There is so much going on in Canada’s most easterly region in 2018. Just a five to six hour flight from London, there is plenty to see, do and explore for all types of travellers, from urbanites to nature lovers and dedicated foodies, in Canada’s best kept secret; New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
Hot Spots for Urbanites:
Saint Andrews, New Brunswick
This quaint little resort town on the edge of Passamaquoddy Bay was recently voted as the ‘Best Destination in Canada’ by USA Today– a huge accolade for a town of just 550 buildings, made even more picturesque by the fact that over 280 of which were built before 1880. It’s the ideal base for exploring the Bay of Fundy and a spot of whale watching as well as kicking back and relaxing in the town itself.
Hot for 2018: The Rossmount Inn is a foodie’s dream where guests are invited to ‘see, smell, touch and taste’ and can help the chef to pick fresh organic garden produce from the 87-acre estate. Whether it’s a meal of fresh salmon from the Bay of Fundy, Chanterelle mushrooms from just behind the inn or incredible fiddleheads or heirloom tomatoes in the garden, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy. Or if travellers are feeling a bit more adventurous, an Off Kilter Biking Tour is a definite must. A mountain bike trip like no other, pedal-pushers get to see all the natural beauty of beautiful Passamaquoddy Bay with a knowledgeable guide, all whilst wearing a custom made, lightweight, stylish…kilt.
St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador
With a blossoming coffee shop, live music and cool vibe culture, St John’s is often likened to a mini San Francisco or Brighton.
Hot for 2018: Continuing the cool theme, travellers should head to St John’s in late spring to catch the other-worldly sight of gigantic icebergs floating south from their wintry home in Canada’s north. 2017 was a bumper year for icebergs and the hope is that 2018 will continue this trend so early booking on boat tours, kayak trips and shoreline hikes is recommended. Iceberg Quest Boat Tours has excursions from St John’s that circle the biggest bergs. Guests can see the rivulets of icy water pour from the berg’s surface and spot the huge mass below the water line. The crew may even reach over the vessel to collect ‘bergy bits’ to pop into guests’ drinks and will also point out local wildlife including dolphins, puffins, and whales. Tours are available from £41 at http://icebergquest.com
Halifax, Nova Scotia
With more pubs and clubs per capita than almost any city in Canada, Halifax dwellers know how to kick back and have a good time.
Hot for 2018: From award winning craft breweries, distilleries, and vineyards, to feasts made from the finest local and seasonal ingredients – there’s plenty here to whet the appetites of visiting gastronomes. The Best of Halifax Foodie Adventure offers uniquely prepared Nova Scotian food, accompanied with the region’s local wine, craft beer, and spirits. Working with local producers, chefs and culinary artisans, the tour features exclusive oyster tasting, cocktail pairing and sampling fine seafood chowder all against the picturesque and historic background of Nova Scotia’s capital. Tours are £87 per person.
There’s more for urbanites in Halifax…An urban glamping adventure in the heart of the city’s glittering harbour guarantees guests a combination of Nova Scotia’s stunning coastal beauty and the cosmopolitan skyline. Guests will have exclusive access to the picturesque Georges Island National Historic Site for the night staying in a luxurious safari-style canvas glamping tents. As the sun begins to set over the Halifax skyline, guests can enjoy a gourmet chef-prepared dinner, paired with award-winning Nova Scotia craft beer and wine, followed by a Nova Scotia-style campfire with Canadian tunes and stories. Overnight stays start at £300 and are available on selected dates in August.
Hot Spots for Foodies
Prince Edward Island
A bountiful island known for its lush rolling farmlands, Prince Edward Island produces a quarter of Canada’s potatoes as well as a host of other produce and is surrounded by waters that teem with seafood, as well as lobster, oysters, and other shellfish.
Experience PEI, has joined forces with the Culinary Adventure Company to create a new Signature Collection of the best food experiences offered on the island. The experiences include the Charlottetown Food Tour, a three hour walk through an unusual cultural foodie journey demonstrating that Prince Edward Island is more that potatoes and seafood. There’s also the tantalising Farmer’s Market Picnic where guests are introduced to the local producers at the weekly market and sample morsels including cider, specialty sausages and artisan breads as they marvel at the delicious offerings for sale. Sure to be a big hit with foodies is the Cheese and Cheers afternoon where guests can appreciate over 12 local artisan cheeses which have been lovingly paired with craft sodas, ciders, local beers, spirits and wines. The experiences come with the caveat; Come hungry, every bite tells a story. Prices start at £35 per person https://www.experiencepei.ca/signaturecollection
White Point Beach, Nova Scotia
Famous for its white sandy beach on Nova Scotia’s south shore within the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve, White Point Beach is a popular destination with locals and visitors who love to watch the incredible changes the beach undergoes each day with the immense tidal activity and strong surf.
Hot for 2018: Take part in the Great Canadian Lobster Fishing Feast Adventure and step in the boots of a Nova Scotia lobster fisherman on this authentic fishing experience. Guests can work alongside the crew aboard a traditional lobster fishing boat before bringing in the day’s catch for a chef-prepared, ocean side feast at the picturesque White Point Beach Resort. A two night break at White Point including the Fishing Feast Adventure is available on selected dates from £410 per person.
Hot Spots for Nature Lovers
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
Fundy National Park is a nature lover’s dream with everything from pristine forests, incredible coastlines, 120km of walking and hiking trails, mountain biking routes, kayaking and canoeing and plenty of chances to spot a plethora of flora, fauna and animals including beavers, porcupines and the elusive moose. It most famously features the world’s highest tides which attracts visitors from all over the world to marvel at the novelty of walking on the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks as 160 billion tonnes of seawater enter and leave the bay twice a day.
Hot for 2018: The Fundy Geological Museum is offering a Tidal Reveal fossil excursion along the shores of the Bay of Fundy where the tides align for only six days each summer to allow for a fossil dig like no other. Led by a museum expert, wannabe paleontologists will dig for fossils and see the latest discoveries, enjoy a boat trip in the bay, a short guided hike, followed by a lobster picnic lunch on a Jurassic beach. Price is £210 per person https://fundygeological.novascotia.ca/
Also in Fundy National Park, in September 2018 guests can swim with salmon in an experience like no other. After a short guided hike through the park to the Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon Research Site fish fanatics will be take part in a snorkeling session along the crystal-clear rivers to spot the fish and hear about the efforts to guard this endangered species from extinction. Registration for these exclusive tours is available here https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy/activ/decouverte-tours/saumon-salmon
Fogo Island, Newfoundland & Labrador
It’s been said that Fogo Island isn’t as much of a place as a state of mind. The pretty island is the size of Manhattan and home to just 2,700 islanders yet boasts a striking coastline, lush forest and one of the most stylish openings to hit the hotel scene in recent times.
Hot for 2018: Fogo Island Inn (see main photo) continues to wow guests and was this year named the Coolest Creative Hub in the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards. Fogo Island Inn has created experiences for guests to get out and experience the incredible Newfoundland & Labrador environs. Visitors can immerse themselves in the Escape to Iceberg Alley itinerary and sip cocktails with iceberg vodka and iceberg ice whilst spotting these marvels of nature either from the comfort of the rooftop hot-tub or on a half day ocean voyage. There is also a Magical Moving Ice adventure where guests can hear the ‘groaning’ and get up-close and personal with the awesome power of the Arctic pack ice in the Labrador Current and take part in an expedition by snowmobile (or snowshoe for the more energetic). http://www.fogoislandinn.ca/b/events-itineraries
For more about Atlantic Canada visit www.atlanticcanadaholiday.co.uk
Mark Bibby Jackson
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