Great Canadian Self Drive Holidays Cabot's Trail

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Duration: 8 Days | 7 Nights
Availability: May to October
Places Visited: Halifax, Beddeck, Ingonish, Pleasant Bay, Cheticamp, Inverness, Mabou, Judique, Antigonish and Halifax

• Halifax – Baddeck – Ingonish – Meat Cove – Pleasant Bay – Skyline Trail – Cape Breton Highlands National Park – Cheticamp – Antigonish – Fortress Louisbourg – Peggy’s Cove – Lunenburg – Mahoney’s bay - Halifax
• 7 nights accommodations in Hotels, Cottages, B & B and Motels.
• Park Passes to Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
• Admissions to Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
• Admissions to Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.
• Admissions to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
• Rental of a mid-size car.
• Unlimited Mileage.
• This tour is fully customizable

Embark on a mesmerizing self-drive holiday along the picturesque Cabot Trail in Canada, where breathtaking scenery and thrilling adventures await. This 150-mile looped route, located in Nova Scotia, offers a captivating blend of rugged coastal cliffs, lush forests, and charming coastal communities.

As you navigate the winding roads, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Marvel at the majestic mountains that plunge into the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, and be captivated by the vibrant hues of fall foliage or the wildflowers in bloom during the summer months.

Indulge in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or kayaking, allowing you to fully connect with nature. Discover hidden gems like the Skyline Trail, where panoramic vistas unfold before your eyes, or stop by the charming fishing villages of Baddeck and Ingonish, where you can savor delectable seafood delicacies.

With cozy accommodations and quaint bed and breakfasts dotting the route, you'll have plenty of opportunities to rest and rejuvenate, all while immersing yourself in the rich maritime culture and warm hospitality of the locals.

A self-drive holiday along the Cabot Trail promises an unforgettable adventure, where every turn reveals a new and awe-inspiring landscape that will leave you longing to return again and again.

Day 1 – Arrive in Halifax.
This afternoon arrive in Halifax. After collecting your bags, proceed to the car rental desk to pick up your prebooked rental car. After you have checked into your hotel, explore downtown Halifax on foot. Take a walk down the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk, a 3 ¾ kilometre urban wooden walkway – one of the longest in the world – links you to downtown shops, restaurants, and attractions while taking you past public art installations like the droopy ‘Fountain’ and ‘Get Drunk, Fall Down’ lampposts.

Overnight in Halifax, NS.

Day 2 – Halifax to Baddeck
Start your engine for today’s drive northeast to Baddeck in mid Cape Breton Island. Drive by following Highway 104 to the 1.6-kilometre Canso Causeway before hanging left onto Highway 105. Enroute stop by at New Glasgow for a glimpse of times gone by at the Carmichael-Stewart House Museum. Stretching your legs along the town’s revitalized riverfront walk – complete with Victorian-style lampposts and marina.

Later today, drive to Baddeck. The village of Baddeck has been described as the beginning – and the end – of Cape Breton Island's world-famous Cabot Trail. Nestled along the shore of the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton, the town is a favourite stop for sailors and those looking for tranquil beauty in the heart of the island.

The most famous of Baddeck ‘s summer residents were Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, who built two homes on his estate he called “Beinn Bhreagh”, Scottish Gaelic for “Beautiful Mountain”. Your Self-Drive package includes admissions to Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Do not miss the Beddeck Lobster Dinner experience.

Overnight in Beddeck, NS.
Driving Distance: 351 km | approx. 7 hours of driving.

Day 3 – Baddeck to Ingonish
One of the main entrances into the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Ingonish is home to the famous Keltic Lodge Resort and one of the top 100 golf courses in the world, the Highlands Links. At Ingonish, you will find from leisurely strolls to challenging hikes in the Cape Breton Highlands Park.

Stay overnight at the historic Cape Breton resort, the Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa. Located in the heart of Cape Breton Highlands National Park surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with spectacular views of Cape Smokey rising out of the sea. Keltic Lodge is the perfect place to spend the night. The resort offers great dining and an outstanding cuisine. The Highland Sitting Room features nightly entertainment, as well as a light pub-style menu.

Overnight in Ingonish, NS.
Driving Distance: 105 km | approx. 6 hours of driving.

Day 4 – Ingonish to Cheticamp
This morning, you will depart Ingonish to drive along the north shore of Cape Breton Island to Cheticamp. Check your brakes – sharp curves and steep grades ahead – and fuel up before leaving Ingonish. Then travel counter-clockwise (shown here) to catch outside-lane and sunset views.

Stop by at Meat Cove, the most northern settlement in Nova Scotia, it’s one detour off the Cabot Trail you won’t regret taking. The remoteness makes for some incredible untouched wilderness adventures with beaches & mountaintops all ready to be explored.

From here, we head to Pleasant Bay. Pleasant Bay is a community on the western coast of Cape Breton Island, on the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Here, you can jump on board Captain Mark's Whale and Seal Cruise and go whale watching. The tour offers a unique adventure along the rugged coastline of Cape Breton Island. You will get to see Pilot, Minke, Finback and Humpback Whales.

Driving further south you come to Skyline Trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The Dramatic headland cliff overlooks the rugged coast from the end of this level trail. Spend some time here and enjoy an eagle's view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain and vehicles look like toys. Watch for whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the viewing decks. Moose, bald eagles, bears, and numerous boreal birds live in this habitat. Give moose a wide berth. You are required to stay on the boardwalk.

Arrive early evening at the picturesque Acadian fishing village of Cheticamp nestled near the west entrance of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The colorful Acadian joie-de-vivre can be felt throughout this community.

Here, you will learn about Acadian culture, soak up the scenery, including incredible sunsets, and sample traditional Acadian foods. The village offers a variety of recreational opportunities including an 18-hole golf course, whale tours, fly-fishing, deep-sea fishing, sailing/boating, horseback riding and hiking trails.
On your drive the Cheticamp, stop off at Pleasant Bay for a great Whale & Seal Cruise. Our s well as Seals and Bald Eagles. The spectacular rock and cliff formations, sea caves, waterfalls and pioneer settlements are all part of the experience. A hydrophone to hear the whales is also available.

At Cheticamp, we offer you a choice of the 4-star Pilot Whale Chalets with its boast warm and inviting accommodations or Cheticamp Island Cottages on Cape with its tranquil setting and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Cheticamp Island Cottages are the only ocean-front cottage accommodation in the Cheticamp area. Ocean swimming and a sandy beach is only 100 meters in front of the cottages.

Overnight in Cheticamp, NS.
Driving Distance: 160 km | approx. 8 hours of driving.

Day 5 – Cheticamp to Antigonish
Leaving the quaint little village of Cheticamp behind, head for for Antigonish, the Highland Heart of Nova Scotia. Rich with Scottish culture, Antigonish is host to the annual Antigonish Highland Games, the oldest continuously running Highland Games outside of Scotland.

Enroute, you first stop will be Inverness, once an active coal mining town. Today the town of Inverness is better known as a golfer's dream destination. Beach lovers will love to visit Inverness Beach, a long stretch of sandy coastline that is popular with ocean swimmers and beachcombers alike. Walk the boardwalk that overlooks the beach from the sand dunes above and be sure to time your stroll to catch one of the gorgeous sunsets over the ocean. You may even spot a pod of Minke or Pilot whales passing by!

Your next stop on your drive to Antigonish will be Mabou is a small rural community located on the west coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Mabou is known for its living history, the place to be if you wish to listen and dance to Celtic Music, immerse yourself in Gaelic Culture!

Your last stop before heading for Antigonish will be Judique as small village with the Highway 19 running straight through as the main street. The presence of the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre makes Judique an essential destination for anyone interested in the island music scene.

Overnight in Antigonish, NS.
Driving Distance: 192 km | approx. 8 hours of driving.

Day 6 – Fortress Louisbourg
Just east of Sydney, Nova Scotia, you’ll discover a portal to the past at one of North America’s busiest 18th-century seaports. Founded by the French in 1713, this reconstruction of the original French town and fortifications is the largest—and best—of its kind in North America, offering a heavy dose of history and culture with each unique experience. Watch 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 Louisbourg’s fortress walls and time-warp back to the 1700s. Chat with fishermen, sailors and servants. Sip rum and watch lace-making as children play 300-year-old games and stew simmers on an open-hearth fire. It’s so real, it seems surreal.

Make sure to dress warma nd wear comfortable walking shoes when you are visisting Fortress Louisbourg.

Overnight in Antigonish, NS.
Driving Distance: 222km | approx. 3 hours of driving each way.

Day 7 – Antigonish to Halifax
This morning, drive to Halifax. Day free to explore Halifax, Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, Mahoney’s Bay and more. Admissions to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site are included in your Self Drive package. Rest of the day free.

Overnight in Halifax, NS.
Driving Distance: 213 km | approx. 3 hours of driving.

Day 8 – End of you Cabot’s Trail Tour
Your Cabot’s Trail Tour end this morning. Hotel check-out is posted for 11 AM. Drive to the airport, drop your rental car off and fly home.

Tour Price
• Price shown is for a person based on twin share accommodation, for the travel period indicated.
• 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.

• 7 nights accommodations in Hotels, Cottages, B & B and Motels.
• Park Passes to Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
• Admissions to Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
• Admissions to Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.
• Admissions to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
• Rental of a mid-size car
• Unlimited Mileage.
• Resort Fees, Taxes & HST.

• Airfare. Offered as a supplement on request.
• Breakfast and other meals.
• Rental Car Insurance – Collision Damage Waiver/ Loss Damage Waiver with AUD$760 deductible. This is offered as an Optional Add-on.
• Additional Driver Fees.
• Roadside assistance.
• Gas for the vehicle.
• GPS. Racks, etc.
• Child and Infant Seats.
• Parking & Tolls.
• Canada Park Fees.
• Porterage at hotels.
• Bottled Water in hotel rooms.
• Visa and Documentation Fees.
• Telephone calls, Laundry, and other expenses.
• Any personal expenses.
• Gratuities for hotel staff (optional).
• Travel Insurance
• Optional Tours and activities.
• Early Check-in and Late Check-out charges. Charges will apply.
• If applicable, cost of any RTPCR/Antigen Test or costs related to quarantine.

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