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Big One - Canada Trip Itinerary
Experience it all. This is our premiere adventure road trip combining all our favourite places, each unique and awesome in its own way. The great outdoors, national parks, cultural centres, epic cities and quaint towns. You'll trek across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI.
Explore the Gaspesie, Algonquin Park, Bay of Fundy the Cabot Trail and PEI. Wander the streets of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Halifax and Charlottetown and lots lots lots lots more.
Itinerary at a Glance
Algonquin Park, Ontario
Ottawa, Ontario & White Water Rafting
Quebec City, Quebec
Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Map of the Adventure Trip
Trip Itinerary Details
We'll meet in Toronto and head out early to venture to the scenic and rugged Algonquin Park – the Gem of Ontario. Algonquin is filled with maple hills, rocky ridges, thousands of pristine lakes and teaming with wildlife like moose and beavers. The “land of lakes and rivers” is magic.
We'll stop for lunch along the drive, and take in a few other nifty spots – from lookouts to waterfalls. After setting up at the lodgings, you can learn to flip a canoe, go for a paddle, go for a swim or take off on some of the many hiking trails.
Returning to home-base, your driver-guide will help get you all set up for the evening with campfire cooking and a bonfire. We will have a few awesome days to explore the land of lakes and rivers.
Algonquin Park – The Gem of Ontario
Sleep: Rustic cabins or campgrounds in Algonquin park.
Scenic hikes, trails and lakes for a swim
Canoe majestic lakes in Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park Visitors Centre & Exploration
Evening bonfires and stargazing
Next we'll take a short drive to Ottawa, the capital, where friendly Gatineau, Quebec (French Canada), is just a short jaunt across the bridge.
You'll have the opportunity to raft the mighty Ottawa River – one of the best adventure rivers in the world. Big rapids, warm water and beautiful scenery.
Once in Ottawa, if you are into history, city sights, or our world-renowned museums, there is plenty to keep you busy, including the National Art Gallery, Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal. There is also the ByWard Market area worthy of exploration.
For the evening, there are many great pubs and live music venues.
Ottawa – The Capital
Sleep: HI Jail Hostel or Backpackers Inn
Salut! Next stop Quebec City in La Belle Province, where you can explore the narrow, cobblestone streets of the old fortified city. You can check out the Citadel, the Plains of Abraham and many more historical sites.
There are also towering waterfalls to check-out like Montmorency Falls and Canyon Sainte-Anne (amongst others)!
For eats, you'll discover amazing and proper poutine alongside other Quebec specialities like lumberjack feasts, after which you can head out to a boîte de chanson for some local live music.
** ALMOST BIG ONE trips, meet us in Quebec City the day before we depart. Ferrata is normally after you join, but not always. Do reach out if important for you.
Quebec – Quebec City
Sleep: HI-Quebec Auberge Internationale de Québec or Auberge de la Paix Quebec
We'll head north eastward along the St Lawrence River to the "Kingdom of Saguenay" – taking in the scenic views on the drive. We'll make a few stops along the way there including Charlevoix so that you can try their ridiculously delicious cheese – the best in Canada.
We'll then take short ferry, and arrive at our destination, Tadoussac, our home in the Quebec Maritimes. You can enjoy strolls along the quaint village streets and try local food and beer.
You'll have a chance to explore huge sand dunes, go whale-watching by boat in the the National Park – Parc Marin du Saguenay – the best whale watching spot in Canada.
The local auberge jeunesse is a Quebec communal style hostel, offers local live music, a festive atmosphere and bonfires throughout the evening.
Tadoussac – Whales & Festivities
Sleep: Auberge Jeunesse Tadoussac or cliff side camping
This is the Baddest Bay in the WORLD. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America. We have a few great days for exploration – at the Baddest Bay!
Here you'll witness the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world – 15M vertical tidal changes. 160 billion tonnes of water every six hours!
You can walk on the ocean floor, kayak along the coastline beside dramatic cliffs, explore the beautiful Fundy National park, go wildlife viewing, and stargaze into a sky free of light pollution.
Meanwhile you'll eat your fill of seafood fresh out of the water. You’ll also get to experience Hopewell Rocks, Cape Enrage, Sea Coves, the Fundy Scenic Trail Drive and more.
Bay of Fundy – The Baddest Bay
Sleep: Two of - Cabins or camping in Fundy National Park, Not Your Average Hostel and UNB Fredericton.
We'll then drive further east across New Brunswick and head south towards our destination, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lobster & Lighthouses. Haligonia. Capital of "New Scotland".
Halifax itself is fantastic, with colourful gingerbread-style houses, clean breezes and a lively atmosphere. And people that love signing a tune – with many establishments filled with the unique sounds of maritimes music. There are lots of local flavours to chow down on – from Pizza Corner to the legendary Donair.
We will have additional excursions to the beautiful areas around. You'll wander the streets of the most beautiful town in Canada, historic Lunenburg, and enjoy the picturesque rocky shorelines and lighthouse at Peggy's Cove.
Halifax – Lobster & Lighthouses
Sleep: HI Halifax Hostel
Explore Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg and the south shore
Go Axe Throwing in Halifax
Eat a Donair and listen to maritimes music
Enjoy power hour or a murder mug at the Split Crow, or listen to tunes at the Triangle till the wee hours
From Halifax we'll venture north to the scenic Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Along the way, we'll stop in quaint Acadian villages and seaside towns. Coastal views from Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay and beyond are breathtaking.
This place is rated as the Best National Park and Best Scenic Drive in Canada by USA Today for good reason. And we are going to take full advantage. There’s more than 160KM of coastline to drive and explore – with beautiful capes and coves – and forested river canyons.
There is so much to do and see here. Some of our favourite activities include a sunset hike at the world renowned Skyline Trail, swimming in an abandoned gypsum mine and taking the challenge hiking Franey.
Cabot Trail – Celtic Scenery
Sleep: Pleasant Bay Cabot Trail Hostel or Bear on the Lake Guesthouse or Rustic Cabins
Gorgeous, charming and relaxed, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the next stop on our road trip – the Garden of the Gulf aka Spud Island. The birthplace of Canada.
The place is a great place to recharge while exploring the best beaches in Canada – with seemingly endless and nice and warm waters. We haven't even started yet on the gorgeous lighthouses, along with the incredible seafood and potatoes.
Charlottetown has a beautiful waterfront and some fine local pubs, where you'll have an opportunity to try their local specialty – blueberry beer or some local oysters.
PEI is the home of the potato. If the timing is right, you'll be able to pick up “new” potatoes at a local stand and chow down.
There are also some great provincial parks and beaches to visit on optional day trips – and a 13KM bridge over the ocean.
Prince Edward Island – Seafood & Potatoes
Sleep: Charlottetown Backpackers Inn, PEI dorms or cabins.
Sand dune hiking at Greenwich, swimming at the singing sands in Basin Head, and East Cape beaches
Eat the best and freshest oysters in Malpeque
Stuff your face with potatoes and seafood in PEI
Unless you're from Quebec, Gaspesie is a little-known treasure, not least for its spectacular Gaspesie National Park. You have the Appalachian Mountains meeting the sea with cliffs dominating the coastlines.
The drive we'll take along the St Lawrence and through the national parks is truly epic, with hidden coves and quaint towns dotted throughout. While in Gaspesie, you'll experience beautiful nature, wonderful hiking opportunities and delicious local cuisine. You can take the challenge and hike the Chic Choc mountains
The Sea Shack is renowned for cool rooms, cabins, yurts and a beachside tiki bar which usually has a stellar band jamming. Bonfires, star gazing and some great music and festivities, will be the usual way to round off the day.
After Gaspesie, we normally pop by Riviere du Loup for an evening - so that we have time explore the incredible Parc Bic!
Gaspesie & Loup – Paradise & Parties
Paddleboarding, kayaking or fishing
Hiking in Gaspesie national parks
Scenic drives throughout Gaspesie
Montreal may be indescribable, but we can promise quality food, great nightlife and good times on our arrival.
You can check out Rue St Denis, the Latin Quarter and the Village. From the Basilique Notre Dame to the Basque restaurants of Old Montreal, you'll get to enjoy all that the city has to offer in its own distinct Quebecois way.
You can get by with English in most spots, but knowing a few sentences in French will be appreciated!
Montreal – The Metropolis
Sleep: HI Montreal, M Montreal, or SameSun Montreal
Explore the Botanical Garden, Biodome, and Mount Royal
Visit La Fontaine Park and the Biosphere
We'll arrive back in Toronto after a decent drive from Montreal. There is a lot packed into "The Six", and it's well worth a few days in itself.
So make sure you have enough energy left for an afternoon's mooching around Kensington Market or Ossington Avenue, or a bike ride around the Toronto Islands, or at least a walk along West Queen West and a lunch in Trinity Bellwoods.
It really doesn't have to end here.
Toronto – Hogtown and The 6ix
Sleep: Do your own thing.
Want to learn more about the trips, activities and Out Here?
Check out a few of the following pages if you haven't already.
Some of our favourites across the entire trip – from sunset hikes to getting up close to a 74m waterfall.
Learn about the people that have joined us out here.
Read about their experiences.
There are also links to other sites 3rd party review sites e.g., TripAdvisor
An overview for each location we visit on the entire core trip.
Pictures and descriptions.
Starting with 1st stop, "The Gem of Ontario".