Unique Maritimes Self Drive Holidays
Sample itinerary – call our specialists to tailor make your personalised tour
Arrive Halifax and collect your Hire Care. Welcome to Nova Scotia’s Provincial Capital. This attractive city is a bustling hub of art galleries, shops, museums, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and vibrant nightlife centered around the picturesque waterfront. Officially founded in 1749 the history dates back even further, to times of the Mi’kmaq natives, European fishermen and the early Acadians, who came long before the British. Overnight Halifax.
This morning enjoy a city tour of Halifax – take in the sights of Halifax Historic Properties, Spring Garden Road, Province House and much more. Maybe have a light lunch at Murphy’s Cable Wharf Restaurant, which is conveniently located in the heart of the waterfront. In the afternoon be sure to visit Alexander Keith’s Brewery as well as the excellent Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - see the unique collection of the memorabilia collected after the tragic Titanic disaster. This evening you can experience the Grafton Street Dinner Theatre if you wish. Entertaining Halifax for more than 20 years, The Grafton Street Dinner Theatre provides audiences with a unique dining experience. Music, comedy and interactive characters set the mood as you dine on the flavors of Nova Scotia. Overnight Halifax.
Depart Halifax and drive the south shore along the Lighthouse Route. En route visit Peggy's Cove, a picturesque fishing village surrounded by bare granite and coastal barrens and home to Nova Scotia's most visited lighthouse. Continue on to Mahone Bay, a relaxing seaside town renowned for its quiet beauty and internationally known churches. Further along the route you will arrive in Lunenburg, a unique town in terms of architecture and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunenburg is the birthplace of the famous Bluenose, built in 1921. While here visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic situated on the waterfront and the Lunenburg Marine Park - Atlantic Canada's first. Overnight Lunenburg.
Drive north along the Kejimkujik Scenic Drive via the Kejimkujik National Park; a spectacular inland National Park with walking trails to suit all levels and some of the best canoeing in Atlantic Canada. Visit the excellent visitor centre, which houses replicas of the native tools found by archaeologists dating back 4500 years ago. Continue on to Annapolis Royal, nestled in the Annapolis Valley. Sightseeing suggestions in the area include Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, the O'Dell House Museum, Sinclair Inn National Historic Site, a delightful waterfront boardwalk and much more. Overnight Annapolis Royal
Board the morning ferry from Digby - a crossing of approximately 3 hours over to Saint John, New Brunswick. Saint John is New Brunswick’s largest city and is steeped in history with lots to see and do. Places to visit include Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site, the Old City Market, Loyalist House, the New Brunswick Museum and probably the most famous – the Reversing Falls. Then drive along the scenic Fundy Coastal Drive to Fundy National Park. If time permits take a short side trip and visit Sussex - a quaint town nestled in the beautiful countryside of New Brunswick, and perhaps visit the excellent Agricultural Museum. Continue eastbound to the Fundy National Park - 206km.sq of steep coastal cliffs, forest clad hills, deep rich valleys and clear, rolling meadows. Overnight Fundy National Park.
Day at leisure to explore this magnificent park. The park is renowned for its hiking trails, with over 104kms of trails to choose from, ranging from easy ½km loops to a demanding 50km circuit around the park. The park is a haven for bird watchers, golfers, cyclists, canoeists and naturalists. Other sightseeing suggestions include visiting Cape Enrage Lighthouse and Mary’s Point Bird Sanctuary located nearby. Overnight Fundy National Park.
Depart Fundy National Park and drive via the fascinating Hopewell Cape home of Hopewell Rocks. Visit the excellent interpretive centre on site before exploring this natural phenomenon. Twice each day the highest tides in the world — up to 46ft/14m — flood the beach, and twice each day you can explore the floor of the Bay of Fundy at low tide! Created over thousands of years by the Bay of Fundy's awesome tidal forces, the Flowerpot Rocks are a natural wonder not to be missed. Acadian Coastal Drive via Shediac and Cap Pele to the dramatic Confederation Bridge, your gateway to Prince Edward Island. Be sure to visit Gateway Village conveniently located at the end of the bridge. A unique adventure awaits as you experience the legends of the land, sea and people of this small Province. Continue along the Red Sands Shore north to Summerside. Rich in heritage, the stately homesgracing the downtown residential core were once home to many a wealthy shipbuilder. Visit Spinnakers' Landing, an attractive waterfront area with a lively boardwalk providing visitors the opportunity to shop and dine beside the ocean. Overnight Summerside.
Depart Summerside and continue along the Green Gable Shore to visit the many sites that pay tribute to everyone’s favourite red-haired heroine and her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery. Be sure to stop in Kensington and visit the Welcome Centre, Kensington Railyards and maybe the Haunted Mansion. Continue onto Indian River and visit St. Mary’s Church, the largest wooden church on the Island. Further along you can visit Anne of Green Gables Museum in Park Corner before driving to Cavendish the home of Anne of Green Gables. Visit Avonlea - the village of Anne of Green Gables and the Green Gables L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site. Make you way to Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island. It was here that the founding fathers gathered for the Charlottetown Conference. Discussions here led to the union of all British North America into one country which eventually became Canada. This delightful university city has a rich heritage visible through the magnificent architecture. Overnight Charlottetown
This morning explore downtown Charlottetown on foot. Stroll along the streets and retrace the footsteps of the Fathers of Confederation. Be sure to visit Founders’ Hall – Canada’s Birthplace Pavilion or the National Historic Street called Great George. Just steps away from Province House, is Victoria Row – it is here that “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” has been delighting audiences for 47 years. In the afternoon visit attractions farther afield - drive to Cavendish the home of Anne of Green Gables. If time permits visit Fort Amherst-Port-La-Joye National Historic Site, located near Charlottetown Harbour and Victoria-by-the-sea, a storybook historic fishing village that has been revitalized by the many artisans who now call it home. This area offers a wide scope of activities including, kayaking, crafts, shopping and live theatre – all within walking distance. Overnight Charlottetown.
Depart Charlottetown and drive southeast through the Points East Coastal Route and visit the Point Prim Lighthouse before continuing on to the Wood Islands ferry terminal. Board the NFL Ferry, a crossing of approximately 75 minutes, which takes you over to Caribou, Nova Scotia (payable locally). Continue on to the village of Tatamagouche which is located on the Sunrise Trail along the shores of the Northumberland Strait. It has a population of 600 and is a thriving tourism community. The Train Station Inn is located on the edge of this quaint village where the old railbed runs along the river's edge. It is ideal for hiking, cycling, walking and bird watching. The village of Tatamagouche is a charming destination for visitors, boasting art galleries, museums, craft and gift shops, restaurants and a lovely marina. Take time to visit the Sunrise Trail Museum, which features displays highlighting the Mi'kmaq and Acadian history. Other places to visit include the Fraser Cultural Centre, Sunrise Trail Museum, Cumberland County Museum, Balmoral Grist Mill and the Sutherland Stream Mill. For the more adventurous – Tatamagouche is the water sports capital of Nova Scotia. Enthusiasts will enjoy swimming, boating, sailing, kayaking, and wind surfing on Tatamagouche Bay. Overnight Tatamagouche.
Depart Tatamagouche and follow along the Sunrise Trail to the historic town of Pictou - known as the birthplace of New Scotland, it was here that the province's first Scottish Highlanders landed on the ship ‘Hector’ in 1773. Pictou boasts an award-winning waterfront development that includes the Hector Heritage Quay, where a full scale replica of the Hector has been built using traditional ship building techniques. Depart Pictou and continue to Cape Breton via the Canso Causeway and onto Baddeck. This scenic village overlooks the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes and the most notable resident historically was Alexander Graham Bell - you can visit the National Historic Site named after him. Overnight Baddeck.
Today you will follow the famous Cabot Trail clockwise - one of the most spectacular drives in all of Canada. Follow the route along to the French Acadian community of Cheticamp – which has a distinct Acadian flavour noticeable in the architecture, people, language and music. Continue along the Cabot Trail which winds around the rocky splendor of Cape Breton's northern shore, ascending to the incredible plateaus of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The park has 26 hiking trails ranging from 20-minute short walks to challenging hikes through stunning mountain and coastal landscapes. Continue onto Baddeck. Overnight Baddeck.
This morning depart Baddeck and continue to explore Cape Breton Island. Continue on towards Sydney & Glace Bay. Take time to visit the Miners Museum and Marconi National Historic Site. From Glace Bay follow the Marconi Trail to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, the largest historical reconstruction in North America and the town of Louisbourg. Hear the cannons and muskets fire, watch the changing of the guard and meet the villagers at this meticulously preserved and recreated French fortification of over 250 years ago. Overnight Louisbourg.
Depart Louisbourg and continue onto Canso Causeway. From here you will drive along the Eastern Shore and follow the Marine Drive Route where you will find nature, history and culture, as well as rugged coasts, tranquil bays and beaches, unspoiled forest fauna and crystal clear lakes and streams. Be sure to visit the communities en route including Guysborough - an inviting neighbourhood with distinctive architecture overlooking Chedabucto Bay and Sherbrooke Village – a typical Nova Scotian Village from the 1860’s where most of the interpreters are dressed in period costume. Continue on to Liscomb Mills where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings. You can choose from many outdoor activities such as sea kayaking, harbour tours, canoeing and much, much more. Overnight Liscomb Mills.
Take a leisurely drive back to Halifax Stanfield International Airport where you will drop off your rental car and get ready for your onward journey. En route visit Musquodoboit Harbour & Valley – a haven for nature lovers, and Martinique Beach – the longest beach in the province.