Plan your trip to Atlantic CanadaThe most easterly part of Eastern Canada, the Atlantic Provinces combined is about the size of France, so it really pays to plan out your trip before you arrive. If you have time, touring all of Atlantic Canada is a trip you'll never forget. But you can also explore a different corner of it over a few separate trips. It just depends on how much time you have to indulge your sense of adventure.
Visit the following web links for ideas of what to see and do in the Eastern Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island:
Day 1 & 2Arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the largest city in Atlantic Canada, your gateway to the region and a great place to start your trip. Pick up your rental car and spend your time exploring and enjoying this historic port city. Halifax is a cosmopolitan city with a thriving waterfront, great shopping, a vibrant culture, wonderful entertainment and more.
Day 3Drive south along the rugged south shore coastline to Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of four in Atlantic Canada. Enjoy exploring one of Nova Scotia’s most historic and beautiful towns. Lunenburg's colourful waterfront, narrow streets and captivating architecture radiate the flavour of the town’s seafaring past.
Day 4Head inland to Kejimkujik National Park to experience the only inland national park of Canada in the region, featuring abundant lakes and rivers ideal for canoeing. The lush woodlands and gently rolling landscapes are home to a variety of wildlife. Continue your trip to beautiful Annapolis Royal where you can stay in a heritage inn and enjoy some fine dining.
Day 5Drive to the tip of the Digby Neck to Brier Island and take one of the many whale watching boat tours on offer in the area. Whales are in season from July to September in this area, however, other sea life including seals, dolphins and seabirds are visible throughout the tourist season May-October. A tour of Atlantic waters could well be a highlight of your Eastern Canada trip.
Day 6Take the ferry from Digby across the Bay of Fundy to the city of Saint John, New Brunswick, affectionately known as ‘The Fundy City', your starting point for incredible excursions into the spectacular Bay of Fundy. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada and proud of its Loyalist heritage.
Day 7Drive to Fundy National Park and learn why this area was recently designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Continue on to the Hopewell Rocks and discover where the World’s Highest Tides have gouged four-storey sculptures from dramatic 30metre seacliffs. Twice a day, every day, 100-billion tonnes of seawater powers in and out of the Bay of Fundy providing the opportunity to walk on the ocean floor and kayak in the very same spot just six hours later.
Day 8Take a trip to the city of Moncton where centuries old Bay of Fundy tidal marshlands have carved the city and shaped the residents. Moncton offers a vast array of unique attractions, shopping and dining and is the gateway to New Brunswick's Acadian coastal drive. Celebrate the warm and welcoming francophone culture Acadian style with the brightest colours, warmest hospitality and mouth-watering cuisine.
Day 9Cross the 12.9 kilometre long Confederation Bridge, the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water to Prince Edward Island and explore the Island's capital city Charlottetown, the birthplace of Canada's Confederation. Charlottetown is full of sidewalk cafes, craft shops and world-class theatre - home to Canada’s longest running musical, Anne of Green Gables.
Day 10Using Charlottetown as your base, tour the Island's pastoral landscapes, coastal fishing villages and stunning sandy shores. Take a walk on a warm sandy beach, try biking red-clay paths to the sea or tee off on some of North America’s most exciting and scenic signature golf courses. Don't forget to visit a local lobster supper — you'll find one in almost every small community across the Island.
Day 11Take the ferry to Nova Scotia and continue on to Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail. This magnificent highway, carved into the sides of mountains is one of the world's most scenic drives, much less in Eastern Canada! Enjoy the rich Celtic culture as you take in a local ceilidh, or 'kitchen party' and meet the locals…they still speak Gaelic in some communities here.
Day 12Take a trip to Cape Breton Highlands National Park, home to the famous Cabot Trail. The land is blessed with spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and a human history that stretches back to the last Ice Age. Featuring 25 walking and hiking paths and camp sites overlooking the rugged Atlantic coast of Eastern Canada.
Day 13Travel on to Louisbourg National Historic Site, North America's largest reconstruction of a 18th-century French fortified. This place by itself is well worth the trip to Eastern Canada. Meet the soldiers, musicians, servants and fishermen as you walk the streets of a bygone era.
Day 14Return to Halifax via the Eastern shore of the province, coastal treasures include beautiful coastline, 4-4 ½ star accommodations with loads of charm and fine dining that is the best you'll find anywhere. This is where you’ll find Nova Scotia's longest sand beach.
Day 14Plan to take the ferry to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. A good chance to watch out for whales and seabirds on this 6 hour crossing. As you travel to the city of Corner Brook you'll pass by the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountains called the Long Range Mountains. Corner Brook's most famous landmark is the Humber River, famed for its world-class salmon fishing.
Day 15 & 16Travel to Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering more than 100 km of hiking trails, migrating caribou, arctic plants and many more natural wonders, one of Eastern Canada’s most spectacular National Parks. View the spectacular landscape of mountains and fjords formed by tectonic upheaval and carved by glaciers. The Western Brook Pond – a glacier carved fjord with sides 2,000 feet high. Plan to take a boat tour through a billion years of geological history.
Day 17Continue up the Viking Trail through quaint fishing villages that dot the coast. Once you reach the northern tip of Newfoundland you'll find the province's second UNESCO World Heritage Site, L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. It was here 1,000 years ago, and 500 years before Columbus and Cabot that the first European settlement was founded in North America. Here you will find the only authenticated Viking settlement site in North America.
Day 18 & 19Take a trip along the Trans Canada Highway through miles of endless forests, lakes and rivers mixed in with the rugged coastal cliffs and scenic inlets and bays. Visit Twillingate, Notre Dame Bay, Terra Nova National Park, Trinity…take time to fully explore this outstanding area of Newfoundland.
Day 20Arrive St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador's Capital city and explore the oldest city in North America. This historical, vibrant city has many attractions, wide selection of restaurants from fine dining to traditional Newfoundland cuisine. Plan a night out to sample the local musical entertainment and enjoy some of the friendliest folk around.
Day 21Plan to enjoy your final day exploring some of the city's quintessential sites: Quidi Vidi Village, Signal Hill National Historic Site and Cape Spear National Historic Site — the most eastern part of North America. Don't forget a souvenir from the many boutiques and artisan shops before you drop your rental car at St. John's airport and fly home.
Disclaimer: This sample itinerary is not currently available as a package tour. It is meant to illustrate the type of activities that can be experienced during a tour of Eastern Canada’s Atlantic Provinces. We recommend you contact the tour operator of your choice and discuss with them the type of holiday experience you want. To find out more about packages to Atlantic Canada click here to find a tour operator in your area.