As the world’s second largest country, Canada has no shortage of diverse landscapes to explore. From the magnificent Rockies to the windswept Atlantic coast, there are endless places ripe for adventure. But one of the country’s best kept secrets lies offshore – its spectacular islands.
Topping the list of Canada’s island gems is Vancouver Island on the Pacific coast. This massive island feels like a secluded world of its own. The lively harbour city of Victoria serves as the gateway, boasting manicured gardens and stately British architecture. But just a short drive away, you’ll find yourself enveloped in untouched old-growth rainforests, like the mystical Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. Here, thousand-year old cedars reach for the skies while Douglas firs blanket the rolling hills. When booking a holiday to Canada from UK, make sure you add this to your list of places to visit.
The natural wonders continue further up the island through Cathedral Grove and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Outdoor lovers can kayak below towering sea cliffs or trek through lush coastal forests on their way to secluded beaches. For an even more remote island escape, take the ferry over to Quadra Island from Campbell River. Its forests and quiet shores offer sublime tranquility.
Newfoundland and it’s Satellite Islands
Yet the options off Canada’s eastern shores shouldn’t be overlooked either. Newfoundland and its satellite islands in the Atlantic immerse you in Gaelic culture as dramatic, wave-battered cliffs keep a watchful eye over colorful fishing villages below. Twelve thousand years of human history echoes through UNESCO sites like L’anse aux Meadows where Norse explorer Leif Eriksson once landed. Today, puffins and whales still rule these waters.
Cape Breton Island
Charming Cape Breton Island channels Scotland through Celtic music evenings and Tartan gift shops. But a drive around the famous Cabot Trail quickly transports you back to the rugged Canadian wild. Steep cliffs drop off to the Gulf of St. Lawrence on one side while moose wander through secluded river valleys on the other, perhaps why Nova Scotia dubs it “one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world.”
Canada’s Arctic Islands
Farther north, Canada’s Arctic islands promise one-of-a-kind adventures. Nunavut’s Baffin Islandis the country’s largest, dominated by remote tundra and glaciers that spill down from ice fields. Yet hidden gems here include Auyuittuq National Park where intrepid hikers trek between snow-capped peaks to witness 24-hour summertime sunsets. Nearby floe edge boat tours allow you to get up close with icebergs and whales.
Island hopping through Canada truly unveils the nation’s hidden corners. While Vancouver Island and Cape Breton top itineraries as tranquil locales steeped in culture and scenic vistas, even the subarctic islands farther north reveal stunning polar landscapes inhabited by unique wildlife. So, whether you crave the wild and remote or small town charms, Canada’s islands offer nature-fueled escapes found nowhere else. One things for sure, once you’ve touched down on these clandestine isles, you may never want to leave.