Columbia:
Lets start with British Columbia, located on the west coast of the country. The climate is very mild here, compared to the rest of Canada, which makes it also in winter a nice get away.
Vancouver is a true beauty and my favorit city in Canada. In which other city are you only a quick drive away from a ski resort and a beach?
2. Sea To Sky Highway
From Vancouver, you should go on a road trip along the Sea to Sky Highway, one of the most scenic routes in the world. Driving along the coast towards the mountains of Whistler is a truly unique experience.
3. Hot Springs Cove
Did you know there are hotsprings in Canada? Located on Vancouver Island, the largest island off the west coast of North America, not far away from Vancouver. You can get there by hopping on a ferry towards Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. From here you can reach Maquinna Provincial Park and the Hotsprings Cove by car or by booking a tour.
My favorite part of this experience was that the hot springs run down a hillside into a rocky pool that get cooled down due to ocean swells mixing with the fresh spring water.
Also located on Vacouver Island, you can find the picturesque town of Tofino. No matter if you are a surfer, hiker, nature lover, bird watcher, camper, whale watcher, fisher, or anyone just looking to be close to nature and the ocean, this is the right place to go for you! Close to Tofino is Long Beach, a scenic and popular year-round destination, at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
5. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Located just next to Vancouver, you can appreciate nature from three breathtaking perspectives. The famous suspension bridge, crossing the Capilano river, treetops adventure and an exciting cliffwalk.
What you can not miss in Alberta:
The second province in Canada you should not miss out on is Alberta, just east of British Columbia. Alberta is home of the Rocky Mountains and stunning national parks.
The town of Banff is a special place, full of adventure and wonder. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains. You might see deer wandering down the main street. The lively streets of downtown offer top-class restaurants, bars, and shops. Banff is a great starting point to discover the Banff National Park, to going skiing in the Sunshine Village Area or hiking trips.
7. Icefields Parkway
Every part of the Icefields Parkway reveals another one of nature’s wonders; from the ancient glaciers of the Columbia Icefields to breathtaking waterfalls and viewpoints that extend for miles.
Just as the name implies the Icefield or glaciers are the largest south of the Arctic Circle. They are 325km2 in area and 100 to 365 metres (328 to 1,197 ft) in depth and receives up to seven metres (275 in) of snowfall per year.
8. Peyto Lake
One of the most popular lakes in Alberta, due to its stunning blue colour. During the summer, huge amounts of glacial rock flour flow into the lake, and these suspended rock particles give the lake a bright, turquoise colour. The lake is best seen from Bow Summit which is 2,088 metres above sea level.
9. Lake Louise
You might have seen photos of the lake but they haven’t prepared you for how it feels to experience it yourself. Rounding the corner, the sight of the emerald green water and rugged peaks and glaciers hits you viscerally. You’ve never seen anything so dramatically beautiful. If you go here in Winter, don’t forget to spend a couple of days in the Lake Louise Ski area, one of the largest ski resorts in North America.
As a good place to stay overnight and starting point for your trip in the Jasper National Park you should not miss Jasper, a relaxed mountain town. Here you can find endless outdoor wilderness at your doorstep. It’s an outdoor sports lover’s playground, with hiking and golfing in the summer and skiing and ice canyon walks in the winter.
These are my top 10 destinations in Canada. What would you like to see first? 🙂