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The best road trips in Canada

posted May 24, 2017


Rocky Mountain Road Trip

Canada doesn’t have 900,000 kms of driving routes for nothing. With enough roads to circle the globe 22 times, Canada certainly is king when it comes to road trips. Despite the vast distances, planning a driving holiday in one of the world’s largest countries couldn’t be easier. You’ll find plentiful car hire in Canada, well-paved open roads and the friendliest stop offs which all make journeying a breeze.

If you’d like to view our range of road trip holidays, click below:

view Canada holidays

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite road trip itineraries to get you started. Explore the interactive maps for a sneak peak at the views which await… Vroom!

 

Unlimited Adventures – 16 days

The Rocky Mountains are one of Canada’s star attractions. With those towering snowy peaks and excellent mountain roads, we wouldn’t miss it for the world. This route takes in three of Western Canada’s best National Parks, and is perfect for an open jaw flight into Calgary and out of Vancouver.

Day 1 – Calgary

On your first day here, you’ll pick up your road book and take in the sights of the Stampede City.

Day 2 & 3 – Banff

(1 hour 25 minutes’ dive)

Spend the day hiking, biking, horse riding, or just relaxing in the hot springs. Take a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur mountain for spectacular views of the Bow Valley below.

Day 4 – Lake Louise

(40-minute drive)

The sparkling, blue lake is jaw-dropping with its proud backdrop of the rugged Victoria Glacier. Stroll around the water’s edge or take a chair lift to the top of Whitethorn Mountain.

Day 5 – Jasper

(7 hours 20 minutes’ drive – this is one of the longest stretches in Canada, but is on arguably the most beautiful road: The Icefield Parkway.)

Enjoy the endless sights along the Icefields Parkway, including a walk on the Athabasca Glacier and over the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk. You can also see Bow Lake and Peyto Lake before coming into the mountain town of Jasper.

Day 6 – Clearwater

(3 hours 20 minutes’ drive)

The Yellowhead Highway takes along the Thompson Valley to Clearwater, a beautiful unspoiled area north of Kamloops. En-route you pass the majestic Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies.

Day 7 & 8 – Gold Bridge

(6 hours 15 minutes’ drive)

This quaint area is perfect for exploring British Columbia’s Gold Rush history. Investigate the old mine ruins and ghost towns left by early prospectors.

Day 9 – Whistler

(2 hours 20 minutes’ drive)

You’ll be spoiled for choice in this active mountain community. There is hiking and mountain biking to keep you busy, as well as a fantastic al fresco dining scene. A must do is the Peak-2-Peak Gondola for the superb views.

Day 11 – Tofino

(6 hours 35 minutes including a two-hour ferry)

Situated along the south-western coast of Vancouver Island, the Pacific Rim National Park is a thin strip of magnificent islands, beaches and dramatic seascapes. The ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island is beautiful in itself.

Day 13 – Victoria

(4 hours 20 minutes driving)

The charming colonial city of Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. Enjoy the colourful downtown area full of boutiques, shops and restaurants, or unwind by Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour.

Day 15 & 16 – Vancouver

(3 hours 15 minutes, including a two-hour ferry to Vancouver Island)

The bustling city of Vancouver is perfect for shopping, dining and sightseeing. Visit Stanley Park – bigger than NYC’s Central Park! – head to the beach or visit the city’s museums.

road trips in alberta

 

Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island – 9 days

One of our quickest road trips, this short-but-sweet itinerary proves you don’t need two weeks or hundreds of miles to get to the good stuff in Canada. With return flights to Vancouver, it’s the best way to squeeze city and wilderness into one holiday on a time limit.

Day 1 – Vancouver to Victoria

3 hours 15 minutes, including a two-hour ferry to Vancouver Island

Pick up your hire car and start your adventure! Hop on the ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island across the stunning Strait of Georgia.

Day 2 – Victoria

Embark on a whale-watching adventure aboard a Zodiac boat. Learn about the environment and habits of orca, minke and grey whales as you keep your eyes peeled for ocean giants and other marine wildlife.

Day 3 & 4 – Tofino

4 hours 20 minutes driving

This scenic road through Vancouver Island passes spectacular old growth temperate rainforests as it leads you to the Pacific Rim National Park and the surf haven of Tofino. On your second day in Tofino you’ll enjoy an unforgettable boat trip to see the region’s coastal black bears foraging on the shores.

Day 5 & 6 – Sonora Resort

3 hours 20 minutes driving, then a short water taxi

This luxury wilderness resort is like nothing you’ll have experienced before. Wildlife spotting-opportunities are boundless and the natural beauty of the area will take you breath away.

Day 7, 8 & 9 – Vancouver

4 hours 10 minutes, including a two-hour ferry

Finish your tour in the vibrant metropolis of Vancouver for shopping, dining and sightseeing. Hop on a floatplane or boat ride for a new view of the city from the water, or head over to the North Shore for more outdoor adventures.

driving on Vancouver Island

 

Great Parks of the East – 15 days

This two week circular tour stars in the cosmopolitan behemoth of Toronto before taking in the most vibrant cities on the East Coast. Culture and nature meet head-to-head on this diverse trail from Canada’s capital to her beautiful regional parks.

Day 1 – Toronto

Collect your hire car ready for your adventure! Spend the day exploring Toronto from the CN Tower to its trendy neighbourhoods, shopping and dining.

Day 2 – Midland

1 hour 50 minutes’ drive

Drive through scenic Huron Country via Penetanguishene, an old native village.

Day 3 & 4 – Huntsville

1 hour 35 minutes’ drive

It doesn’t get much better than the peaceful setting of Huntsville, surrounded by forests and lakes perfect for boating and horse riding.

Day 5 – Ottawa

4 hours’ drive

Drive to Canada’s capital city via Gatineau Park with miles of cycling trails. In the city, explore the historic Parliament buildings or stroll by the Rideau Canal.

Day 6 & 7 – Tremblant

1 hour 50 minutes’ drive

Enjoy relaxing in the tranquil setting of the Laurentian Mountains.

Day 8 & 9 – Quebec City

3 hours 45 minutes’ drive

Soak in the history of this Francophone city, from Place Royal to the Montmorency Falls.

Day 10 & 11 – St Michel-Des-Saints

3 hours 20 minutes’ drive

Fertile plains, rolling hills and a beautiful lake. The scenery here is ideal for kayaking, mountain biking and hiking.

Day 12 – Montreal

2 hours 15 minutes’ drive

Montreal is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city famed for its arts scene.

Day 13 – Kingston

3 hours’ drive

A trip to Kingston wouldn’t be complete without a cruise through the 1000 Islands waterway.

Day 14 – Niagara Falls

3 hours 45 minutes’ drive

Tick off one of the world’s most iconic sights when you experience the majesty of these thundering falls first-hand.

Day 15 – Toronto

1 hour 25 minutes’ drive

The perfect way to end your tour. The short driving distance allows you a little more time in the city before flying home.

road trips in ontario

 

Tides and Parks of Atlantic Canada – 20 days

This tour takes in the “best of the east” as it meanders through Atlantic Canada. Charming maritime villages compete with lighthouses, whales and icebergs for your attention. With the most stunning coastlines and delicious seafood along the way, this region of Canada is an unspoilt gem.

Day 1 & 2 – Halifax

Pick up your car and road book ready for your adventure! Spend your time in Halifax exploring the historic Citadel, Public Gardens and the natural harbours.

Day 3 – Bridgewater

1 hour 15 minutes’ drive

Drive along the Lighthouse Route to the fishing community of Peggy’s Cove, with one of the most iconic lighthouses in Canada.

Day 4 & 5 – Digby

1 hour 45 minutes’ drive

A visit to Digby wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of their fresh local scallops, which can be the size of your palm! The bustling harbour is home to the largest scallop fishing fleet in the world.

Day 6 – Fredericton

4 hours, including a two-and-a-half-hour ferry

Enjoy a ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy with its enormous tides and rich marine life.

Day 7 – Moncton

1 hour 50 minutes drive

Explore more of the Fundy National Park, including Hopewell Rocks and Shediac, the lobster capital of the world.

Day 8 & 9 – Charlottetown

1 hour 55 minutes drive

Discover the rich Acadian and British history on the Northumberland coast of New Brunswick.

Day 10 & 11 – Baddeck

4 hours 40 minutes, including a 1-hour-40-minute ferry

Pass Orwell Corner Historic Site on your way to Nova Scotia. Pass Cape Breton Island, the Bras D’or Lake and the scenic Cabot Trail.

Day 12 – Corner Brook

12 hours 20 minutes, including a 9 hour ferry to Newfoundland

Cross into Newfoundland by ferry and watch out for whales and dolphins.

Day 13 – Gros Morne National Park

1 hour drive

The rugged beauty of UNESCO World Heritage Site Gros Morne is simply spellbinding. Steep fjords and tablelands will take your breath away.

Day 14 & 15 – Gander

3 hour 30 minutes’ drive

Drive through woodlands to the Kittiwake Coast, filled with inlets, coves and islands.

Day 16 – Clarenville

1 hour 30 minutes’ drive

Experience the beauty of Terra Nova National Park on your way to Clarenville. There are moose, black bears and foxes here.

Day 17 & 18 – St John’s

2 hours’ drive

The colourful waterfront at St John’s has so much to explore, with historic buildings and unique architecture.

Day 19 – Sydney

18 hours, including a 14-hour ferry

Cross the Avalon Peninsula to enjoy a cruise on the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 20 – Halifax

4 hours 25 minutes’ drive

End your tour in Halifax for a final look before flying home.

driving in atlantic canada

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