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The Cabot Trail winding up the Nova Scotia coast

National Parks of Atlantic Canada

21-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,170 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A road trip exploration of Atlantic Canada's National Parks

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Highlights

  • Halifax City Tour with a visit to the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21
  • Whale watching from Digby Point
  • The Cabot Trail - one of the most spectacular drives in all of Canada

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Halifax
  • 1 Night Kejimkujik Main Parkway
  • 1 Night Annapolis Royal
  • 2 Nights Fundy Trail Parkway
  • 1 Night Kouchibouguac
  • 2 Nights Cavendish
  • 2 Nights Baddeck
  • 1 Night Cape Anguille
  • 1 Night Steady Brook
  • 2 Nights gros morne national park
  • 1 Night Twillingate
  • 1 Night Trinity
  • 2 Nights St. John's

About

Recommended for:
History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive | Wildlife

Coastal beauty, stunning landscapes, gingerbread houses and storybook lighthouses give this Atlantic province its own distinctive identity and it has truly become the crown jewel of Canada’s eastern coast - see it all on this curated self-drive tour. It all begins with a guided tour of historic Halifax before you pick up your hire car to explore the stunning National Parks. Let ultra-scenic drives bring you to pretty waterside towns and villages.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
Halifax

Arrive in Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia and make your way to your hotel. Halifax is an attractive city bustling with galleries, shops, museums, restaurants, pavement cafes and vibrant nightlife. You'll spend two nights here and on your second morning we've included a city tour which takes in many of the historic buildings, a visit to the Alexander Keith Brewery and the superb Maritime Museum is also recommended. At Pier 21 you'll find the Canadian Museum of Immigration, now an National Historic Site which was the gateway for over one million migrants between 1928 and 1971.

Stay: The Halliburton, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 3
Halifax to Kejimkujik National Park

Collect your rental car and start the drive to the south shore along the Lighthouse Route. En route visit Peggy’s Cove, a picturesque fishing village and home to Nova Scotia’s most visited lighthouse and Lunenburg – a unique town in terms of architecture and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. 

Stay: Whitman Inn, Kejimkujik National Park (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 4
Kejimkujik National Park to Annapolis Valley

This morning explore further the delights of this beautiful park. Visit the excellent visitor centre, which houses replicas of the native tools found by archaeologists dating back 4500 years. Depart Kejimkujik and drive north to the Annapolis Valley Region, “The Gateway to New Brunswick” - highlights 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. Continue to Digby. 

Stay: Queen Anne Inn, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Annapolis Valley to Fundy National Park

Board the morning ferry from Digby - a crossing of approximately 2.5 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 visit St. Martins - The gateway to the Fundy Trail Parkway - a multi use trail system that allows you to explore on foot, by bicycle and by car. Continue eastbound to the Fundy National Park - 206km.sq of steep coastal cliffs, forest clad hills, deep rich valleys and clear, rolling meadows. 

Stay: Artisan Suites, Fundy National Park (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 6
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. 

Stay: Artisan Suites, Fundy National Park (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 7
Fundy National park to Kouchibouguac National Park

Today visit 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. Other sightseeing suggestions include visiting Cape Enrage Lighthouse and Mary’s Point Bird Sanctuary located nearby. Continue on along the Acadian Coastal Drive, north through coastal towns and villages en route to Kouchibouguac National Park. The Park is a stunning display of beaches and sand dunes sweeping over 26 kilometres.

Stay: L'Ancrage B&B, Kouchibouguac National Park (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 8
Kouchibouguac National Park to Cavendish

Depart Kouchibouguac National Park and drive back along the 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. Drive along the Green Gables Shore which offers the perfect combination of island scenery and culture. Continue on to Cavendish - the home of Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea - the village of Anne of Green Gables. Visit Anne of Green Gables Chocolates – they are handmade before your eyes at Avonlea Village. 

Stay: The Graham Inn, Cavendish (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 9
Prince Edward Island

Today explore the island further. Suggest visiting Anne of Green Gables Museum in Park Corner and the Green Gables L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site. Also be sure to visit one of the three areas of Prince Edward National Park to view the spectacular sand dunes that PEI is famous for. (Cavendish/Brackly- Dalvay and Greenwich). 

Stay: The Graham Inn, Cavendish (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 10
Cavendish to Baddeck

Birthplace Pavilion or the National Historic Street called Great George. 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. Continue on through the Points East Coastal Drive South, on to Wood Islands Ferry Terminal. Board the Ferry, a crossing of approximately 75 minutes, which takes you over to Caribou, Nova Scotia. Drive east along the Sunrise Trail via the historic town of Pictou – the birthplace of New Scotland. Continue on to Cape Breton via the Canso Causeway the onwards to 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. 

Stay: Lynwood Inn, Baddeck (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 11
Cabot Trail

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.

Stay: Lynwood Inn, Baddeck (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 12
Baddeck to Cape Anguille

Depart Baddeck and drive on to North Sydney – the gateway to Newfoundland. Board the Marine Atlantic Ferry for the crossing to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Drive north from Port aux Basques through the spectacular Codroy Valley to Cape Anguille. 

Stay: Cape Anguille Inn, Cape Anguille (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 13
Cape Anguille to Humber Valley Area

This morning while in the Codroy Valley, visit the Wetlands - home to a diverse resident waterfowl population. This area has become a major resting area for some 200 species of migratory birds during the year. Be sure to visit the interpretation centre which features information panels and bird displays. Later depart Cape Anguille and head east. Why not take a side trip and drive along the French Ancestor’s route to see why Port au Port Peninsula is a Mecca for nature lovers, photographers, artists and geologists. This area is the central focus of the French Community in Newfoundland and has been for 200 years. Depart Port au Port and drive to Corner Brook, Newfoundland’s second city located on the south shore of the Humber Arm. Highlights include Margaret Bowater Park, Captain James Cook Monument, Corner Brook Museum & Archives and the Newfie Bullet Historical Train. Further afield visit the spectacular Bay of Islands, the Humber Valley and Steady Brook – home to the Marble Mountain four season mountain ski area. Continue on to Steady Brook. On arrival be sure to visit Steady Brook Falls, one of the Humber Valley's most scenic areas.

Stay: Marble Inn Resort, Steady Brook (Standard)

Day 14
Humber Valley to Gros Morne National Park

This morning depart Steady Brook and take a leisurely drive north along the Viking Trail to Gros Morne National Park – designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 for its impressive geological features, the 1805 km. sq. park offers beauty and adventure that are unsurpassed by any in the world. On arrival take time to fully explore the south side of this beautiful area of Newfoundland. On arrival visit the impressive Discovery Centre and the scenic communities of Woody Point and Trout River. Make sure you visit the magnificent ‘Tablelands’, the reason Gros Morne was given its UNESCO status. Gros Morne is a hiker’s paradise catering to all abilities, with over 19 hiking trails to choose from covering over 100kms throughout the park. (Hikers trail guide available at Discovery & Visitor Centre’s).

Stay: Bonne Bay Inn, Bonne Bay, Gros Morne (Standard)

Day 15
Gros Morne National Park

Today explore the north side of the park. Highlights include the scenic community of Norris Point and Rocky Harbour – the service hub of the Gros Morne area. Take time to visit Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, Bonne Bay Marine Station and Jenniex House to name a few! In the afternoon enjoy the spectacular Western Brook Pond Fjord Boat Tour – the only way, other than by helicopter, to see the spectacular Western Brook Gorge. Enjoy a 45min stroll to the dock before enjoying a leisurely cruise into the gorge – be at one with nature as you see the dramatic ravine-like sides of this inland fjord tower over 600 metres above you. Afterwards if time permits visit the shipwreck remains of "SS Ethie", Broome Point Fishing Exhibit, Shallow Bay Beach and "The Arches" Provincial Site.

Stay: Bonne Bay Inn, Bonne Bay, Gros Morne (Standard)

Day 16
Gros Morne National Park to Twillingate

Depart Gros Morne National Park heading east to the central region of Newfoundland through a vast expanse of lush forest and onto Notre Dame Bay. Continue along the “Road to the Isles” route to Twillingate. There is a lot to see and do in Twillingate! Sightseeing suggestions include visiting the 1876 still-active Long Point Lighthouse, Twillingate Museum, Durrell Museum (The Polar Bear Exhibit), Auk Island Winery (famous for berry flavoured wines), Iceberg Interpretation Centre, Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre to name a few. 

Stay: Iceberg Alley B&B, Twillingate (Standard)

Day 17
Twillingate to Trinity

Depart Twillingate driving east through Terra Nova National Park - a beautiful example of typical Newfoundland landscape. Terra Nova National Park known as the 'Fingers of the Sea' as it protects remnants of the ancient Appalachian Mountains. Rocky headlands provide shelter from the awesome power of the open ocean. Continue to the Bonavista Peninsula and into Trinity - the cultural architectural capital of Newfoundland. In Trinity we recommend visiting the Ryan Store, Hiscock House and the Blacksmith Museum.

Stay: Fishers’ Loft, Port Rexton, Newfoundland (Superior)

Day 18
Trinity to St. John's

Depart Trinity for St. John’s, visiting the charming village of Brigus enroute. Brigus is the residence of the world famous northern explorer Captain Bob Bartlett. Be sure to visit Hawthorne Cottage, Ye Olde Stone Barn Museum and The Tunnel. Continue along the scenic Conception Coastal route back to St. Johns. On arrival explore the oldest city in North America. This historical, vibrant city has many attractions with the added bonus of a wide selection of restaurants from fine dining to traditional Newfoundland fayre. St. John's also has the highest concentration of pubs per capita on the continent and a visit to the infamous George Street is a must! 

Stay: Alt St. John's, St. John's (Superior)

Day 19
St. John's

This morning, enjoy a city tour of St. John’s – You will visit the National Historic site of Cape Spear and will enjoy a beautiful view on top of Signal Hill. Other stops include Quidi Vidi Village, Government House, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and an orientation of the shops and restaurants of downtown St. John's. This afternoon continue on to Bay Bulls and enjoy a cruise around the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, a protective sanctuary for kittiwakes, murres, puffins and other seabirds. The waters off Bay Bulls are home to the world’s largest population of humpback whales. Later, drive along the south shore to Ferryland where perhaps you can enjoy a gourmet lighthouse picnic at Ferryland Lighthouse and visit the fascinating Colony of Avalon Archaeological site. Return back to St. John’s. 

Stay: Alt St. John's, St. John's (Superior)

Days 20-21
St. John's to UK

Today you can explore this delightful city. Sightseeing suggestions include visiting The Rooms, Johnson’s GEO Centre, the St. John’s Botanical Gardens, the Newman Wine Vaults or maybe taking a gentle stroll along sections of the Grand Concourse, which comprises of 40 km (25 miles) of spectacular trails and walkways within St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Lake and Rennies River. Drive to St. John’s Airport where you will drop of your rental car ready for your overnight flight back to London arriving on day 21.


Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior

21-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,170 pp incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £3,170 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £3,255 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: May – October

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return international flights into Halifax and back from St. John's
  • 19 nights accommodation on a BB basis*
  • 17 days' car rental
  • Halifax City Tour including the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
  • Digby to Saint John Ferry including vehicle charge
  • North Sydney to Port aux Basques Ferry
  • Western Brook Pond Cruise
  • St. John's City tour
  • Bay Bulls Whale watching tour

* Breakfast not included at Marble Inn Resort, and Alt St. John's

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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