Admire the 146 mile-long, glacier-cut Saguenay Fjord from the village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean
Looking out onto the Saguenay Fjord, the village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean is an eclectic collection of wooden, early 19th-century houses that forms an ideal base for exploring some of Canada’s most remarkable scenery. The 146 mile-long, glacier-cut fjord itself is bordered by dense forest, mountains and cliffs of mighty proportions, where hiking guarantees sensational views. You can also sea kayak or take a sailing or sightseeing cruise, in which you’ll learn about local legends and the history of the French-Canadian villages that line the banks of the fjord. The area’s Parc National du Fjord du Saguenay is also relatively undiscovered by tourists, so you can expect peaceful and grandiose scenery. Check into the village’s most highly-rated accommodation, holiday home l'Anse de tabatière.
Hope, British Columbia
Head to Hope to canoe across Kawkawa Lake and have a picnic
Hope is a delightful little town built at the base of the Cascade Mountains and the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers. The area has several must-see natural monuments; start with Hell’s Gate, where the Fraser River narrows and forces the olive green water through a narrow gap in the grey granite cliffs and creates a fearsome torrential rapid. Then there’s Hope Slide, the jagged remains of a landslide that brought down half of an entire mountain called Johnson’s Peak in 1965. For a more mellow afternoon in nature, Kawkawa Lake is a popular spot for a picnic, where you can swim, boat and sunbathe where the pristine water is backed by mountains tinted blue in the sun’s shadow. Evergreen B&B is a great place to put up your feet after a day outdoors, with its fireplace, huge beds and plush throws.
Sooke, British Columbia
Visit rock pools, canyons and caves in Sooke Potholes Regional and Provincial Parks
The small coastal community of Sooke sits on the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, between temperate inland rainforest and the Pacific waves that crash outside the sheltered harbour. Most visitors come here to explore the Sooke Potholes Regional and Provincial Parks, the former a 55 hectare natural wonderland of rock pools and canyons, while the latter boasts blissful scenery with polished sandstone formations carved by the Sooke River. Swim in solitude in the crystal clear waters of the pools and secret coves, and hike through forests of fir trees and wildflowers; the Coastal Trail in East Sooke Regional Park is particularly special. Enjoy the views from Sooke Harbour staying at the highly-rated Seascape Inn.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Gaze up at the resplendent northern lights in Yellowknife
Yellowknife is one of the world’s best places to see the northern lights, aka aurora borealis, with this dazzling celestial display appearing pretty much throughout the year (though around the fall and spring equinoxes is prime viewing time). The capital of the Northwest Territories, this remote, former mining town also provides access to one of Canada’s largest wildernesses. Explore vast expanses of tundra – the Oxbow Trail provides astounding vistas of the Great Slave Lake (the deepest lake in North America) – and spot wildlife like caribou, bears and wolves grazing around the rivers and waterfalls. For a stellar vantage point for the northern lights, stay at the scenic Mabuhay Lakeside Manor.
Discover pre-glacial, ancient basalt cliffs and conical lava structures near Whitehorse
Whitehorse is the capital of Canada’s Yukon territory, a land covering nearly 200,000 square miles with sparsely-populated forest and icy wilderness until it meets the border with Alaska. The city’s star attraction can be found in Miles Canyon, where pre-glacial, ancient basalt cliffs still stand. Furthermore, you’ll discover a collection of conical lava structures that litter the landscape, and lava flows that border the Yukon River resembling totem poles. The city also allows visitors to watch the northern lights from the Takhini Hot Pools’ mineral springs (a pretty unforgettable travel experience), a cluster of natural geothermal baths located just outside the city. Stay in a pretty wooden cabin with a private sauna at Triple B B&B.
** These destinations were the most highly-rated in Canada for 'nature', by Booking.com customers.