Toronto is not only the country’s largest city but also the perfect starting point for a trip around Eastern Canada. There are flights available for as low as 200 euros.
The Canadian National Tower, or CN Tower for short, is emblematic of the city. From the observation deck 340 metres above the ground, you have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire city as well as Lake Ontario. Boldly step on the glass floors or take a walk on the wild side and venture out onto the grid platform of the EdgeWalk to stare directly into the abyss.
Generally speaking, Toronto is easy to explore on foot. Visit the Harbourfront neighbourhood, stroll along the promenade or take a boat trip to the Toronto Islands. In the creative areas of Kensington Market and the Distillery District, you’ll find countless second-hand boutiques, organic shops, galleries, hip cafés and plenty of street art. For shopping enthusiasts, Toronto’s Eaton Centre in the downtown area is the place to go. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada’s Wonderland amusement park are also well worth a visit.
The world-famous Niagara Falls are just a stone’s throw away from Toronto. They are located on the border between Canada and the USA and are a must-see on any trip to Eastern Canada. The Canadian shore is the place where you will get the best view of this awe-inspiring natural spectacle, so take your time and marvel at the enormous falls. The viewing platform of the Table Rock Welcome Centre, for example, is located mere metres away from Horseshoe Falls.
In case you want to come into even closer contact with Niagara Falls, we recommend taking part in a boat trip. To reach the mooring point, you can, of course, simply take the lift. This is what most people do. If you want to minimize waiting time, it is also possible to buy a priority entry ticket and ride the zip line instead. A catamaran will take you up close to Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which together form Niagara Falls. From the tiered observation decks, you will have an unforgettable 360-degree view of the falls.
Algonquin Provincial Park, located north of Lake Ontario and near Huntsville, is the largest and oldest nature park in Ontario. It covers more than 8,000 square kilometres. If you are travelling with a campervan, this park provides you with the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Canadian landscape on your own. Idyllic deciduous and coniferous forests, mystical marshlands, more than 2,400 lakes and countless rivers await you. There are 15 well-marked hiking trails with numerous vantage points from which you can look out over the seemingly endless expanse of the park. With a bit of luck, you may even spot moose, beavers or black bears.
There are also more than 1,600 kilometres of canoe routes in Algonquin Provincial Park. As such, a canoe tour is clearly a must. Along the main route of the park, you will find numerous canoe rental places. Just walk into one of them and you will discover that they not only offer canoes up for rent but also all of the utensils needed for a multi-day trip. Spending the night in the Canadian wilderness, surrounded by pristine nature, is an experience truly incomparable to any other! If you do not have that much time to spare, a day trip is, of course, also possible.
Moving on to eastern Ontario and Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Within Canada, Ottawa is the centre of political activity and, thanks to its cosmopolitan charm, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The Canadian Parliament is located on Parliament Hill in the middle of the city.
It was built in the Neo-Gothic style and, during the summer months, offers a free 30-minute sound and light show every evening. In the mornings, you can also watch the changing of the guard. Another highlight is the Rideau Canal, which meanders through the city. You can take idyllic kayak and boat trips on the canal during the summer and, in winter, it is transformed into the largest natural ice rink in the world. Lovers of art and culture will also be thrilled to learn about Ottawa’s numerous museums and galleries like, such as the National Arts Centre.
You should definitely also pay a visit to the ByWard Market, a place where you will find many cosy cafés and restaurants.
After a few days in the city, it’s time to head back to nature. Mont-Tremblant National Park is the largest and oldest park in Quebec. The name of the park is derived from the mountain of the same name, and it is home to a beautiful lake landscape consisting of more than 400 lakes and rivers. In a park that covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometres, the possibilities for canoe tours are pretty much limitless and there are also innumerable hiking trails and cycling paths.
Sports enthusiasts can also look forward to the countless climbing spots to be found in Mont-Tremblant National Park. We would particularly recommend visiting this national park in autumn. During the so-called Second Summer, the forests are lit ablaze with the most dazzling colours. In winter, the area around the mountain of Mont Tremblant is also one of Canada’s most popular ski resorts. The charming town of Mont-Tremblant is situated close to the national park. If you decide to visit the town, you can browse small shops or choose to take a break in one of the cosy restaurants and cafés.
The next stop on the trip is Québec City, the capital of the province of Québec and the heart of French Canada. The French flair of the city is, in fact, so noticeable and omnipresent that Québec City is widely considered to be the most European city in North America. The picturesque old town (Vieux-Québec) spans two levels and is a World Heritage Site. Québec City is also the only walled city north of Mexico.
With its narrow alleyways, cobbled streets, romantic houses with ornate facades, cosy cafés and little souvenir shops, the city is a real magnet for visitors. One of the major landmarks of Québec City is the imposing luxury hotel Château Frontenac. It sits at the top of the Cape Diamant hill, allowing for a truly magnificent view of the old town and the Saint Lawrence River. Another of Québec City’s many attractions is the Parliament Building. If you want to visit the imposing building, just take part in one of the free guided tours that are given several times a day.
You may also want to check out the cathedral and the chapel, learn more about Québec City’s fascinating history or treat yourself to some delicious salted caramel fudge at La Fudgerie on Rue du Cul de Sac.
Saint Lawrence River
One of the great advantages of a road trip is that you can freely explore the area around the Saint Lawrence River on your own. Located on Canada’s east coast, this area is a very popular whale-watching spot. During peak season, you can see up to 20 different species of whales! It’s not uncommon to see these fascinating animals in the off-season either: You will just have to be a little more patient. Most organised whale watching boat tours depart from the small town of Tadoussac. Are you searching for a good place to watch the whales from land and want an insider’s tip? Head to Bon Desir Park. It’s a great place to stop by and look for whales.
While you do have to pay a small fee to enter the park, going there is still much cheaper than a boat trip and you can spend as much time as you like surrounded by Canada’s beautiful nature. The Thousand Islands are another highlight of any trip to the Saint Lawrence River region. This beautiful archipelago straddles the border between the United States and Canada. It consists of over 1,800 islands, some of which are quite tiny. While the smaller islands are often dotted with red wooden huts, the larger ones are home to magnificent estates such as Boldt Castle.
The most spectacular way of exploring the fascinating natural landscape is by helicopter. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the most expensive way. If you do decide to splurge on the helicopter ride, you will also get to fly over the Thousand Islands International Bridge, a bridge that connects Canada with the USA. A more budget-friendly option would be to take a boat trip across the bright blue Saint Lawrence River.
With its more than 1.6 million inhabitants, Montréal is Canada’s second-largest city. The metropolis is named after the 233 metres tall Mont Royal that is situated in the city centre and is surrounded by the spacious Mount Royal Park. As a green oasis amid the bustling city, the park invites you to rest and linger for a while. It is also home to a Roman Catholic basilica, the Saint Joseph's Oratory. Montréal’s beautiful old town is located directly on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River.
Besides countless charming cafés and small boutiques, a visit to the old town will also allow you to come across some of the historic colonial buildings which offer a glimpse into Montréal’s past. The best way of exploring this French-Canadian city is by joining a guided bus tour. Doing so allows you to get to know the old town, the French Quarter, the Financial District and all of Montréal’s sights. Take in the view at Mount Royal Park, stroll through Vieux-Montréal, visit the charming Place Jacques-Cartier and explore both the old and the new city hall.
Further places to visit include the prestigious McGill University, the cultural centre Place des Arts, and Montréal’s Chinatown. With its famous Olympic Stadium and the world’s tallest inclined tower, the Olympic Park is also well worth a visit. The same can be said about Place Ville-Marie, an underground luxury shopping centre that also happens to be the longest shopping street in Canada. A three-and-a-half-hour guided tour costs about 35 euros per person. In Montréal, it is also time to finally drop off the campervan and head back home. Flights to Germany are available for a price as low as 200 euros.