Is there a better way to see Canada than by train... possibly not.
Is there a better way to see the majesty of Canada than through a train window, well there may be but it would be a very close contest in our opinion. Sitting in comfort whilst the breathtaking scenary that is Canada rushes by outside - not a bad way to spend part of your gap year, career break or holiday in Canada.
If you are a train enthusiast or you just like the idea of relaxing whilst travelling across country - and maybe long car journeys remind you of those tortuous days with the kids in the backseat - a train trip through a part of Canada could just be that trip of a lifetime. Here we sample two of the very best routes you can take on a Canadian holiday.
Vancouver to Toronto
Not only one of the best train trips in Canada but one of the best in the world too. This trip takes three nights non-stop and there is a choice of travelling economically in a reclining seat or doing it in style in a sleeping car with meals included. Sights include Niagara Falls, Banff and Lake Louise and Jasper National Park.
A typical itinerary would be:
Day 1 Vancouver
Spend the day exploring this pretty, cosmopolitan city.
Day 2 Kamloops
Travel inward into the heart of British Colombia. The landscape changes dramatically as you head inwards from coastal city, the green fields of the Fraser Valley, through canyons of the Coast and Cascade Mountain ranges to the desert-like centre.
Day 3 Rockies
Head onwards to the powerful Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The passing scenery will be more mountainous, including the ice-capped peaks, with travel through large, long tunnels including the Spiral Tunnels.
Day 4 Banff
Spend a day sightseeing in Banff National Park. Particular places of interest include Bow Falls and Lake Minnewanka. Banff itself is also worth a visit to bring back souvenirs for home.
Day 5-6 Lake Louise
Lake Louise is one of the big draws to Banff National Park. There are many lakeside and nearby mountain trails to spend a days hiking on, to stretch your legs from train travel. If you like the water, there are also many opportunities to go canoeing, kayaking, or boating.
Day 7 Jasper
Enjoy Banff and Jasper National Park via the Icefields Parkway. Highlights include the Colombia Icefield, one of the largest icefields south of the Arctic and one of the most accessible.
Day 8-10 Jasper to Toronto
Head onwards to Ontario and the Prarie provinces to Toronto. This trip takes three days so make sure you have got a good book!
Day 11 Toronto and Niagara Falls
If you eyes still have not seen enough natural beauty, then a trip to the Canadian Niagara Falls should do the trick.
Day 12 Toronto
Spend your last day enjoying Toronto.
Vancouver to Vancouver via Victoria
This train journey takes in the best of the West Coast and is ideal for those with less time (and money) available to travel from Vancouver to Toronto.
Day 1-2 Vancouver
Spend one or two days enjoying vibrant Vancouver. Highlights include Gorse Mountain, Stanley Park and the Capilano suspension bridge.
Day 3-4 Victoria
Travel to Victoria. Victoria is a wonderful place for many different activities – from golf, to spa days through to wildlife watching. The Victoria coastline is a good spot for whale watching as are sea lions, seals, porpoises and sea eagles.
Day 5-6 Whistler
Whether you come in summer or winter, spending time on Whistler will not be forgotten. If you like skiing and snowboarding, Whistler is one of the best mountains in the world to ski on. In summer, the mountain turns into a hiker or golfers dream. All a bit too energetic? Head for one of the resorts spa hotels for some pampering.
Day 7 Vancouver
Head back through more fascinating scenery including Cheakamus Canyon, the dome peak of Mount Garibaldi, Shannon waterfalls, and Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains.
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