I'm in the process of planning my first real trip on my own, and my first holiday for quite a few years! The current 'plan' is to go to Toronto for a few days (maybe 5) and take a trip out to Niagra Falls, then fly to Vancouver for 10days or so. In Vancouver there's whale watching and loads of sight-seeing to do! i could also go to Whistler as it's a few hours away, and maybe Seattle.
Has anyone been to any of these places as i'm a bit lost as there are so many options, and i don't really know where to start with these things!
Just so you know, i'm young(ish), will be going on my own, in June, and for about 2 weeks.
I've been looking at flights to, and they lways seem to shock with their obscene pricing :D I can go with FlyZoom/AirCanada for about £700 (bigger seats for the long flights), or AirCanada for £550 (normal seats, but a LOT more choice on flights). Not sure on that one yet, spend money on more leg room (i'm 6ft3 or so), or spend the money elsewhere?
Anyway, i've probably not made a whole lot of sense there, but if anyone has any ideas, or wants to come along, then let me know
So much to see in only 15 days. I personally would choose just a single region and take the time to see it well. This will also save you alot money on flights (going between Vancouver and Toronto isn't cheap, nor is it short).
If you want to see Canadian cities then fly into Toronto and spend you time doing the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec route. You can also do side trips to see a bit of nature in Algonquin, and Tremblant as well as a day to Niagra Falls. You can easily fill two weeks with this route.
If you are more into mountains and nature, the I would recomend flying into Vancouver and spending two weeks seeing the West Coast. There's a pretty classic route that goes from Vancouver to Calgary taking in all the highlights of BC and the rockies. This also could easily fill two weeks and you'll see heaps.
I would recomend since you are on your own that you consider a tour company like Moose Travel Network which is a good backpacker style tour company. You'll get to meet lots of people your own age this way and you'll be able to maximize you time. If nothing else, check out their website - http://www.moosenetwork.com/ and get some idea as to what are some of the highlights of the country.
Re. Flights from London to Toronto
Flights from Toronto to London are regularly avail for 600-800 Cdn.
You should also look at the price of airline tickets in for flights within Canada before you go.
I just looked on Westjet for flights from Toronto to Vancouver in May =
Sale price is about 400 Cdn return, regular price is 800-900! And that's on Canada's top lowfare airline.
Yes, it is usually cheaper to fly anywhere in Europe from Toronto than to fly to Vancouver
Re. Whale watching tours
The Whale watching tours out of Vancouver are likely to focus on Killer Whales. They tend to travel in pods so you will see many at once. I am not sure if any other types of whale are around in June.
The flights i listed above at for: london > toronto, toronto > vancouver, vancouver > london. So they aren't that badly priced really
Toronto > Vancouver seems to be about £150 from most places, which is cheap!
Vancouver is a lovely city to visit as well as Whistler which is an hour and a half bus ride due north. Whistler is now popular at any time of year because it has so many activities besides skiing, pubs and nightclubs, http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/index.htm
Vancouver is a beautiful coastal city that has a lot of pubs, restaurants, nighclubs, etc. Some of the best attractions include the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, taking a gondola ride up Grouse Mountain for a panoramic view of Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, Capilano Suspension Bridge, etc. Check out this website:
Whale watching is big industry here but I would recommend going to Vancouver Island for the best viewing. That's because it's closer to the open ocean where there is a better chance of seeing a gray whale or a humpback whale besides the resident killer whales.
Have a great trip!
Petra M, Vancouver