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Second only to Russia in terms of its total area, Canada stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans and north to the frozen Arctic. To the south, its land border with the United States is the longest in the world. Canada’s population of around 34 million is concentrated in the towns and cities of the Atlantic coast, around the Great Lakes and in the far southwestern corner, which means that huge swathes of the country are largely uninhabited. This wilderness is as diverse as it is vast, containing row upon row of ice-capped mountains, huge lakes, mighty rivers, dense forests, broad plateaux, wide open prairies, steep-sided canyons, glaciers and ice fields, Arctic tundra and even the odd patch of cactus-spattered desert or bizarre Badlands moonscapes.Read more
Canada was occupied for centuries solely by peoples who revered and respected their environment. These indigenous peoples, known as the ‘First Nations’, continue to influence Canadian identity through their language, art and music. The Norseman Leif Eriksson reached the coast of Newfoundland in 1000, but European exploration and settlement didn’t start in earnest until after the arrival of John Cabot in 1497. For the following three centuries, British and French colonists bickered over territories in eastern Canada until the Seven Years’ War settled the matter in Britain’s favour in 1763. During the 18th and 19th centuries, beaver hunters for the Hudson Bay Company and gold rush speculators led the charge westwards. The country was linked from coast to coast in 1885 by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Travellers who choose to visit Canada tend to be nature lovers who enjoy direct interaction with the great outdoors. The country’s sensational natural beauty, topographical variety and sport-minded population combine to make this arguably the best destination in the world for outdoor pursuits. Alternatively, head to the coasts for sailing and fishing; Vancouver Island for kayaking, and to the Rockies for biking, hiking, climbing, skiing and snowboarding. Canada is one of the last easily accessible places where nature can be experienced in its wildest and most pristine state, and the pleasant, easy-going nature of its people ensures that travel here is easy, safe and relaxing.
Places of interest in Canada
Banff National Park, the oldest and most famous in the Canadian Rockies and Canada’s number one tourist attraction,...
Jasper National Park feels much closer to wilderness than Banff. Neither as famous nor as convenient to reach, it...
All the elements that have allowed Vancouver to top the list of the world’s most liveable cities also make Western...