Great Lakes Treasures
A captivating urban centre, dramatic northern scenery, peaceful woodland landscapes and fascinating Native culture are combined in an adventurous itinerary revealing the unique character of Ontario. The towering city skyline of Toronto and its bustling urban landscape are contrasted against a journey into the majestic northern forests of Ontario. An unforgettable stay at an aboriginal-operated wilderness retreat on the remote Manitoulin Island is a highlight of this journey. Visit vibrant northern communities to get a sense of how the resource-rich landscape has shaped the lifestyles of the residents. Discover Ontario’s Native history and its spectacular beauty on this true northern journey beyond nature.
- Huntsville & Algonquin Provincial Park
- Manitoulin Island
Arrive at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. Transfer independently to your downtown hotel and explore this cosmopolitan city. Enjoy the fine cuisine, varied nightlife and world-class shopping of Toronto. Visit the new Ripley’s Aquarium near the base of the CN Tower. The aquarium boasts over 12,500 sq metres of display space for hundreds of creatures from sharks to colourful and rare tropical fish. Afterwards, we suggest a visit to the CN Tower to ride the glass-fronted elevators to the top of the Canada’s tallest structure (main deck). Dare to walk the glass floor, sample the exquisite cuisine at the revolving restaurant or relax in the Horizon’s Café. The remainder of the day is free to explore Toronto’s fascinating mix of multi-cultural neighbourhoods. From Chinatown to Little Italy, Greektown on the Danforth to Little Portugal, you’ll discover a virtual world within one city.
Travel north through charming rural villages to the pine and granite landscape of Muskoka cottage country, where we suggest a visit to the Muskoka Pioneer Village. Today’s destination is Huntsville, just outside of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario’s coveted ‘cottage country’, known for a gracious lifestyle, endless summer days spent on a multitude of freshwater lakes and rivers of spectacular natural beauty. The vast wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park is particularly renowned for its network of hiking trails and waterways that invite you to discover the diverse beauty of the park’s flora and fauna.
The parks that surround the area all offer exciting day trails to explore ancient forests and lakes. Arrowhead Provincial Park is a smaller park with trails and a swimming beach, perfect for a day excursion. You may alternatively enjoy a visit to the outdoor Group of 7 natural art gallery, celebrating the works of early 20th century artists that created a worldfamous Canadian Impressionism style.
This morning you bid farewell to the province’s first provincial park and travel further into Ontario’s hinterlands, passing by the small towns that have grown up around the lumber, mining and pulp industries common throughout the region.
This area is known as one of the best hiking and camping areas in the province - and you’ll discover why as you further explore this striking landscape of pre- Cambrian granite and sparkling lakes. Known for its superb camping, Killarney Provincial Park also offers excellent canoeing and hiking trails
Continue north to Timmins today, passing through the Sudbury area. Located in Northeastern Ontario, the Timmins area is rich in minerals, especially gold, and boasts over 500 lakes and rivers. Take in the beautiful northern scenery, with its majestic forest and rocky landscape. Explore this “City with a Heart of Gold,” which features local art galleries, golf, and an extensive trail system that winds through the city and surrounding Boreal forest.
As you leave Timmins, you will head west to Wawa through very remote areas of the province. The impressive scenery along the way includes long stretches of Boreal forest, dramatic cliffs, and lakes right by the side of the road. While in Wawa, you can relax at the waterfront park along Wawa Lake, or discover First Nations history at Sandy Beach Eco-Interpretive Park.
Sault Ste. Marie
Today you will continue south on the Trans Canada highway and along the scenic, rocky coast of Lake Superior. Arriving in one of the largest cities of the northwest, Sault Ste Marie offers all the amenities of an urban area yet is just minutes from a system of forests and valleys that draws visitors from around the province. Overnight in Sault Ste. Marie.
The day is yours to explore the sights and sounds of this northern Ontario city. The area is well known for as an eco-tourism and naturalist destination hub, close to parks and preserves such as Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Today you get a second chance to visit the provincial parks or nature reserve as you retrace your route back along the top of Lake Huron to where you venture on to Manitoulin Island itself. The world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin contains five native reservations and has discovered the perfect balance between outdoor recreation, native land stewardship and eco-tourism. You’ll spend your day exploring the cultural and geographic history or the island and enjoying the variety of adventure activities available at your resort.
Manitoulin is home to five First Nations reserves and one of the oldest settlements in North America, dating back over 9 500 years. A geographic wonder, Manitoulin Island contains over 100 lakes, including Lake Manitou which itself contains several more lakes. With all this fresh water, it’s no surprise that Manitoulin offers so many boating, fishing and scuba diving adventure activities. If you prefer dry land, don’t miss a visit to Assininack Museum, Little Current-Howland Museum, or the well maintained Mississagi Lighthouse Museum.
Today you travel to the south shore of Manitoulin Island and board the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from South Baymouth to Tobermory on a leisurely 2-hour cruise in the deep waters of Lake Huron. After debarking at the ferry docks, you enter Bruce Peninsula National Park. The park and the surrounding area is home to a thrilling variety of hiking trails, outdoor adventure attractions and unique facilities such as Fathom Five National Marine Park – an underwater marine park that preserves shipwrecks and natural diving obstacles for recreational scuba divers.
Drive south along the Bruce Peninsula en route to Niagara Falls, the "honeymoon capital of the world." Approaching the southern reaches of Ontario, you pass through the hills of the Niagara Escarpment, featuring a variety of walking and cycling trails. The road continues through the lush orchards and vineyards of the Niagara growing region, boasting many world class winery chateaus that make for a decadent day of tasting and touring. Once in Niagara Falls, put on your rain jacket and step aboard for the ride of a lifetime! The Hornblower Niagara Cruises - Voyage To The Falls tour will take you to the American Falls before sailing past massive rock formations to the magnificent sight of the thundering Horseshoe Falls. As the Hornblower Niagara Cruises - Voyage To The Falls tour battles the waters, take advantage of unsurpassed photo opportunities.
Toronto & Home
Today you will have a leisurely half day drive back to Toronto. Your tour will end in either downtown Toronto or at the Toronto International Airport.
- Direct return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
- 15 nights hotel accomodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available)
- A detailed travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps and suggested excursions
Daily departures from May to October.