Tides & Parks of Atlantic Canada
Holiday Ref: 16385
This “Best of the East” adventure brings you the combination of the Atlantic Provinces’ most magnificent vistas. From thrilling adventures, charming villages to fascinating cities. The highlight of this adventure will be seeking out whales amid huge icebergs!
Arrive at Halifax International Airport and collect your hire car and drive to your downtown hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Halifax.
Halifax is located on one of the world’s largest natural harbours and bears all the hallmarks of both a modern and historic city. You can discover its proud maritime heritage in the many museums and along the waterfront area, which includes the restored Historic Properties. Visit the Citadel that has guarded the city since the 18th-century, the Public Gardens or sail on a harbour cruise aboard the Bluenose II. Overnight in Halifax.
Drive along the Lighthouse Route to the fishing community of Peggy’s Cove. This picturesque fishing village is surrounded by bare granite and coastal barrens with trails leading to its famous lighthouse. Continue along the coast and stop in the port of Lunenburg for a visit to the renowned Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic before arriving in Western Shore. Enjoy the facilities at the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island such as indoor pool, sauna & hot tub, outdoor heated pool, horseshoe pit, mini putt and tennis court. Overnight in Western Shore.
Take the scenic, cross-country drive linking the rocky south shore with the lush Annapolis Valley. Relish the amazing views as you traverse extensive woodlands dotted with lakes. Explore the wilderness of Kejimkujik National Park along the centuries-old Mi’kmaq canoe routes or follow the hiking trails into its forested heartland. Travel along the Annapolis Basin visiting relics of Anglo-French colonial rivalry. Overnight in Digby
Explore this picture-postcard fishing port with its bustling harbour, home to the largest scallop fishing fleet in the world. Digby is Nova Scotia’s most popular summer resort and the largest urban centre in the area. It is located beautifully on the Annapolis Basin, overlooking Digby channel, where the waters of the Basin flow into the Bay of Fundy. Overnight in Digby.
Enjoy a ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, famous for having the world’s largest tides. In Saint John, stop at the Reversing Falls. Follow the coastline and traverse many unique fishing villages en route to Fredericton. The Bay of Fundy is rich in marine life, often seen along its rocky shores at low tide. Just outside of Fredericton is King’s Landing Historical Settlement – a role-playing historic community depicting everyday life in 19th century. Overnight in Fredericton.
Today you can explore popular covered bridges en route to Fundy National Park. Discover Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, or visit Shediac, the lobster capital of the world, where one can experience lobster at its best. Overnight in Moncton.
Before leaving Moncton we suggest a stop at the Magnetic Hill where you can put the car in neutral to experience the illusion of being pulled up hill by a ‘magnetic force.’ The Northumberland coast of New Brunswick has a rich British and Acadian heritage — it’s yours to discover today if you choose to travel through the architectural gem of Dorchester and visit the French fort of Beausejour at the Nova Scotia provincial border. Near the base of the Confederation Bridge is the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, a community-operated ecotourism and environmental education facility, open to the public displaying the cultural history and environmental diversity of the region. Cross to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, over the Confederation Bridge and arrive in the charming city of Charlottetown. Overnight in Charlottetown.
Your day is at leisure to explore the Victorian homes and elegant squares of Charlottetown. The city is the island's commercial centre and through its harbour, the wealth of produce from the surrounding fertile farmland is funnelled for shipping. Despite the 20th-century character the city displays today, it still manages to evoke the feeling of a colonial seaport with quaint sections such as Great George Street and Old Charlotte Town. Overnight in Charlottetown.
Today’s journey takes you past Orwell Corner Historic Site to board the ferry across the Northumberland Strait to Nova Scotia. Drive through tranquil scenery and small communities that continue to celebrate Nova Scotia’s Scottish, Indian and Acadian identities. Continue into Cape Breton Island through the magnificent highland scenery that surrounds Bras d’Or Lake, and drive to the delightful resort community of Baddeck. A fascinating museum here is dedicated to the life and works of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Overnight in Baddeck.
A scenic highlight of this trip is to drive the Cabot Trail into the highlands of northern Cape Breton. The trail runs past lochs and glens settled by Scottish Highlanders and along scenic coastlines settled by Acadians. You will meander through the rugged Cape Breton Highlands National Park enjoying stunning views of sea-swept headlands, steep cliffs and tranquil beaches. Hiking trails lead into the interior of the park where stunning vistas appear at each turn. Return to Baddeck through the lush Margaree Valley. Overnight in Baddeck.
A scenic ferry crossing between North Sydney and Port-aux-Basques starts your day en route to Corner Brook. As the ferry sails across the Cabot Strait, keep a close watch for whales and dolphins. White puffins and birds of prey that live on the spectacular cliffs can also be seen. Coastal barrens and forested mountains dominate the first impressions of Newfoundland’s landscape. The best way to experience the rugged beauty of the wave-pounded coast is by hiking some of the excellent nature trails en route to Corner Brook. Overnight in Corner Brook.
Explore Gros Morne National Park (named a World Heritage Site because of its glacier-formed mountains). You can hike the trails to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain to admire the sweeping views of the Tablelands and enjoy the serenity of fishing villages enclosed by towering cliffs and steep fjords. Take advantage of the variety of activities including wildlife watching for Arctic hare, black bear, lynx and caribou. Overnight in Corner Brook.
Today, drive east through a landscape covered with woodlands and visit some of the historic sites of the mysterious Beothuks, who once inhabited the island. Afterwards, head further inland through a landscape of small rivers and expansive forests, home to some of the largest mammals in North America such as the moose and black bear. Passing by the edge of Notre Dame Provincial Park, you arrive in Gander for the night. Overnight in Gander.
In many ways, Gander is the birthplace of Canadian aviation. After the first pioneering transatlantic flights in the 1930s, it was decided that Canada should have an airport in the Maritimes to prepare for this new wave of transportation. A decade later it would become one of the most important airports during the Second World War. Today the town celebrates its history, and its present as a welcoming town with all the amenities and comforts of a modern small city. Take the day and discover some of the charms of downtown Gander for yourself! Overnight in Gander.
En route to Clarenville, you will experience the tranquillity and wildlife of Terra Nova National Park. Explore the pristine wilderness along the numerous hiking trails or navigate the coastline by sea kayak. From the hills and deserted beaches, observe minke, pilot and humpback whales close to shore, while dolphins and orcas can be seen cruising Bonavista Bay. To see moose, black bears and foxes, simply hike into the marshes and forests of the interior. Overnight in Clarenville.
A scenic drive along the Trans-Canada Highway brings you to St. John’s. Travel along Conception Bay where the air of piracy and tall ships still lingers. The frequent mist lends a mystical aura to these parks and villages. Continue to St. John’s, the provincial capital, where colourful streets compete with the natural beauty of the surrounding hills. Overnight in St. John’s.
Today you can explore the city of St. John’s and the surrounding area. The city is one of the oldest in North America, and it emphasizes innovation and progress while cherishing continuity. Wander through the steep narrow streets of the old city and climb the rock of Signal Hill. See its many historic buildings and sites, and visit its annual festivals and events. Overnight in St. John’s.
Bid farewell to Newfoundland and cross the Avalon Peninsula to catch the ferry. Enjoy a cruise on the Atlantic Ocean. Overnight on ferry.
Disembark in North Sydney in the morning. Drive back to the Halifax airport to check in for your return flight.