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Closeup on canadian side of Niagara falls

Compare the best Canada holidays

Take a holiday in Canada to explore some of the world's most wonderful vistas - from lively Toronto to nearby thundering Niagara Falls, from the ski heaven of Whistler to the stunning setting of Vancouver, and from the French cities of Montreal and Quebec to the capital of Ottawa. It's a country of contrasts.

Why go?

The vast country of Canada offers a giant slice of nature alongside some of the best cities on the planet. Where will you head to?

With the United Stated of America to the south and the Arctic to the north, Canada is one of the world's largest countries and everything comes in size XL. The mountains, the food, the wildlife, the skyscrapers - these huge monuments of Canada are matched in size by a booming tourism industry. There has never been a better time to visit.

Holidays in Canada can be spent in any number of magical places. The call of the wilderness draws many visitors, who simply cannot resist the charms of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and the wildlife of Jasper National Park. While for others it's the vibrancy of Canadian cities that beckon them to return again and again.

Sample city life in the major hubs of Toronto, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa in the east, plus Vancouver and Calgary in the west of Canada, and find a varied and cosmopolitan mix of cities. Some are heavily influenced by Britain, and some by America, in some you'll have to polish up on your French.

Canada's cities are brimming with shopping opportunities, while the eating scene is packed with everything from world-class restaurants to down-to-earth diners. Standards of accommodation are high, and, though the nightlife is quieter than that of neighbouring America, there's plenty going on in the big tourist centres such as Toronto and Vancouver.

The natural wonders of Canada are evident in places such as Jasper and Banff national parks, where moose, bears, wolves and mountain goats make their homes in thick forests and on towering mountains.

Visiting spectacular Niagara Falls is a must as the Canadian side offers the best views of the waterfalls compared to the views from bordering America.

Ottawa's Thousand Islands, which actually total almost 2,000, also show off the glory of Canadian nature and geography. The country is a rich playground for active types and you'll find everything from trekking to rafting to skiing.

If you plan on venturing further than diverse Canada, Vancouver is a great starting point for cruises to the great wilderness in the north that is Alaska.

When to go?

Canada is visited year round by holidaymakers thanks to its great summer weather and winters that offer some of the best snowfalls in the world...

Canada is a vast country and features many climates. The further north you travel, the colder you're going to be. The tourist centres of the south, near the border with America, enjoy hot summers and mild winters, while the mountain resorts obviously experience plummeting temperatures in the winter months.

What's on?

Canada is a major destination for cultural and sporting events. Check out our recommendations...

Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival; June: Be in this slick city in summer to hear the groovy tunes of the jazz world. Some of the biggest names perform at this annual musical event.

Montreal Fringe Festival; June: Performers are chosen at random so you never know what you're going to get at this wacky and much-loved event. The city is alive with arts and culture so you could catch something amazing.

Quebec Grand Rire Festival; June/July: Half a million people flock to Quebec City to witness an array of lively cultural performances. There's live music and comedy to be had in this French-speaking city.

Canada Day; July: Be anywhere in Canada on July 1 as proud residents celebrate their national day. The date marks the day in 1867 that effectively saw Canada created from three colonies. Canada marks its birthday with parades, fireworks and parties.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park; Vancouver; winter: Vancouver hosts a Christmas spectacular in the lovely Stanley Park. The incredible lights display will knock spots off your efforts at home. Take the whole family and tuck into roasted chestnuts as you tour the displays.

What to do?

For some fantastic ideas on what to see and do, we've rounded up our favourite suggestions...

Relaxing: To see some of Canada's most breath taking coastline coupled with dramatic mountain scenery, drive along the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. Much of the 185-mile journey will take you through Cape Breton Highlands National Park and you may even get the opportunity to spot whales and moose.

Active: Canada is a haven for skiers and, for a real treat, pack up your gear and hop in a helicopter for a high alpine experience in Whistler. Heli-skiing will take you to off-trail slopes that can only be accessed by helicopter, and you will be treated to stunning scenery and miles of endless terrain.

Romance: Dramatic Niagara Falls is the ultimate romantic destination. See the three breath taking waterfalls from their base on the 'Maid of the Mist' boat before getting a bird's eye view from the Niagara SkyWheel that towers 175 feet above the falls.

Kids and teens: Canada's Wonderland is a huge theme park in Vaughan, Ontario. With more than 200 attractions and 69 rides, the kids will love riding on the rollercoasters, experiencing the interactive dinosaur park and making a splash in the waterpark. Little ones can enjoy gentler rides at Planet Snoopy where they can have fun with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang.

Grown-up families: Discover the vast, unspoilt wilderness of Banff National Park. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, you will be treated to dense forests, alpine landscapes, glaciers and ice fields.

Free and cheap: Take a trip to the 1,000-acre Stanley Park in Vancouver, which is free to enter. Walk, rollerblade or cycle around the 22km Seawall which will take you past sandy beaches.

Shopping: Shop till you drop in cosmopolitan Toronto where you will find every kind of store from vintage and retro boutiques to interesting markets and large-scale malls.