“To survive the Canadian winter, one needs a body of brass, eyes of glass, and blood made of brandy.”
Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce Lahontan
While Canada is more than doughnuts, maple syrup, and winter, Louis is right – if you want to know what cold is, head to the Great White North.
Much of the country is plunged in to arctic winters for seven to 10 months of the year, which can it difficult to see the country properly during the winter months, as many of the hikes and trails and scenic roads are closed. But the long ski-season is something to put on the calendar, and the Rocky Mountains make for the perfect backdrop.
Canada is the land of bears, elk, beavers, magical forests, ancient pines, poutine, and William Shatner, and home to the inventors of the snowplough, peanut butter, the odometer, and Trivial Pursuit. It's also one of the largest and visually-stunning countries in the world, you're never short of anything to see or do.
Thinking about heading to Canada?
Arriving in temperatures of -40 could be quite a shock to the system, so summer (June to September) is undoubtedly the best (and priciest) time to go. Once May hits and the winter gloom is subsides, Canada is thrown in to brilliant summers filled with flowers, festivals, and sunshine, and tourists and locals alike flock to the most spectacular sites the country has to offer.
Head to Vancouver in all its cherry blossom-infused springtime splendour, watch the snow melt off the Rockies from Banff Gondola, skip through the wineries and summer festivals in the Okanagan, or wander the streets of Montreal and get a taste of Europe in North America.
If you're on a budget and don't mind a chill in the air, watch the trees turn from green to brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple between September and October – autumn is spectacular in Canada, and it's a sight not to be missed.