Best of Atlantic Canada Self-Drive

Tour Code:
P445
A$3,180
Current Stock:

Duration: 15 Days | 14 Nights
Dates: May - October
Countries to be visited: Canada
Departure & Return Locations: Halifax Stanfield International Airport

This is a self-drive holiday curated to give you the flexibility to experience Atlantic Canada. This can be customised to fit your needs. Navigate at your own pace through stunning landscapes, historic towns and quaint fishing villages- enjoying the unique charm of Celtic culture while discovering Atlantic Canada's natural beauty and unique culture. Choose from a selection for guided cultural experiences or go off the beaten path to see animals in their natural habitat!

Places Visited: Halifax – Baddeck – Cabot’s Trail - Louisburg – Charlottetown, PEI - Moncton – Hopewell Rocks – Fundy National Park - Saint John – Digby – Annapolis Valley - Lunenburg – Mahoney Bay – Peggy’s Cove – South Shore

 

Day 1: Arrive in Halifax

This afternoon arrive in Halifax. Collect your luggage and proceed to the rental desk to pick-up your rental car and drive to your hotel in downtown Halifax. Rest of the day free to explore the beautiful city of Halifax and its  downtown and harbor. Overnight in Halifax, NS

Day 2Halifax to Baddeck on Cape Brenton Island

Driving Distance: 352 km | approx 4 1⁄2 hours of driving.

Head to Cape Breton Island, often described as ‘a little piece of Scotland in North America’. The island offers an array adventurous activities from sailing and hiking all the way down through golfing or kayaking for those who want some fresh sea air without getting too far out into open waters! If you're looking more than just relaxation this destination has plenty going on including cultural experiences with delicious food made by hand - like fresh "ship-to shore" shellfish served up at one restaurant I found while exploring--and single malt whisky distilleries where visitors can enjoy tours free tasting sessions plus learn how their products are produced.

The town of Baddeck is often referred to as the beginning and end of Cape Breton Island's famous Cabot Trail. This tiny town, nestled along its shores with beautiful views for miles in every direction makes an ideal stopover on your journey through this iconic island nation - especially if you're looking for tranquil beauty amidst all that nature has offer!

The area was once home to Mi’kmaq settlements, and it got its name from the native word “Abadak” which means place with an island near. The most famous face to grace Baddeck’s summer residence was that of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor and creator who built two homes on his estate he called “Beinn Bhreagh". Scottish Gaelic for "Beautiful Mountain". Overnight in Baddeck, NS.

Day 3Cabot’s Trail

Driving Distance: 298 km | approx. 10 hours of driving including stops.

The Cabot Trail is a 298 km (186 mi) highway that weaves through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You will be amazed by all the incredible views you get throughout this journey, which rewards travelers with spectacular valley and coastal scenery on every side! Suggested stops include the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre with its performances and Glenora Distillery home to the first single malt whisky distillery in North America! The trail offers 28 hiking trails with beautiful sceneries that never disappoint you.

Other suggested stops include Clucking Hen Cafe & Bakery, Ingonish Beach, The Middle Head Trail, White Point, Grave of The Unknown Sailor, Neil’s Harbour, Skyline Trail and Cheticamp. Overnight in Baddeck, NS.

Day 4Fortress of Louisburg

Driving Distance: 218 km | approx. 5 hours of driving including time spent at the Fortress of Louisburg

Just east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, stands Fortress of Louisburg, a National Historic Site, and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress. In 1744, the settlement here rivalled New York and Philadelphia. Its two sieges, especially that of 1758, were turning points in the Anglo-French struggle for what today is Canada. The fortress is the largest historical reconstruction in North America, spanning 16,000 acres, sixty of which are located within restored stone walls.

Each summer, historical re-enactors breathe life to this unique living museum, playing their French colonial part of soldier, settler, merchant, or peasant. French soldiers march down the streets of the town as ladies dance in formal parlours. Cannon fire shakes the ground as harpsichord tunes mingle with baking bread aromas drifting from the stone bakery. Step through Louisburg’s fortress walls and time-warp back to the 1700s. Chat with fishermen, sailors, and servants. Sip rum and watch lacemaking as children play 300-year-old games and stew simmers on an open-hearth fire. It’s so real, it seems surreal. Overnight in Baddeck, NS.

Day 5Baddeck to PEI and Points East Coastal Drive

Driving Distance: 350 km | 8 hours including stops (Driving Distance: Baddeck to Caribou & Woods Island – 254 km | 4 hours)

Leaving Baddeck this morning, we drive to Caribou, just east of the historical town of Pictou to ferry- cross to Wood Island in PEI. On arrival in PEI, embark on the famous Points East Coastal Drive.

Your fist stop on the Point East Coastal Drive would be Point Prim Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. Built in 1845, by a Richard Walsh, the Prim Lighthouse is 60 feet above the ground and 80 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views of the Northumberland Strait. You can climb the lighthouse to the top and enjoy the views! Enroute to Prim Point, you may want to stop by at Orwell Corner Historic Village or Roma at Three Rivers National Historic Site.

From here, proceed to Murray Harbour a rustic fishing village with beautiful beaches, lighthouses, and amazing restaurants. At Murray Harbour, you can go kayaking, cycling & hiking on Confederation Trail. If you like lighthouses, perhaps, you can check out the Cape Bear Lighthouse a 3-story square tower that has guided fishermen and sailors along PEI’s Northumberland Strait. The view from the lighthouse reveals small, secluded beaches, rugged sandstone cliffs, and marine life such as seals and porpoises. Leaving Murray Harbour behind drive to Montague, often called "Montague the Beautiful" because of the tranquil river running through it, the lovely tree-lined streets, its stately heritage homes, and hidden gems. Enjoy the boardwalk which runs along the waterfront and is part of the Confederation Trail.

The next stop on your itinerary would be Georgetown, the very first harbour to be built on the eastern seaboard. Home to one of the deepest harbours in North America, Georgetown was once a major ship-building centre and home to A.A. MacDonald, one of the Fathers of Confederation.

The last stop on your itinerary today would be the Greenwich National Park, home to Prince Edward Island’s largest sand dunes, including a parabolic dune system that is very rare in North America. The park is also habitat to rare plants and animals, as well as archaeological findings dating back 10,000 years.

The route is a haven for foodies with its fresh seafood, local produce, and warm service. You can enjoy quaint beachside fish shacks or indulge in specialty trucks while you tour around the area before deciding on your next location to dine at one of many genre restaurants that line this stretch! Overnight in St. Peters, Morell or Charlottetown, PEI.

Day 6Central Costal Drive

Driving Distance: 147 km | 8 hours

The 253 km of the Central Coastal Drive offers scenic landscapes, red cliffs, white-sand beaches, and farmland views. Sense the magic of Anne of Green Gables, go, and play a round of golf, taste the varied culinary delights and more.

Don’t forget to bring along your bathing suit and camera to Chelton Beach Provincial Park, where you can swim or stroll with the impressive Confederation Bridge as your background. Enjoy this park’s green space and miles of sandy beaches. Like most beaches along the south shore of PEI you will discover the sand is red and the waters are warmer. This park is best known for views of the Confederation Bridge and beachcombing at low tide.

Next, you drive to the tiny fishing village of French River offers breathtaking scenery with hills and farmland overlooking the New London Bay. Enjoy the views with a round at the 9-hole golf French River Golf Course. Take a trip off-the-beaten-path and discover the Cape Tryon Lighthouse overlooking spectacular sandstone cliffs. Stop for a round of golf in Cavendish. Visit Anne at Green Gables Heritage Place. At the time when Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908, most people could only dream of visiting its magical setting. Since then, millions of fans have travelled to Prince Edward Island to discover the place that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories and characters. Discover the beauty of the red cliffs and dunes as you drive through the Prince Edward Island National Park. Overnight in Cavendish or Charlottetown, PEI.

Day 7Charlottetown, PEI to Moncton with stop at Shediac.

Driving Distance: 167 km | 3 hours

Departing Charlottetown, PEI, drive across the world-famous Confederation Bridge this morning and to arrive in Moncton. Enroute, stop at Shediac Bay for a short lobster visit. In the afternoon, visit the Oliver Soapery and reach Moncton.

Spend the afternoon and evening exploring Moncton. Make sure to drive to the bottom of Magnetic Hill. On getting there, shift into neutral, and be prepared to be amazed. Your car will roll uphill in total defiance of natural law, even as your brain is telling you it's simply not possible. Overnight in Moncton, NB

Day 8Hopewell Rocks and Fundy National Park

Next on the itinerary is Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Visitor Centre, which is just forty minutes outside of Moncton. Visit the famous flowerpots (Hopewell Rocks). You will need about 6 hours and 13 minutes to see both the high tide and the low tide. It is important that you know the time of the tides on the day of your visit and so that you can plan the rest of the day accordingly. You have about 3 hours to walk on the ocean floor. To enhance your experience, join for a Kayak trip and paddle around Hopewell Rocks.

From Hopewell Rocks, you’ll head south towards Fundy National Park. If you are driving without stopping at any interesting waypoints you find on the way (like Cape Enrage), it will take approximately half an hour to reach Alma.

If you have time (or travelling with teens), Cape Enrage is another stop you should consider visiting. Enjoy a spectacular view of Bay of Fundy from towering cliffs and explore the 140 years old light house. Have dinner at the highly acclaimed lobster shop in Alma where you can taste some glorious Atlantic Canadian lobster. Thankfully, Alma’s lobster shop is located right on the outskirts of Fundy National Park. Overnight in Moncton, NB.

Day 9: Funday National Park to Saint John

Driving Distances: 183 km | 4 hours

This morning, hit the road for Saint John, NB. On your way to Saint John, stop by at St., Martin. If you are visiting during low tides, explore the Sea Caves or drive straight to the stunning 19-km Fundy Trail dotted with spectacular lookouts. St. Martin is great spot to catch some lunch.

From here, drive to Saint John, one of bustling shoreline cities of New Brunswick. Home to shipping lanes and it’s historic ‘uptown’, older buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries remain standing here, Prince William and Germain Streets should be on your must walk Streets lists. Adding to the vibe of the city is none more so than the Imperial Theatre, built in 1913 which still shows stage plays to this day. It’s a must-do if you can spare an evening. Overnight in Saint John, NB.

Day 10: Saint John to Digby, NS

Enjoy a three-hour cruise across the Bay of Fundy between Saint John, New Brunswick, and Digby in Nova Scotia. Digby is home to a large scallop and lobster fishing fleet and is known worldwide for their famous Digby scallops. A visit to Digby is never complete without a few colourful photos of fishing boats in the harbour and a sampling of scallops at one of the many restaurants in the town. Overnight in Digby, NS

Day 11: Day free in Digby

Today is a day free in Digby. Digby offers a wide range of outdooor fun and activities including Tidal Bore Rafting, Kayaling & Canoeing, Hiking, Bay of Fundy Trail Rides, Sports Fishing, Golfing and more.

Digby also has the reputation of being one of the best palces to go whale watching. Whether it is from the deck of boat or from the shore, Digby Neck in the Bay of Fundy is one place where you can watch these majestic beasts. The area swarms with wildlife and the Bay of Fundy region boasts up to 300 whales come the summer and fall season making it a prime-time whale spotting location in Nova Scotia.

Digby is also known as the scallop capital of the world and features great restaurants and eateries offering a variety of seafood. Overnight in Digby, NS

Day 12: Digby to Lunenberg

Today, you will drive from Digby to the lush Annapolis Valley with extensive woodlands dotted with lakes. Annapolis Valley is the site of the recorded highest tides in the world. You can climb 300-foot cliffs overlooking waters where 12 different species of whales come to mate, play, and feast on plankton each year. Later, walk on the ocean floor when the tide has dropped the height of a four- storey building.

Take the scenic cross-country drive from Annapolis Valley to Lunenburg through the Kejimkujik National Park with its lush forests, meandering rivers, and island-dotted lakes. Kejimkujik National Park offers lots of opportunities for hiking, biking, and canoeing.

Founded in 1753, Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Take a walk along the gorgeous waterfront and discover Nova Scotia’s long seafaring history. Filled with tall ships, schooners, fishing vessels and floating docks, this UNESCO World Heritage Lunenburg offers amazing restaurants, distilleries, and shops that boast colourful facades and a unique charm. Overnight in Lunenberg, NS.

Day 13: Explore the South Shore

Driving Distances: 670 km | 10 hours

The South Shore of Nova Scotia make up for some of the most beautiful arts of the province. Places that should be on your stop and see list should include Peggy’s Cove., Chester, Mahoney Bay, Lunenberg, LaHave & Petite Rivière, Liverpool, Shelburne and Barrington.

Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses, but no beacon is as photographed as the one in the vibrant fishing village of Peggy’s Cove.

Recently named as one of Canada’s top ten most beautiful towns , Mahone Bay boasts a simple yet extraordinary way of life. Experience it all from history to unique shops, artisans to culinary experiences, along the colourful and quaint streets.

Old Town Lunenburg is one of only two urban communities in North America designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Seventy percent of the original colonial buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries continue to greet visitors with their colourful façades.

At laHave, venture down the east side of the Lahave River and enjoy a scenic drive along the winding LaHave River before arriving at the LaHave Ferry. As one of the last remaining cable ferries in Nova Scotia, this unique 5-minute journey gives you a perfect 360° view of life on the river.

Liverpool is a storied coastal community with colonial captains' homes, scenic seaside accommodations, and a rich privateering history.

The town of Shelburne provides unique experiences that are rich in culture and adventure while offering places to relax and unwind in a surrounding of historic treasures, wilderness and beauty.

And at the very end of the South Shore stands Barrington, the Lobster Capital of Canada. Fresh seafood is easily found here with some of the richest lobster fishing grounds in the world.

Day 14: Lunenburg to Halifax

Driving Distances: 99 km | 1 1⁄4 hour

This morning, check out of hotel and drive to Halifax.

Rest of the day free for you to explore Halifax, with its extraordinary maritime history and lovely walkable downtown. Stroll to the top of the Citadel which has guarded the city since the 18th century. Visit one or two of the fascinating museums charting the history of the city which amongst other things was the first responder for the Titanic. Overnight in Halifax, NS

Day 15:  End of Tour

Return your rental car to Halifax Airport prior to your return flight.

 

Tour Price:
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation. Single, Triple and Quad occupancy options can also be organised.
• This is a self-drive tour with guidances and relevant bookings made by us. 
• Accommodation pricing is based on 3-star hotels but can be upgraded to 4 or 5 stars for additional costs.
• All prices displayed are subject to availability and can be withdrawn or varied without notice.
• Prices are guaranteed once booking is confirmed by us and paid in full by the due date.
• Depending on your needs and group size (individual, couple, family, group, etc.) we will provide the final pricing for your tour.

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation for 14 Nights
  • Rental of a Mid-size Car with Unlimited Mileage
  • Rental Car Insurance
  • Ferry Tickets
  • Taxes & HST
  • Admissions to:
    • Cane Breton Flahlands National Park
    • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
    • Fortress of ouisbouro National Historic Site
    • Prince Edward Island National Park
    • Green Gables Heritage Place
    • Fundy National Park
    • Hopewell Rocks on the Bav of Fundv
    • Port-Roval National Historic Site
    • Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site
    • Fort Anne National Historic Site
    • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
    • Georges Island National Historic Site

Exclusions:

  • International and domestic airfare
  • Travel Insurance (Required)
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Personal Incidentals such as Telephone calls, Room Service, Laundry, Bottled water in hotel rooms
  • Tip to Guide/Driver, Porterage Fee and others which are personal in nature
  • Canada Park Fees
  • Early check-in or late check-out charges
  • Optional tours and activities
  • Other services not mentioned in the itinerary

 

Please refer to our Standard Booking Conditions for booking terms and conditions.