travel > Travel Story > North America > Canada > 6 Canadian destinations fit for royalty

6 Canadian destinations fit for royalty

TIME : 2016/2/23 12:13:14
Perhaps Wills and Kate should take a detour to the Canadian Rockies? (Rob Pearce)

6 Canadian destinations fit for royalty

As Wills and Kate get set to embark on their first royal tour, we ask the experts to share the best parts of Canada that the couple forgot to add to their diary

With eight days to fill, there's a vast and varied number of attractions that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could have squeezed into their royal itinerary on their inaugural royal tour to Canada.

However, we appreciate that they're a busy couple, so we've asked several top tour operators for the low-down on the best destinations that capture the essence of Canadian culture.

1. Hike in the Rockies

Oh, Wills and Kate. What were you thinking? Canada has so much more to offer than a few (admittedly varied, cosmopolitan and dynamic) cities. Surely the real draw is the wonderful wilderness that smothers all but the southern 50 miles or so of this great nation? Avoid the crowds, the photographers, the noise and the pollution; we’d suggest that after the wedding party, it’s time to get back to nature.

The Canadian Rockies are too close to Calgary to miss if visiting. Wills and Kate, forget the rodeo. You should have joined us to hike the most beautiful trails in North America, through thick fir forests and into flower-laden alpine plateaus, with vistas of turquoise glacial lakes entrapped between the craggy granite bulks. Moose, bears, beavers and wolves are the only paparazzi on our Hiking in the Canadian Rockies trip.  

To find out more about trips from Exodus visit our operator directory

2. Track down the rare 'spirit bear'

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range on the west coast of British Columbia, the ancient Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world. Here Kate and Wills could have explored their adventurous side by going in search of the rare Kermode bear, otherwise known as the 'spirit bear' for their often white or cream-coloured coats. By joining a sailing holiday the couple could have kayaked through untouched fjords and walked in pristine rainforest, while enjoying close encounters with wildlife.

Discover The World run trips to Canada including cruises to the Great Bear Rainforest – find out more here

3. West is best

Vancouver is set on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in western Canada and is surrounded by mountains. It is an ideal city for outdoorsy people like Wills and Kate. There aren’t many places that you can walk up a mountain in the middle of a city! If Kate and Wills were feeling particularly active, maybe they would have challenged the current record for completing the Grouse Grind (a steep two-mile hike up Grouse Mountain) of 25.01 minutes!

Visit Explore's page to find out more about trips and prices here

4. Enjoy glorious views fit for a prince (and Duke and Duchess)

Famous around the world for its breathtaking scenery and an abundance of wildlife, Banff National Park showcases the real jewels in the crown of the Canadian Rockies, and has been attracting the world’s elite for over 100 years.

Banff National Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and was Canada’s first national park and just the second in the world when it was created in 1885. The Canadian Pacific Railway built opulent hotels in Banff and Lake Louise to host its well-heeled clientele, Europe’s gentry and the adventurous classes. They enjoyed the natural hot springs in the area, danced in ballrooms to jazz bands and hiked the spectacular mountains trails, overlooking magnificent emerald green lakes.

Not much has changed – including the spectacular scenery, that is worthy of royals.

Visit Canada with Grand American Adventures, find out more here

5. Kayak amongst spectacular sea life

A short flight to British Columbia would have given the royal pair the opportunity to kayak with orcas on Johnstone Strait which is one of the best places in the world to see orcas at close range. Each year from June to early October, they congregate here to feed on salmon, to rest and socialise. The strait is also home to porpoises, sea lions and many species of sea birds but it is the magnificent orcas that make this such a fantastic sea kayaking destination.

This sea kayaking adventure begins near the town of Port McNeill, on the remote northeast coast of Vancouver Island. Paddling stable two-person kayaks, the Duke and Duchess could have explored the islands and waterways for six days while watching and listening for orcas. During this time one night is spent in Port McNeill at the beginning and end of the kayaking adventure and four nights camping in permanent comfortable tented camps.

Check out the different trips to Canada that Windows On The Wild have to offer

6. Take in the wild and rugged scenery of the Gaspé Peninsula

Stretching northeast of Québec into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Gaspé Peninsula is made up of some of the province's most dramatic scenery, forming the northernmost tip of the Appalachian mountains. There is excellent walking to be had here, in the wooded hillsides that are home to healthy numbers of moose – an undeniably iconic symbol of Canada.

A stay at the Chic Choc Mountain Lodge, which accommodates just 36 guests at a time, would have given Wills and Kate a quiet, intimate stay amongst this incredible scenery. On the eastern tip of the peninsula, Bonaventure Island is home to North America's largest gannet colony, and the southern coast is dotted with 18th century fishing villages, beautiful gardens and fruit farms. The walled city of Québec and the picturesque Charlevoix region are also nearby.

Visit Audley's operator page to find out more about trips to Canada

More like this

"Just staring at a small area of ground, I noticed the astonishingly varied colour of the rocks, from pale grey to purple; the pattern of snow crystals; the form and colour of kelp; the deep red of Arctic cranberries and the yellow and cream of lichen." | Track pioneers and polar bears in Churchill, Canada

Spirited Away: Spirit Bears in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest | Destinations... More

5 royal events we'd rather be invited to | Inspire Me... More

Bunking down with the bears in Nunavut, Canada | Destinations... More

5 royal lovenests: Where Royals go on honeymoon | Inspire Me... More