Numbers 91 to 100 of our ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown.
Befriend a sea otter off Canada’s Vancouver Island
Meet one of the cutest Canadian critters off gorgeous Vancouver Island. Cruising quietly through glassy water to where the wild things are on a kayak tour in the shadow of mountainous Vancouver Island can be a little daunting. [caption id="attachment_21182" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kayakers search for sea otter off Vancouver Island.[/caption] But not when your intended target is this cute.   As you glide through the sea in your lightweight craft, tentatively probing the tiny floating islands of kelp, before you know it you’ll likely find yourself surrounded by a fleet of friendly otters.   As you float along, bask in a coastline of prehistoric forests and surf-pounded beaches, secluded sea caves and alien-looking vertical rock stacks. [caption id="attachment_21181" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A sea otter pops up to say hello off Vancouver Island.[/caption] As well as the 1500 sea otters that call the area home, keep an eye out for soaring bald eagles, black bears foraging for crabs and, if you’re lucky, migrating whales.   The daily kayak routes follow the tides and weather, as well as opportunities for guests to explore the local First Nations’ culture and community. [caption id="attachment_21180" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A man looks for sea otters off Vancouver Island.[/caption] At the end of the day, you’ll be welcomed back to your Spring Island camp-base where luxury tents, gourmet meals and chats with the locals await. GET GOING: Five-day sea otter kayak tours with West Coast Expeditions (westcoastexpeditions.com) operate from late June until early September each year. Find out more here. LOCATION: Vancouver Island, BC, is off Canada’s south-west coast, and the Sea Otter Kayak Tours have their camp-base on Spring Island in the Kyuquot Sound, 150 kilometres north-west of Tofino, on Vancouver Island’s western edge. [caption id="attachment_21183" align="alignnone" width="667"] Fits stand tall on Vancouver Island.[/caption] “The evening salmon feast around the campfire is the kind of memory that lasts a lifetime – especially if there’s a sea otter or two cavorting nearby.” – John Lee   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Celebrate Celtic colour and culture in Cape Breton
Channel your inner William Wallace right in the middle of Canada. Read more
Explore yourself at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Explore yourself and the nation at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Read more
Go overboard for oysters on Canada’s Prince Edward Island
Taste the delicate nature of the sea itself on Prince Edward Island.   Read more
Connect with Nova Scotia’s historic Mi’kmaq culture
Step (or paddle) back into a time of Canadian legend, lore and foundation. According to Mi’kmaq legend, the hero Glooscap used his great powers to transform into a giant beaver and, by slapping his tail in the sea, created the peninsula now known as Nova Scotia.   For 10,000 years, these First Nation people have lived on this land, and you can visit the Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site to learn about this Indigenous culture through current generations of Mi’kmaq people. [caption id="attachment_21211" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A traditional Mi'kmaq boat- photo courtesy of Eric le Bel.[/caption] Hear stories from spiritual leaders at Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre, see ancient artefacts at the Museum of Natural History, take a tour of the largest collection of petroglyphs in North America – literally history carved in stone – documenting people, animals, hunting, fishing and, later, sailing ships, men with muskets and Christian symbols.   Join four days of family festivities at the Millbrook Pow Wow, and canoe the traditional Mi’kmaq waterway routes.   And, of course, visit Glooscap Cultural and Heritage Centre to learn about this mythical figure born from a bolt of lightning in the sand, whose name means “man from nothing”. Get going: For a Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site trip consult pc.gc.ca. [caption id="attachment_21212" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A traditional Mi'kmaq boat- photo courtesy of Eric le Bel.[/caption] Location: Kejimkujik is 197 kilometres from Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Ferries from St John in New Brunswick sail into Digby, which is 86 kilometres from Kejimkujik. “Another park that barely receives a single plaudit back home but in itself could be a fair reason to head to Canada's wild, woolly east coast.” – Craig Tansley   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Cruise among the Palaces and Palisades of Canada’s glorious Thousand Islands
Meander back in time aboard a classic Canadian day cruise.  Read more
There’s a Canadian ice hotel that’s destroyed and rebuilt every year
Sleep in a real ice palace, alongside a frozen lake, on glassy moonlight. Although the Hotel de Glace is just a 30-minute drive from Old Town Québec, a stay there feels like being on another planet. [caption id="attachment_21264" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ice-glass drinks are up at the ice hotel.[/caption] A winter-only structure erected using 16,000 tonnes of snow and ice, the Ice Hotel is like few others in the world in that it is utterly destroyed every spring, only to be rebuilt at the end of autumn with a new theme and new additions to the guest rooms, chapel, bar and restaurant. [caption id="attachment_21265" align="alignnone" width="666"] A guest reaches for a frozen glass at the ice hotel.[/caption] While the 2018 theme is yet to be announced in December, 2016's “time and space” motif invited guests to contemplate their perceptions of the universe while sipping cocktails in the frozen bar, or tucking themselves into warm, arctic sleeping bags atop a wooden bedspring on an ice-based bed, inside your personal ice chamber.   For guests concerned with getting cold feet, a stay here includes a mirror room at the nearby Four Points by Sheraton – but once you check in we’d be surprised if you wanted to leave the silent perpetual evening of your very own ice castle. [caption id="attachment_21266" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Guests at the ice hotel kiss in the hot tub.[/caption] Get going: Check in to the Hotel de Glace between January and March each year (hoteldeglace-canada.com). For more cool accommodation, go here. [caption id="attachment_21267" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Two guests check into their suite at the ice hotel.[/caption] Location: Hotel de Glace is just a 30-minute drive west of Québec City, on the banks of the Fossambault-sur-le-Lac. “Score bragging rights for life and bed down in a frozen palace for the night, wrapped up cosy and warm in a thermal sleeping bag on a soft bed of fur.” – Nikki Bayley   << Previous | Next >> Return to the ‘100 Things to do in Canada Before You Die’ countdown var axel = Math.random() + """"; var a = axel * 10000000000000; document.write('');  Read more
Kiss the cod and become an honorary Canadian in Newfoundland
You made it! Now drink some grog, and kiss a fish to celebrate. Read more