Be warned; Canada’s Maritimes region will definitely cast a spell on you. From Halifax and Mahone Bay, to Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg. From Liverpool to Kejimkujik National Park, Fundy to New Brunswick. Prince Edward Island, Pictou, the Cabot Trail, St Lawrence and Bras d’Or Lakes. They will all work their magic.
Halifax’s 19th century citadel is the most visited National Historic Site in Canada, and Pier 21 – where the early settlers were welcomed – and the Maritime Museum add to the history of this fascinating city. The nightlife rivals the sight-seeing, with lobster restaurants being something of a speciality.
Stay: Two nights in the Prince George Hotel.
The South Shore welcomes you to a procession of tiny fishing villages, the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove and small town like artist colony Mahone Bay. The ‘Lighthouse Route’ – there are around 20 scattered along this coast – brings you to the quaint town of Lunenburg with its Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and charming wooden houses.
Stay: One night in Mariner King.
Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy is renowned for having one of the biggest tidal ranges in the world. And you’ll discover high points on the way there; like the lakes and scenery of Kejimkujik National Park, and Digby Neck – a great place to watch finback, humpback, minkes and right whales
Stay: Two nights in Hillsdale House Hotel in Annapolis Royal, Canada’s oldest town.
Cross the Bay of Fundy on a ferry bound for New Brunswick, the largest of the Maritimes. Alight in St John seaport, the oldest incorporated city in Canada and explore the region’s original French Acadian roots before driving to the ship-building village of St Andrews.
Stay: One night in St Andrews’ Algoquin Resort.
Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park features hiking trails galore with rugged cliffs giving great photo opportunities. Drive along the shore, passing sea-sculpted Hopewell Rocks and heading for the Petitcodiac River and Port Elgin
Stay: One night in Falcon Ridge Inn
Prince Edward Island
Drive across the bridge over the St Lawrence to reach Prince Edward Island – Canada’s smallest province and home to the farmhouse that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write Ann of Green Gables. PEI has superb beaches and an involving city in Charlottetown.
Stay: One night in Charlottetown’s Great George Boutique Hotel.
Cross back to Nova Scotia and explore Northumberland Strait’s deserted beaches and beautiful shoreline. You can even step aboard an exact replica of the 1773 ship that brought the original Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia; the Hector, at the Hector Heritage Centre.
Stay: One night in Baddeck’s Inverary Resort.
The Cabot Trail
The famous Cabot Trail takes you around Cape Breton and the northern-most reach of the Appalachian Mountains – on a road perched high above the waters of St Lawrence. The region is rich in Celtic Acadian culture, and there’s an historic French fort at Louisbourg – built to guard the gateway to the New World.
Stay: One night in Louisburg’s Keltic Lodge.
Bras d’Or Lakes
For stunning scenery – and a tour of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site – cruise the Bras d’Or Lakes. Then stop at Sherbrooke for a glimpse into the village’s 19th century shipbuilding, gold mining and lumberjacking past.
Stay: One night at Liscombe Lodge.
Travel back to Halifax along Marine Drive to catch your return flight.