By Azure Lee
Islands in Canada offer an overwhelmingly stunning experience. From one coast to the other, you'll encounter a wide array of thrilling adventures. Beautiful natural scenery, unique wildlife, verdant forests, bustling cities, diverse ethnic traditions, and mouthwatering culinary pleasures on every island. Each has a distinct attraction, making it perfect for those seeking a truly unforgettable excursion.
When searching for amazing islands to visit in Canada, very few can match the awe-inspiring beauty of the 7 highlighted in this article. Whether you're fond of unspoiled wilderness or captivating coastal towns and villages, each island on this list presents a distinctive and truly extraordinary experience. No matter which island retreat you prefer, make sure to include it in your must-visit destinations!
Here are the best islands to visit in Canada, waiting to be explored:
List Of Islands Of Canada You Need To Visit In Your Lifetime
Canada is primarily recognized for its stunning turquoise lakes, majestic Rockies, captivating wildlife, and chilly temperatures in contrast to its warm-hearted people. While the coastal regions of Canada possess their own allure, they often receive less attention.
Now, let's shift attention to our list of islands of Canada. Before long, you'll understand why including a visit to one, or perhaps all, of these islands should be a priority on your Canadian bucket list.
Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Manitoulin Island, also known as "Spirit Island" in Algonquian, is a small island near the northern end of Lake Huron and the largest freshwater island in the world.
With over 100 lakes dotting its landscape, Manitoulin Island provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to indulge in a wide range of activities. From picturesque canoeing and fishing to awe-inspiring hikes along the breathtaking Cup and Saucer trail, the island offers an abundance of natural wonders. Additionally, beachcombing along its shores is a delightful pastime.
Manitoulin Island is a small island near the northern end of Lake Huron
Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
For an extraordinary island adventure that brings together exceptional wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and an immersive First Nations cultural experience, Haida Gwaii is the place to be. Lying 70 miles off the coast of BC, Haida Gwaii is one of Canada’s most far-flung archipelagoes.
It is sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos of Canada" and is home to unique animal species that exist nowhere else on Earth. More significantly, it is also the ancestral home of the Haida First Nation - one of the world's earliest traceable populations of people. The Haida culture continues to thrive, making a visit to Old Massett and Skidegate a must. Here, you can witness captivating performances by local Haida artists and savor traditional delicacies like hearty fish stew.
The island's secluded nature, with limited road access, makes kayaking the ideal mode of transportation, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the untamed wilderness. As you paddle through one of Canada's last frontiers, you can leave the distractions of daily life behind. And when night falls, find rest and comfort at Cacilia's Bed & Breakfast.
Magdalen Islands, Quebec
The Magdalen Islands archipelago, also known as the Îles de la Madeleine in French, is made up of eight large islands and a few smaller ones. The Magdalen Islands belong to Quebec despite being closer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Locals from the islands known as Madelinots will serve traditional seafood delicacies like lobster pots and fish pies, but you can even try your hand at securing lobster by the wharves and cooking it yourself.
Having a basic understanding of French can be beneficial when visiting the Magdalen Islands, where even menus are predominantly written in the language. However, the breathtaking views and experiences do not require fluency in French. You can go kitesurfing on the beautiful waters, take pictures at the stunning red cliffs, go on wine and seafood-tasting trips, and explore the "secret" beaches.
You also may learn: The Best Beaches In Canada
The Magdalen Islands archipelago is made up of eight large islands and a few smaller ones
Thousand Islands, Ontario
Leave the formal attire behind and embark on a journey to witness the charm of the Thousand Islands. This captivating destination allows you to witness a collection of picturesque islands all within close proximity. Plus, since Thousand Islands is located on Lake Ontario, getting there from New York only takes a few minutes by boat.
One of the best ways to explore and acquaint oneself with the area is through a leisurely sailing expedition. Navigate through narrow water passages while being serenaded by the soothing sounds of lapping waters and the calls of wildlife. As you gaze towards the shoreline, you'll catch glimpses of remote homes perched in the distance.
Located just a short distance from the Thousand Islands National Park, The Woodview Inn provides excellent accommodations for your stay, offering a superbly convenient location to fully enjoy the surroundings.
Baffin Island, Nunavut
Baffin Island is one of the largest islands in Canada, is situated in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, and is the fifth-biggest island in the world. With their strategic location, The Baffin Islands offer visitors an amazing array of unique adventures to partake in. Prepare to be enthralled by the sight of exotic wildlife, including polar bears, arctic foxes, bowhead whales, and walruses. You can experience the thrill of stepping onto a floe edge at Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Igloolik, or Pond Inlet. For a truly immersive experience, try building an igloo and spending the night in it at Iqaluit.
If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, the rugged terrain of the Baffin Islands offers excellent opportunities for rock climbing, with impressive vertical drops to conquer. Get ready for adventure activities in Auyuittuq and Sirmilik National Parks. And when night falls, be prepared to be mesmerized by the shimmering northern lights as you spend the night under their gleaming skies.
Baffin Island is one of the largest islands in Canada
Prince Edward Island
While Prince Edward Island may be petite in terms of its size, it holds significant importance as it contributes to 25% of the country's potato production. Moreover, this island is adorned with enchanting coastal towns that are just waiting to be explored.
Featuring undulating green hills and a picturesque coastline, Prince Edward Island offers an idyllic retreat for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The island's charming villages provide excellent options for a delightful lunch or dinner stopover.
Prince Edward Island is a fantastic destination. It is a wonderful spot to unwind and features some of Canada's most stunning islands. Both the people and the surroundings are lovely. This island offers a wide variety of activities, making it a wonderful destination for a holiday.
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
When it comes to the best islands in Canada, one can't help but mention Cape Breton Island. The scenery and beaches of Cape Breton Island are exquisite. Several old landmarks and tourist attractions may be found in Sydney, the country's capital. All of them allow you to experience a beautiful blend of remarkable nature, culture, and history.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park provides an excellent opportunity to connect with nature. The sight of mountains gracefully merging into the sea is truly breathtaking. The park offers approximately 26 nature trails, with the Cabot Trail and Ceilidh Trail standing out as popular attractions for tourists in Canada. As you explore these trails, you'll encounter lush forests, captivating waterfalls, and end your day with stunning sunsets, creating unforgettable memories of your off-the-beaten-path expeditions.
When it comes to the best islands in Canada, one can't help but mention Cape Breton Island
Useful Tips When You Visit Beautiful Islands In Canada
Plan and Research
Before you embark on your journey to explore the beautiful islands of Canada, it's essential to plan and research your trip. Familiarize yourself with the specific islands you want to visit, their attractions, weather conditions, and any necessary permits or regulations. Consider the best time to visit each island to make the most of your experience.
Pack comfortable clothing suitable for outdoor exploration, including sturdy shoes, swimwear, and layers for varying weather conditions. Don't forget essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle.
Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the memories of your journey. However, be mindful of your surroundings and avoid disturbing wildlife or sensitive areas while taking photographs.
When visiting the islands of Canada, prioritize your safety. Follow safety guidelines and instructions, especially when engaging in water-based activities or exploring rugged terrains. Pay attention to any warnings or advisories related to wildlife encounters, currents, or potential hazards specific to each island.
Best islands in Canada are a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Whether you're captivated by the sprawling beauty of Vancouver Island or the tranquil allure of the Magdalen Islands, the islands of Canada are waiting to be explored, cherished, and embraced. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and embark on an unforgettable journey to Canada's finest islands.
To enter Canada, most travelers are required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The eTA is a mandatory requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals, including tourists, entering Canada by air. Travelers planning to visit Canada should apply for a Canada eTA through the official website of Canada Immigration Services. It is a simple online process that requires personal information, passport details, and a small fee. Ensure you obtain your eTA well in advance of your travel dates to avoid any inconvenience.