I just recently started touring the world when I realized that life is too short to just live and die in my home country (UK). I was on a 2-week vacation of Canada just last month and how glad I am that I choose this laid-back country this round. Every part of this country is a splendor and visitors are treated to natural wonders and vibrant heritage. Every year, Canada hosts more than 18 million visitors – clearly, tourism is big here, bigger than farming, fishing and lumber all combined.
If you land on the western side of Canada, you have the cities of Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria to enjoy – I had them in my itinerary and I was not disappointed. I also got the chance to visit the central part of Canada; Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto and Niagara falls were really fascinating. I really hope that I get more time the next time I go back (planning to go back at the start of the coming year). I hear that the maritime provinces of Canada are a wonder for their unique beauty – I visited the Merseyside Maritime Museum in the UK before coming to the Gros Morne National Park.
Clearly, Canada has so much to offer the tourists of the world but a day or two just will not do. You will appreciate the various destinations more if you have more time on your hands. Is this going to be your first time in Canada? There is a lot going on for this country and more so as a tourist destination. People who have been to Canada, including me, have the same stories to tell;
- Nature – the natural landscape of Canada is pure beauty, characterized by picturesque forests and mountains. If you love the outdoors, hiking, camping and trekking will unwind your senses.
- Winter sports – some areas of Canada like Calgary receive snowfall on almost every month of the year. If you are in Canada for the winter sport, you are in for a treat. There are numerous resorts and parks for those who love snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing.
- City life – it is not a wonder to meet people who are after the city experience in whichever country they visit. Canada has many large cities with a twist of modernity that will leave any traveller hooked.
- Cost of living – in relation to other major currencies of the world, the Canadian dollar is quite weak. This means that life is affordable and even those who are travelling on a tight budget will have plenty to indulge in.
Every foreigner needs a visa before they can be allowed entry into Canada. Citizens of Great Britain and Western Europe along with a handful of other countries need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entry. I found the process to be quite straightforward because I barely spent half an hour doing it. The best part is that I will not be applying for the ETA for Canada from UK again until after 5 years (it will be sooner if my passport expires before then).
Before you start packing for your Canadian vacation, find out if your country appears on the list of countries where the ETA program is used. If not, you have to obtain a visitor’s visa. Do not worry – this too can be done conveniently from home or at the office if you have an internet connection. Those who would rather apply for a visa the old fashioned way can do so at a consulate or via mail.
Must-visit spots in Canada
Depending on your individual preference, you can customize your Canadian vacation. Here are some places I went to and really enjoyed myself – they are unlike anything in the UK.
- Quebec City
The French are considered to be the most romantic people in the world. If you are in Quebec, you have an opportunity to experience their rich heritage. The city of Quebec is characterized by cobblestone walkways, French cafés, well-preserved architecture that dates back to the 17th century, and fortress walls. Stepping foot into this city is like taking a trip back in history – it is unforgettable.
- Cape Breton Island
Did you know that Canada has entire provinces renowned for maritime tourism? Located at the tip of the Nova Scotia province is Cape Breton Island which is popular for Celtic heritage. Tourists who come here leave with a pleasant memory of the Cabot Trail, one of the world’s most captivating drives.
- Algonquin Park
This is the pioneer park of Ontario and to date the most popular. Sitting on land spanning 7,725 square kilometers, the park is comprised of forests, lakes, rivers, bogs, beaches, and cliffs. If you are up for a hiking adventure, you will love exploring Algonquin Park on foot.
- Niagara Falls
Within the Niagara falls is another interesting natural wonder; the Horseshoe Falls. This is the most powerful waterfall body in the whole of North America and when people are listing falls, this one must feature. Staring into the Niagara Falls is like looking straight into the heart of a fire. Anyone who does it is mesmerized by force with which the water thunders over the falls. Are you coming to Canada for your honeymoon? Add Niagara Falls to the list of destinations.
- Macneill Homestead
I love reading and that is perhaps the reason I could not pass on this attraction. The Macneill Homestead was home to a novel set. If you have read, Anne of Green Gables, do not for a second think that Prince Edward Island is an object of fiction. This location is real and has been a park from 1937 to preserve it. if you come here, you will not only relate to incidents in the novel but those who have not will marvel at the salt marshes, forests, freshwater ponds and sand dunes.
With so much to see, how can people say no to a Canadian vacation? There is so much to do, plenty to see and lots to experience.