Natural Wonders of Ontario Self-Drive
Holiday Reference: 16388
Holiday like a true Canadian, discovering the dramatic natural landscapes of eastern and northern Ontario. Historic towns are set in the wine country of the southeast, offering days of serene exploration. Chains of lakes are surrounded by near-endless forests that extend from the Haliburton Highlands of the east to the famed Muskoka region of the northwest. Hiking trails stretch onward through provincial parks, and available activities are ideal for both relaxation and adventure.
Sample itinerary – call our specialists to tailor make your personalised tour!
Arrive at Pearson International Airport in Toronto and collect your hire car and make your way to your hotel where you will pick up your road book at the front desk as you check in. The remainder of the day is yours to take in the sights of Canada’s largest city. Museums, eateries, galleries and sidewalk patios are all just a short walk or cab ride away from your hotel. Overnight in Toronto.
Today is free to independently explore the near countless attractions and locations of interest around the city. You may choose to visit impressive city landmarks such as the Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), Ripley’s Aquarium, The Hockey Hall of Fame, walk the length of the harbourfront district on foot or by harbour cruise, or perhaps find a shopping bargain or two at the multi-levelled Eaton Centre. Overnight in Toronto.
Following the northern shore of Lake Ontario, today you drive east of the city through the urban, suburban and then rural landscape and the many communities and small towns that populate the route. Arriving at Elmhirst's Resort on the quiet shores of Rice Lake, check in and relax on the wide lawns and beaches of this serene, family-owned resort that celebrates the Canadian cottage lifestyle. Overnight at Elmhirst's Resort.
Today is yours to partake in a choice of two activities available on the resort. Take a thrilling flightseeing flight over the lakes and forests of the Kawartha region, or perhaps climb aboard a personal All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for a guided run through local forested trails. You may enjoy an afternoon on horseback or choose to relax with an indulgent session at the spa followed by a delicious meal. Overnight at Elmhirst's Resort. Lunch or dinner included if selected as one of the two options.
Today’s journey takes you into beautiful Bay of Quinte area – a lush, pastoral region characterized by its proximity to the Bay of Quinte, its clean waters fed by the egress of flow from the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River. The town of Belleville has origins back to the very earliest days of colonial Canada, many of residents able to trace their family histories back to the original British settlers. Overnight in Belleville.
Today is free to either enjoy the amenities of your hotel, or take some time and explore this small, historic city. Many of the British Loyalist homes such as Gllanmore House are designated National Historic Sites and offer visitors a glimpse into the upper echelons of Upper Canada society during the colonial period. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Quinte Conservation area offers many day trails of various lengths and levels of difficulty, or simply enjoy a day by the water of the Bay. Overnight in Belleville.
Driving northward, the forests and rocky outcroppings replace the farmland of the south as you enter one of the province’s most popular ‘cottaging’ areas. A long tradition in Ontario dating back over a century, secondary summer homes were built on shores of the hundreds of lakes and rivers that populate the region. Used as vacation properties for city dwellers, the small communities that grew up around these areas embraced a culture of boating, arts and crafts, antiquing and more recently, outdoor adventure. Arriving in Haliburton, check into your hotel and explore the local area set amidst the forests and streams. Overnight in Haliburton.
A day of discovery in the Haliburton Highlands is yours for the taking. The surrounding townships feature interesting attractions such as the Haliburton Highlands Museum, showcasing artifacts from the early mining and forestry days of the area. The Haliburton Sculpture Forest offers an afternoon of easy hiking through old growth forest trails, interspaced with large and small sculptures by local artists. For a more relaxing day, you may enjoy a spa session onsite at your resort with one of the many available treatments (at additional cost). Overnight in Haliburton.
The forests of the Haliburton Highlands give way to the conjoined lakes that spring from the rocky outcroppings of the Canadian Shield characteristic of the famed Muskoka region of northwest Ontario. Hundreds of deep, interconnected lakes provide the premium location for the executive retreats of millionaires and celebrities and have fostered the growth of small, service oriented towns and outfitters in the region. Check into your hotel and spend the remainder of the day exploring the grounds and local area. Overnight in Huntsville.
The day is free to visit the small shops and eateries of Huntsville – one of the larger towns of region. If adventure is on your list, perhaps take today to drive 15 minutes north to Arrowhead Provincial Park for a hike on one of the day trails, or drive 30 minutes east to one of the western gates of the massive Algonquin Provincial Park and its huge system of lakes, trails and campsites. Overnight in Huntsville.
The road leads south today around the southern shores of the wide waters of Georgian Bay. Fed by the massive Lake Huron, this area boasts windswept rocky shores and channels that connect the many inlets and shallows along the shoreline. Arriving in Blue Mountain, check in to your hotel and take some time to wonder the village and discover how this community that grew up around the winter ski season has developed into a four-season hub of outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Overnight in Blue Mountain.
One of winter’s most exciting sports has been adapted to summer and offers guests the thrills of a high speed bobsled run without the snow and ice! Take the lift to the top of the mountain where you climb on your personal Ridge Runner (rail bobsled) and race down a fixed tubular track that weaves and banks through the forest. With complete control of your speed, this unique ride allows you to experience the run at your own speed as many times as you with your full day park pass. Overnight in Blue Mountain.
Descending down into southern Ontario, you return to Toronto International Airport to check in for your return flight home.