Backpacking in Canada on a Gap Year

Countries  »  Canada

Located in North America, Canada is the second largest country in the world and a prime backpacking destination.  Because of its incredible size, much of the Canadian landscape has been left untouched, creating some of the most beautiful places in the world. A gap year in Canada is an essential entry on any travel bucket list.

The cities

To experience a slice of Europe head to the city of Quebec, once settled as part of New France. French is the common language here, and medieval and gothic influences can be seen in the architecture, although the maple syrup here will remind you that you are in fact across the Atlantic Ocean.

Other big cities in Canada are Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls to see one amazing waterfall.  The thing to do in these cities is to go shopping, watch an ice hockey game, and try the cuisine of the worldly restaurants.

Niagara Falls in Canada

For film and TV buffs, Vancouver is the place to go. Television and movies shows such as Smallville, Supernatural, Final Destination, and the Twilight Saga, just to name a few, were all filmed here. Take some time out from backpacking around Canada and stop in Vancouver you can go on an On Location Tour to see where scenes were shot, and get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process.  You might even get to see some filming taking place.

A TV set in Vancouver, Canada

The scenery

The cities should be a small part of your gap year in Canada; the national parks are where this country really shines.  In the Prairies region lies the beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta. In Banff and Jasper National Parks backpackers can go on incredible hiking trails which take you past tall snow capped mountains and crystal blue lakes.

Banff National Park, Canada

To spot arctic wildlife head to the desolate location of Nunavik. This frosty region is not only the place for more striking landscapes, but it also offers the chance to experience the Inuit culture and maybe spot a polar bear, if you’re lucky.  Other wildlife here is the musk-ox, arctic foxes, caribou, seals and beluga whales.

Skiing and snowboarding is another awesome way to pass the winter months backpacking in Canada. Whistler and Banff are two of the most beautiful locations to speed past at 40 mph. You can choose to do Cross Country skiing down the Canadian Rockies, or heli ski in the Banff region.