Canada, a bilingual nation that prides itself on its welcoming citizens and charismatic culture, has been named the number one country to visit in 2017 by the world’s most successful travel publisher, Lonely Planet. Visit this great nation in this monumental year as it celebrates 150 years of Confederation and Air Canada, the country’s flagship carrier marks its 80th birthday.
When planning your trip to Canada, the province of Québec should be at the top of your list, and Air Canada’s daily non-stop flight from London Heathrow to Montréal can get you there in just under seven and a half hours. This eastern region is vibrant all four seasons with winter sports, spring fishing, summer festivals and autumn foliage. A rich history of French influence and magnificent architecture, combined with serene wilderness, sophisticated cuisine, and 5-star amenities makes Québec the perfect destination for any traveller.
Food and wine enthusiasts will fall in love with eastern Canada. With Québec’s French heritage visible in cosy cafes and creperies throughout the province, be sure to also sample some of the local delicacies including poutine (French fries with cheese and gravy) and cretons (a chilled meat spread made with ground pork, cinnamon, and cloves on toast served at breakfast). Indulge in a wine tour at one of its 30 wineries and learn about the challenges and rewards of cold climate grape growing whilst enjoying some delicious French-Canadian cheese. Craft beers have also swept through Québec yielding local favourites such as the St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout or the gluten-free Glutenberg Belgian Double. And if you have a sweet tooth, no trip is complete without a generous serving of maple syrup on pancakes, bacon, or on almost anything your heart desires!
Founded in 1642, Montréal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world and a major international metropolis. English is also widely spoken here and visitors can enjoy the ease and simplicity of navigating the city. A UNESCO City of Design, Montréal is a sensationally artistic district, filled with young and emerging talent from its many universities, and home to museums such as the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. It is also known for its incredible festivals and a trip to Montréal would be incomplete without a visit to one of the world-class events such as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Just for Laughs comedy festival, or the famous fireworks competition L’International des Feux Loto-Québec.
If you head north east, following the Saint Lawrence river you’ll find Québec City. The old-walled city stands tall over the river, proudly flying the iconic Fleur-de-lis flag. Whether you’re pedalling the 400 km of bike paths around town, sailing down the river at sunset, or having a picnic at the dramatic Montmorency Falls the fresh air of Québec City will make you feel alive. The history of the city comes to life at the Citadelle de Québec and the Sainte-Anne-de Beaupré Basilica, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in North America attracting almost a million visitors each year. The walled city is also a great place for families with exciting attractions such as Aquarium du Québec, afternoons of dressing up at the Fortifications of Québec and thrilling night time ghost tours.
Go from city to serene in just 30 minutes at the Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier. It offers a spectacular showcase of Canadian skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking, canoeing, and fishing in the warmer months. Vast mountains and deep valleys make this an ideal getaway for any nature lover. Depending on how rustic you want to go, the park accommodation includes: nine cabins, five yurts, and 114 campsites. Mont-Tremblant, on the scenic shores of Lake Tremblant, also offers acclaimed winter sports, golf courses, and a beautiful town nestled at the base of the mountain.
If you’re looking for a quaint Canadian town, Tadoussac is north east of Québec City and is a Québécois’ favourite summer destination. Located at the meeting point of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers, Tadoussac’s main attraction is the rugged Saguenay Fjord National Park. Multiple cruise lines or kayak trips will take you into the fjord where you could spot anything from blue whales to belugas and indigenous birds.
Québec offers a once in a lifetime combination of nature, culture and history, and getting there has never been easier with Air Canada. The national carrier offers a daily non-stop service from London Heathrow to Montréal with seamless onward connections available to Québec City.
Why not book Air Canada Premium Economy and start your holiday from the moment you step foot in the airport? With priority check-in and boarding services. On board, you will fly in ultimate comfort and refinement and enjoy a larger, further reclining seat, premium meals and complimentary wine and spirits.
In honour of Air Canada’s 80th anniversary on 10 April 2017, the airline will be repainting its entire fleet in a bold new black and white livery inspired by Canada. The new design highlights its iconic red maple leaf encircled ensign, or ‘rondelle’, that is returning to the tail of the flag carrier’s aircraft. Reflecting Canada’s vastness and contrasting seasons, with references to its wildlife and First Nations heritage.
The airline will also continue to showcase Canadian talent as it further enhances its onboard offerings for customers this month. With new additions including Toronto-based Dufflet Pastries’ pumpkin spice loaf which will be featured on flights from Europe in both Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins. Québec fine cheeses including Oka, Camembert and Cheddar, alongside freshly baked bread from Québec artisanal bakery Première Moisson, and a Vineland Estates Winery white wine from Ontario’s Niagara region and Les Athlètes du Vin, a French Pinot Noir, both selected by sommelier Véronique Rivest, will also debut in Air Canada’s International Business Class in April.
Along with its award-winning international cabin standard, Air Canada will continue to invest in its product and services, providing customers with the ultimate Canadian experience.
Air Canada: @AirCanada; Air Canada’s 80th: #flytheflag; Canada’s 150th: #Canada150.