Georgian Bay islands, ON, Canada credit: SkyF
Often hailed as one of Canada’s most stunning drives offering magnificent views in all directions, the Georgian Bay Coastal Route takes visitors on an adventure along sandy coastlines and wilderness trails. Those embarking on this roadtrip will have the chance to visit Blue Mountain Resort, a lakeside resort offering caving, kayaking, golf, climbing, e-biking, and hiking as well as scenic gondola tours and a ridge runner mountain coaster during the summer months. Those looking for some beach time should travel to nearby Wasaga Beach – the world’s longest freshwater beach – for a relaxing day. Continuing north towards Tobermory, visitors can enjoy a glassbottomed boat tour of the area and its crystal clear waters, or explore Fathom Five National Marine Park before boarding the ferry to Manitoulin Island – the world’s largest freshwater island. It is here that holidaymakers can learn about Ontario’s indigenous culture and experience a traditional Pow Wow. Visitors can then continue on to the stunning Killarney Provincial Park before reaching Parry Sound where they can cruise around Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands aboard the Island Queen Boat. A playground for the rich and famous including Steven Spielberg, Kate Hudson and Tom Hanks, the roadtrip continues through Muskoka, a peaceful haven that offers visitors a chance to relax and switch off. Located just two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka is an ideal stopping point en route home. Visitors can spot wildlife such as the iconic Canadian Moose or test their canoeing skills on the calm waters.
Trailfinders offer a ‘Northern Ontario: First Nations, Lakes & Wilderness Wonders Tour’ for visitors interested in this area. The price for this 12-day tour starts from £1,649 per person and includes return flights from London to Toronto, 11 nights 3-5* accommodation, 10 days of car hire including a free upgrade and 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners. Prices based on select departures in September and October 2017. www.trailfinders.com
Thunder Bay and Pukaskwa Park
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and Thunder Bay, ON, Canada credit: Goodygreen
Beginning in Thunder Bay this roadtrip along the coast of the north shore of Lake Superior is spectacular. One of the most breathtaking views can be found from the top of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Thunder Bay – the hike is most definitely worth it. Visitors to Thunder Bay can also visit Fort William Historic Park – a reconstruction of the Fort William fur trade post as it existed in 1815 when Northwestern Indigenous inhabitants came together with French and British settlers to make trades. The historical park offers an in-depth glimpse into Indigenous culture and there is a canoe maker on site offering an insightful glimpse into Canadian canoe culture. Whilst in the Thunder Bay region, Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park is also a worthy stop with beautiful panoramic views of a 150 metre-wide gorge and sheer cliffs. A day-only park, Ouimet Canyon provides fantastic opportunities for bird watching and hiking, with a one kilometre loop trail that takes visitors to two spectacular viewing platforms along the canyon’s rim. The roadtrip then continues to Pukaskwa National Park. With ONTARIO’S BEST ROADTRIPS no road access into the park, there are numerous hikes which can be enjoyed including trails from White Gravel River, Fisherman’s Cove, Oiseau Bay, Shot Watch Cove and Playter Harbour. Hikers will be rewarded with sandy beaches, turquoise waters and magnificent views. Visitors should also make time to stop at Wawa to see the world’s largest Canadian Goose statue and White River, where Winnie the Pooh was born. From here, the roadtrip continues through Lake Superior Provincial Park to Sault Ste. Marie where there is the option to take a scenic journey on the Agawa Canyon Train. This one-day wilderness train tour takes visitors 183 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie and hugs the shorelines of pristine lakes and rivers to Agawa Canyon, across the landscapes of the Canadian Shield, which inspired some of Canada’s most notable landscape artists, The Group of Seven.
Windows on the Wild offer a 7-night Pukaskwa Costal Hike package from £1,775 per person including return international flights from London to Thunder Bay on 26th August 2017, 7 days of car hire, 5 days professional guiding, all meals, tents, backpacks, cooking and safety gear, park fees, boat and vehicle shuttles as well as 2 nights’ accommodation in Thunder Bay. www.windowsonthewild.com
Toronto to Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, ON, Canada credit: igorsh
Ticking off some of the world’s most iconic sights, this roadtrip takes visitors from the buzzing city of Toronto to the beautiful Niagara Falls and Blue Mountain. In Toronto, visitors have a huge array of activities and sights to choose from including the CN tower and Edge Walk, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, Kensington Market, The Distillery District and Toronto Islands. Next on this roadtrip is Niagara Falls where 150,000 gallons of water pass over the falls per second. Visitors can get up close and personal on a number of different tours including Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Journey behind the Falls and Niagara Jet Boat Tours. WildPlay has also recently launched a brand new 200ft-high zipline experience that propels tourists more than 40 miles per hour along the edge of the vast river gorge, as well as their Whirlpool Adventure Course – a thrilling experience of suspended obstacles and ziplines high above the whirlpool. Holidaymakers can then continue on to the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in the heart of Ontario’s wine region or Niagara’s South Coast – famous for its small town charm and laid-back beach vibe. This roadtrip ends in the beautiful Blue Mountain Resort where guests can enjoy activities such as kayaking, golf, climbing and the ridge runner mountain coaster.
Canadian Affair offers a 9-night ‘Ontario Adrenalin’ package. The package includes return flights with Air Transat, 7 days intermediate car hire with fully inclusive insurance, a helicopter flight over Niagara Falls, a Whirlpool Jetboat tour and Niagara Falls Zipline experience, CN Tower Edge Walk and Distillery District Tour in Toronto, and a Blue Mountain active pack. Prices start from £1,508 per person flying from London Gatwick on 5th October and returning on the 14th October 2017. Flights also available from Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow; prices may vary. www.canadianaffair.com
1000 Islands and Ottawa
Ottawa, ON, Canada credit: MikeyGen73
One of the more off-the-beaten-track destinations in Canada, 1000 Islands is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Visitors can embark on a cruise of the 1000 Islands and experience the majesty of the St. Lawrence River and Millionaire’s Row before heading to Ottawa along the Rideau Heritage Route where visitors can discover charming villages and see working locks along the way. Ottawa, Canada’s capital, has a wealth of culture and history to offer. The city’s centre is located around the stunning Parliament Hill with its grand Victorian architecture and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada and of course, the park-lined Rideau Canal. Nearby points of interest include the Peace Tower, Bytown museum, Confederation Square and the Changing of the Guard. ByWard market, to the east of Parliament Hill, is home to a historic farmer’s market and offers a vast array of shops and a number of trendy restaurants and clubs to try. In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the city has planned year-round festivities of an unseen scale for visitors to enjoy. Events and festivals include ‘Ignite 150’, a programme consisting of 17 epic and breathtaking stunts and gatherings including a yoga session on a barge accompanied by a live orchestra, and a gourmet dinner hosted 50 metres in the air. One of the most anticipated events taking place from June through to September comes in the form of an underground experience with a futuristic and immersive multimedia production in one of Ottawa’s future Light Rail Transit stations. The spectacular sound and light fantasy voyage, ‘Kontinuum’, will run for ten weeks and is expected to sell-out.
Canadian Sky offers a package which includes 1000 Islands and Ottawa as well as Toronto, Niagara Falls, Kingston, Algonquin Provincial Park, Huntsville, Wasaga and Barrie. Prices start from £1,129 per person based on October 2017 travel. This 10-night tour includes international return flights with Air Transat from London Gatwick, 1 night at a 3* Toronto airport hotel, motorhome rental for 9 nights, unlimited mileage and kitchen and personal kits. Fuel and entrance to the National Parks (free for 2017), as well as campsite charges are not included. www.canadiansky.co.uk
For further information on Ontario, please visit www.ontariotravel.net
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