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The 8 best places to visit in Sicily [+ where to stay]


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The Mediterranean island of Sicily is a treasure trove for beach bums, adventure nuts and foodies alike. Greek temples in the South, Baroque beauties in the East, sparkling beaches in the North, and pink salt flats to the West, there are so many beautiful places to visit in Sicily. Among all the best things to do in Sicily, these 8 places represent the very best this Italian island has to offer.

But before we start our list of  Sicily must-see places, let’s talk about traveling to Sicily. When planning your trip to Sicily, keep in mind that transportation is as important as accommodation. 

You will find some practical tips on getting around Sicily below. The things to do and the hotel suggestions are listed together with the best places in Sicily to visit. This way, you can plan your trip wisely and make the most of your time in this incredible region of Italy.

Palermo is just one of the best places to visit in Sicily!

Getting around Sicily attractions

Sadly the public transportation network in Southern Italy is spotty or simply nonexistent. Therefore the easiest and most time-efficient way to get around the island is by renting a car.

Check out Rentalcars and Auto Europe websites, they offer a wide range of car rentals, from budget to luxury vehicles. You can compare prices and choose the car and the insurance coverage that suits your Sicily holiday.

Driving in Sicily is not for the faint-hearted: stopping at red lights is optional, the right of way is always taken, and motorbikes whizz by at all hours of the day. 

It doesn’t matter your itinerary of where to go in Sicily, be assertive. Always look thrice and never take your eye off the Vespa drivers and you should be good as gold.

Practicalities for renting a car in Sicily

  • Drivers outside of the EU will be required to carry an International Driving License with them at all times. 
  • Ensure the rental car comes with Collision Damage Waiver Insurance (mandatory by Italian law)
  • Bring the car back with a full tank

Talking about insurance, not only your car needs coverage. Having comprehensive travel insurance is always a good idea, especially if you are up to some adventurous activities in Sicily or if you are traveling from abroad. 

Have a look at World Nomads, Safety Wing, and HeyMondo, these are trustworthy worldwide travel insurances. Choose the one that fits your pocket and your style of traveling. For long-term travel, read Love and Road Insurance Guide here.

Ruins of the Greek Roman Theater with Mount Etna erupting, Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
Beaches, history, natural wonders, and delicious food! Are you ready to discover the best places to visit in Sicily?

8 Best places to visit in Sicily

 To maximize your time on the island, your choice of which area to stay in Sicily is important. Eastern Sicily is best explored from Catania, while Western Sicily is perfect for exploring using Palermo as a basis. 

Sicily might look small on a map, but do not let size deceive you, driving from one end to the other end of the island can quickly turn into a 3-hour drive.

So here they are, Sicily’s best places to visit.

1. The largest city on the island – Catania

Catania is the largest city on the island and the entry point for many travelers into Sicily. Flying into Catania, you will catch amazing views over Mount Etna, located on the city’s doorstep.

Panoramic aerial view of Piazza Duomo in Catania with the Cathedral of Santa Agatha and Liotru, a symbol of Catania, Sicily.
Catania deserves a couple of days so that you can explore the city and its surroundings.

With a buzzing historical center, thriving street food scene, and a plethora of palazzi to visit, there is more than enough to do in Catania. Stroll down Via Etnea, lined with Baroque palaces and ending in the most impressive views over Mount Etna. Traverse the Piazza del Duomo and pop into the beautiful Duomo. The entrance fee of €7 includes entry to the cathedral, the museum, as well as the Thermal Baths.

Savor some of the city’s best street food at the local markets: A’ Piscaria Mercato del Pesce or Fera ‘O Luni (Mercato di Piazza Carlo Alberto). Try the queen of all street food, Arancino. A rice ball filled with ragu (meat) or butter (vegetarian-friendly) and fried to perfection. When walking around the markets, keep your belongings close as pickpocketing is known to occur. 

Winer lovers can also visit the wineries around Catania. Here is a 5-star private tour that goes to 3 wineries in the region, perfect for a day trip from Catania.  

If a guided tour to Mount Etna and/or Taormina is on your bucket list, Catania is a great place to start from. Plenty of tours offer pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Catania at very affordable prices. All the details about visiting Mount Etna and Taormina are listed below, so you can plan your trip to Catania first and then see these other two incredible places.

Where to stay in Catania, Sicily:

Now that you know what to do in Catania and how to make the most of your visit to Mount Etna, let’s talk about the best places to stay in Sicily. You can stay in Catania for a few days to explore the region, as there are plenty of accommodation options in the city.

Check out our top picks for accommodation in Catania:

(click on the name of the hotel for photos and room rates)


2. The Greek amphitheater of Taormina

The village of Taormina is wonderfully quaint and offers spectacular views of Mount Etna. A wander around the little streets of the old town is enough to warrant a visit. Add to that the second largest Greek Amphitheater in Sicily (the first being in Syracuse) and it skyrockets to the number one spot on places to see in Sicily.

Photo of a Greek amphitheater in Taormina, one of the must visit places in Sicily, Italy.
Taormina has it all: history, beaches and Mt Etna views.

The Greek Theater dates back to the 3rd century BC and was initially built to host theater spectacles. During Roman times, it was transformed into an Arena where games and gladiator fights were held.

These days the theater has returned to its roots and is once again a Theater. During select months of the year, Greek tragedies are performed on this very stage.

Taormina is a very popular place to go in Sicily. As the town is small, it tends to get crowded in the summer months. The best way to circumvent the hordes of tourists is to come early in the morning. Visit the amphitheater right when it opens at 09.00 before heading into town to explore.

Here are a few tours you can join to get a more in-depth understanding of this Sicily top attractions and experience a unique side of Taormina: 

(click on the name of the experience for more info)

Where to stay in Taormina, Sicily:

Spending the night in Taormina can be a good idea if you want to catch the sunrise and be the first one in the amphitheater, or maybe join an early morning boat trip to the Blue Grotto and Isola Bella.

Here are a few options of hotels in Taormina for you.

(click on the name of the hotel for photos and room rates)


3. The capital Palermo

No trip to Sicily is complete without a visit to its beautiful capital. The Historical Center of Palermo has undergone a massive transformation in the last 10 years. Palazzi have been restored to their former glory and tourism infrastructure has been added (hello English signs!). On top of that, the Government has cracked down severely on petty crime, making a stroll through the center a pleasant and safe activity.

Areal photo of Palermo showing its churches and old town.
There are so many things to do and see in Palermo and its surroundings that you could stay a week there.

There are plenty of things to do in Palermo. Ideally, you spend at least two full days taking in everything the city has to offer. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Norman Palace at the entrance of the Historical Center is the perfect place to kick off your first day. Nestled in the inner folds, the Palatine Chapel in all its glory awaits.

From the Norman Palace, head to the Cathedral of Palermo, the outside is spectacular, but the interior is rather stark. The entrance is free, but a visit to the rooftop (highly recommended) requires a €5 ticket.

If you are a lover of churches, make sure to add the Baroque beauty Chiesa Santa Catarina to your list. Try homemade sweets from the nuns of the cloister and climb the stairs to the roof of the church for the best views over the Historical Center of Palermo.

Palermo is home to the very best street food the country has to offer. A spleen sandwich is the perfect hangover cure after a night on the town. Grab yours is the Vucceria market or off-the-street vendors in Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.

Here is our recommendation for unique activities in Palermo: 

(click on the name of the experience for more info)

Palermo is your getaway to Sicily’s West Coast. The key to planning an incredible itinerary in Sicily is to think about your travel goals. You can plan a road trip between the small villages and medieval towns, staying in a different place every night.

Or you can stay in Palermo for longer and plan daily trips to Sicily’s famous beaches and attractions like Castellammare Del Golfo, San Vito Lo Capo and its ancient sites, and also to Zingaro Nature Reserve that offers stunning views and beaches, a paradise for swimming. 

Where to stay in Palermo, Sicily:

You probably will stay in Palermo for a couple of days, so choosing good accommodation is key.

Check out these hotel suggestions for a good night of sleep in Palermo. 

(click on the name of the hotel for photos and room rates)


4. The prettiest village on the island: Ortigia

The island of Ortigia is located right off Syracuse. It is connected to the city by a set of two bridges that traverse the Mediterranean Sea. The island itself is tiny, the full loop around is a mere 3.5 kilometers. Yet despite the seemingly small size, there is plenty to do on Ortigia island to keep you busy for at least a full day.

Photo of an alley in Ortigia, a baroque town that is one of Sicily top attractions.
Ortigia is stunning; you must visit it when traveling in Sicily!

Together with Noto and Ragusa, Ortigia is known as one of the “Baroque Beauties” or “Baroque Towns”. Walking around the center, it will quickly become clear why.  The sheer amount of amazing baroque architecture packed on the facades and balconies of the buildings is unlike anything you are likely to encounter anywhere else.

The highlight of Ortigia is the Cathedral of Syracuse (despite the name, it is very much located in Ortigia on Piazza Duomo). This ancient Greek Doric temple was “converted” into a church around the 7th century AD. On the same square, the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia stands to the right of the Cathedral and is equally worth popping into.

During the summer months, Ortigia has plenty of pop-up Lidos (beach bars and restaurants) dotted around the shores of the island. Combine a visit to the little town with a relaxing afternoon by the sea.

Check out these activities and plan the perfect visit to Ortigia combining history, architecture, sea and food:

Where to stay in Syracuse and Ortigia:

Along with Ortigia, Syracuse is also a must-visit place in Sicily. You can stay in both cities and get around them easily. When it comes to choosing the best place to stay, Syracuse will have more options than Ortigia. But if you want to wake up in a fairytale-like city, Ortigia is the perfect place for it. Click on the name of the hotel for photos and room rates.

Here is our pick for hotels in Syracuse:

 And here is a unique place to stay in Ortigia: 


5. The Arab-Norman Cathedral & Cefalu Beach

The sleepy fisherman village of Cefalu is one of the most popular places to visit in Sicily both for locals and tourists alike. The Historical Center is a wonderful maze of little streets dotted with little stores and eateries. Allow yourself the luxury of a languorous stroll (Google Maps is very spotty in these little streets, so you might as well save yourself the frustration and not turn it on!).

Beautiful view of Cefalu beach, Palermo, Sicily.
A trip to Sicily is not complete with sunny days by the beach!

When the weather gets too hot, the heat-averse traveler has three options. Option one is a visit to the UNESCO-classified Arab-Norman Cathedral of Cefalu and marvel at the byzantine mosaics. Make sure to climb the towers for the best views over Cefalu and, if you are lucky, to find a refreshing breeze. Tickets for the Cathedral will set you back €5 and an additional €5 if you would like to visit the treasury and cloisters. You can visit it by yourself or join a guided walking tour to learn more about this incredible Sicily landmark. 

Option two is to simply strip down and make a beeline for the beach. Cefalu is located right on the sea and has a long stretch of sandy beach perfect for swimming breaks. The beach does tend to be a very popular option for many travelers and thus, you will most likely be sharing your little swath of sand with quite a few other people.

Option three is to join a cooking class at a local’s home. Or if you have time, you can do the three activities and enjoy the best of Sicily: history, food and nature. 

Where to stay in Cefalu, Sicily

When it comes to staying in Cefalu, you can choose between hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and private apartments.

Here are our suggestions for accommodation in Cefalu, click on the name of the hotel for photos and room rates.


6. The Cathedral and Cloisters in Monreale

Monreale is located just outside of Palermo, in fact, the village of Monreale has not only a UNESCO-classified Arab-Norman Cathedral it also offers the very best views over the bay of Palermo. While the Cathedral is, in theory, free to enter, purchasing a €6 ticket will grant you access to the rooftop terraces, the Ruano chapel and the cloister.

Photo of a Byzantine mosaic at The Cathedral and Cloisters in Monreale, Sicily. This is one of the best places to visit in Sicily.
Sicily Byzantine mosaics that will dazzle you.

While the Cathedral might look stark from the outside, upon entering, the first thing you will notice is the ornately decorated interior. A whopping 3500 square meters of golden Byzantine mosaics cover the ceiling and the naïve depicting various biblical scenes.

Aside from the Cathedral, do not skip the Benedictine Cloister located just around the corner. The inner courtyard has the most intricate column, each decorated slightly differently and narrating scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

Here is an interesting guided tour in Monreale that will help you navigate through the Cathedral and all the details of the place.  

Where to stay in Monreale

Monreale is a very small little village and is, therefore, best combined with either half a day at the beach (the closest beach being Mondello) or Cefalu. As for accommodations in town, there aren’t many, so check out our suggestion of places to stay in Palermo. It’s the biggest city close to Monreale and will offer better options for hotels. 

From Palermo, you can drive to Monreale or join a half-day tour from Palermo to Monreale and Cefalu


7. The active volcano Mount Etna

One of the best places to visit in Sicily for the active traveler is, without a doubt, Mount Etna. At 3.357 meters, it is the highest volcano in Europe. The good news is, despite the fact the volcano is still active (the last eruption dates back to 2021), it is perfectly safe to visit the volcano.

Photo of a field with Mount Etna in the back. Mt Etna is among the best places to visit in Sicily.
Mount Etna is the highest volcano in Europe and it’s active.

It is possible to visit Mt. Etna solo until 2900 meters. The trek between 2900 meters and the summit at 3500 can only be done with an organized tour (legally, for safety reasons, this part of the volcano cannot be visited without a knowledgeable guide).

Park your car at Rifugio Sapienza (1935 meters above sea level), and from there, pay €35 euro (one way) for a cable car ride to take you up to the summit station (2500 meters). Upon reaching the summit station, a 40-minute hike will take you up to the last viewing point at 2900 meters.

Most organized tours will start from the visitors center in Rifugio Sapienza. Certain tours include the ticket price for the cable car and offer visitors the option to rent windbreakers and other gear. Be sure to ask in advance what is included in the price for the tour.

Below are some of the best-rated Mount Etna guided tours offered on the GetYourGuide website. You can book them online and in advance so you save time when you are in Sicily.


8. The very best Greek temples outside of Greece in the Valley of Temples

The archeological site known as the Valley of Temples covers an impressive 1300 hectares, filled with Almond trees, 8 very well-preserved ancient Greek temples, and a variety of different ruins. The Valley of Temples in Southern Sicily is one of the most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites in Sicily, truly the most unique place in Sicily. Some say the Greek Temple of Heracles (Hercules) is the best preserved Greek Temple in the world (yep, you read that right!).

Photo of an ancient site in the Valley of Temples, one of the famous attractions in Sicily.
The incredible Valley of Temples covers an impressive 1300 hectares.

Getting around the park is done on foot (bring good walking shoes) or by taking the little shuttle that runs between the various temples. The shuttle functions as a hop-on/hop-off bus and costs €8. 

Download the park’s app to get both a map and plenty of interesting historical facts about the various temples and the park itself.

Tickets cost €10/person and can be bought at the entrance. If you come by car, park your car in the allotted parking opposite the entrance and make sure to bring coins to pay for the parking before you leave (no cards accepted).

You can also buy the Valley of Temples skip-the-line ticket in advance. That will allow you to go straight into the park without the need to queue for the ticket, which can be a time saver during peak hours. Another option is to buy the skip-the-line ticket plus guided tour. 

Agrigento is the closest city to Sicily’s Valley of Temples, and from there, you can reach the park by public transportation, taxi or driving. But you can also visit the Valley of Temples as a day trip from other towns in Sicily and even from Palermo if you don’t mind spending hours on the road. 

Where to stay in Agrigento

Agrigento is the best place to stay near the Valley of Temples, here are our recommendations.

Wrapping up our Sicily must-see places guide

One could spend a lifetime exploring Sicily and still come up short of time. Think of the Aegadian Islands near Trapani city that you can visit, the sports activities and boat trips you can do, and all the beautiful beaches you can visit.

Architecture lovers and history buffs would be lost among the ancient cities, archaeological sites, and charming seaside towns. As you can imagine, Sicily is one of those destinations where you finish your holiday already thinking of your return trip. 

The extraordinary amount of natural and historic beauty to be found in Sicily is unparalleled anywhere else in Europe. Combine that with excellent traditional Sicilian cuisine (Pasta à la Norma all day every day) and some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean and it will become abundantly clear why Sicily is Italy’s & the rest of Europe’s favorite vacationing spot.

Are you planning to travel to Sicily soon? Which of these cities and attractions are in your Sicily itinerary? 

Love this Sicily best places to visit guide? Pin it for later!

The best places to visit in Sicily to add to your itinerary.Discover why Sicily is the perfect destination in Italy. Here are Sicily's top attractions and landmarks, what to do in each of them, tours, and where to go. Plus, where to stay in Sicily, best cities and hotels for your holiday, and info about planning your journey. From renting a car to Sicilian food to try. Sicily Italy | Sicily places to stay | Sicily hotels | Catania | Palermo | Taormina | Cefalu | Sicily things to do |

The 8 best places to visit in Sicily [+ where to stay]

Author: Caroline Muller

Caroline is a full-time travel writer & photographer. She is based out of Brussels but spends many months in Sicily each year, keeping warm and discovering the island’s foodie delights. 



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Cape Forchu Lighthouse & Leif Ericson Walk


There aren’t many mornings I wake up at 10 AM, roll over and think to myself, I have no agenda, no must do’s or phone calls, so I’ll just sleep for as long as I want. The backstory to my late morning wake up was a direct flight from Calgary to Halifax, followed by a two hour wait for a shuttle and finally a three hour shuttle to Yarmouth in western Nova Scotia. I was in town for a travel media conference, but since nothing was happening until evening, I had a delicious day where I could do whatever I wanted. I Googled best things to do in Yarmouth – because that’s what we all end up doing, and a visit to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse was the top thing to do. I figured I could taxi out, and walk the 11 kilometres back to Yarmouth, and get some much-needed exercise.

When I emerged in the hotel lobby, I bumped into two colleagues who were literally on their way to the lighthouse, and even better – one of them had a rental car. So. in I hopped, before I’d had my first cup of coffee for the day. However, we had all figured out that there was a café at the Cape Forchu Lighthouse – and lobster rolls were on their menu. That was reason enough to go and I was certain I’d find my cup of joe there.

The drive out to the lighthouse is scenic, especially in summer when colourful lupins are everywhere – and their beauty screams to you to stop the car, jump out, and take a picture. Throw in a picturesque beach and you could easily spend a solid half day on this one Yarmouth activity.

This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse

The drive to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse

It’s all of a 17-minute drive to get to the lighthouse from downtown Yarmouth. The Cape Forchu Scenic Drive is a pretty one, especially the closer you get to the lighthouse. One of the unusual sights on the drive was a massive retaining wall. I can only imagine the sight of smashing waves against the wall in a winter storm. You also pass the Fish Point Monument, a working fishing wharf, and a view to the Bunker Island Lighthouse.

After we passed Lobster Pound Road, I started salivating at the thought of my upcoming lobster roll. In fact, we all had lobster on our mind.

It's a pretty drive to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
It’s a pretty drive to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Johns Cove Beach might beckon you to visit on the way to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Johns Cove Beach might beckon you to visit on the way to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Be wowed by the masses of lupins
Be wowed by the masses of lupins
The Bunker Island Lighthouse at low tide - which can be seen from the drive out to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
The Bunker Island Lighthouse at low tide – which can be seen from the drive out to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse

Get a bite to eat at the Keeper’s Kitchen café

We made a beeline to the Keeper’s Kitchen cafe – to avoid the crowds, but the bottom line was that we were hungry. Walking up to the cafe, I couldn’t help but admire the view. If your timing is right, you can see The Cat ferry – a service that is finally back again after a two-year hiatus thanks to COVID. The 3.5-hour long ferry runs between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Inside the cafe are cute tables with views – but what the cafe didn’t have were lobster rolls. Apparently fellow travel media members who were on a pre-trip in the area had reserved all the lobster rolls – a crushing disappointment to the three of us. I made do with an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich and a strawberry scone that was closer to a strawberry shortcake. I’m sure there were a few more patrons that were disappointed that day.

Note that the cafe is open seasonally every day but Tuesday. On Monday it is only open 11 AM – 3 PM, but the rest of the time it is open from 11 AM – 5 PM. You can also enjoy local beer and wine in addition to seafood chowder, pizza and baked goods.

A deck with a view at the Keepers Kitchen Cafe
A deck with a view at the Keepers Kitchen cafe
Enjoying strawberry scones with a view
Enjoying strawberry scones with a view

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse, called an apple core lighthouse because of its unique design, is the only one in Nova Scotia that can be climbed. The lighthouse is the second most photographed lighthouse in the province after the one in Peggy’s Cove. Its location on a rugged peninsula overlooking the Bay of Fundy, 37.5 metres above sea level, ensures stupendous views year-round. And you can visit year-round and at all hours of the day.

If you can climb 77 steps, then you can book a tour online to get to the lantern room at the top. But because of its small size, only six participants can visit at one time. My friend Sue from Travel Tales of Life did the climb with her husband and has this to say. “The ever spiralling 77 step climb to the lantern room of the lighthouse leads to panoramic views of Cape Forchu, Yarmouth Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean. All tours are accompanied by a guide who will assist anyone feeling claustrophobic in the narrow stairwell.”

***If you love dark skies, check out Sue’s Deep Sky Eye Observatory experience that included sleeping in bubble-shaped glamping tents, a short drive away from Yarmouth.***

The Cape Forchu Lighthouse is also the only lighthouse where the whole lightkeeper’s house is open to the public – though because it is an automated lighthouse, you won’t find any inhabitants. The lightkeeper’s house is a provincial heritage property, so if you wander around inside, you’ll be sure to see some museum artifacts.  

What a gorgeous location for the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
What a gorgeous location for the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
The view from the lantern room at the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse - Photo credit: Travel Tales of Life
The view from the lantern room at the top of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse – Photo credit: Travel Tales of Life
The view in the other direction through the glass in the lantern room
The view in the other direction through the glass in the lantern room – Phot credit: Travel Tales of Life

Wander the property

If you’re short on time, enjoy a quick wander around the property, enjoying views of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse, from different angles. Admire the flowers and check out the gift shop. If mobility is an issue, there is a free golf cart shuttle service.

It seems everywhere you look you see the lighthouse
It seems everywhere you look you see the lighthouse
The area is a beautiful place to hang out
Enjoy the view from a red chair

The Leif Ericson Trail hike

From the photo taken at the top of the lighthouse, you can see the Leif Erikson trail in its entirety. The trail is named for the son of Norse explorer Eric the Red, who may have visited these shores around 1000 AD. The discovery of the Yarmouth Runic Stone in 1812, begs the question – are the 13 characters engraved in the stone Norse runes, or is the stone from somewhere else?

The Leif Ericson trail is short and easy – but also very scenic and incredibly worthwhile. Make your way down to the trail from the parking lot – stopping to admire the 50-foot skeleton of Foggy the fin whale. Continue as the trail winds past an assortment of wildflowers, including some that were used as edibles (and still are) such as Scotch lovage/seaside parsley, sheep sorrel, caraway, beach pea, and rose hips from the salt spray rose.

Check out the view of the lighthouse from the pool of water. Consider coming back on a dark, starry night to get a gorgeous shot of the lighthouse framed by stars and the night skies. Check out the colourful mileage sign as you amble back to the parking lot, enjoying beautiful ocean views along the way.

Rules for walking the Leif Ericson trail - including staying off the rocks
Rules for walking the Leif Ericson trail – including staying off the rocks
Foggy the - 50 foot whale skeleton
Foggy the – 50 foot fin whale skeleton from above
Beautiful easy walking on the Leif Ericson trail
Beautiful easy walking on the Leif Ericson trail
Beautiful scenes everywhere you look
Beautiful scenes everywhere you look – this water is a good place to catch a reflection of the lighthouse when the light is right
So many wildflowers in June near the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
So many wildflowers in June near the Cape Forchu Lighthouse
Colouful mileage sign on the Leif Ericson walk
Colourful mileage sign on the Leif Ericson walk
Walking back to the lighhouse
Walking back to the lighthouse

Final thoughts

A visit to the lighthouse deserves to be number one of the things to do in Yarmouth. If you’re anywhere near the town, make the drive. Taxis will take you out there – and no I didn’t walk back. Instead I had a nap and saved a big walk for later in the week.

Where to stay in Yarmouth

I stayed at the Rodd Grand Yarmouth. It was a bit tired but reportedly will be fully renovated in the coming months. A great location.

The Best Western Mermaid is another decent choice.

Tru by by Hilton Yarmouth is rated fabulous. 

If you prefer a B&B experience check out the Lakelawn B&B.

Location map of the Cape Forchu Lighthouse

                                                             

Further reading on things to do in Nova Scotia

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Cape Forchu Lighthouse - Leif Ericson walk in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

 



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9 Great reasons to travel to Barcelona solo


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Barcelona is a city that is ideal for solo tourists. There are so several items to see and do in this vivid metropolis, and you can quickly investigate on your have. So listed here are some journey inspiration and 9 fantastic reasons why you should pack your luggage and solo travel Barcelona!

Learn Barcelona by yourself, and you will be surprised by this metropolis!

Solo Travel Barcelona – why you should really do it!

1 – Barcelona is a perfect metropolis for solo vacationers

1 of the motives to check out Barcelona is that it is the ideal city for solo vacationers. Regardless of whether you’re hunting to take a look at the winding streets of the Gothic neighborhood, sunbathe in the warm Spanish solar, or consider a seat at one of the city’s numerous fantastic eating places and cafes, there is some thing in this article for everyone.

The locals are some of the friendliest you will at any time fulfill and are usually content to assistance newcomers settle in. As with any preferred vacation spot, there are a couple tourist traps and crimes these kinds of as pick-pocketing, but in general, Barcelona is a safe and sound metropolis, particularly for woman vacationers.

And with loads of lodging selections and economical public transport, it’s simple to get around and see all that Barcelona has to offer you.

Speaking about lodging in Barcelona, right here is a list of Barcelona hostels for solo travelers and also some luxury lodging as properly – simply click on the names for the rooms charge:

So if you are itching for some journey and looking for someplace new to examine, set your sights on stunning Barcelona – you will not regret it!

Outside table of a bar in Barcelona with a burger and a glass of beer. It's a traditional tapas bar in Barcelona.
Barcelona is a budget-pleasant vacation spot, particularly for taking in and drinking.

2 – Barcelona is an cost-effective metropolis to stop by

If you’re looking for a desired destination for solo travel that features all the charm and excitement of a significant metropolis but is also affordable and budget-welcoming, look no further than Barcelona in the shoulder time.

Spring and Autumn are perfect for solo journey to Barcelona as you can prevent the significant crowds, get a flavor of the city’s everyday living and meet up with locals simply. And by averting the large year, you also conserve income. The heat weather conditions is also a in addition. 

The vibrant Spanish metropolis is packed with scrumptious foods, intriguing architecture, and exhilarating nightlife, all at realistic charges in comparison to other European capitals. Test out this posting about how a great deal it costs to vacation to Spain. It is a diary of two individuals touring all over Spain but will give you an concept of costs for each individual on sights, foods, lodging, and far more.  

Just one detail is for positive, whether you want to investigate the slim medieval streets of Barcelona or get pleasure from a working day at Barceloneta seashore, you can encounter it all devoid of breaking the lender.

Staying in hostels is a different excellent matter about touring solo to Barcelona, which will make it possible for you to conserve far more money and hook up with other fellow vacationers.

An additional way to save cash in Barcelona is by having at the city’s quite a few tapas bars. Tapas are modest plates of Spanish food items commonly served with drinks. They are the excellent way to sample a range of Barcelona’s culinary choices without owning to dedicate to a total meal. 

Also, Barcelona tapas bars are the fantastic place to meet up with people when enjoying a couple of eyeglasses of cava.

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is just one of the many incredible museums you can visit in Barcelona, Spain.
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, an extraordinary position to go to in Barcelona.

3 – There are so quite a few matters to do on your own in Barcelona 

Barcelona is an enjoyable metropolis that has some thing for everyone. Whether you are intrigued in artwork, architecture, heritage, or just want to love the Mediterranean atmosphere. You’ll discover it all right here.

The metropolis is residence to some of Antoni Gaudí ‘s most famous buildings, like Sagrada Família,  Casa Batlló, and Park Guell, as properly as a lot of other Gothic and Modernista landmarks. And as you could know, some of them are UNESCO World Heritage web pages.

You can also investigate the Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s old city fashioned by incredible neighborhoods like the Gothic, Raval, El Born, and Barceloneta. Wander by means of the slim streets, enjoy the solar at the lively plazas, and consider a stroll together the beach front.

Passeig De Gràcia, Passeig de Sant Joan, and Rambla De Catalunya are also excellent spots to take a look at alone to admire the remarkable architecture of Barcelona.

As much as touring solo to Barcelona sounds like an uncomplicated and carefree practical experience, hold in thoughts that you will need to have to organize and program a several points.

Barcelona sights are generally packed, so do not waste your important time queueing for tickets, system in advance and have enjoyment. I counsel you make a list of what you want to see in Barcelona, then book your tickets in progress. It is very important for areas like Sagrada Familia (get your ticket below!).

Other points of interest also supply skip-the-line tickets that you can purchase in advance, conserving you a lot of time, as even all through shoulder and minimal period, these locations have a tendency to be busy.

In this article are a handful of of Barcelona’s tops points of interest you can guide a skip-the-line ticket: 

(click on the identify to get your tickets)

For all those who Love museums, Barcelona has extraordinary kinds and globally renowned expositions. If which is your point, examine out this Barcelona Art Ticket Passport. It offers you access to 6 of Barcelona’s best museums, and of system, it is a skip-the-line entrance. You invest in the passport online then go to the ticket office at one of the museums you want to go to and trade it for the printed passport.

All of these you can do by you or with individuals you will meet at the hostels and bars. Touring solo to Barcelona is in no way unexciting. There will constantly be a thing happening past the famed vacationer points of interest. Right here are 5 recommendations for taking pleasure in Barcelona like a local.

Casa Batló is one of the famous attractions in Barcelona. Usually, there is a queue to get in, so booking your admission ticket in advance is a good idea.
Just one of quite a few Gaudí masterpieces you can take a look at in Barcelona.

4 – You can easily take a look at Barcelona on your own

With some preparing, you can see all the city features with no shelling out a fortune or throwing away time waiting around in line. As pointed out, commence by studying the ought to-see sights in Barcelona. Then, generate a rough itinerary that includes nicely-recognised attractions and concealed gems.

At the time you arrive in Barcelona city, acquire benefit of public transportation. The metro is the fastest and most straightforward way to get about the city without the need of having dropped. The shared bikes and scooter expert services are very good and very affordable choices as well. And as the town has bicycle lanes, cycling all around is straightforward and secure.

A different piece of assistance is to don comfortable sneakers and see Barcelona on foot. It is a single of the most effective techniques to explore the city. Some of the city’s iconic spots are a going for walks length of each individual other, like when in the Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter) you can stroll to Barcelona Cathedral, Passeig Del Born, and Plaza Catalunya. 

And lastly, really don’t forget to permit oneself some time to wander and examine the Barcelona location. There are lots of stunning shorelines and outstanding cities close by. Most of them are just a bus or educate ticket away, or you can check out them on a team tour. 

Here are a few incredible items you can do outside the house Barcelona, and for those people who enjoy an journey, look at out this biking trip in Catalunya.

A different area to include to your solo travel Barcelona itinerary is the Montserrat Monastery. You can take a look at in a single morning or afternoon with a guided tour (simply click below to ebook!).

A crowd of people at a music event in Barcelona, Spain. It is the perfect activity for people who want to travel solo in Barcelona.
Spanish are some of the friendliest people today in Europe, and they appreciate a superior celebration and festival.

5 – The locals are pleasant and welcoming

Barcelona is the location for you if you are seeking for a warm and welcoming put to pay a visit to. The locals listed here are exceptionally helpful and go out of their way to guarantee readers experience at household.

Irrespective of whether you are hunting for instructions or just a helpful chat, you will constantly be welcomed with open up arms in this beautiful metropolis. A solo traveler in Barcelona does not continue to be on your own for as well lengthy.

6 – Traveling solo is a wonderful way to satisfy new men and women

Barcelona is a excellent area to meet new people, particularly solo traveling. There are a lot of possibilities to strike up conversations with locals and other tourists, and you’ll rapidly make new friends.

Just one of the most effective techniques to meet up with persons is to sign up for a tour or activity. This way, you can take a look at the town with many others and get to know them at the exact same time. Below are a handful of strategies for team excursions in Barcelona for solo travelers:

Or, if you’re emotion influenced, you can join a cooking class, cocktail learn course, or a Spanish wine tasting. You will meet up with new persons, style delicious authentic meals and wine, and learn new expertise to impress your mates at home. 

7 – You can examine Barcelona at your individual rate

There is no stress to keep up with a team or follow a routine if you travel solo in Barcelona. You can do what you want when you want.

If you want to invest all working day exploring the city’s plenty of museums, you can. If you’d rather just wander the streets and soak up the environment, that is wonderful far too.

It is your family vacation, so make confident you do what can make you joyful.

A woman at a train station in Barcelona. She is traveling alone in Barcelona and taking a speed train to a new destination in Spain.
Your Barcelona solo trip will give you a new point of view of Spain, traveling, and yourself.

8 – You will come to be extra assured

When it comes to travel, couple ordeals examine to the experience of hitting the road on your own. And for all those trying to find more than just a enjoyable vacation, there is no far better place to investigate solo than gorgeous Barcelona.

This bustling metropolis provides plenty of enjoyment all-around each and every corner, no matter whether you crave stunning architecture, lively nightlife, or delectable delicacies. But greatest of all, touring solo in Barcelona will open up up a total new earth of option for you to satisfy intriguing people and interact in new activities.

With each new working day, you will have the opportunity to drive on your own out of your comfort zone and really embrace all this wonderful city has to give – and all the though becoming a more powerful, extra self-assured version of on your own together the way!

A castell in the middle of Barcelona. It's a human tower built traditionally at festivals in Catalunya. One of the experiences you can have when solo traveling in Barcelona.
There are so many functions to sign up for, that you will be impressed by Barcelona and Catalunya abundant society and record.

9 – It’s an exceptional chance to study about one more lifestyle

Barcelona is the perfect location to immerse your self in an additional tradition. There’s so substantially to find out about Spanish lifestyle, from the remarkable food to the architecture. 

And since the locals are so friendly, you will have lots of alternatives to inquire inquiries, understand a lot more about their way of lifestyle and find issues you will not come across in any travel information.

You’ll come property from your excursion with a improved knowledge and appreciation for one more culture, and which is usually a excellent point.

When you travel solo, you’re sure to have some amazing ordeals. And due to the fact you’re the only one there, you will be the only a person who can inform individuals tales.

So go out and check out Barcelona by yourself. Have some adventures. Meet new individuals. And most importantly, have entertaining!

Now that I certain you that traveling alone to Barcelona is Astounding! Allow me share that the entire of Spain is really worth visiting solo. 

Just after setting up your solo journey to Barcelona, verify out these non-touristy factors to do in Madrid, the country’s spectacular capital. Or perhaps invest one or two days in Valencia

A Spanish beach front getaway is also a excellent thought. Consider of the spectacular Cabo de Gata Nationwide Park, Málaga and its lots of totally free factors to do, or Puerto Pollensa on Mallorca island.

For the lively travelers out there, joining a group cycling tour in Spain is a great selection to discover the lesser-acknowledged elements of the place and make some friends. Or e book a Health Boot Camp in Mallorca, enjoy the seashore whilst looking following your human body and soul, and mingle with like-minded men and women. 

And as Barcelona is a significant hub for transportation in Europe, it may be just the begin issue of an amazing solo experience. Barcelona Airport gives flights for all about Europe and extensive hauls, so why not imagine bigger and unfold your solo wings to other places? The earth is yours, go delight in it! 

 Are you preparing to solo vacation to Barcelona? Then pin this write-up for later on!

Discover why you should travel to Barcelona alone. Best time of the year to plan your trip,  places to visit in Barcelona, best activities, and tours for solo travelers.Plus tips on where to stay in Barcelona as a solo traveler and why solo travel to Barcelona is a must-do experience.Barcelona solo travel | Barcelona solo guide |

Writer: Una

Una is the traveler and blogger driving Wandernity website wherever she shares her personalized adventures around the planet and blogging assistance. 

You can adhere to her inspiring stories on Fb as effectively.



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21 Incredible Alberta Waterfalls to Visit


Humans are drawn to waterfalls for their beauty and power – and perhaps even all the negative ions floating around. Nothing beats the mist of a waterfall on your face on a hot summer day or the quiet beauty of a waterfall frozen in time in winter. Waterfalls are great destinations as day trips, whether by car or on foot. Some of the Alberta waterfalls described are going to take a little work to get there, while others, like Cameron Falls can be experienced as a drive by. 

I’ve listed and described 21 Alberta waterfalls below that I think are worth a visit. In fact, you could make a summer of it, road tripping and camping, checking off all these waterfalls.

But a few words of advice before you go. The area around waterfalls is usually wet and slick so keep to the paths and pay attention to signs suggesting caution or danger. Some like the pool at the base of Crescent Falls – that may look innocuous, have claimed lives. Err on the side of caution around all waterfalls. And if you’re after Instagram fame, use some common sense. Getting the shot is not worth an accident or death.

If you’re driving to any of the waterfalls in Kananaskis Country, you will need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass. And the same goes for a national parks pass in any of the parks noted below.

Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park

One of the top things to do in Jasper, no matter what the season, is to visit Athabasca Falls. They are just a short detour off the Icefields Parkway. The falls are some of the most powerful in the Canadian Rockies (so exercise caution), but they are by no means the largest falls, even though they are 23 metres high by 18 metres wide. Along the trail, there are lots of viewpoints with breathtaking views into the gorgeous carved canyon. If you’re taking photos be sure to take care with your camera because of all the spray.

Athabasca Falls are usually busy. Go early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. There is a paved pathway across the bridge that is both wheelchair and stroller friendly. It provides viewpoints from the south side of the falls. To get to the bottom of the falls, you do have to negotiate steps and an uneven trail.  

The top of Athabasca Falls – one of the most popular of the Alberta waterfalls
Athabasca Falls is always an impressive sight
Athabasca Falls is always an impressive sight

Bighorn Falls near Sundre

If you head to Ya Ha Tinda Ranch near Sundre, you can visit beautiful Bighorn Falls. There is a parking lot near the falls – but will have to hike an easy trail to see them. You can do a 2.6-kilometre loop – going in on the lower trail and hiking out of the canyon on an upper trail, or an out and back hike on either the upper or lower trail – your choice. On hot summer days, many people walk right to the base of the falls and get their feet wet in the pool.

Big Horn Falls on Ya Ha Tinda Ranch
Bighorn Falls on Ya Ha Tinda Ranch

Blakiston Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park

It’s an easy 2-kilometre return hike from the Red Rock Canyon parking area in Waterton Lakes National Park to visit Blakiston Falls. I’ve actually only hiked here at night to go star gazing as the skies are inky black, so while I could hear the falls, I never got a great view. The falls are 11 metres high.

There are a couple of excellent viewpoints at the falls – and they are well worth the effort to see.

Blakiston Falls - Photo credit: Al on Flickr Creative Commons
Blakiston Falls – Photo credit: Al on Flickr Creative Commons

Bow Falls, Banff 

Bow Falls is in the town of Banff, a short 1.7 kilometre walk away from the downtown. They are a perennial favourite to visit – as they are large, spanning the entire Bow River. The drop is just 9.1 metres or 30 feet but the volume is large, so they are quite a sight. A visit to Bow Falls is perfect for anyone who has a little time on their hands and wants to see a slightly wilder side of the Banff townsite.

There’s a good-sized parking area at the base of Bow Falls. From there you can walk a trail with viewpoints beside the falls. Allow an hour or two to enjoy the full experience. It’s a good place to enjoy a picnic too.

Bow Falls in Banff are very accessible
Bow Falls in Banff are very accessible

Bow Glacier Falls, Banff National Park

The largest waterfall accessed from the Icefields Parkway is Bow Glacier Falls, falling 120 metres or 410 feet. The falls start their life as meltwater from the Wapta Icefield, so they are in fact the headwaters of the Bow River that we enjoy in Calgary.

It’s a pleasant half day hike to get to Bow Glacier Falls starting from the parking lot at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge in Banff National Park. Take the lakeshore trail beside beautiful Bow Lake. At about the 3.4-kilometre mark you’ll reach a narrow canyon. Make the short but steep climb along its rim but be careful if it is wet. The trail continues to the crest of a terminal moraine and on to the base of the falls. These Alberta waterfalls are at their best in summer. 

The return hike to Bow Glacier Falls is 9.4 kilometres with a 95-metre elevation gain.

Bow Glacier Falls
Bow Glacier Falls

Cameron Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park

One of the easiest Alberta waterfalls to see is 23-metre high Cameron Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park. There’s a parking lot directly across from them, and they are easy to access on foot from the Waterton townsite. The main falls are wheelchair and stroller accessible. There is a steep trail beside the falls where you can get a view from above. On a warm, windy day enjoy the cooling spray.

Water in Cameron Falls is usually very clear as seen in the photo below. But once after a very heavy rain, it turned pink probability because argillite, a sedimentary rock containing oxidized iron, got stirred up in enough quantity to cause the short-term change in colour.

Cameron Falls is very accessible so it's a popular place
Cameron Falls is very accessible so it’s a popular place
Cameron Falls in all its frozen glory
Cameron Falls in all its frozen glory

Crescent Falls in David Thompson Country

The water from Crescent Falls, a 27-metre high two-tiered waterfall flows into the deepest gorge in Alberta on the Bighorn River. You’ll find the parking area for the falls about 25 km southwest of Nordegg via Highway 11 and about 5 km on a washboard road. In winter expect mud and ice on the road. There is excellent signage pointing to the turnoff along the David Thompson Highway.

From the parking area, descend on a trail to a couple of viewpoints over Crescent Falls. The best view of the falls is from below – accessed via a trail that gets way too close to the falls – so take a zoom lens with you and stay safe. People have lost their lives around the falls, as recently as the summer of 2020 when a trio of family members drowned. In summer there’s quite a nice campground nearby.

Crescent Falls in March
Crescent Falls in March
The big picture around Crescent Falls
The big picture around Crescent Falls

Edworthy Falls – one of the lesser-known Alberta waterfalls

Edworthy Falls is not a mainstream destination – but they are well worth the hike, even though the hike can only be done between June 15th and November 30th when Highway 40 near Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country is open. Park at the Elbow Lake Day-Use Area.

It’s a 9.7 km return hike (with just 175 metres of elevation gain) and an easy one at that. From the parking lot, it takes 30 to 40 minutes to reach Elbow Lake. From there, take the trail on the left or west side of Elbow Lake. Cross over an outlet stream, approximately 600 metres past the Elbow Lake Campground. Head left up an old road (Big Elbow Trail) for a further 2.4 km. The landscape in this section is incredibly beautiful. There is no signage marking Edworthy Falls but there is flagging in the bushes and a small cairn on your left, just after you have crossed a meadow. It is a popular outing so you’ll likely meet people who can direct you.

The waterfalls plunge 20 metres into a turquoise-coloured pool and the setting with a mountain backdrop is spectacular. I would warn you that it’s a steep descent to the pool so exercise a high degree of caution – and come November icers are a necessity.

It's worth the hike to visit Edworthy Falls
It’s worth the hike to visit Edworthy Falls
Edworthy Falls in late November
Edworthy Falls in late November

Grotto Canyon Falls near Canmore

I have only visited the Grotto Canyon Falls in winter via the fabulous and fun Grotto Canyon Ice Walk. The falls aren’t very tall as you can see and at certain times of the year, they are more trickle than waterfall. I’d recommend visiting in winter so you can enjoy the ice walk as well.

Grotto Canyon Falls in winter
Grotto Canyon Falls in winter

Johnston Canyon Falls, Banff National Park

Tops in the popular things to do in Banff category, is a visit to the Johnston Canyon Falls. Enjoy a breathtaking experience every day of the year. The hiking trail to visit the falls is half the fun as part of it is a cantilevered catwalk. In winter it can be very slippery – which depending on your view, will increase the level of fun. There are lots of viewpoints on route to the falls which are almost as enjoyable as the falls themselves.

In total there are seven sets of waterfalls, but the most beautiful ones are the Lower and Upper Falls. It’s a short and easy 1.2 km one way walk to the Lower Falls. It requires more effort to reach the Upper Falls as they are a further 1.2 km away and there is some elevation gain. In winter enjoy the sight of ice climbers on the Upper Falls.

Johnston Canyon Falls are accessed from the Bow Valley Parkway. Be warned that parking fills quickly so try to visit early or late in the day. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle in Banff and cycle 25 km to the falls.

Upper Johnston Canyon Falls in winter
Upper Johnston Canyon Falls in winter

Lower Bertha Falls, Waterton Lakes National Park

One of the Alberta waterfalls I really love is Lower Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park. (You’ll pass Cameron Falls to get to the trailhead.)  It’s not a big one, rather a graceful cascading one that is accessed via a 5.2-kilometre round-trip hike. The elevation gain is an easy 191 metres. The trail takes you through forest that was burnt during the 2017 Kenow fire. The upside of the fire is some great views of Upper Waterton Lake and wildflowers along with a good chance of seeing wildlife. 

The cascading waterfalls are truly beautiful and a nice place to hang out and enjoy a picnic in summer.

Lower Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park
Lower Bertha Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park

Lundbreck Falls, southern Alberta

Lunbreck Falls on the Crowsnest River are sometimes called Little Niagara because they split into two falls. The falls are easy to access from Highway 3 in the Crowsnest Pass area. It’s one of the Alberta waterfalls with a popular campsite that is just steps away.

From the top of Lundbreck Falls to the pools it’s a 12-metre plunge – which has been tackled in a kayak before though it’s not recommended. Visit these falls at any time of the year. I find winter particularly enchanting around the falls. 

Alberta waterfalls worth a visit - Lundbreck Falls
Alberta waterfalls worth a visit – Lundbreck Falls
I think Lundbreck Falls is more spectacular in winter
I think Lundbreck Falls is more spectacular in winter

Mistaya Canyon Falls, Banff National Park

The Mistaya Canyon Falls are exciting to look at – and a little scary at the same time. It’s a 1.0 km one way hike on an old road to get to Mistaya Canyon so count on a return trip to take upwards of 45 minutes. The falls are one of the most scenic spots in the Rockies. Photographers will be in their element.

When you get to the bridge look down and gape at the power of the Mistaya River. Marvel at the smooth limestone, eroded over time. Many visitors go down to the rocks – us included – but the area around the canyon isn’t fenced so be SUPER careful. 

Looking down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon
Looking down to the swirling waters in Mistaya Canyon
Quite the view of Mistaya Canyon
Quite the view of Mistaya Canyon

Panther Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, Banff National Park

Bridal Veil Falls are located at the big bend of the Icefields Parkway, 36 km north of Saskatchewan River Crossing and 2.2 km south of the turnoff to Parker Ridge. The water originates on the Huntington Glacier and eventually ends up in the North Saskatchewan River.

Panther Falls can be visited in conjunction with Bridal Veil Falls via a 1-kilometre hike on a sometimes- slippery trail, so exercise caution. The 66-metre-high Panther Falls are far more stunning than Bridal Veil Falls though most people miss visiting them. You can visit these falls year-round. Panther Falls is a popular winter ice-climbing destination.

Panther Falls - Credit - WherezJeff on Flickr Creative Commons
Panther Falls – Credit – WherezJeff on Flickr Creative Commons

Ram Falls

I have yet to visit Ram Falls but it’s high on the list next time I’m anywhere near Rocky Mountain House. The falls are easy to access from the nearby Ram Falls campground. A viewing platform offers spectacular views of the Ram River as it drops 20 metres over hard sandstone It is one of the most impressive Alberta waterfalls – and it doesn’t get the crowds that others see.

Ram Falls - Credit: Richard Bukowski on Flickr Creative Commons
Ram Falls – Credit: Richard Bukowski on Flickr Creative Commons

Ribbon Falls – a long hike to one of the impressive Alberta waterfalls

The Ribbon Falls hike in Kananaskis Country off Highway 40 is almost 21 kilometres long, but with only 447 metres of elevation gain, I’d rate it as moderate. It was a far prettier hike than expected as it follows a spectacular valley hemmed in on either side by Mount Kidd to the southeast and Mount Bogart to the northwest. When we finally reached Ribbon Falls, a short distance past the Ribbon Falls Campground, my jaw dropped at their size. 

The water for Ribbon Falls originates at Ribbon Lake. The plunge is an impressive 25 metres over a rock face. If you climb a little higher, you can see the water flowing over several headwalls on route to the rock face. The photo was taken in late May at the start of the spring melt.

John heading for a better view of Ribbon Falls with Rosie the Bernese and Mila from Mexico
John heading for a better view of Ribbon Falls with Rosie the Bernese and Mila from Mexico

Sheep River Falls, Kananaskis Country

Sheep River Falls in Sheep River Provincial Park is a great destination – via a scenic bike ride or via a drive for some family time. It’s 35 kilometres up the road from Turner Valley. Although the falls aren’t large, they are scenic and there are a lot of different viewpoints to admire them from. This is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch or even dinner. 

The road to Sheep River Falls is closed every year from December 1st until May 14th but bikes can visit and Sheep River Falls is especially lovely when you get them to yourself.

Close-up view of Sheep River Falls
Close-up view of Sheep River Falls
One of the Alberta waterfalls that is worth visiting in the fall
One of the Alberta waterfalls that is worth visiting in the fall

 

Siffleur Falls, David Thompson Country

One of the most popular hikes in David Thompson Country takes you to Siffleur Falls, a collection of three separate waterfalls. Getting to the falls requires crossing a suspension bridge over the North Saskatchewan River. It’s 4.0 km one way to the first set of falls where you’ll find a viewpoint over a very large waterfall. Continue for 2.5 km to reach the second set of falls and a further 1.5 kilometres to reach the final waterfall. 

We did the hike in March – and icers would come in handy as there are lots of slippery sections. It’s a great hike and the first waterfall alone is worth the effort. The trailhead for the hike to the waterfall is 27.5 km east of Saskatchewan River Crossing.

Siffleur Falls descends through a pretty canyon
Siffleur Falls descends through a pretty canyon
Siffleur Falls starting to run in late March
Siffleur Falls starting to run in late March

Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park

You’ll find Sunwapta Falls 179 km north of Lake Louise and 56 kilometres southeast of Jasper. The Athabasca Glacier feeds Sunwapta Falls which consist of an upper and lower set of waterfalls. The upper falls are very easy to access from the parking lot and tend to be very busy. Their drop-off is 18 metres – which is especially impressive when you’re standing on the bridge looking over the narrow cleft the water is forced through.

Foot traffic falls off to visit Lower Sunwapta Falls but it’s well worth the 4-kilometre return hike to see them. Take an easy trail through lodgepole pine forest to reach them. The peak season to visit the falls is in late spring and early summer during runoff from snow melt.

The start of Sunwapta Falls
The start of Sunwapta Falls
The bridge over Sunwapta Falls
The bridge over Sunwapta Falls

Tangle Creek Falls, Jasper National Park

If you’re driving the Icefields Parkway, make a stop at 35-metre-high Tangle Falls – one of the most photographed waterfalls in Jasper National Park. Tangle Creek Falls is located 7 km north of the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre on the east side of the highway. Parking is on the opposite side of the road. The falls are literally right beside the highway, but you have to be very careful crossing it. Allow 10 – 20 minutes to visit or more if you choose to hike downstream to Lower Tangle Creek Falls.

Tangle Falls in Jasper National Park - Credit: JD Hascup on Flickr Creative Commons
Tangle Creek Falls in Jasper National Park – Credit: JD Hascup on Flickr Creative Commons

Troll Falls, one of the popular Alberta waterfalls in Kananaskis Country

The hike to Troll Falls is a perennial favourite and one of the most popular Alberta waterfalls to visit – largely because its easy and family-friendly and delivers not one but two pretty waterfalls. The falls can be enjoyed year-round though sometimes the trail to Upper Troll Falls gets closed in winter if the trail gets too icy.

It’s 3.4 kilometres round trip to Troll Falls with only 60 metres of elevation gain via a well marked trail. If you choose to continue to Upper Troll Falls – and I really recommend that you do – allow a minimum of 30 – 40 minutes as there are loads of scenic stops along the way and it’s a further 0.9 km one way. You can also go behind the upper waterfall – which is always a cool experience. The parking lot is off the road to the Nakiska Ski Resort. 

Upper Troll Falls is a fantastic place to visit especially late in the afternoon when the crowds have gone home
Upper Troll Falls is a fantastic place to visit especially late in the afternoon when the crowds have gone home
Troll Falls in winter
Troll Falls in winter

Location map of the Alberta waterfalls

                                                 

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

21 incredible Alberta waterfalls to visit

 

 



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11 Incredible hikes in Northern California for outdoor lovers


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If you love the outdoors as we do, you know that a scenic hike can be the perfect way to spend your day. So you better know that Northern California hiking trails will lead you to stunning views, waterfalls, and much more. There are plenty of good reasons why hikes in Northern California are so popular among locals and tourists, with the top reason being the abundance of hiking trails for all levels. 

While planning a trip to California, you are probably thinking of visiting Malibu, LA, San Diego and San Francisco. These are fantastic destinations worth seeing, but don’t forget to add more stops in the Northern region. NorCal offers incredible outdoor experiences beyond beaches, cities, and tourist attractions.

To give you a taste of what is waiting for you, here are the top 11 hikes in Northern California that we recommend you do when exploring this golden state: 

Top hikes in Northern California

1. Tahoe East Shore Trail 

  • Trail Distance: 2.6 miles 
  • Elevation Gain: 144 feet
  • Location: Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe has some of the best hikes in Northern California, that’s for sure!

The Tahoe East Shore Trail takes you through some beautiful scenery along the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. You’ll pass by rocks that resemble castles, trees growing out of rock faces, and small beaches with sandy shores. It’s also easy to access this trail from several points along Highway 28. This trail is also known as one of the best bike trails in the US, and you can bike on this trail too, which is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe in the summer. It’s a good option for those looking for flat trekking with panoramic views of the lake.

You can find information about parking, trails dos and don’ts about this Northern California trail here.


2. Cave Rock Trail

  • Trail Distance: 0.8 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 137 feet 
  • Location: Lake Tahoe 
A road beside Lake Tahoe in California. It's a great destination for hiking in Northern California.
One more stunning view from another incredible NorCal hiking trail.

Cave Rock is a rock formation that juts out of the water in Lake Tahoe. One of the best Lake Tahoe hikes, the Cave Rock Trail isn’t very strenuous, but there are some steep sections near the top where you’ll have to scramble up rocks and boulders. The sweeping views at the end of this hike make it stand out from other trails in the area. From atop Cave Rock, you can see Lake Tahoe stretching out before you with mountains in the distance, including Mt. Tallac, which sits 9,739 feet high. 

If you plan to stay longer and do more than a day hike (a weekend trip is a good idea), check these hotels to stay near Lake Tahoe.


3. Lands End Trail

  • Trail Distance: 3.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 538 feet
  • Location: San Francisco 

The Lands End Trail is a popular hiking trail in San Francisco, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Baths and more. As it’s a popular coastal trail, expect crowds on weekends and holidays (especially during summer). If you want to avoid crowds, consider hiking early in the morning or late in the evening when there are fewer people on this popular trail in San Francisco.

All the information about this hiking trail is on The United States National Parks website. And if you are searching for a place to stay, check out these hotels in San Francisco.


4. Fern Canyon Loop Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 118 feet
  • Location: Redwood National and State Parks
People are hiking in the canyon. It's on the Fern Canyon Loop Trail in Northern California.
Do you want to hike in the middle of a lush green forest? No problem, the Fern Canyon hike is waiting for you!

The Fern Canyon Loop Trail is a short, easy hike in the Redwood National and State Parks. It runs through a dense forest of redwood trees before descending into a lush canyon full of ferns, some more than 30 feet tall. A few scenes from the movie Jurassic Park: The Lost World were shot here.

Be prepared to get your feet wet, as there is plenty of water on the canyon floor. Usually, between June and September, there are wooden footbridges installed in Fern Canyon to help hikers get partway up Home Creek without getting too wet. 

Before going on this Northern California hike adventure, read about the Fern Canyon Trail here.


5. Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 101 feet
  • Location: Redwood National and State Parks
Photo of a sign point to the lady Bird Johnson Grove trail at the Redwood National Park with a lush green forest in the background.
Redwood Park has some of the best hikes in Northern California.

The Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail takes you through an old-growth incredible redwood forest with many downed logs to walk on. The tree canopy provides shade on sunny days, and due to the high elevation of this redwood grove, you’ll often see fog throughout the trail. There are interpretive signs along the way that describe the unique features of redwood trees and other plants that can be found in this habitat.

Check out the National Park Service article for more information about the Redwood Grooves and trail.


6. Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

  • Trail Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3,218 feet
  • Location: Yosemite National Park
Photo of Upper Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America. It is located at the Yosemite National Park.
Are you ready to admire the tallest waterfall in North America?

One of the most iconic images of Yosemite National Park is that of Upper Yosemite Falls, a waterfall that drops 2,425 feet, making it the tallest waterfall in North America. The trail to see it up close is one of the most popular hikes in the park and on most tourists’ bucket lists.

As you hike up through many switchbacks, be ready for a strenuous trail and our recommendation is to bring lots of water as it will take a couple of hours. The good side is that you will see aerial views of Yosemite Valley and many peaks, including Half Dome.

While this entire hike takes you to the Yosemite Waterfall summit, you can hike just 1.5 miles for the first glance of the falls and choose to walk back.

It doesn’t matter if you choose to face the whole trail or just a quick return trip to have a sneak peek of the falls, read the park travel guide for all the safety information.


7. Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 59 feet
  • Location: Yosemite National Park
Photo of the Lower Yosemite Falls taken from a hiking trail in Northern California.
More waterfalls and more stunning hikes at Yosemite National Park.

If you want to see both the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls without climbing all the way up to see them from above, this is the trail that you should definitely hike at Yosemite National Park. Incredible views are guaranteed! The trail leads hikers through a forest and Yosemite Creek before opening up to a bridge to see, hear and feel the majesty of the Lower Yosemite Falls. 

All the information about safety and access to this incredible hike in California is here.

If you have some extra time, enjoy Yosemite as much as possible. The park is located in the Western Sierra Nevada Mountain Range with impressive rocky mountain peaks and the famous Sentinel Dome. It’s a paradise for outdoor lovers with many challenging and enjoyable hikes, all of them with beautiful views. Look at these hotels near Yosemite National Park, and plan your trip wisely.


8. Lassen Peak Trail

  • Trail Distance: 5.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,968 feet
  • Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak is the heart of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen Peak is the largest lava dome on Earth. It’s the second tallest peak in the Cascades Range – one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the US – rising to 10,457 feet above sea level. The summit of Lassen Peak offers spectacular views of Lassen Volcanic National Park and Mount Shasta. 

It’s good to mention that the park has an active volcano, so you better read the safety information about this trail before going there. 


9. Cinder Cone Nature Trail

  • Trail Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,043 feet
  • Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park

A cinder cone is a volcano shaped like a cone but with a crater on the top. As you hike up to the top, you can see the Painted Dunes, the Fantastic Lava Beds, Snag Lake, Lassen Peak and Prospect Peak. Hiking this trail can be challenging as the terrain is similar to hiking on sand dunes. But the views at the top are worth it!

Here is all the info about this Northern California hiking trail.


10. Bumpass Hell Trail

  • Trail Distance: 2.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 423 feet
  • Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park 

The largest hydrothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park, Bumpass Hell is a must-see for fumaroles, mudholes, and sulphur bubbling in the area. The trail is seasonally open in the summer and fall, so make a note of that when planning your trip to this park. And don’t forget to read all the safety tips.


11. Sonoma Coast Overlook Vista Trail

  • Trail Distance: 0.9 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 49 feet
  • Location: Sonoma Coast State Park
Photo of a coast hiking in California. It's a trail in Sonoma County showing the Pacific Ocean and the impressive rock cliffs near the water.
Sonoma County has some of the best hikes in California.

Located in Sonoma County, this trail offers beautiful ocean views of the Pacific Coast and you can admire the Bodega Head, Goat Rock, Russian River, Arched Rock and more. You can see Point Reyes in the farthest back if it’s not foggy. This northernmost vista shows you most of the Sonoma Coast and its secluded beaches. If you’re here during the winter, you might spot some gray whales.

Stay in the area longer if you are a fan of coastal hikes. Here are some options for accommodation near the Sonoma Coast State Park.


Why should you go hiking in Northern California?

Northern California hiking trails are among the most beautiful trails in America. There’s something about the redwood forests, clear lakes, and snow-capped mountains of Northern California that will get your adventure-loving heart rate up. 

Filled with national parks, state parks and outdoor recreation areas, California has no shortage of epic adventures to choose from. But before planning your trip, remember that you will need hiking boots, trekking poles, water bottles, and a comfy hiking backpack for some of the trails. Planning your itinerary ahead is also advised, especially if you decide to make an overnight trip to some of the Northern California parks. 

For more travel planning suggestions, read our travel tips resource here. We hope this guide helps you choose, navigate, and have fun on these best hikes in Northern California!

A practical guide to the best hikes in Northern California, from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite hiking trails, we covered it all. Tips about where to go for the best trails in Northern California, when to go hiking, and safety tips. Plus tours, activities, and hotel recommendations so you can enjoy some of the best hikes in California.

Author:

Rasika is the owner of the travel blog Bae Area and Beyond. She is from the Bay Area and her blog covers California destinations. She hopes that her readers will fall in love with California, just like she did.



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