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Canada

Canada is primarily about the great outdoors and stunning scenery. It is the perfect destination for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts. Ice-capped mountains, mighty rivers, beautiful lakes, dense forests and wide open prairie are all found on Canada’s west coast.

A good starting point is Vancouver, home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Surrounded by water on all sides, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city that offers visitors great parks, panoramic views, virgin beaches and a bustling restaurant and nightlife. It is also home to the fabled Pacific Northwest cuisine. Stanley Park is one of the best urban parks in the world offering over 50 miles of cycling and walking tracks as well as the Vancouver Aquarium. For a panoramic view over the city don’t miss out on a visit to Grouse Mountain.

Just off the coast of Vancouver is Vancouver Island. There are some fabulous places to stay and from here you can partake in grizzly bear tours, hiking, fly fishing and heli-hiking. The highlight for many is whale watching. If lucky you may see grey, humpback or killer (orca) whales. The west coast of Vancouver Island is home to the infamous Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where a huge array of wildlife can be viewed from killer whales to bald eagles. The best way to view the area is by boat trip. Here you can get up close and personal with seals, otters, martens, bears, eagles and puffins.

Banff National Park is the oldest and most famous of Canada’s natural icons and will inspire the visitor with its high peaks, ice blue rivers, huge glaciers and a large variety of wild animal including moose, elk, deer and bears.

Alberta’s Rockies are an absolute haven for hikers, cyclists, canoeists and skiers. Within the Rockies, Banff National Park is the oldest and most famous of Canada’s natural icons and will inspire visitors with its high peaks, ice blue rivers, huge glaciers and a large variety of wild animal including moose, elk, deer and bears. The Icefield Parkway is also one of the world’s greatest road trips, located between Banff and Jasper. This picturesque spot has jaw dropping scenery which includes 25 peaks over 3000m and will appeal to both adventurous travellers and those who want to wallow in the majestic surroundings that this park provides.

Jasper National Park, also in the Alberta Rockies, feels much closer to the wilderness than Banff and as such has a real back to nature flavour. For the scenic train journey of a lifetime, the Rocky Mountaineer Train is a must. Constructed over 100 years ago, the journey is as mesmerizing now as it was then.

Heading East, Canada is also home to the incredible Niagara Falls. Watching 170 metres of water cascade into the pools below is a majestic sight and can best be enjoyed from the Maid in the Mist boat which will duly drench you as you power through the water. Head further east to Montreal, the old town of Quebec City and beyond to the Eastern Townships where you can visit the local vineyards, micro-breweries and boutique cheese makers of the region.