Overlooking Lake Ontario and peppered with pristine parks, Toronto has no shortage of outdoor spaces for reprieve from busy city life. Sometimes, however, only a day trip out of the city will suffice. Close to spectacular natural attractions like Niagara Falls, the provincial capital is within driving distance of numerous natural beauty spots. So plot your route, pack a bag and hit the road – here’s our pick of the best day trips from Toronto.
Wandering among the towering pines of Algonquin Park, you’ll feel a million miles away from the city. In reality though, this enormous provincial park is just a few hours’ drive from Toronto – making it perfect day trip territory. Capture brilliant photos of the fiery orange or deep green forest canopy, spot the country’s national animal – moose are rife in the area – or take a dip in one of the thousands of lakes to cool off after a day of hiking.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This trip proves that you don’t have to stay overnight to experience the best of Algonquin Park. For six immersive hours, you’ll spend time canoeing, hiking and swimming throughout this six-hour adventure. Your guide will discuss the ecological and social historical significance of the space, pointing out notable flora and fauna and answering any questions you may have. Foodies will love foraging for edible goods in the forest, while daredevils can try their hand at cliff jumping into the lake.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario directly on the border with the USA, this picturesque town is a hotspot for wine lovers owing to the acres of wine country which surround it. Not only that, but Niagara-on-the-Lake is also packed full of quaint houses, verdant open spaces and culinary delights. Head there to sample the region’s best wines and stay for an enchanting small-town atmosphere.
On this two-hour walking tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll discover the town’s connection to the American War of Independence, the Civil War, and the French and British conflicts. Your guide will lead you past beautiful homes and churches of the colonial period, and share stories experienced by the town’s characters over the centuries. To bring the tour to a close, you’ll visit a local wine store to taste a range of the area’s best varietals.
An exercise in stark contrasts, Niagara Falls sit just outside the eponymous town; the former an awe-inspiring piece of nature, the latter a neon-clad skyrise filled town. While at the falls themselves you can look the power of Mother Nature in the face, the town is perhaps better known for slightly cheesy honeymoons and scaled-down Las Vegas vibes.
Travel back in time to discover the fascinating history of the Niagara region’s underground railroad on this small-group tour. Your guides will be donning period outfits, helping you to visualise what life was like during this important era. You’ll head to sites like the suspension bridge over the Niagara River, which played a key part in shuttling tens of thousands of African-American people to freedom as they sought the best crossing points into Canada. And finally, you’ll visit the falls themselves and hear about their significance to the underground railroad.
Niagara Wine Country
Although Niagara Wine Country is arguably best known for its ice wine, the region is fast becoming recognised around the world for its other varietals. Its climate and topography allow grape varietals like pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet franc to grow in abundance. The many vineyards you’ll see across the region are shared among more than 100 wineries – leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to sampling the smooth and fruity results.
On this tour, you’ll get both an educational and literal taster of Niagara’s beverage-making culture, with visits to two local breweries, a distillery and a winery. In each location, your guide will take you through the historical and modern-day production methods used to make each drink. There’ll be ample tasting opportunities, and you’ll also get to take home a two-litre growler (a glass bottle used to transport draft beer) as a souvenir.
Once the favoured holiday destination of the 19th-century elite, Thousand Islands comprise over 1,800 islands in the St Lawrence River between the US and Canadian borders. On them you’ll find an intriguing mix of old baroque mansions and even one or two castles – no longer holiday homes but compelling tourist attractions. Today, the islands are magnets for lovers of outdoor activities such as sailing, diving, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.