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The Cabot Trail winding up the Nova Scotia coast

National Parks of Atlantic Canada

23-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,050 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A road trip exploration of Atlantic Canada's National Parks

Highlights

  • Explore the best of Newfoundland's natural world
  • Visit historic Peggy's Cove
  • Drive the famous Cabot Trail
  • Seek our hidden bays on Prince Edward Island
  • Marvel at the magnificent Terra Nova & Gros Morne National Parks

In Brief

  • 1 Night Halifax
  • 2 Nights Port Mouton
  • 1 Night Digby
  • 1 Night Fredericton
  • 1 Night Saint-Louis de Kent
  • 1 Night Shediac
  • 1 Night Alberton
  • 1 Night Montague
  • 1 Night Sydney
  • 1 Night Port aux Basques
  • 2 Nights Rocky Harbour
  • 1 Night Twillingate
  • 1 Night Charlottetown
  • 2 Nights St. John's
  • 1 Night Baddeck
  • 1 Night Chéticamp
  • 1 Night Halifax

About

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

Stunning landscapes, spectacular wildlife and storybook lighthouses – this spectacular region is perhaps the crown jewel of Canada’s eastern seaboard. See it all on a curated self-drive tour of the region's national parks. It all begins with a guided tour of historic Halifax before you pick up your hire car to explore at your own pace. Then, let ultra-scenic drives bring you to pretty waterside towns and villages, glorious coastlines and wildlife-filled national parks.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to 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 a 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 of the Atlantic is also recommended. At Pier 21 you'll find the Canadian Museum of Immigration, now a National Historic Site which was the gateway for over one million migrants between 1928 and 1971.

Stay: The Prince George, Halifax (Superior) or similar

Meals: B

Days 2-3
Halifax to Kejimkujik National Park

Collect your rental car and start the drive to the south shore along the Lighthouse Route where tiny fishing villages cling to the ocean edge and white sand beaches stretch endlessly. En route visit the much photographed Peggy’s Cove, a picturesque fishing village and home to Nova Scotia’s most visited lighthouse and UNESCO World heritage Site Lunenburg – a unique town in terms of architecture. Drive north along the Kejimkujik Scenic Drive to Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site - a spectacular inland National Park with walking trails to suit all levels and some of the best canoeing in Atlantic Canada. 

Stay: Quarterdeck, Port Mouton (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 4
Kejimkujik National Park to Digby

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. Finish the day in Digby. 

Stay: Digby Pines, Digby (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Digby to Fredericton

Board the morning ferry from Digby - a crossing of approximately 2.5 hours over to Saint John, New Brunswick. Saint John is Canada's first incorporated city and is steeped in history with lots to see and do. Follow the banks of the Saint John River to Fredericton, the provincial capital. Fredericton is a quiet riverside town. See the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and craft shops or visit Kings Landing Historical Settlement.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Fredericton Lord Beaverbrook

Meals: B

Day 6
Fredericton to Kouchibouguac National Park

You have enter the forested heart of New Brunswick – real “lumberjack country”. Follow the Miramichi - Canada’s most famous Atlantic salmon River. Kouchibouguac National Park’s long, sandy beaches have the warmest ocean water on your trip and the lagoons are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. 

Stay: L'Ancrage B&B, Saint-Louise de Kent (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 7
Fundy National Park

Today travel from the warm quiet waters of the Kouchibouguac area, travel to the shores of the mighty Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tides. Fundy National Park, is a sanctuary of steep coastal cliffs and clear streams, with ocean-side forests, green meadows, sparkling rivers and gorgeous hiking trails. Visit Hopewell Cape, home of the Hopewell Rocks where twice each day the highest tides in the world 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 tidal forces, the Flowerpot Rocks are a natural wonder not to be missed.

Stay: Hotel Shediac, Shediac (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 8
Shediac to Alberton

Depart Shediac and Cap Pele to the dramatic Confederation Bridge, your gateway to Prince Edward Island. A unique adventure awaits as you experience the legends of the land, sea and people of this small Province with its endless sand beaches, tiny farms, and picturesque country roads. The colour contrasts of red soil, green fields & forests and blue sky and ocean. You stay overnight near a Provincial Park where a variety of activities are offered.

Stay: West Point Lighthouse, Alberton (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 9
Alberton to Montague

Today explore the island further. Suggest  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). 

Today follow the North Cape Coastal Drive to the less-visited Western part of Prince Edward Island. Here, red sandstone capes jut into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and you can dine on fine seafood overlooking the white dunes of Cedar Dunes Provincial Park. Another option would be Prince Edward Island National Park or a visit to Anne of Green Gables Museum in Park Corner and the Green Gables L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site.

Stay: Rodd Brudenell River Resort, Montague (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 10
Montague to Sydney

Today catch the ferry to Nova Scotia. River estuaries in this region are rich with fish which attract large numbers of ospreys that can often be seen diving for a meal. The rolling hills give way to wilder scenery as you enter Cape Breton Island, home to the highest population of bald eagles in Eastern Canada.

Stay: Cambridge Suites, Sydney (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 11
North Sydney - Ferry - Port aux Basques

Make the 5-6 hour ferry crossing (included) to Newfoundland and Labrador, one of the world’s greatest wilderness areas with some of the most spectacular scenery in Atlantic Canada. The province first appears as the village of Port aux Basques which clings to the rocky hillside. 

Stay: Cape Anguille Lighthouse, Port Aux Basques (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 12-13
Port aux Basques to Gros Morne National Park

Drive north from Port aux Basques through the spectacular Codroy Valley to Cape Anguille. 

Travel to one of the country’s most beautiful National Parks. Long fjords, rugged rocky coastline, and windswept mountains create fabulous scenery; an excellent network of roads and walking trails invite you to explore. 

Stay: Neddies Harbour Inn, Rocky Harbour (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 14
Gros Morne National Park to Twillingate

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 Corner Brook. On arrival be sure to visit Steady Brook Falls, one of the Humber Valley's most scenic areas.

Stay: Anchor Inn, Twillingate (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 15
Twillingate to Terra Nova 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: Terra Nova Resort, Charlottetown NL (Superior)

Days 16-17
Terra Nova National Park to St.John's

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: The Sheraton, St. John's (Superior)

Day 18
St. John's Ferry to Nova Scotia

Today board the overnight ferry from Argentia in Newfoundland and Labrador to North Sydney, Nova Scotia 

Stay: MV Atlantic Vision - 2 berth cabin 

Day 19
North Sydney to Baddeck

On a summer’s day, the Sydney waterfront is a great place to go for a walk, watch the ships go by in the harbour and dine on fresh seafood at a local pub. And don’t forget to get your photo taken beside the world’s largest fiddle, built in recognition of Cape Breton’s musical talent. Then head over to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site where you will pass through the stone archway into the replicated streets, houses, shops, restaurants, and barracks “inhabited” by authentically clad animators living a typical day in the 1700s. Your final stop of the day is the charming village of Baddeck. Nestled along the shore of the Bras d’Or Lake, Baddeck is a favourite stop for sailors as well as the home of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, which commemorates the genius and compassion of this renowned inventor.

Stay: The Inverary Resort, Baddeck (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 20
Baddeck to Cheticamp

Head towards Cape Breton Highlands National Park in a anti-clockwise fashion and experience the natural beauty of the Highlands as you drive the world famous Cabot Trail. This 298 km (186mile) highway weaves through Cape Smokey and Ingonish Beach before coming to the National Park, rewarding travellers with spectacular valley and coastal views all along the way. Take time to get out and hike one of the 26 beautiful hiking trails, have a picnic lunch and observe the awe-inspiring coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Gulf of St. Lawrence on the other. When you arrive to your destination, be sure to visit the Les Trois Pignons for a special view into the Acadian culture and history of Chéticamp.

Stay: Maison Fiset, Cheticamp (Superior)

Day 21
Cheticamp to Halifax

Travel south along the Gulf of St. Lawrence through the coastal communities. Take in a tour & whisky tasting at the Glenora Distillery in Glenville. The Gaels are reputed to having invented “Uisge Beatha”…“The Water of Life” and they claim that Gaelic improves the flavour of the whiskey. The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, located in Judique, is a unique establishment designed to preserve, promote, and share Cape Breton's music and culture. Professional musicians are on hand to talk about the traditional music of Cape Breton and give live demonstrations. Drive to the Canso Causeway to re-enter mainland Nova Scotia. At Antigonish, travel southwest along Marine Drive to experience the stunning sandy beaches and wild islands dotting the Eastern Shore. Head towards Halifax for your final two nights.

Stay: The Prince George, Halifax (Superior)

Days 22-23
Halifax to UK

Spend your final day in the delightful city of Halifax. Perfect for exploring on foot with its treelined streets, galleries, libraries, museums, cafes, and pubs. Sightseeing suggestions include visiting the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Completed in 1856, this national landmark features soldiers in period costumes and where the “noonday” gun is fired every day from this star-shaped fortress. Take a leisurely stroll along Spring Garden Road for last minute shopping and fantastic restaurants or explore the Halifax Public Gardens, a rare example of a formal Victorian garden in the heart of this cosmopolitan city.

Drive to St. John’s Airport where you'll drop of your rental car ready for your overnight flight back to London.


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

23-day tailor-made self-drive
from £3,050 pp incl. flights

Superior

May / Oct

from £3,050 pp. incl. flights

Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep

from £3,285 pp. incl. flights

Valid for travel: 01 May – 31 October

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return international flights to/from Halifax
  • 21 nights accommodation on a BB basis
  • 20 days car rental in an Intermediate vehicle with GPS
  • Ferry crossing from North Sydney to Port aux Basques
  • Ferry crossing with cabin from Argentia to North Sydney


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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