If you think Canada is best explored in the summer, then think again. The second biggest country in the world has every season covered.
Warmer temperatures offer a welcome change from winter’s chill, yet snow can remain until May in ski resorts like Banff and Whistler. The arrival of spring is also signalled by the gorgeous pink hues of the cherry blossom. Not only confined to Japan, the avenues of Vancouver become canopied in pink as its 40,000 cherry trees burst into life. It’s Cherry Blossom Festival time with a series of events marking this incredible spectacle.
Across in the Rockies, wildlife begins to stir from hibernation. It’s actually one of the best times to view wildlife in the Rockies, with larger animals moving to lower ground in search of food. Here you’ll spot groups of female elk standing majestically in meadows teeming with life and beavers resting lazily on the lakeside. The world famous Rocky Mountaineer also begins its season, carving its way through stunning mountains, steep canyons and shimmering lakes.
It wouldn’t be summer in Canada without the annual celebration of the Calgary Stampede. Dating back to 1912, the hugely popular annual rodeo attracts one million locals and tourists, there to see the floats, marching bands, cowboys and their immaculate horses.
Outside of the city Canada’s countryside also thrives with life. As the Arctic becomes more accessible with kayaking adventures and walking safaris, expeditions northwards of Churchill Manitoba allow you to see polar bears up close as they laze around and play on the Tundra. Meanwhile on Somerset Island, Nunavut, up to 2,000 beluga whales can be observed bathing in the sparklingly clear waters.
Another incredible natural phenomenon and exciting opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers is the arrival of salmon in late August in British Columbia, as they hurl their way upstream back to their birthplace. Not to be missed, the annual run draws in a rowdy crowd of hungry predators, including magnificent black bears, grizzlies and their cubs, and bald eagles.
While summer fades away, the autumn brings a spectacular show of natural beauty, with a breathtaking blend of red, orange and yellow tones sweeping the trees of the country. Take in the views at your own pace with a fly-drive and explore Canada from behind the wheel – head along the northeast coast from Toronto or take the Fundy Coastal Drive where leaves of vivacious reds and deep oranges usually coincide with Canada’s Thanksgiving celebrations.
In the waters around Tofino, British Columbia, the ocean offers up its own parade as great grey whales and humpbacks migrate south. Take a zodiac boat off the surfing city’s coast to see this natural phenomenon up close, along with other marine life such as sea lions, otters and orcas.
With a dusting of snow, Canada is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland, perfect for a host of winter activities.
There are so many ways to enjoy Canada’s stunning landscape. Skate along the Rideau Canal or walk amongst the ice sculptures at Ottawa’s famous snow festival Winterlude, which is now in its 40th year. Or take a traditional sleigh ride around the frozen shores of Lake Louise, followed by a foaming hot chocolate at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
For thrill seekers, skiing in Whistler is a must – North America’s biggest ski resort has all the pistes and powder-white snow you could dream of, surrounded by a bustling town with a huge range of facilities. Or head to the lesser-known ski area of Mont Tremblant, Quebec with 96 ski trails and lively apres-ski scene.
Book your unique Canada holiday with Norad Travel:
We are completely independent and fully bonded with ABTA and ATOL. This means we will always recommend holidays based on your specific requirements, aided of course by our own in-depth knowledge.
You can pop in to see us with free parking at all our locations, or give us a call.
Norad Travel Gloucester
3 Westgate House
The Island Westgate Retail Park
Gloucester GL1 2RU
T. 01452 260188
Norad Travel Liss
Suite 3 Brows Farm Business Park
Farnham Road Liss
Hampshire GU33 6JG
T. 01730 892298
ABOUT NORAD TRAVEL GROUP:
Norad Travel Group is a full service specialist travel management and leisure travel organisation headquartered in Liss, Hampshire. As well as a Liss-based holiday and concierge service, Norad Travel Group's Leisure Division includes Norad Travel Gloucester, Howard Travel in Trowbridge and Erne Travel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
Formed in 1981 Norad are members of the influential Guild of Travel Management Companies and partners in the Advantage consortium of independent travel agency companies. Chairman Mick Gibbs is also chairman of the Focus Group of travel management specialists within Advantage.