Nothing Compares to Canada

With its shimmering harbour, sparkling ocean and stunning skyline, cosmopolitan Vancouver is frequently voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world - and it is easy to see why. Surrounded by mountains and over-looking the island-speckled Pacific, Vancouver has it all. Beaches and seaside promenades, Stanley park, the world's largest and most beautiful urban space, and the dizzying Capilano Suspension Bridge in the city's very own rainforest.

This sophisticated city also boasts world-class shopping, unique culture - from First Nations to contemporary - and is a foodie paradise (take a gastronomic tour including the Granville Island Market).

Must-sees include the island of Vancouver. Take a ferry to the charming historic city of Victoria, the oldest on the Pacific North West and easy to explore by foot, or a floatplane to Nanaimo, with its harbour-side restaurants serving boat-fresh seafood.

Heading inland, Thompson Okanagan, with its warm, sunny valleys and lakes with sandy beaches, is a great year-round destination. This region also boasts the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, with a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls, and some fantastic wineries (take a tour) as well as desert hills at Osoyoos, where you will find the nation's warmest lake.

From Vancouver, you can also stay on the Echo Valley ranch, enjoy a spa break near Golden Bridge and take the Rocky Mountaineer train, marvelling at the magnificent Jasper National Park and the picturesque Lake Louise through its Panoramic windows.

Whistler, king of the ski resorts wit fantastic pistes, cosy pubs and lively bars, is worth a three or four-day trip - take the sea-to-sky highway from Vancouver - at any time of year.

Feel the thrill of aerial sightseeing on the Peak 2 Peak gondola linking the Whistler and Blackcomb peaks - the 360-degree panoramas are breathtaking. Take a glass-bottomed one for an extra adrenaline rush. A more leisurely, but equally exhilarating, experience is an eco-tour in a kayak or canoe on the River of Golden Dreams.

The pedestrianised town of Whistler is also great for shopping and dining and throughout the year, the town comes alive with festivals of music, beer, writers, film... you name it. For foodies, there is a fantastic farmers' market.

Another dream Journey is French-influenced Quebec on Canada's eastern seaboard at the mouth of the majestic St Lawrence.

Whether you are fishing, canoeing or kayaking on Lac Mistassini or marvelling at the mountain scenery and spectacular waterfalls of Mount Tremblant, you will have a truly memorable trip. Unmissable sights include the humpback, minke, blue and fin whales in Tadoussac and the Biosphere Reserve in Charlevoix, an area which also boasts some the most beautiful villages in Quebec.

Quebec City, with its quaint old town - a UNESCO World Heritage treasure with cobbled stone streets and fortified walls - makes the perfect starting point for your journey.

Now is a fantastic time to visit to marvel at the changing, vibrant hues of the autumn leaves in the forests of the Lanaudiere and Mauricie regions - although you may want to take a helicopter to really appreciate the nuances of the warm colours the forests' foliage against the backdrop of the glistening blue of the river.

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