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Self-Drive: Ontario Explorer

14 days from £1939 per person

Discover Ontario and its magnificent national parks, emerald lakes, miles of coastline and impressive mountains as you embark on a self-drive journey, taking you beyond the typical tourist hotspots and into Ontario’s beautiful wilderness. Explore the character-filled streets of Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara-on-the-lake, steeped in history and colonial heritage. Head into the heart of the Thousand Islands region and weave past maple hills and rocky ridges in Algonquin Park. Get to know Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest fresh water Island and dive in search of shipwrecks at Tobermory, before experiencing the thundering Niagara Falls. This two week adventure gives you a real flavour for Ontario’s charm and its unique blend of scenery and culture.

Route: Toronto – Kingston - Ottawa – Huntsville - Manitoulin Island – Tobermory – Niagara-on-the-Lake

Itinerary Highlights

Discover Canada’s proud heritage in Ottawa, a city brimming with culture, remarkable landmarks and the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stop for a picnic during a hike through Algonquin Provincial Park, a vast area of maple hills, rocking ridges and hundreds of gleaming lakes.

Whether it’s by kayak, scuba diving or snorkelling, explore a handful of the 25 shipwreck sites in Tobermory, a quaint harbour village on the Bruce Peninsula.

Itinerary: Self-Drive: Ontario Explorer

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international flight to Toronto. On arrival you will collect your hire car and drive to your centrally located hotel. Toronto is a diverse metropolis where the streets are alive with an energetic international buzz. The rest of the day is free for you to start discovering the unique fusion of cultures, activities and cuisines the city has to offer. (N)
Accommodation in Toronto: Le Germain Toronto Hotel (or similar)
There are a variety of activities you can sink your teeth into today, including a hop-on, hop-off city tour, inner harbour cruise or a glass lift ride to the lookout level of the dominating CN Tower. If you fancy something slightly more relaxed, you might decide to take a ferry ride over to the pedestrian-only Toronto Islands or go for a wander through the colourful St Lawrence or Kensington markets. (N)
Accommodation in Toronto: Le Germain Toronto Hotel (or similar)
Today, you will drive around three hours to the cultural city of Kingston, where Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and the UNESCO Rideau Canal meet. Steeped in history, spend today visiting the impressive 19th century buildings and learning about the ‘Limestone City’s’ grand heritage. Explore the waterfront, admire the artwork in Martello Alley or check out Kingston’s diverse culinary scene. (N)
Accommodation in Kingston: Best Western Fireside Inn (or similar)
Today will begin with a short drive to Gananoque, the heart of the Thousand Islands region. Take in the stunning views from the waterfront, or join a cruise that takes you around the islands before continuing your journey north to Ottawa. Spend the rest of the day exploring Canada’s charming capital at your own leisure. (N)
Accommodation in Ottawa: Lord Elgin Hotel (or similar)
Scenic Ottawa is a sociable city that’s set around the Rideau Canal. A welcoming place where, in the spring, tulips pop up and in autumn, a contrasting leaf fall. The diverse areas that make up downtown are overlooked by the gothic parliament buildings that are not only historic icons, but equally popular tourist attractions. You might decide to book a city tour to see the main highlights of Ottawa or pick up a map from your hotel reception and navigate around by yourself. Downtown is compact and easy to explore on foot; make sure you pop into Byward Market, a vibrant hub for local performers, farmers, craft ware and boutique shops. (N)
Accommodation in Ottawa: Lord Elgin Hotel (or similar)
Hop back in the car today and drive around 4½ hours west to Huntsville. Soak up the scenic surroundings as you cruise through Algonquin Provincial Park, passing maple hills, rocky ridges and gleaming lakes as you go. Stop off for a picnic lunch, pop in to the visitor centre and keep an eye out for moose and other wildlife roaming freely. (N)
Accommodation in Huntsville: Best Western Muskoka Inn (or similar)
Nestled in the heart of Muskoka in central Ontario, Huntsville is a welcoming and friendly town. Take today to hike to Lions lookout and admire views across the town and lake, hire a canoe or visit the Algonquin Theatre for live entertainment. (N)
Accommodation in Huntsville: Best Western Muskoka Inn (or similar)
Today you will travel around 4 hours to Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island. The island is home to one of the oldest settlements in North America, five First Nation reserves and over 100 lakes. (N)
Accommodation on Manitoulin Island: Manitoulin Hotel (or similar)
Today is free for you to explore Manitoulin Island at your own pace. Discover beautiful beaches or hike to great heights as you wind your way through one of the many nature reserves. Alternatively, hire a bike and cycle along peaceful roads to lighthouses and lookout points along the scenic shoreline. (N)
Accommodation on Manitoulin Island: Manitoulin Hotel (or similar)
Today you will leave Manitoulin Island behind as you take the ferry to across the deep waters of Lake Huron to Tobermory. Tobermory is a quaint harbour village on the Bruce Peninsula, a hiker, biker and kayaker’s dream playground. Surrounded by National Parks, turquoise waters and home to over 25 shipwreck sites, Tobermory is a fantastic spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. (N)
Accommodation in Tobermory: Tobermory Princess Hotel (or similar)
Today is free for you to explore Tobermory. You might choose to hike along the renowned Bruce Trail up in the Niagara Escarpment, take a glass-bottom boat tour across Fathom Five Marine Park to Flower Pot Island and visit the gigantic ‘flower pots’, or simply soak up the atmosphere and sit yourself down at a local restaurant serving the fresh ‘catch’ of the day. (N)
Accommodation in Tobermory: Tobermory Princess Hotel (or similar)
Today you will drive around 4½ hours to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the winelands region full of rolling hills and fruitful vineyards. Spend this afternoon exploring the cultural roots, local heritage and quaint streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake. (N)
Accommodation in Niagara-on-the-Lake: Riverbend Inn and Vineyard (or similar)
This morning you will drive across to Niagara to experience the thundering falls with your inclusive Niagara Falls Adventure Pass which provides access to a selection of Niagara Falls attractions. Prepare to be amazed by the sheer power and force of the water as your boat tour takes you right into the foot of the Horseshoe Falls. Later on, you will drive to Toronto airport where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. (N)
Today you will arrive back into the UK, where you will continue your journey home. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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