Tourists booking airline tickets to Canada should pack their maps - the provinces can get confusing. Here’s a quick breakdown of the regions for travelers: Western Canada consists of British Columbia and three provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Eastern Canada consists of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Northern Canada contains three territories: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. On your flight to Canada you’ll learn that each of the provinces has a slight independence from the national government, and each one boasts its own provincial symbol.
When your flight to Canada arrives, you’ll be in one of the world's wealthiest nations and North America’s largest country. Influenced by the French and British, depending on where specifically you book a flight to Canada, will depend on the type of food, culture and attractions to experience. Regardless of where your Canada flight lands, a country full of character, culture and opportunity awaits.
Canada is an enormous country and its climate ranges from long, cold winter nights in the Arctic Circle to the mild seasons of British Columbia. Both Montreal and Quebec City have warm summers that can become hot and humid. The cities’ winter season lasts from October to early May with cold and snow. You‘ll find the warmest summers in Toronto. The bitter winter cold has become part of the country’s culture. In Ottawa you can enjoy the warm summer days, but head inside to escape the chilly nights that can drop into the low 30s. Snow starts to fall in October and temperatures can drop close to zero.
Best Time to Fly to Canada
Canada's peak seasons vary -- it all depends on why you're traveling to Canada. For winter sports enthusiasts, November to March offers the best chance of good snow. For those keen to go outdoors - camping or caravanning, to the lakes, national parks, or beaches of British Columbia - late-May to early September (Victoria Day to Labor Day) enjoy the best weather. Temperatures are warm, but not unbearable.
Canada has a very well-developed winter tourist season. In addition to superlative skiing and snowboarding facilities, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, ice-fishing and snowshoeing are also on offer. If you are not keen on these pursuits, November to February visits are best abandoned.
Getting around Canada
Given the huge distances between cities, booking local Canada flights is a good option. CanJet serves 15 destinations in Canada and the U.S. including St. John's, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Air Canada Jazz, a regional airline, serves more than 70 destinations in Canada and the U.S.
The train offers a good way to see the countryside, and VIA Rail Canada offers several packages for intrepid travelers. The one most often recommended however is the Canrailpass, which offers 12 days' travel anywhere in Canada during a 30-day period.
Renting a car can give you the freedom to follow your own itinerary. Car rental companies are represented at all the major airports. Travelers looking to drive around Canada should search for discounted car rental rates when booking flights to Canada.
Canada Travel Information
- Although not well-known, Canada's capital is a charming cosmopolitan city and possibly the most British of the Canadian cities. Downtown Ottawa has renovated Victorian houses serving as homes, restaurants, and shops. The architecture and historical significance of the Parliamentary buildings attract visitors, as does strolling along the Rideau Canal and watching boats go through its eight locks. Ottawa hotels offer something for any traveler's budget, any time of the year.
- Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city known for its natural beauty and mild climate. As a year-round tourist destination, there's always something to do: water and land sports and film, jazz, folk, and theater festivals. Vancouver also offers opera, ballet, symphony, and an exciting nightlife. Vancouver will be hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. If you plan on going to the Winter Olympics, book your Vancouver hotel room now.
- Parts of Canada are transformed into winter wonderlands by the snowy weather and several cities make the most of the big freeze including Quebec City (Winter Carnival and its ice hotel), Montreal (High Lights festival) and Ottawa (Winterlude, a winter carnival) to name just three.
- On Sundays, entire families do the Grouse Grind in Vancouver. An almost two-mile trail takes you up the face of Grouse Mountain, nearly 3,000 feet. If you are fit, it should take about 50 minutes. Hike up, but take the gondola down to protect your knees of course.
- Visitors to Montreal should take note of the "Sunday Tam-Tams" in Mount Royal. Tam-tams are a type of hand drum, and hundreds of Montrealers and visitors turn up on summer Sundays to play around the monument to Sir George-Etienne Cartier. Find your perfect Montreal hotel before you arrive in this little French city.
- As well as nearby Niagara Falls, Toronto claims the world's tallest building. The CN Tower stands at 1,815 feet. Once at the top - by elevator naturally - there is plenty to do including walking on a glass floor, eating at the revolving restaurant and enjoying the view.
- Bring your Stetson. The Calgary Stampede takes place in July, and is the province's most popular tourist attraction. It features a rodeo, chuckwagon races, concert and amusement park.