Winter Wonderland

STAYING CLOSER TO HOME LEAVES PLENTY OF ROOM FOR ADVENTURE
 
The first snowfall of the season is typically when Canadians across the country start daydreaming about jetting off for a sunny escape. But could this be the time to embrace the winter wonderland in Canada instead of escaping for the hot, hot, heat? We talked to four travel experts for some inspiration on how to embrace winter travel in Canada. After all, there’s no place like home…
 

THE NORTHERN LIGHTS Have quintessentially Canadian experiences in the comfort of your backyard this winter, like the awe-inspiring northern lights in the spectacular Northwest Territories. “Many Canadians have not experienced the wonder of Canada. This year, we’re suggesting unique destinations of Canada that may not be on the radar, such as Haida Gwaii, Northwest Territories, Rocky Mountaineer, and the list goes on. Canada has so much to offer and now is the best time to explore our own country.” Kemp Travel Group kemptravel.com

SHEILA KEMP

GO WEST Why not venture west this winter? Tourism Vancouver Island welcomes all Canadians, encouraging them to get on island time… Vancouver Island, that is, especially the snowbirds who typically flock to Florida, Arizona, and California in the wintertime. “With our temperate winter climate, Vancouver Island is a natural alternative for Canadian Snowbirds. We are committed to supporting the 3,000+ tourism businesses in the Vancouver Island region by strengthening the visitor economy.” Tourism Vancouver Island Tourismvi.ca 

ANTHONY EVERETT

ONTARIO IS YOURS TO DISCOVER Instead of moping around this winter, set your sights on short-term trips around Ontario. Take the hassle out of your Ontario travel plans by booking a local tour with a travel agent. “We have a complete Canadian short trip program with day trips to Muskoka, Canada’s Wonderland, Kingston and the 1,000 Islands, Niagara Falls, the ever popular winery tours to Prince Edward County, as well as CanaDream RV rentals.” Marlin Travel marlintravel.ca

MARY LAROCQUE

POLAR BEARS, OH MY! So many Canadians still have the desire to travel, but so many more Canadians are simply more comfortable staying a bit closer to home this season. Luckily, we’ve got Churchill, Manitoba, a destination for travellers from all over the world who come to visit our mighty polar bears. “With so many amazing experiences right in our own backyard, it’s a fantastic time to take advantage of travel within Canada, whether it be a food tour of Vancouver Island, experiencing the majestic Rockies, a camper rental travelling with those within your own bubble, or enjoying a villa with family. Being from Manitoba, we have one of the most unique opportunities that people come from all over the world to enjoy – that being Churchill.” Travel Quest travelquestmb.ca  

CAREY DUNCAN

Story by ANN RUPPENSTEIN

Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

Among the ways of exploring Turkey’s famed Cappadocia region is by hot-air balloon, which give visitors lofty and dramatic views of Cappadocia’s volcanic terrain, frequently described as moonscape-like. Those keen on the up-up-and-away routine can head skyward in a balloon at sunrise. Flights of an hour or more are available, and passengers may have breakfast on board, followed by a  hampagne toast after they’re back on terra firma.

Cappadocia itself has been described as a “wonderland of unique geographic formations sprinkled with green vineyards and fruit orchards.” Its features include the Goreme Open Air Museum, with that volcanic valley home to elaborately painted churches literally hewn from stone. Bordering valleys and villages are home to people who carved their dwellings from rock. Also of note, the famed Silk Road worked its way through the region long ago and visitors today can see stops built along the route to host wealthy traders. Visitors who prefer to stay closer to the ground can explore the diverse region on marked hiking trails or by horseback. For details on how to get sky-high views of Turkey’s lunar-like Cappadocia landscape, visit www.turkeytourism.ca.

Story by IAN STALKER

Rooms With A View

Rooms With A View

Combining comfort with adventure, these unique accommodations offer spectacular views of Mother Nature at her finest and otherworldly experiences that are certain to leave a lasting impression.

Hotel On Skis
FINLAND


Deep in the Arctic tundra of Northern Finland, guests of Off The Map hunt for the Northern Lights from the comfort of a glass-roofed cabin on skis. If the sky is clear, visitors have a 70 % chance of seeing the aurora borealis. In the daytime, go snowshoeing or just enjoy the peace of the Arctic wilderness. Local snacks, hot drinks, and breakfast provided. Cabins include comfortable bed, toilet, table, heater, and stove. Four-day itineraries start at £1,599. www.offthemap.travel

Valley Views
PERU


Guests of Skylodge Adventure Suites in the Sacred Valley near Cuzco ascend a via ferrata about 400 metres above the valley floor to enter a guest room unlike any other. Three transparent “capsules” are secured to a cliff-side, offering vistas of the scenic valley below. Each suite is appointed with four beds, dining area, and bathroom. Rates start at US$415 per night and include guides, equipment, gourmet dinner, wine, and breakfast, all overlooking the Sacred Valley. www.naturavive.com

The Human Nest
CALIFORNIA

At the Treebones Resort in Big Sur, California, guests seeking an elevated camping experience can settle into a treetop, hand-woven, wooden nest for the night. Yes, it’s rustic – guests bring their own sleeping bag and pillows and there is no protection from the elements – but a stay at the Human Nest
earns points for its braggability factor. Rates start at US$175 per night. www.treebonesresort.com

Story by TED DAVIS

Outpost, the last connection to civilization

Experience Chile’s first off-the-grid, pop-up camp found within the vast remoteness of Patagonia’s wilderness. Upscape launches Outpost with private and group excursions in Aysén, a sparsely populated area with vast glaciers, fjords and snow-capped mountains, and Maule Valley, one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Chile. The inaugural Outpost debuts along Patagonia’s Río Jeinimeni in February 2019 and the Maule region in October 2018 with more to come.

Despite the vast remoteness, Outpost guests are surrounded by comfort and accompanied by specialty guides intimately familiar with the land. Each camp accommodates up to 16 people in private, furnished tents and offers a relaxing base for trekking, fly fishing, horseback riding, paddling, and photography classes.

Travellers can book Patagonia and Maule locations as private Outposts or join small-group excursions. Trips include specialty guides, a private cook (daily food and drink) and lodging. For more information about off-the-grid Outpost adventures with Upscape, visit upscapetravel.com/outpost