Great Lakes Treasures
- 16 Days
- 16 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,689
MODERATE | SELF-DRIVE: Breathtaking northern Ontario landscapes and fascinating Native culture are combined into an adventurous itinerary that begins in the bustling urban setting of Toronto. This is a true northern journey beyond nature. An unforgettable stay at an aboriginal-operated wilderness retreat on remote Manitoulin Island is just one of several riveting highlights.
This 16-day trip features breathtaking northern Ontario landscapes and fascinating indigenous culture, along with the energy of a visit to Toronto.
Your first day in Toronto should leave you some time to explore this great city. From Chinatown to Little Italy and Little Jamaica, you’ll find shopping and food from all around the world. During your full day in town, try a visit to Ripley’s Aquarium, which boasts more than 12,500 square meters of display space with sharks and rare tropical fish. Grab a drink on the patio at the historic railroad roundhouse, right across the road.
From Toronto you’ll head north to the pine and granite landscape of Muskoka. If time permits, stop in Gravenhurst for a ride on the Wenonah II, a handsome, old-style steamship that plies beautiful Lake Muskoka. Today’s destination is Huntsville, just outside Algonquin Provincial Park.
Algonquin Park is famous for its glittering lakes and rivers and world-class hiking trails. Arrowhead Provincial Park is a smaller park with trails and a swimming beach. Art lovers will want to visit the outdoor Group of Seven natural art gallery, celebrating the works of Canada’s most famous painters.
The next day you’ll pass pristine lakes and deep green forests en route to Killarney, a small village perched on the shores of Georgian Bay, which is part of Lake Huron. Explore the waterfront, or grab a bite of crispy, hot fish and chips at Herbert Fisheries. Killarney sits in the shadow of the ancient LaCloche Mountains, and the lake scenery and hiking are truly spectacular.
Continue north to Timmins today, passing through the Sudbury area. The region is rich in minerals, especially gold, and boasts more than 500 lakes and rivers. Try a walk on the extensive trail system that winds through Timmins and the surrounding Boreal Forest.
As you leave Timmins, you’ll head west to Wawa, passing sparkling lakes and vast forests with nary a soul around. Discover First Nations history at Sandy Beach Eco-Interpretive Park. Don’t miss a chance to snap a picture of the giant Wawa Goose, one of the most photographed roadside spots in Canada.
Continue your trip south on the Trans-Canada highway and along the scenic, rocky coast of Lake Superior to the border city of Sault Ste. Marie. You have the afternoon and all the next day to explore the city, which has a cool Canadian bushplane/aviation museum and is only a short drive from tranquil parks such as Pancake Bay Provincial Park.
The next day make your way to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. The largest freshwater island in the world, Manitoulin contains five First Nation Reservations which have the perfect balance between outdoor recreation, indigenous land stewardship and eco-tourism. Manitoulin is one of the oldest settlements in North America, dating back over 9,500 years.
The next day you’ll take a short drive to board a ferry to Tobermory; a leisurely, 2-hour cruise on Lake Huron. Tobermory feels like another world, with towering stacks of rock that rise over crystal-clear waters that look more like the Greek Isles than the Great Lakes.
The next day you’ll travel through quiet, rural areas of Ontario and into the lush orchards and vineyards of the Niagara Region. Once you reach the falls, don your red plastic poncho and enjoy a boat tour to the base of Niagara Falls. The sheer power and majesty of the falls is something you’ll never forget, and the photo opportunities are endless. Make sure you’ve got a waterproof cover for your phone!
- 16 Days
- 16 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 2,689
Itinerary View Trip Map
Arrival in Toronto
Arrive at Pearson International Airport, Toronto, and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received will have all the information needed for your holiday/trip/journey. The Remainder of your day is at leisure, perhaps shopping at the Eaton Centre or sampling the fine cuisine and nightlife of Toronto.
During your full day in Toronto, you can visit the new Ripley’s Aquarium near the base of the CN Tower. The aquarium boasts over 12,500 square meters of display space for hundreds of creatures from sharks to colorful and rare tropical fish. Afterwards, we suggest a visit to the CN Tower to ride the glass-fronted elevators to the top of the Canada’s tallest structure (main deck). Dare to walk the glass floor, sample the exquisite cuisine at the revolving restaurant or relax in the Horizon’s Café. The remainder of the day is free to explore Toronto’s fascinating mix of multi-cultural neighborhoods. From Chinatown to Little Italy, Greektown on the Danforth to Little Portugal, you will discover a virtual world within one city.
Toronto to Huntsville (220 km / 137 miles)
Travel north through charming rural villages to the pine and granite landscape of Muskoka cottage country, where we suggest a visit to the Muskoka Pioneer Village. Today’s destination is Huntsville, just outside of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario’s coveted ‘cottage country,’ known for a gracious lifestyle, endless summer days spent on a multitude of freshwater lakes and rivers of spectacular natural beauty. The vast wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park is particularly renowned for its network of hiking trails and waterways that invite you to discover the diverse beauty of the park’s flora and fauna.
The parks that surround the area all offer exciting day trails to explore ancient forests and lakes. Arrowhead Provincial Park is a smaller park with trails and a swimming beach, perfect for a day excursion. You may alternatively enjoy a visit to the outdoor Group of Seven natural art gallery, celebrating the works of early 20th century artists that created a worldfamous Canadian Impressionism style.
Huntsville to Killarney (262 km / 163 miles)
This morning you bid farewell to the province’s first provincial park and travel further into Ontario’s hinterlands, passing by the small towns that have grown up around the lumber, mining, and pulp industries common throughout the region.
This area is known as one of the best hiking and camping areas in the province and you discover why as you explore this striking landscape of pre- Cambrian granite and sparkling lakes. Known for its superb camping, Killarney Provincial Park also offers excellent canoeing and hiking trails.
Killarney to Timmins (413 km / 257 miles)
Continue north to Timmins today, passing through the Sudbury area. Located in Northeastern Ontario, the Timmins area is rich in minerals, especially gold, and boasts over five hundred lakes and rivers. Take in the beautiful northern scenery, with its majestic forest and rocky landscape.
Today you can explore this “City with a Heart of Gold,” which features local art galleries, golf, and an extensive trail system that winds through the city and surrounding Boreal Forest.
Timmins to Wawa (330 km / 205 miles)
As you leave Timmins, you will head west to Wawa through very remote areas of the province. The impressive scenery along the way includes long stretches of Boreal Forest, dramatic cliffs, and lakes right by the side of the road. While in Wawa, you can relax at the waterfront park along Wawa Lake or discover First Nations history at Sandy Beach Eco-Interpretive Park.
Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie (227 km / 141 miles)
Continue your trip south on the Trans-Canada highway and along the scenic, rocky coast of Lake Superior. Arriving in one of the largest cities of the northwest, Sault Ste Marie offers all the amenities of an urban area yet is just minutes from a system of forests and valleys that draws visitors from around the province.
Overnight Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie
The day is yours to explore the sights and sounds of this northern Ontario city. The area is well known as an eco-tourism and naturalist destination hub, close to parks and preserves such as Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Overnight Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie to Manitoulin Island (343 km / 213 miles)
Today you retrace your route back along the top of Lake Huron through provincial parks from where you venture on to Manitoulin Island itself. The world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin contains five native reservations and has created the perfect balance between outdoor recreation, native land stewardship and eco-tourism. You can spend your day exploring the cultural and geographic history of the island or enjoy the variety of adventure activities available at your resort.
Overnight Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin is one of the oldest settlements in North America, dating back over 9,500 years. A geographic wonder, it contains over one hundred lakes, including Lake Manitou which itself contains other smaller lakes. With such an abundance of fresh water, it is no surprise that Manitoulin offers a multitude of boating, fishing, and scuba diving adventure activities. If you prefer dry land, do not miss a visit to Assininack Museum, Little Current-Howland Museum, or the well maintained Mississagi Lighthouse Museum.
Overnight Manitoulin Island
Manitoulin Island to Tobermory (69 km / 43 miles)
Your drive today is a short one as you travel to the south shore of Manitoulin Island and board the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from South Baymouth to Tobermory on a leisurely 2-hour cruise in the deep waters of Lake Huron. After debarking at the ferry docks, you enter Bruce Peninsula National Park. The Park and surrounding area are home to a thrilling variety of hiking trails, outdoor adventure attractions and unique facilities such as Fathom Five National Marine Park, an underwater marine park that has preserved shipwrecks and natural diving obstacles for recreational scuba divers.
Tobermory to Niagara-on-the-Lake (380 km / 236 miles)
Travelling south along the Bruce Peninsula en route to Niagara Falls, you approach the southern reaches of Ontario as you pass through the hills of the Niagara Escarpment. The road continues through the lush orchards and vineyards of the Niagara wine growing region, boasting world class winery chateaus that make for a delightful day of tasting and touring. Once in Niagara Falls, put on your rain jacket and step aboard for the ride of a lifetime! The Hornblower Niagara Cruises - Voyage To The Falls tour takes you to the American Falls before sailing past massive rock formations to the magnificent sight of the thundering Horseshoe Falls. The photo opportunities are terrific.
Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto (129 km / 80 miles)
Check out of your hotel this morning and return to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for your flight home, or your hotel if you plan to extend your stay.
Daily departures: May 30 - October 6, 2023
- 16 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Toronto
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Huntsville
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Killarney
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Timmins
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Wawa
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Sault Ste. Marie
- 2 nights moderate accommodations in Manitoulin Island
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Tobermory
- 1 night moderate accommodations in Niagara-On-The-Lake
- Admission to Ripley's Aquarium Toronto
- Shared Niagara City Cruise by Hornblower - Voyage To The Falls Boat Tour
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
20 Sep 2023