Driving is one of the most rewarding ways to explore Canada, as you can discover the country at your own pace. From the Eastern Maritimes to the coast of British Columbia, a driving holiday to Canada will take your breath away, with spectacular scenery and culture to be discovered around every turn. We’ve chosen four of Canada’s most inspirational driving routes, across both the east and west coast to motivate you to hire a car and get behind the wheel:
The Viking Trail
The Viking Trail in Newfoundland & Labrador is one of the most historically significant trails in Canada, home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a thousand-year-old Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows. Spend anywhere between two and ten days driving through beautiful valleys and along windswept coasts, through the charming towns of Cormack, Wiltondale, Port Saunders and Hawke Bay. Visit Shallow Bay and roam the sandy beaches in search of long-lost treasure, and discover the oldest English settlement on the French shore at Anchor Point. As well as fantastic views along the eastern coast, there’s a wealth of culture and history to soak up on the Viking Trail.
The Cabot Trail
Located in the northern Victoria and Inverness Counties on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail is one of the most inspirational driving routes in Canada. With around 300km of road to explore, this three to five-day drive will take you through cultural heritage sites – to the start of fantastic hiking trails, and to some of the best whale-watching spots in Atlantic Canada. Be sure to try some of Canada’s freshest seafood along the way, with lobster caught straight from the Atlantic waters – try Bell Buoy restaurant in Baddock or Island Sunset in the Margarees. Here’s our top tip for the Cabot Trail: get the best ocean views by driving anti-clockwise.
The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93)
The Icefields Parkway, also known as Highway 93, traverses the rugged landscape of the Rockies, through Banff and Lake Louise National Parks. This is one of the most popular driving routes in Canada, with up to 100,000 vehicles exploring the route every month. Discover a vast wilderness of mountains, lakes, glaciers and valleys, where waterfalls cascade from rock spires, and emerald lakes glitter in the sunshine. This is often considered to be a trip of a lifetime, and it’s easy to see why – with so many breath-taking viewpoints and landscapes rich in history and natural beauty.
Sea to Sky Corridor
In British Columbia the Sea to Sky Corridor, which extends from Vancouver to Whistler, is one of western Canada’s most beautiful driving routes. With scenic ocean vistas, soaring mountains and a plethora of outdoor activities, this stunning highway offer countless opportunities to stop and enjoy your surroundings. Winding through Horseshoe Bay on Vancouver’s north shore and past Shannon Falls and Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, we recommend stopping off at and Squamish, which is also known as the outdoor recreation capital of Canada. Here, the ocean meets mountain and you can rock climb, hike and kitesurf in spectacular surroundings, before ascending to Whistler Village.
Our fly-drive holidays can be adapted if you would like to add on or alter any parts to your own requirements. At the start of your journey you’ll be equipped with a full roadmap and guidebook that sets out each day’s itinerary and the distance you need to cover.
Before planning and booking your fly-drive holiday, check out our other guide that gives you all the top tips for driving in Canada as well as a handy print-out guide, perfect for taking on the long journeys with you.
If you have any questions or concerns about driving in Canada or car hire in Canada a member of our team will be more than willing to help answer any queries.