Kluane National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and largest internationally protected area on the planet. It is home to the largest non-polar icefields in the world and 17 of Canada's 20 tallest mountains including Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak. Ancient glaciers feed the Alsek River that flows through the sprawling Alsek Valley and dall sheep, mountain goats, caribou, wolves, grizzlies and black bears roam the massive park.
Flightseeing tours are a quick way to get deep into the park. Land and step out onto a glacier to take in the vast surroundings. Some adventurers experience Kluane by rafting a Canadian Heritage River to see grizzlies, eagles and glaciers. Paddling Kathleen Lake which has campsites, a day-use site and trails, is slower paced but every bit as wonderful. See wildflowers on a stroll along the lakeshore or hike up to the cirque of King's Throne for far reaching views of the lake and landscape.
Besides spectacular scenery in the Kluane Region, the First Nation cultures wait to be explored.
For 5,000 years the Champagne area has been occupied by Indigenous people. The site just off the Alaska Highway is also home to Long Ago Peoples Place, an authentic recreation of a traditional First Nations village. Pay a visit to learn about the Southern Tutchone history and culture, enjoy bannock, hear stories and feel the connection to the land.
A scenic drive leads from Haines Junction to the Kluane Museum of Natural History in Burwash Landing on the shores of Kluane Lake. The museum's fascinating exhibits include many that offer another look at the traditional way of life of the area's Southern Tutchone people.
Just before the Canada-US border is Beaver Creek home to the White River First Nation. Archeological evidence shows people have lived in this area for 10,000 years. The Visitor Information Centre displays examples of intricate beadwork and other traditional crafts.
Besides these interesting stops along the highway, First Nation tour operators offer unique, immersive experiences. Hear captivating legends, learn about living off the land and spot wildlife and medicinal plants.
Interested in visiting? see www.windowsonthewild.com and www.audleytravel.com
The vast wilderness of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland is like nowhere else on earth. Visiting Inuit communities along Baffin Island all the way through the famous Northwest Passage, offers incredible insight to life above the Arctic Circle. Encounters with polar bears, whales and seals, impressive ice formations, massive glaciers, as well as the possibility of seeing the northern lights, make expedition cruises to the Arctic with One Ocean Expeditions a transformational travel experience.
Tips for Visitors
Bulgarians shake their heads from left to right to mean ‘yes’ and ‘nod’ to mean no. Well, sometimes. Locals in the cities and holiday resorts often do it our way, so unfortunately you haven’t a clue whether they mean ‘yes’ or ‘no’. These days it's generally the older generation that continues this tradition, which dates back to the time of the Ottomans.
Dislike cigarette smoke? You could find this a problem in some restaurants and bars. There's no getting away from it - Bulgarians like their ciggies. The law says that restaurants, bars and cafes must provide non -smoking areas and they do, but in practice, this often means a few tables surrounded by tables for smokers.
Good buys are linen, crafts, rose oil perfume, wine and plum brandy.
If like me, you love yogurt, Bulgaria's is said to be one of the best in the world. It has a unique taste because the bacteria used to make it, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, is only found naturally in Bulgarian air.
Talking of food, Bulgarian bakeries sell a fabulous range of pastries and breads and which cost next to nothing.
Some beaches get very busy with tourists, such as Sunny Beach, famous, or rather infamous, for drinking and partying!
When to visit? As is the case in many countries, June to September is the peak summer season in Bulgaria. This is when airfares and accommodation are most expensive.. Winter is an ideal time for budget travel and destinations are less-crowded then too. If you like skiing then it's a fabulous and much cheaper alternative to France and Switzerland's expensive ski resorts.
More on affordable, fun, friendly Bulgaria here and here too
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and 12 x author. I'm published in national and regional papers / magazines.