Our Expert Guide To The Best Of Canada For 2023

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Atlantic Provinces

With Canada landing a place on the “Where to Go” lists of many established titles including, National Geographic, Condenast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Lonely Planet, the world’s second largest country is more than ready to fulfil your travel goals.

An exciting year to go to the Great White North, our 2023 hot list highlights destinations old and new, upcoming films and set-jetting locations, and even news you might have missed during your travel hiatus, including the launch of Prince Edward Island’s new 435-mile hiking trail.

Rural Canada On A Reel: Trinity Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador

Trinity Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador, (c) Destination Canada

In Newfoundland and Labrador you will find a community that has built its tourism on experiencing the province’s culture in an extremely hands-on way. Rather than enjoying a mere museum visit, you might find yourself learning to cook with an old flour sifter or helping to build a Grand Bank Dory – a local fishing boat.

A win-win, through your willing participation, Newfoundlanders get to preserve their heritage and tell their stories (something Canada’s Happy Province is famous for); and for a short space of time, we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in both the destination, and rural Canada’s way of life.

That in itself makes Newfoundland & Labrador worth a visit, but with Disney’s live-action film, Peter Pan & Wendy, scheduled for release in 2023, many more travellers will be coming to Trinity Bay (where a portion of the movie was filmed) to find their own Neverland.

Coastline near Trinity Bay, (c) Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Trinity Bay is like travel in a time capsule, as it’s dotted with historic buildings and old fashioned street signage. Hike along rolling granite slopes to reach stunning rocky beaches, take a boat tour in search of long-abandoned fishing communities, head out on a Zodiac to play with whales and icebergs, and finish off your adventure with some local cuisine – an ongoing food renaissance happening across the province.

A destination muse for the writers and artists among us, why not time your trip to coincide with the Bonavista Biennale (a bi-annual, international exhibition of contemporary visual art) and delight in creative inspiration from Indigenous, provincial, and international artists, their pieces installed on the landscape and in historic buildings throughout the area.

Retrospective Travel On Prince Edward Island: Discovering Its Nova Scotia & New Brunswick

Exploring Prince Edward Island on foot, Atlantic Provinces

One of Travel + Leisures 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023, Prince Edward Island launched the Island Walk, a 435-mile trail which runs along its entire coastline, in September 2021. Canada’s smallest province, it packs some punch on the adventure front with 90 plus beaches, countless hiking and cycling routes, charming fishing towns and mouth watering maritime dishes (PEI is nicknamed Canada’s Food Island).

Tidal bore rafting in Nova Scotia, home to the world’s highest tides

The destination is best paired with its neighbours, Nova Scotia (on Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2023 list under the category of Journeys) and New Brunswick; members of the Saint John Astronomy Club, claiming the Northern Lights could become a familiar sight, as the 25th solar cycle, one of the strongest ever monitored, continues to reach its peak.

Travel in September and enjoy pleasant weather and leisurely hikes on Prince Edward Island (the Island Walk is best enjoyed from May to October); tidal bore rafting (on the world’s highest tides) in Nova Scotia, and be in with a chance of spotting Aurora Borealis in the Picture Province.

Be Inspired By British Columbia

Sea Otter, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Condé Nast Traveler’s rundown of the 23 Best Places To Go in 2023 includes British Columbia, the province, which took a proud second place, starring in Netflix’s recently released documentary, Island of the Sea Wolves.

This year, a global gathering of experts helped devise the magazine’s list, and BC has surely earned its prominent position, its pristine rivers and forests (Vancouver Island’s Campbell River the ideal spot to catch sight of the salmon run, one of the world’s most breathtaking migrations) and wealth of authentic First Nations experiences, setting it apart.

New longhouse-style oceanfront cabins at Haida House, Haida Gwaii

The Haida people of Haida Gwaii (described as the Galapagos of the North), received a specific mention, their home in the Pacific Ocean, located 80 nautical miles from British Columbia. Somewhat legendary, the Haida remained relatively isolated from the mainland for 12,000 years.

Haida Gwaii, a swathe of more than 150 islands, is blessed with a remarkable number of habitats, species (many endemic, including a unique subspecies of black bear) and ecosystems, everything squeezed into an archipelago of 3,930 square miles.

Only accessible by boat or plane, the setting is ideal for reflection and mindful reconnection; hiking, forest bathing and backroad expeditions enjoyed with Haida guides and watchmen who provide a living link to their rich cultural heritage.

Sticking fervently to their principle of taking only what is needed and living in harmony with the land and the ocean over thousands of years, the Haida philosophy is timely, especially with our world tackling climate change. Explore Haida history and customs at Hadai House. Set along the banks of the Tlell River, the resort which is owned by the Haida, recently opened new longhouse-style oceanfront cabins.

Sea to Sky highway, British Columbia

British Columbia also scored a spot on Travel Lemming’s list of 50 Best Places To Travel To In 2023, the online travel guide noting the stunning town of Squamish: “the mountain village an hour north of Vancouver brimming with natural beauty.”

Located off the scenic Sea to Sky Highway (one of Canada’s ultimate road trips), this once rural backwater is now an international rock climbing hotspot with mountain biking, hiking and the Sea to Sky Gondola on offer to adventure travellers.

Alberta: Discovering Wellness With The First Nations

The breathtaking Banff National Park, Alberta

On National Geographic’s list of 25 Breathtaking Places & Experiences For 2023, Alberta was highlighted under the category of community, the province, embracing Indigenous tourism.

The most populous and widely distributed Indigenous peoples in Canada, today the Cree are spread across a number of provinces from Alberta to Quebec. For thousands of years, their ancestors were thinly spread over much of the woodland area that they still occupy, the Boreal Forest, just outside of Banff, home to the Cree Iroquois First Nations people, the location for the Medicine Walk.

A deep dive into this wooded world will leave you with a fascinating insight into a culture that reveres nature, with countless digestive tonics, vitamin infused plants and herbal remedies gathered from the earth as  you go.

An opportunity to foster a closer relationship with the Cree Iroquois and to reconnect with the world around us, the walk teaches valuable lessons. From the practical application of the trees, plants and flowers to the significance of the wildlife, the Bear having deep spiritual significance to the Cree, this is a story from authentic Canada.

For more information on the holidays we offer at Frontier Canada, and to book, call us on 020 8776 8709 or email us at canada@frontier-travel.co.uk. ATOL PROTECTED No 5405 ABTA W3207.