Days 2 to 7
Discover Nova Scotia
Follow the coast west to reach Peggy's Cove, known for its historical lighthouse built in 1868 on a granite block. It has inspired painters and photographers since the 19th century — why not try and take the best photo possible?
Follow the Lighthouse Route to reach Mahone Bay and its three neighbouring churches facing the sea. Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a charming fishing village and a true Nova Scotia wonder. Visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic for a taste of the fisher lifestyle. Its naval shipyard is where the schooner Bluenose II, a true Canadian symbol, was built in 1921.
Then, either head north to the Bay of Fundy or keep driving west along the Acadian coast.
Make way to Annapolis Royal, a splendid town of Victorian homes where you can go for a riverside stroll. Old capital of the province, Annapolis Royal was also once the capital of French Acadia back when its name was Port Royal. These are historical Acadian lands, and where the first European settlers lived. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Grand Pré commemorates the Great Upheaval of 1755, during which more than 10,000 Acadians were expelled out of the country. This poignant visit pays homage to the Acadian people.
Follow the coast towards Cap Split, where you'll overlook the Bay of Fundy and witness the world's highest tides. Wolfville is a village amidst the vineyards of the Annapolis Valley with a charming Victorian ambience. It is also the academic centre of the region. Award-winning wines like the AOP Acadie Blanc and the Tidal Bay are a sure source of delight for your palate.
The coast off of the Bay of Fundy is home to splendid landscapes like the Chignecto isthmus land ridge that links Nova Scotia to the Canadian continent. The scenery is wild and not very crowded. Go for a hike that'll make you feel all alone in the world.
The scenic Glooscap Trail is worth the trip thanks to its reddish landscapes and fishing villages. Let the breathtaking views of the bay surprise you! Head to Minas Basin, where you can walk on the ocean floor and see its renowned tidal bore and landscapes, all results of the area's great tides. Parrsboro is a renowned tidal observation site and the home of a myriad surreal photos. For great trails worthy of a superb natural site, Five Islands Provincial Park is just around the corner.
Further north, hit the Sunrise Trail towards Cape Breton Island, located on the Northumberland Strait. There you’’ll find beautiful beaches, warm waters and charming fishing villages. Make sure you stop by Pictou, where lobster is king and is easily sampled in all its delectable forms. It's also the landing site of the first Scottish settlers, who set their ship, the Hector, to shore in 1773.
Head to Port Hastings, your entryway to the natural jewel filled with stunning vistas known as Cape Breton Island. Let the scenic roads take you around the island, stopping by Port Hood for a dip in its warm waters. Head in Acadian lands to the charming village of Cheticamp and its craft shops. Consider hopping aboard a whale-watching cruise while you're there! Cheticamp is also neighbour to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where forests, streams and lakes shape the land. For your best photo op yet, head to Skyline Trail, which is at its best around sunset. Additionally, Cabot Trail is considered, with reason, one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Reach the end of Cabot Trail to find beautiful Baddeck on the shores of Bras d'Or Lake. There you'll find the summer residence of one Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, and an excellent area to spot bald eagles.
The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is the most important historical reconstitution in North America. Louisbourg, in true historical city fashion, will take you back in time with its authentic buildings and architecture. Take part in proposed activities like musket shooting or folk dancing. Follow the coast westward to visit Acadian lands.
The Acadian Coast and Yarmouth are your go-to for total immersion in Acadian culture. From Luneburg, follow the coast to Pubnico and visit the Village Historique Acadien. Delve into the daily life of Nova Scotia's francophone population from the 17th to the 19th century. Nearby Yarmouth, meanwhile, is one of the most lively ports of the province. Take part in activities that'll let you enjoy the sea like never before. Seasonal visits to Cap Fourchu's lighthouse are a must and come with breathtaking views.
Sticking close to the shoreline will take you to St. Mary's Bay, rooted in Acadian history going as far back as the 17th century. Make sure to visit St. Mary's Church, the oldest wooden church in North America.
Head inland on the west side of the province to reach Kejimbujik National Park. Once home of the indigenous Mi'kmaqs, the park is nowadays filled with trails where one can admire petroglyphs and stone engravings.