If you’re undecided on where to go on holidays this year, let us make the case for Canada.
The second largest nation in the world is turning 150 this year and there’s plenty of reasons why you should pay it a visit: it’s got one of the world’s widest selections of doughnut shops, 2.4 million reindeer can be found in its wilderness, and it’s home to the decadent concoction of cheese, gravy and fries that is poutine.
Not enough to entice you? Well, it’s also been named the number one country to visit in 2017 by traveller bible Lonely Planet. So there’s that.
Another important Canadian birthday taking place this year is that of Air Canada, which has just turned 80. To celebrate, the company’s leisure brand Air Canada Rouge has some great deals from Dublin to various destinations in its home country.
Air Canada Rouge have 14 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto and Vancouver this summer, as well as connections to many more destinations, so getting there will be a doddle.
Here are a few of those options which you might wanna check out this year…
In terms of discovering Canada’s natural majesty, there’s no better place than Alberta.
Lovers of the great outdoors will be awestruck by the likes of Jasper National Park and Lake Louise. For a taste of the local culture, you can check out the Calgary Stampede, where the community celebrates its western heritage with rodeos and other cowboy events.
You can fly to Calgary from Dublin this summer via Vancouver (three flights) or Toronto (11 flights).
Click HERE for more info on Alberta.
This beautiful city is known for delectable restaurants, ice hockey, and the fact that you can dangle off a huuuge tower on the CN Tower Edge Walk.
Though not everyone will be happy to try that one out.
Air Canada Rouge has 11 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto in the summer and also flies right through the winter, though less frequently.
Click HERE for more info on Toronto.
3. British Columbia
Most of us think of skiing when we think of Canada and the slopes of British Columbia is where you want to do it.
Fly into Vancouver (three flights a week from Dublin on Air Canada Rouge from the end of May into October, or connect via Toronto year round) to experience all that the Pacific Rim City has to offer.
Cycle round Stanley park, eat dim sum in Chinatown or venture over the Capilano Suspension Bridge. From Vancouver it’s only two hours to Whistler, where you can spend a holiday of a lifetime at a world-class ski resort.
Click HERE for more info on British Columbia.
It’s more than just a massive waterfall, you know.
The Niagara region is also home to a wide variety of wineries, should you be in the mood for a civilised holiday. But if that’s a bit too tame for you, you can also go zip-lining alongside the Niagara Falls for a rush you’ve never experienced.
Niagara is about one and a half hours drive from Toronto, and Air Canada Rouge has 11 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto in the summer.
Click HERE for more info on Niagara.
Yet another important Canadian birthday takes place this year, the 375th birthday of Montreal.
The French influence on the city isn’t just seen in the language, but also in the exquisite local cuisine. When you’re in town your to-do list should include a visit to Mount Royal and the Formula One Grand Prix.
You can fly from Dublin to Montreal via Toronto with Air Canada Rouge.
Click HERE for more info on Montreal.
With its rocky, foggy Atlantic coastline, Newfoundland is one for the romantics among you.
You can’t visit the region and not visit the many lighthouses which overlook the ocean, which is where you’ll find some of the most breathtaking vantage points in the province.
You can fly from Dublin to St John’s via Toronto with Air Canada Rouge.
Click HERE for more info on Newfoundland.
7. Nova Scotia
With its vibrant music scene, rugged scenery and Celtic influences, any Irish person would feel right at home in Nova Scotia.
Rent a car and you’ll easily be able to enjoy the region’s year-round surfing, sea kayaking, wineries and markets.
You can fly from Dublin to Halifax via Toronto with Air Canada Rouge.
Click HERE for more info on Nova Scotia.
Now this is real Canadian wilderness in all its glory.
Come to the Great Canadian North to learn of the heritage of the native tribes, witness dog sledding, and maybe even spot a few polar bears (but hopefully in the distance!).
With Air Canada Rouge, you can fly to Toronto, from there to Ottawa, and finally from there to Iqaluit.
Click HERE for more info on Nunavut.
9. Any National Park
Since this year is the celebration of 150 years of the confederation of Canada, the country’s national parks have free entrance all year round.
Ranging in size from 14 km (Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada) to almost 45,000 km (Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada), you can truly lose yourself there in the natural splendour of this wonderful country.
Just don’t get too lost!
Click HERE for more info on Canada’s National Parks.
Air Canada Rouge
Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s leisure airline flies 14 flights a week from Dublin to Toronto and Vancouver this summer and also has a year round service to Toronto. Connections are available right throughout Canada.
All flights include a hot meal and a 23kg free checked bag and they have a premium economy cabin too for those that fancy a little more comfort. In flight entertainment is streamed to your own device free of charge onboard or you can rent an iPad on board for CAD $10.
You now need an ETA (electronic Visa) to enter Canada. It’s CAD $7 and lasts 5 years. Go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp