Top reasons to travel to Canada
From amazing national parks to cities as attractive as Vancouver, route through the North American country that celebrates its 150th anniversary next year
Canada has been chosen by the community of Lonely Planet traveling experts as the best destination to travel in 2017. There are many obvious reasons – amazing national parks, almost untouched landscapes, the interesting cities of its East Coast – but, above all, it will be the Canada’s great year because it celebrates its 150th anniversary as a confederation and will do so with an extensive program of concentrated commemorative events, especially, around July 1, Canada’s national day.
In the second largest country in the world (in extension) there are plenty of attractive travelers, so we choose now 11 of the most essential.
Adventure in the Rockies
The profile of these white mountains on both sides of the border between Alberta and British Columbia inspires respect and desire for adventure. In this vast mountain range they extend until four national parks – Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper – with many opportunities for hiking, kayaking and, above all, skiing. The train facilitates the journey. They are parks of spectacular beauty and almost intact landscapes: luminous lakes, wildflowers and glaciers that can be seen passing by while the steel wagons rattle through the mountain passages and cross river valleys on the way to the most populated spots in the east or west of the country.
Vancouver, quality of life
This city of British Columbia, on the Pacific coast, always appears in the rankings of the best places to live on the planet. And for something it will be. Vancouver is a lively fusion of cultures (and cuisines) of Asia, but it is also a city surrounded by a magnificent seascape, mountains suitable for skiing, 11 beaches around its core and the thick rain forest of Stanley Park just a few apples from the skyscrapers of the urban center. All in all, a harmonious union of city and nature that mixes with some of the Hollywood charm (here many American movies are shot), with a lively counter-cultural activity (from a popular nudist beach to the political headquarters of the Marijuana Party) and with the Bustling Asian neighborhoods.
Without fear of exaggeration, it can be said that the nearby island of Vancouver has it all. The beautiful Victoria, of interesting cultural scene, is its heart, with bohemian shops, cafes with wooden floors and an English past of amateur tea. The bucolic Pacific Rim National Reserve is traversed following the West Coast Trail, where a windblown ocean meets impressive unspoiled nature and surfers line up to enjoy the waves. Then there is the valley of the Cowichan River, dotted with small and cozy farms and wineries, very appreciated by the curious palates.
The beautiful rumble of Niagara
Fourteen million people visit Niagara Falls, day or night, at any time of the year. Even in winter, when the flow of water from the banks is partially hidden by the ice … These powerful waterfalls are one of the most visited natural spectacles in the world. Crowded with tourists and over-marketed, the Niagara are, however, waterfalls of scarce height: they are barely among the 500 with the greatest fall in the world. But when you see those huge and powerful curtains of water curl over the cliff and fall with a deafening roar to the void, they impress. They are equivalent to more than a million water baths falling every second.
Cataracts are a natural tectonic fault between Ontario and the state of New York. On the Canadian side, the most spectacular waterfalls are the powerful Horseshoe Fall, which rush into the Maid of the Mist Pool. A few meters from Table Rock, you can see the waterfalls dramatically.
Celtic airs in New Scotland
Along the famous Cabot Trail, you can reach the surroundings of one of the most spectacular parks in Canada. The 300 kilometers of this trail meanders and climbs coastal mountains, with stunning views of the sea at every bend and the possibility of watching whales looming off the coast, elks on the sides of the road and numerous alternative routes to deviate and explore foot. The area is also dotted with Celtic and Akkadian communities, and its rhythmic violin music plays in the local pubs.
One third of the Cabot Trail runs inside the immense Cape Breton Highlands National Park, founded in 1920, the natural jewel of the New Scotland Islands