Explore Canada's Pacific and Atlantic Coasts
Canada has over 125,000 miles of coastline - that's more than any other country on earth; by a long stretch. Of the many miles on offer, two regions from opposing oceans stand out. Here we take a look at their relative merits.
WEST COAST CANADA
Sandwiched between Washington of the US states and Alaska, this stretch of the Pacific coastline is wild and wonderful. Enviably located at the southern end lies the city of Vancouver - the gateway to the sublime beauty of Western Canada. The old adage of Vancouverites 'skiing in the morning and hitting the beach in the afternoon' rings true with Whistler black runs just a 1.5hour drive north and a host of beaches skirting Vancouver's west coast. Of course, the city itself is also well worth devoting a few days to. Constantly topping the polls as one of the world's most liveable, Vancouver boasts a thriving culinary scene, vibrant nightlife and abundant attractions. Plus, just north of downtown, lies Grouse Mountain and the incredible Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Travel beyond the city, however, and Canada's natural beauty really blossoms. Inland to the east the indomitable Rockies rise from the vast forests, surrounded by impossibly blue lakes, river canyons and flower filled meadows, whilst those who stay by the shoreline will be rewarded with a bounty of incredible wildlife and wilderness experiences.
The coast north of Vancouver encompassing The Great Bear Rainforest and Vancouver Island (adjacent), are two of Canada's prime bear viewing territories, with grizzlies, black bears and even the rare white Kermode or 'Spirit' bear all resident here. With everything from luxurious hideaways to rustic retreats set to a backdrop of dramatic coastlines, lofty mountain peaks and seemingly endless forests, a stay here makes for an unforgettable addition to any West Coast Canada holiday.
Looking for a contrast to land mammals? You'll be pleased to hear that a huge range of Alaskan cruises head north from Vancouver, offering the opportunity to spot dolphins, seals, whales and even orca, amongst the idyllic bays, inlets and fjords.
Encompassing the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward island and Newfoundland & Labrador a visit to this remarkable regions is like stepping back in time to a bygone era of seafaring.
Dotted with secluded coves, wave-lashed granite cliffs and lonely lighthouses (including one of the world's most photogenic at Peggy's cove) Nova Scotia is the perfect introduction to this captivating region. With a long marmite history it's one of the prime locations to spot whales and, after a day on better way to finish than with a steaming bowl of rich seafood chowder and a world-famous lobster dinner?
The neighbouring province of New Brunswick offers a welcome contrast, with a landscape of great forests which transforms in the autumn season to lustrous shades of red and gold. From here it's a short hop to the vibrant Acadian Coast with its rich cultural scene, year-round festivals, music and joie de vivre. New Brunswick is also home to the Bay of Fundy, which boasts the world's highest tides. Witness this remarkable phenomenon at Hopewell Rocks where you can descend the cliffs at low-tide to walk on the ocean floor before climbing back up to watch the waves tumble into the bay, rising almost 50 feet.
A little further on, across the eight mile long Confederation Bridge, lies Prince Edward Island. Known as the 'Garden of the Gulf' secluded and serene sandy beaches make way to rolling hills and pastoral landscapes, whilst the quaint island capital of Charlottetown boasts a vibrant arts scene and historic charm.
Finally, for a taste of remote, visceral beauty nothing beats Newfoundland - an island isolated off the coasts of its provincial partner of Labrador, where giant icebergs cluster by towering fjords.