Nova Scotia with its rich tradition of music, ancient culture and traditions is more than just a destination; it’s an event! Add to this a rugged and scenic coastline, unspoiled wilderness and the friendly hospitality of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island – all this makes Atlantic Canada a perfect holiday destination. Here is a 15 day/14night self drive itinerary idea…
Day 1: Halifax
Arrive Halifax, Nova Scotia. A delightful city, which has the ambience of an old university town, set around a busy harbour. Places to visit include Halifax Citadel, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Prince of Wales National Historic Site.
Two nights Halifax
Day 3: Lunenburg
Pick up your rental car and drive 170kms to Lunenberg. En route stop at Peggys Cove and Mahone Bay – delightful scenic areas. A colourful fishing village, Lunenberg was originally occupied by Germans, hence the name.
One night Lunenberg
Day 4: Digby
Depart Lunenberg and drive via the Kejimkujik National Park to Annapolis Basin. A wonderful scenic drive, visit the Fort Anne national historic site and the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. Nearby there is excellent whale watching opportunities.
Two nights Digby
Day 6: Fundy National Park
Leave Digby and board the scenic ferry to New Brunswick. This passage is home to many species of whales, seen more frequently than in the rest of Canada. Some of the rarest and largest whales in the world come to feed and breed here including the rare Right whale. Continue on to Fundy National Park. The park covers 206 square kms in area and has steep coastal cliffs and clear streams. Hopewell Rocks, shaped like giant vases are covered by the tide each six hours – the largest tidal drop in the world.
Two nights Shepody
Day 8: Charlottetown
Depart from Fundy National Park and cross the 13km long New Confederation Bridge over the Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island (PEI) with its endless sandy beaches, tiny farms and picturesque country roads. PEI’s National Park is 32 sq. miles in total. It features a 19th century wooden farmhouse, famous as the inspiration for the classic novel “Anne of Green Gables”. Seal watching cruises are available, returning in time to enjoy the evening in tiny Charlottetown, the provincial capital and another maritime centre.
Two nights in Charlottetown
Day 10: Antigonish
Take the ferry across to Pictou, Nova Scotia. Antigonish is the highland heart of Nova Scotia. The town is the site of the Annual Highland Games featuring traditional Scottish contests.
One night Antigonish
Day 11: Cheticamp
Take the clockwise route into Cape Breton. En route visit the Mabou Gaelic Village and stop at one of Inverness’s fine beaches. Continue on to Cheticamp – an Arcadian fishing village renowned for Whale Watching. This coastline is famed for its bald eagles.
Two nights Cheticamp.
Day 13: Louisbourg
Continue along the Cabot Trail – one of Eastern Canada’s most popular scenic drives. You will drive through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and then on to Louisbourg. Visit the Fortress of Louisbourg – Canada’s largest National and Historic Park. Between June and September costumed ‘animators’ live in the fortress, making it come alive as it was in the summer of 1744.
One night Louisbourg.
Day 14: Charlos Cove
Take the Eastern Shore to Liscomb Mills, Nova Scotia. The Marine drive leads through forests and over low hills. See also re-created Sherbrooke Plantation. Many excellent ocean views are available from small side roads to the shore.
One night Charlos Cove.
Day 15: Depart Halifax
Take the attractive coast road, taking in some spectacular scenery as you head towards the city of Halifax. Take the Airport Road, drop off your rental car and check in for your return flight.
All photographs courtesy Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture www.novascotia.com