10 reasons to go back to Vancouver & the Canadian Rockies

The changing seasons, the stark contrast between the city and the wilderness – Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies are definitely worth a visit… and once you’ve been there, you will only want to return! These are Marco Polo’s 10 reasons to go back to Vancouver & the Canadian Rockies:

1.  Whales, bears, mountains, prairies, cities… it is not possible to experience it all in one visit.

2. The Canadians are so kind and helpful that you will soon find that you sorely miss them.

3. The beauty of the night sky will make you want to see the Milky Way more than once.

4. Where else can you be the only person for hundreds of miles?

5. Locals believe that Vancouver is the pearl of the Pacific, and the world’s most beautiful city.

6. No Sunday drivers and no tailgaters: Canada’s roads are a driver’s dream.

7. No matter whether you are in a city or in the middle of nowhere: the infrastructure is excellent.

8. Canada changes with the seasons and each season is different.

9. You can never tire of the vast, seemingly endless, rippling grasslands of prairie.

10. Mother Nature is the greatest show on Earth – Canada’s scenery is too beautiful not to be experienced a second time.

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Marco Polo’s Holiday traditions from around the world – Day 14: Toronto Santa Claus Parade

It’s Day 14 of our Advent Calendar and only 10 more days until Christmas! Today our destination is Toronto, as we explore the 100-year-old tradition of the Santa Claus Parade. Did you miss yesterday’s post? Check it out here!



Every year in mid-November, people gather on the streets of Toronto – or tune in via the television – to watch the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. Now, Santa Claus parades may not be a tradition limited strictly to Toronto, or even Canada, but Toronto can boast that theirs is the oldest Santa Claus Parade still held every year. Though sources vary, some stating that the tradition goes as far back as to 1905, the official website tells us that in 1913 the Eaton’s department store in downtown Toronto, arranged for a Santa Claus to arrive at their store, in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Children, excited to see the man in red, followed the sleigh as it went through the streets and finally stopped at the Eaton’s department store. Within the next few years, more attractions and floats were added to the parade, and today, the parade – no longer sponsored by Eaton’s – consists of multiple massive floats and around 2000 costumed performers. The parade is broadcasted worldwide, and while there are Santa Claus parades in other cities too, the Toronto Santa Claus parade certainly takes the crown.

Buy the Marco Polo Canada East Pocket Guide.

Marco Polo Canada East guide

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Top 10 Romantic Getaways

Looking for a romantic getaway? We have hand-picked the top 10 beaches around the world… only for lovers! Perfect for your honeymoon, anniversary, exotic proposal or just because you want to treat yourself!

Let yourself be inspired by Marco Polo’s top insider tips…

Ⓒ Dumont Photo Archive: Christian Heeb

Ⓒ Dumont Photo Archive: Christian Heeb


1. Maya Bay (The Beach), Ko Phi Phi Le, Thailand

The water is turquoise and the traditional long-tail boats come in all sorts of colours. Sheltered by limestone cliffs amidst dense vegetation the water here is so wonderfully warm and salty you feel as if you’re flying. And while on the subject – light a Chinese lantern together and send it off into the starry night with your very own personal wishes.

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2. Bamburgh Beach,  Northumberland, England

Majestic Bamburgh Castle with its massively thick walls towers above the sea. And when the setting sun turns the clouds a dramatic flaming red, this is the perfect moment for a stroll
hand in hand along the beach. You can’t get much more romantic than that, can you?

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3. Godrevy Beach, St Ives, England

The romantically-minded love to sit and admire the view across the awe-inspiring expanse of sandy beach or delve into history on a gentle stroll around the headland, peer into Hell’s Mouth and watch birds soaring over secret coves along the North Cliffs.

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4. Castaway Island, Fiji

Bula! Bula! Welcome to Fiji, to paradise in the South Seas – to a mild, tropical climate where the sand glistens in the sun and crystal-clear water reveals the coral reefs below. This is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Or even to tie the knot. Walk barefoot along the beach together into the setting sun!


5. Île St-Nicolas, France

The azure-blue sea and long white sandy beaches give the Glénan Islands a tropical feel and are perfect for lovers – perhaps Romeo will be able to find a Glénan narcissus for his Juliet. It does not grow anywhere else in the world and flowers between April and June. But it’s not to be picked, just photographed!

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6. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia

A perfect sweep of white sand that traces an open circle like a glittering ring around the ice-blue water. Wineglass Bay is certainly the best-known gem on Freycinet Peninsula. Wouldn’t that make the perfect backdrop for proposing? And the engagement ring will glisten like the bay on your beloved one’s sun-tanned finger!

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7. Piscinas, Arbus, Sardinia, Italy

If you’re looking for a remote spot to spend some time together then a secluded nest in the middle of dunes (up to 60m/200ft high) is highly recommended. And if you keep very quiet you may spot deer going down to the water. At night, a myriad of stars light up the heavens.

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8. Third Beach, Vancouver, Canada

An experience for the senses: Vancouver’s skyline and sand underfoot, at least your toes in the water in summer and a sea of green conifers. Lovebirds will be in their element when the
sun sinks slowly over the water and the lights of the Big City illuminate the sky.

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9. Ceannabeinne Beach, Durness, Scotland

Pinky red, azure blue and soft shades of beige… all framed by lush grass-green. Scotland’s north is beguiling and especially romantic where the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea meet, on Ceannabeinne Beach. This is where lovers can enjoy peace and quiet together.

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10. Weststrand, Darß, Germany

The beach Weststrand on the Darß peninsula has a wild and romantic air – just what lovers look for. Far from the madding crowd, where the wind and the waves have turned driftwood into beautiful sculptures. The chance of finding amber here is good too. Have the piece of fossilized tree resin polished and give it to your partner as a souvenir.

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Content taken from the Marco Polo World Map with 100 Dream Beaches.

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