Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia and is filled with natural wonders that will awaken your inner explorer. Enjoy a variety of majestic landscapes from mountains and rain forests to beaches and glaciers. When not enjoying the incredible nature views and wildlife interactions while on holiday in Canada, you will be blown away by the top-notch cuisine and cultural flair for which this country is renowned.

What to see and do

Whether snowboarding down mountains, surfing the coast of Nova Scotia or strolling through the beautiful National Parks, there is an adventure here for everyone. Enjoy views of the incredible wildlife, experience the smorgasbord of local foods, and immerse yourself in the historic and artistic culture of Canada.

Churchill Polar Bears

Churchill, Manitoba on Hudson Bay is considered the polar bear capital of the world. Witness these magnificent, gigantic creatures in their natural habitat during a two day trip. You will be safe and sound in a Tundra Buggy while still getting amazingly close to these animals, otherwise known as ‘Lords of the Arctic’. This adventure is a photographer’s dream, as such a unique experience with this endangered species is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most well-known landmarks in all of Canada. It may not be the tallest of waterfalls, but there is nothing like it considering how much water plummets down this massive landmark every second. With nearly 12 million visitors annually, this is a must-see site. If visiting Niagara Falls during the winter months, the flow will be partially hidden and the edges frozen over, but the spectacle of water, ice and snow will prove incredible. You can explore this outstanding natural attraction in several ways: join a walking tour to discover the Falls whether standing at the top or exploring the foot of the waterfall, hover above for a view from the cockpit of a helicopter, or explore Niagara Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist and discover the falls by ferry.

Ashton Restaurant, Quebec City

Poutine is a traditional French Canadian food, and Ashton is thought to have some of the best poutine in the country. This traditional Canadian cuisine is the perfect mix of thick French fries and cheese curds and is topped with perfectly seasoned gravy. The surprising combination all melts into one delectable dish. Located in Quebec City, the original home to this famous Canadian dish, Ashton restaurant serves up classic poutine, poutine with mini hot dogs and poutine with green peas, and all three are equally popular. Ashton’s poutine chain can be found all over Quebec City, but no matter which joint you visit, there is always a long line of customers waiting for the famous dish.

Notre Dame Basilica of Montréal

The Notre Dame Basilica is one of Montréal's most famous landmarks with its extraordinary craftsmanship, beautiful sculptures and artistic stained-glass windows that depict the history of Montréal. Built in 1829, this magnificent church can hold 4000 worshipers and is home to a famous Casavant organ that towers over the choir loft. The Gros Bourdan, which is the biggest bell in North America weighing in at twelve tons, is also located in the Basilica and is only rung for special occasions. Visitors are humbled by the massive, sky-blue ceilings and religious heritage of this significant piece of Montréal history.

Banff Upper Hot Springs

Soak in the steamy hot mineral water and melt away all your travel stresses while relaxing in this 40°C natural pool. The Banff Upper Hot Springs are soothing hot pools made of 100 percent natural mineral water, and have incredibly scenic mountain views. You can also indulge in a massage or an aromatherapy wrap at Banff National Park’s hot springs spa. Do as the locals do, and visit in the morning for the most relaxing visit.

La Citadelle de Québec

The Citadelle is the largest British fort in North America, and its timely architecture and lengthy involvement in military history brings more than 300 years of history to life. This massive fortress was originally built to protect Canada in case of an American invasion following the War of 1812. Finished in 1850, La Citadelle de Québec remains an active military base and is home to a regiment of the Canadian Forces. A tour of this historical fort will guide you back into the 18th and 19th centuries.

Seasonality

Canada can be visited year-round;all seasons offer plenty to do along with the changing weather. Winter and early spring are designated as the skiing season, and the best time to climb or hike the Rocky Mountains is the few weeks at the end of May and beginning of July when the lakes thaw.

If you are travelling to the southern part of Canada, which is the most populated region of the country, the best times to visit are during spring, summer and autumn. If you are planning on travelling through many regions of Canada, you should be prepared for the variety of weather that is found all over the country, and try to time it so you are more likely to encounter the best conditions at each stop.

It is also important to be aware that summer thunderstorms frequently occur here, and they can occasionally be severe. Moreover, tornadoes are common from May to September, so if you are travelling during their summer months, it is best to be prepared for treacherous weather just in case.

Travel Tips

Travellers from Australia are not required to have a Visa in order to visit Canada, as long as you have a valid Passport. Also, while English is widely spoken, the French language dominates certain regions like Quebec. It is helpful if you can understand and speak a few words of the French language to best communicate with the locals.

Safety in Canada is usually not a problem, and even in the largest cities, violent crime is not a serious problem. However, it is always better to travel safely, and some basic common sense can go a long way. Similarly, you are unlikely to face serious health problems while staying here. However, even though their health care system is considered one of the best in the world, health care is not free for visitors, so it is important to make sure you are covered by your travel insurance in case you get sick.

With the vast amount of outdoor adventure sports offered in Canada, travel insurance could come in handy. Whether you plan to ski in British Colombia or go boating by Niagara Falls, be protected with adventure sports travel insurance.

Image courtesy of Flickr user A Yee; cropped from original.