Jul 1, 2016

Falling for the sweet life

So you’ve seen Canada’s majestic Rockies … there’s even more to love over in Canada’s east.

From the thunder of Niagara Falls to inside the historic walls of Quebec City, Canada’s east brims with cultural and natural assets, made even more memorable if you time your visit with the golden colours of autumn.

The combination of the many downtown charms of famous cities Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and up close encounters with wonders of nature, cements this part of Canada as a must-see destination.

A host of Scenic itineraries cover all the major wow-factors such as a visit to the vast Parc Omega – a wildlife wonderland of more than 600 hectares of forests, meadows and lakes under an hour from Ottawa in Notre-Dame-de- Bonsecours, Quebec.

As part of a Scenic Enrich experience, you’ll see moose, bears and wolves from the comfort and safety of our vehicles in a drive-through safari. More than 12 kilometres of road winds through this vast space of walking trails, playgrounds and picnic areas. You can even try your hand at feeding the people-friendly deer and ibex in designated areas.

Also on the Enrich program is a trip into sweet-toothed heaven at one of Quebec’s famous sugar shacks where maple syrup is produced. Dotted throughout the rural areas of Quebec, the shacks – also known as sap houses – show visitors how the liquid gold is collected and boiled into the sticky, delicious syrup.

Though Canada is the world’s largest maple syrup producer, the sap that makes the syrup is still collected by hand. The annual sweet pilgrimage to see the sap being tapped from the trees is a spring tradition that has been followed in Quebec for generations.

During our exclusive Scenic sugar shack visit to Chez Dany – between Montreal and Quebec City – we will enjoy a hearty meal of traditional Quebecois fare. Followed by a sugar hit, where among other treats, you can try the popular taffy confectionary made from maple melted on snow.

Back in nearby Quebec City, inside North America’s only walled city, soak up French history and culture as we wander the cobblestone streets lined with 17th and 18th century buildings. Our Enrich walking tour will give you the chance to see the city’s most famous landmark building – one of the most photographed hotels in the world - the grand Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Experience the grandeur up close as you check into the Chateau for your stay in this World Heritage-listed city.

Embrace the historic ambience and opt for a horse and carriage ride through the narrow alleys and pretty city squares. More adventurous spirits can sign up for the Freechoice heli flight to take in the imposing Gothic Revival architecture, lake and mountain vistas.

In your free time, browse the shops, see the city’s popular outdoor art gallery and take the chance to enjoy a coffee and pastry break at a charming sidewalk French cafe.

Continue your immersion in the region’s fascinating bi-lingual culture when you travel to Montreal. Heritage churches and 18th century facades sit side-by-side with modern design stars such as the Olympic Stadium. When it comes to cutting edge urban planning, it’s hard to beat Montreal’s underground city.

A 32 kilometre labyrinth of tunnels comprising shopping malls, apartments, offices, museums, hotels, universities, an amphitheatre - and even a bus terminal - La Ville Souterraine is a must-see as it takes the title of the largest underground complex in the world.

Another big city highlight is the 550 metre high CN Tower in Toronto, where there is nowhere better to see this lakeside metropolis. Enjoy a dinner to remember with your fellow guests at 360 Restaurant overlooking the twinkling skyline.

To make sure you don’t leave this vast and varied nation without seeing one of its most famous cultural attractions, you can choose to partake in a behind the scenes tour of the stables where the real red-uniformed Mounties train for their renowned Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride show. The troupe of 32 working police and their horses perform a routine of intricate drills set to music every summer.