Reconnect with the elements in Canada

Ignite your sense of wonder and make life-long memories on a unique Canadian journey…

Team Wanderlust
29 September 2023
Promoted by
First Class Holidays

An extraordinary destination like Canada demands an extraordinary trip. But knowing where to begin in the second-largest country in the world (9.985 million sq km; 243,042km of coastline) is a whole other matter entirely. Your time is precious, so First Class Holidays can bring your dream Canadian escape to life without the stress and hassle. Their team of experts design and tailor every trip to your preferences, so you can experience the ‘True North’ in a way uniquely made for you.

Wander with wildlife

Spot snow-white polar bears in Manitoba (Dennis Fast, Travel Manitoba)

The call of the wild can be irresistible in Canada, and few experiences top the thrill of getting up close to its iconic wildlife in their natural habitat. Whether you want to kayak with sea lions, watch bears catch leaping salmon, witness the Qamanirjuaq caribou (reindeer) migration or do all of the above, lining up the best respectful wildlife encounters requires an expertly designed trip featuring unique stays in wilderness locations.

Head for the pristine parks of British Columbia, where towering mountains and temperate rainforest meet the west coast. This is a prime habitat for grizzly bears, otters, seals and eagles. Or go east to Newfoundland, where sightings of humpback whales in summer (June–August) are so regular that it’s no longer a surprise, as the world’s largest population returns to feed in its waters each year. You can even take the opportunity to embark on a polar bear safari in Manitoba and stay in remote eco-lodges out on the tundra.

Learn from First Nations Culture

The powwow is an exuberant celebration of First Nations culture that includes dancing, singing and drumming (JF Bergeron, Tourism Québec)

From the Inuit people of the Arctic to the Mi’kmaq of Canada’s eastern provinces, over 50 Nations live in communities across Canada. For several Indigenous groups, their oral histories tell of how the world was formed on the back of a turtle; today the original caretakers and inhabitants of ‘Turtle Island’ (North America) continue to be stewards of the land, water and animals.

Each region affords an opportunity to connect with Indigenous history and culture in different ways. At the Calgary Stampede you can experience a traditional powwow, a ceremony of dancing, singing and drumming. On a wildlife-watching boat trip through Broughton Archipelago, British’s Columbia’s largest marine park, you can even view the natural world through an Indigenous lens, as First Nations guides recount local history and lore and reveal pictographs and other archaeological evidence that show how the islands have been used for thousands of years. Even out in the tundra of Manitoba, after a day spent observing polar bears in the wild, you can dine on sustainable Indigenous ingredients such as Arctic char, elk and bison.

Admire natural landscapes

British Columbia is home to huge swathes of temperate coastal rainforest

When it comes to Canada’s landscapes, be prepared to be astonished by their scale and diversity. In between the verdant Great Bear Rainforest of the west and the rugged Atlantic shores of the east lie vast prairies, boreal forests and tundra, plus lakes and rivers that contain 20% of all the fresh water on Earth. The country’s astounding natural wonders invite travellers to slow down and disconnect from the stresses of modern life.

Every season has its delights so it’s worth planning accordingly. Autumn is the time for ‘leaf peeping’, when visitors can admire the local foliage turning fiery shades of red, yellow and orange. September to March is the optimal time to see the Northern Lights in Yukon and the Northwest Territories, while if you head to Whistler, Jasper, Toronto or Mont Tremblant in winter, you can make the most of a postcard- perfect snowy wonderland.

Embark on an outdoor adventure

Try ice skating on Alberta’s frozen lakes in the winter

A tickle of sea spray on the skin, the resiny scent of pines, the haunting call of a loon: immersing yourself in nature can awaken the senses. Canada certainly makes for an impressive outdoor playground. Whether canoeing one of the 1,500- plus lakes in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park or hiking in Banff, the country’s oldest national park, visitors can come face to face with pure wilderness. Meanwhile, some 3,306 hectares of skiable terrain await snow lovers at North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, which becomes a mountain biker’s paradise in the summer months.

Whether you love to walk, pedal or paddle, organisation and planning are key to accessing the best trails and waterways – and, if adventure is on your bucket list, to safely get you out of your comfort zone and into the incredible backcountry. The top active-adventure companies and specialist guides can take you deeper and off the literal beaten track.

About First Class Holidays

Winner of ‘Best Operator to Canada’ at the British Annual Canada Travel Awards a record 15 times, First Class Holidays is a trusted leader in providing tailor-made trips. They offer over 27 years of experience, award- winning service, financial protection and a price-match promise.

Be it an escorted tour or bespoke private trip for a couple, family or group, their travel specialists deliver expert advice and personalised attention in crafting your perfect getaway. Imagine a luxe journey through the Rockies, a cruise from Vancouver to wild Alaska or a once- in-a-lifetime trip to see polar bears in their natural habitat – First Class Holidays makes it possible. Book your Canadian adventure with First Class Holidays today.

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