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Canada by Rail - Escorted Holidays

Covering almost ten million square kilometres, there's abundant space for Canada's thirty-six spectacular national parks and countless unique, entertaining and culturally rich towns and cities.

With so much to see and do in Canada it can be difficult to know where to begin. Banff National Park, the country's oldest, established in 1885 and situated in the iconic Rocky Mountains, is an excellent starting point for nature lovers. Picture-postcard perfect, here dramatic snow-capped peaks soar above dense pine forests, glaciers sparkle in the sunlight and mirror-like lakes reflect impossibly blue skies. It's also possible to glimpse black bears, grizzlies, wild cats and a host of other exotic birds and wildlife.

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  • DestinationCanada
  • Starts / EndsLondon Heathrow
  • AccommodationRail, Hotel
  • TransportFlight, Rail
Map and accommodation
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  • DestinationCanada
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
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  • DestinationCanada
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation

Canada's cities are equally compelling. Take in the pervasive European ambience of Québec, where café culture and French cuisine come together to create a city rich in romance and classic style. 

Visit the dazzlingly diverse and cosmopolitan city of Toronto; a multicultural melting pot which boasts a wealth of vibrant museums, art galleries and excellent gastronomical options. 

Or, discover laid-back Vancouver, where the mountains meet the beach. This coastal city is a beautiful juxtaposition of atmospheres, marrying breathtaking scenic views with a lively metropolitan culture.

Lake Louise

Explore Canada with Rail Discoveries

Canada has four distinct seasons, with warm summers and famously bitter winters. This is a country that is enigmatic at any time of the year, so when you choose to visit comes down to personal preference. The immense size of the country means that the weather can differ depending on where you chose to visit, but generally June to August is Canada's high season, with pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine. If you're travelling in winter, or to the far north of the country, expect extremely cold weather. With temperatures dropping well below freezing point in many areas, thermal underclothes are a must, as well as waterproofs, a hat, scarf and gloves. A good pair of snow or walking boots will also prove handy, especially if you're planning on exploring the great outdoors.

 

 

Vancouver skyline in the evening

While Canada has produced many culinary delights, there is perhaps none quite as famous as poutine. Consisting of fries topped with a rich meat-based gravy and fresh cheese curds, this world-renowned dish can be found in just about any diner in Canada, including McDonalds. Canada is also celebrated for its seafood, with an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish caught off its coasts. When in Maritime provinces, sampling fresh lobster rolls is a must; a generous portion of plump lobster meat in mayonnaise dressing, lightly seasoned and piled into a toasted bread roll - this delicious delicacy can be found in numerous seafood shacks and eateries along the coast.

Canadians are generally relaxed, and are recognised for their friendly and polite nature. Visitors to the country should make an effort to emulate their warmness - a simple please and thank you will go a long way, as will a sincere smile. When visiting Québec or another French speaking area, brushing up on some simple French phrases and greetings will also be greatly appreciated.

Tipping is expected in the service industry, with the standard amount in a sit-down restaurant being between 15% and 20% of the overall price. It is also important to remember when shopping that sales tax is generally added on at the cash register, so you should anticipate the final price being slightly higher than that marked on the label. Canada's currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations, while $1, $2 (known as "the loonie and the toonie"), 50c, 25c, 10c, 5c, and 1c all come in coin form.

As with all travel, organising adequate travel insurance is essential. British citizens do not need a visa in order to visit Canada, but will need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) in order to enter. 911 is the emergency number in Canada, and should be used for emergency police, fire or medical assistance.

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
Helen Laverack
Helen
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