5 Scenic Rail Holidays In Canada
A vast country bursting at the seams with geographical marvels, Canada is a land ripe for exploration by rail, with some of the most spectacular views in the world found in the rural heartlands the train tracks run through. Travelling Canada by rail is simple and safe, affording truly incredible opportunities to discover breathtaking scenery as well as providing a method of transport to get around this vast country quickly and effortlessly.
If you’re planning to see the sights in Canada soon, there are some epic rail journeys on offer. Here are just some of the reasons why train voyages are so popular, followed by our top 5 rail journeys in Canada.
Exploring Canada by Rail
Canada is a great country to explore by train. Given its sheer size and scale, it is difficult to travel extensively over a short period of time without resorting to flight. However, train journeys are a means of reducing travel time when compared to the car, whilst still ensuring magnificent feats of natural engineering and beauty don’t go unnoticed.
When speeding through meadows or following mountain-lined tracks, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at the ever-changing landscapes from the comfort of a warm, cosy carriage. Getting from A to B in Canada by rail is stress-free and there’s an extensive network of locations. Train travel is a relatively inexpensive way to see the country and there are some breathtaking routes on offer. It’s also possible to relax and enjoy the experience without the added pressure of knowing where you’re going, concerns over traffic or even, airport queues.
You cannot talk about train travel in Canada without mentioning arguably the most iconic train in the world, the Rocky Mountaineer. A feature of many a travel bucket-list, this train journey offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore and witness the wonders of the Rocky Mountains in the lap of luxury. The only train that treats visitors to unrivalled views of this famous range, a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer is an unforgettable adventure that connects tourists with some of Canada’s most beautiful spots.
Our Top 5 Rail Holidays in Canada
So if you want to experience the incredible natural beauty and impressive scenes of Canada by rail, discover our top five most scenic rail holidays in Canada for your visit.
1. Rocky Mountaineer – Rainforest to Gold Rush
This is the ultimate Canada rail journey and nothing beats the Rocky Mountaineer! The three-day ‘Rainforest to Gold Rush’ train tour takes visitors from Vancouver to Jasper, navigating some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet.
Visitors will begin their journey in the stunning waterfront city of Vancouver. After boarding the Rocky Mountaineer, passengers can enjoy a spectacular voyage to the popular ski resort of Whistler, taking in vistas of the Sea to Sky Corridor, Howe Sound, the Coast Mountains, Mount Garibaldi, Cheakamus Canyon and Brandywine Falls en route.
After spending the night at a hotel in Whistler, passengers will embark on the next stage of the journey bright and early in the morning. The next destination is the picturesque town of Quesnel. On the journey, visitors will encounter a dazzling array of diverse scenery, from lush farmland to arid canyons. Highlights include Anderson Lake, Fraser River, Seton Lake and Deep Creek Bridge.
The final leg of the journey takes passengers to the natural wonderland that is Jasper National Park. En route, guests can gaze upon the Rocky Mountain Trench, the Cariboo Mountains and the highest peak in the Rockies, Mount Robson.
On arrival in Jasper, there’s an opportunity to explore the national park at leisure. Hiking paths are plentiful here and there’s no shortage of show-stopping scenery to delight the eyes and set your social media feed alight.
Book your Rainforest to Gold Rush Rocky Mountaineer train today.
2. Rocky Mountaineer – Journey Through the Clouds
This two-day itinerary offers a great alternative trip from Vancouver to Jasper to the one above. The ‘Journey through the Clouds’ tour is the perfect option for those keen to appreciate the views in serious style. After climbing aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver, the next stop for passengers is Kamloops – a picturesque town nestled in the heart of beautiful British Columbia.
The first day’s itinerary takes in the verdant fields of Fraser Valley, the snow-capped peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains and the rumbling waters of Hell’s Gate and the Fraser Canyon. After spending the night in Kamloops, the train will depart for Jasper, heading east through Alberta.
Day two brings another visual feast, with highlights including the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains, Mount Robson, the Pyramid Falls and the Yellowhead Pass.
Reserve your Journey Through the Clouds Rocky Mountaineer holiday now.
3. Grand Eastern Rail Journey
Away from the dramatic scenery of the west of Canada to the historic beauty of the east, this is a monumental tour that takes in everything from cosmopolitan cities to the undisputed jewel in Canada’s crown, Niagara Falls. Lasting for 11 days, the Grand Eastern Rail Journey is the ultimate treat for those keen to see Canada at its finest.
Beginning in the bustling, achingly cool city of Toronto, this tour offers guests the opportunity to see the sights and tick off all the attractions before joining a guided trip to Niagara Falls. The trip includes a boat cruise and lunch with a view.
Having enjoyed everything Toronto has to offer, it’s time to board the train and travel to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, to enjoy a hop-on, hop-off tour. The next point on the route is Montreal, a pretty city with distinctive European architectural influences. This city is a glorious melange of old and new, with quaint cobbled streets surrounded by ultra-modern skyscrapers, luxury malls and stylish hotels.
The next port of call on this rail extravaganza is the fascinating city of Quebec, where Canadian style and French flair blend seamlessly. There’s plenty of time to explore the sights, including Old Quebec, Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac and Montmorency Falls. On departing Quebec, the train will continue to Halifax, taking in the mesmeric scenery of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Whilst in Halifax, take the opportunity to head out to Peggy’s Cove and see Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.
Discover more about the Grand Eastern Rail Journey.
4. Western Canada & the Rockies
The Rockies are one of the world’s most famous and well-known mountain ranges, and many people have aspirations to take a rail trip through these peaks. The views on offer in this part of Canada are nothing short of breathtaking and around every twist and turn, there’s something to see. The Western Canada and the Rockies tour is a six-day voyage that treats guests to unbeatable vistas and the chance to discover everything from ice fields and glaciers to mountains, rivers, lakes and canyons.
The tour begins in Edmonton and weaves its way to Calgary via Jasper and Banff, two of Canada’s most famous natural beauty spots. On arrival in Jasper, there is time to meander through what is something of a traditional alpine town and stroll or hike through the national park. Gaze upon Maligne Canyon, enjoy the vibrant colours of the waters and relax on a Maligne Lake cruise.
After a restful night’s stay in Jasper, passengers will make their way to Banff, witnessing some of the most spectacular sights in the Rockies along the way. Cast your eyes upon Icefields Parkway and enjoy a unique adventure, scaling the surface of the Athabasca Glacier in a heavy-duty, all-terrain Ice Explorer. Here, it’s also possible to test your nerves with the option to appreciate the views from the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk.
After a languid break in the charming mountain-steeped town of Banff, take a ride on the Banff Gondola to enjoy scintillating, panoramic views of six different mountain ranges from the summit of Sulphur Mountain.
Find out more about Western Canada & The Rockies by train now.
5. Classic Canada Coast to Coast
For those keen to work through a lengthy must-see list, the Classic Canada Coast to Coast rail holiday is a fabulous option. This 17-day journey takes visitors from the urban delight that is Vancouver on the west coast to the charming town of Halifax on the Atlantic Coast.
Having spent a couple of days seeing the sights, including Stanley Park, Granville Island and Chinatown in Vancouver, it’s time to hop aboard your train and make for Jasper, a veritable gem nestled in the rugged peaks of the Rockies. The scenery that surrounds Jasper is jaw-dropping, and passengers will be treated to vistas of vivid blue and green lakes, glaciers, and snow-covered mountains. Highlights to include in your Jasper National Park itinerary include Maligne Canyon, Medicine Lake and the Athabasca Lookout.
Upon leaving Jasper, passengers will continue to be enchanted by a series of film-reel-like scenic snapshots, as the train makes its way to Toronto. On this leg, you’ll see everything from vast, open plains and dense pine forests to crystal clear lakes, and there will also be numerous opportunities to spot some of Canada’s best-loved species in their natural habitats: so keep those eyes peeled for elk, deer and black bears!
After arriving in Toronto, visitors will have the chance to explore at leisure. The CN Tower is a must before moving on to your next destination, Niagara Falls. The tour includes a cruise to the bottom of Horseshoe Falls and is a fantastic way to see this natural wonder in all its thundering, majestic glory.
From the falls, the train will head to Montreal and Quebec before the journey ends in the coastal town of Halifax. Highlights to incorporate in your itinerary include a tour of Old Montreal, Place Royale, the Plains of Abraham and the National Assembly. Round off your trip with a seafront stroll along Halifax’s rustic promenade followed by a refreshing drink.
For a real Canada rail experience, book the Classic Canada Coast to Coast today.
Canada might be a vast country but it’s one that offers stunning vistas at almost every turn – which is absolutely perfect for creating a magnificent rail holiday in Canada. Whether you’re travelling from coast to coast on the ultimate rail experience or exploring the intricate ice-carved chicanes and snow-tipped summits of the famous Rockies, there’s a route that is guaranteed to take your breath away. And with Canada being home to the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train too, there’s no doubt, that Canada by rail is a bucket-list worthy travel experience.
Use our free planning service to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime Canada Rail Holiday today.