From Nova Scotia in the Maritimes to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and the British Columbia Pacific Coast, there are lots of popular fly drive holidays in Canada to choose from. These drives wind through some spectacular destinations, taking in landscapes from mountains to cliffs and beaches. When you’re behind the wheel, you can pick and choose where you stop and when you stop. It’s the most independent way to travel.

With so many routes on offer, here at Canadian Affair we’ve picked out three of the best drives in Canada. Read our guide for inspiration on the top spots you can stop-off at, the distance you will drive, and start and end points for each journey.

Explore the Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is without a doubt one of the most scenic trails in the world with its beautiful coastal views and highland scenery. We’ve already recommended stunning Pleasant Bay and Ingonish Beach but with so many sights to see, you’ll want to stop a lot more than that.

A scenic landscape featuring a wooden boardwalk meandering through colorful, rugged terrain under a vibrant sunset sky, with the ocean extending into the horizon, is one of Canada's standout sights and attractions.

Here are some other stop-offs you shouldn’t miss:


Located in the heart of Cape Breton Island, the bustling village of Baddeck is the perfect beginning of the Cabot Trail. With its beautiful Bras d’Or Lake, it is a spectacular place to start. During your visit you could pop into the Alexander Bell National Historic site which commemorates the natural and cultural heritage of the region. If you’ve got some spare time before you drive, there are lots of sailing tours you can go on – the region is renowned for whale watching.

Skyline Trail

Aerial view of a person meditating on a rocky outcropping overlooking a lush forest, islands, and a sunset over the standout routes of Canada drives.

The Skyline Trail is on French Mountain and this dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast, giving you an eagle’s view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain. You should also keep your eyes peeled for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks and you could also be joined by moose, bald eagles, bears and numerous boreal birds as they live in the area.

Lone Shieling

One of the most famous sights along the Lone Shieling Trail is a replica of a Scottish crofter’s hut, which is found at the very beginning of the trail. This area is one of the most protected in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park as the Grande Anse Valley has one of the largest old-growth hardwood forests in the Maritimes. The hut nestles among 350-year-old maple trees and as a heritage building, it shines a light on traditional crofting of the Scottish Highlands, which Cape Breton closely resembles.


Here you can view traces of Acadian history as there are remains of an old school and former residents’ houses along the route. When you get to the look-out you will be able to read more information about the families that lived here as well as get unrivalled views of Presqu'île and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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