The world's second largest country isn't short of charms, quirks and attractions. Big, boisterous, beautiful and surprisingly hard to define, Canada is a traveller's dream.
‘Vast’ is a word that looms large in any description of this truly epic country. Forty times the size of the UK, it’s the world’s second largest nation, but don’t let the geographer’s hyperbole get in the way of those signal moments that make Canada such a wonderful holiday destination. From the backbeat backstreets of its culinary and cultural centres to tiny tundra towns circled by passing polar bears, Canada’s ten provinces, from the Yukon in the west to Prince Edward Island in the east, boast some beautiful snapshot details that put a human scale on all that sprawling nature.
Polar bear, Manitoba
Six time zones’ worth of landscape ensures there’s something here for everyone. Outdoor fanatics are well catered for, with well-trodden paths and well-paddled rivers stretching across Arctic tundra, giant mountain ranges, fertile rainforest and the verdant valleys of the Pacific coast. These habitats have certainly attracted their fair share of animal life; wildlife enthusiasts can spot grizzlies and brown bears as well as wolves, moose, elk, bison and caribou in big numbers, while dolphins, orcas, belugas and other great whales dominate the oceans.
Moraine Lake, Alberta
And, despite the relative isolation of even the largest settlements, Canada’s kaleidoscopic culture, readily influenced by countless others from east and west, guarantees a memorable welcome, with distinctive cuisine (including great Asian cooking in Vancouver, poutine in Québec and Tim Horton’s doughnuts on every main street) and Inuit and avant-garde art in countless city galleries.