GVQ Travel |Self drive
480.jpg
480.jpg
479.jpg
478.jpg
477.jpg
Canada's Maritimes Provinces
15 days / 14 nights

Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery of three unique provinces with so much to offer! New Brunswick, home to the Acadians, Canada’s oldest French-speaking community and its majestic Bay of Fundy with superb whale watching possibilities. Nova Scotia, with its proud Scottish heritage and attractive capital, Halifax and Georgian style architecture. Prince Edward Island, accessible by the Confederation Bridge, a delight to discover, and cited as “that colorful little land of ruby and emerald and sapphire...” by Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Other highlights of this itinerary include the iconic Hopewell Rocks, Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, Charlottetown and the lovely island of Cape Breton. Our carefully planned self-drive tour allows you to discover these picturesque provinces at your own pace.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN HALIFAX

Upon arrival at Halifax International Airport, you will pick up your rental car and head for your hotel. Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia, a large peninsula with a maritime vocation, attached to the Canadian continent by a narrow strip of land. The borders of Nova Scotia changed several times during its colonization by the English, then by the French. However, what you will encounter most here in Halifax is Scottish influence, in memory of the first settlers on the peninsula.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: B&B Waverly Inn
Standard: Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Superior: The Halliburton

DAY 2: HALIFAX - LUNENBURG

Halifax is a charming Harbor town, offering an easy-going atmosphere thanks to the sea, its Georgian houses and the numerous restaurants and pubs. Among the must-sees are the Citadel erected by the Brits, which tells the story of the region in a very fun way. Also, don’t miss the bustling shopping streets: Barrington St. and Spring Garden St.

Suggested visits:
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and its’ collection of boats, that come in all sizes. The Alexander Keith brewery is also a must in Halifax. Drive towards Bridgewater.
Take a detour to Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing village 40 minutes out of Halifax.
Arrive in Lunenburg. This European style fishing port with its’ colorful houses used to be a hideout for pirates. The city has been classified UNESCO World Heritage for its’ architecture. Today the port is extremely active in the shipbuilding industry, more specifically for schooners, such as the very famous Blue Nose. Overnight at the hotel.

Accommodation
Standard: Mariner King
Superior: Superior room at the Mariner King

Optional activities:

  • Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

DAY 3: LUNENBURG - ANNAPOLIS ROYAL

On the road towards Digby, you will find the Kejimkujic National Park, which counts a multitude of lakes conferring to the place a captivating atmosphere. This region was once home to the Micmac tribes, who lived off fishing and hunting. You might catch sight of a white-tailed deer, a moose or a loon, all abundant in the park. You could go canoeing (accessible to beginners), hiking, biking or swimming on the beautiful Merrymakedge beach.

Further suggestions: the Annapolis valley.
Arrival in Annapolis Royal. Overnight at the hotel.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Tulip Tree B&B
Standard: Hillsdale House

DAY 4 AND 5: DIGBY - SAINT JOHN

This morning you will take the 8 o’clock ferry to Saint John (included). You will cross the Bay of Fundy, best known for the highest tides in the world, occurring twice a day. At low tide, incredible long beaches and caves, dug into the cliffs, appear. After three hours of navigation, you arrive in St John, also called Fog City due to the persistent foggy conditions that can occur in the Bay of Fundy. St John is a large city structured around the port with a pleasant downtown, easily accessible on foot. The New Brunswick Museum will teach you more about the history of the region, as well as its’ economy and its’ different waves of immigration. A must-see: King Square Gardens. Don’t miss: The “Reversing Rapids”, Fallsview Park in Saint John. The Reversing Rapids are a unique phenomenon, at high tide, created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy’s monstrous tides and the mighty St. John River. This phenomenon causes a series of rapids and whirlpools. Get the tide schedules. There is the possibility to ride the tide on a “jet boat”.

Accommodation
Standard: Holiday Inn Express
Superior: Hilton St-John

DAY 6 : SAINT JOHN - MONCTON

Drive to Moncton. We strongly suggest you take the day to discover the Bay of Fundy. The Bay is famous worldwide for its’ exquisite whale watching conditions. The most observed species here are the minke whale, the fin whale, the humpback whale and the very rare right whale of the Northern Atlantic. This last whale is the rarest of all big whales and one of the most endangered species by human activity in this region. Overnight in Moncton.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: B&B Downtown
Standard: Crowne Plaza Moncton
Superior: Rodd Hotel

DAY 7: MONCTON

You must go to Hopewell Rocks, the ideal place to witness the highest tides in the world and to see the formation of sandstone rocks, shaped as flowerpots. Groomed walking trails. Other suggested visits near Moncton: Magnetic Hill! This incredible, natural phenomenon has mesmerized visitors for over 75 years. Sit comfortably in your car, drive to the bottom of Magnetic Hill, let go of the brakes and let car reverse back to the top! Very exciting! Overnight stay in Moncton.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: B&B Downtown
Standard: Crowne Plaza Moncton
Superior: Rodd Hotel

Optional:

  • Night in Shediac, at Maison Tait

DAY 8: MONCTON - CHARLOTTETOWN

Today you are off to Prince Edward Island, located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The island is the smallest province in Canada and the birthplace of the Confederation. It is known for the beauty of its’ landscapes and its’ cozy atmosphere. Several panoramic routes are available to discover this multicolored island: the pink and white sandy beaches, the red sandstone cliffs, the green countryside… You will cross the Confederation Bridge (payable on site) to get on the island and go to Charlottetown, the small capital of the province. Charlottetown is a small, peaceful port town located in a well-sheltered bay. It is nevertheless very lively: Victoria Bow is a bustling pedestrian street with many bars and restaurants.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Charlotte Rose Inn
Standard: Best Western Charlottetown
Superior: The Great George

DAY 9: CHARLOTTETOWN - PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Take the day to visit this marvelous island. If you head west, you will enter the Evangeline region and its’ small Acadian villages. For those interested in the Acadian culture and customs, the Acadian Museum and the village Acadie will take you back through the history of this region and will also have you taste traditional dishes. As you drive further, the West Point Lighthouse in Cedar Dunes Park is the perfect place to observe the fauna and flora of the dunes as well as the lovely surrounding beaches. Must do: Cavendish, major tourist attraction of the island thanks to its’ beautiful beaches, is also the gateway to Prince Edward Island National Park. Here you will witness the most beautiful landscapes of Eastern Canada offering a rich color palette, owed to the winds, tides, glaciers and various climates that have shaped the place.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Charlotte Rose Inn
Standard: Best Western Charlottetown
Superior: The Great George

DAY 10: CHARLOTTETOWN - PICTOU

Take the ferry at Wood Island at whatever time suits you (9h30 or 11h15 or 13h00 or other, depending on the season). After a 1 hour 15 minute crossing, you get off in Caribou. The first Scottish settlers arrived in Pictou in 1773, and it couldn’t be more obvious!  Scotland is present everywhere: from the traditional kilt to the music to the many pubs of course. Even the architecture reminds us of Scotland with its’ brick buildings and small port. On the port is the Hector Heritage Quay Museum, which introduces the visitor to the history of the schooner bearing the same name.

Accommodation
Standard: Pictou Lodge

DAY 11: PICTOU - CHÉTICAMP

Today you’ll be driving to Cape Breton Island after having crossed the Strait of Canso. Chéticamp, is a proud, Acadian, one-street village of houses all made out of wood. Chéticamp is famous for its’ hand-hooked rugs. However, what makes the village most interesting is its’ location, at the very entrance of Cape Breton Highlands National Park ($). Chéticamp is also a privileged place for whale watching. On the road you might want to stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site to get to know more about the inventor of the telephone and some of his other inventions as well.

Accommodation
Standard: Doucet Inn

Optional stay: Extend your stay:

  • 1 additional night at the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish beach

DAY 12: CHETICAMP - SYDNEY

Take the day to visit the Park. The visit starts with the magnificent Cabot Trail, a small winding road that will have you discover the most beautiful panoramas of this part of the world. This route goes all the way around the peninsula, letting you admire the sea every minute of the way and offering numerous lookouts with unique views. Overnight in Sydney.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Paradise Found B&B
Standard: Days Inn Sydney

DAY 13: SYDNEY

Sydney is the industrial capital of Cape Breton. Thanks to rich coalmines and a port facing the Atlantic, the place has a large number of steel mills.

Suggested visits:
Visit the town of Louisburg, 30 km from Sydney. A fortress was built here to protect New France. The destroyed fortress was rebuilt to relive these turbulent times. Traditionally costumed characters walk around the 50 open houses of the visit; each house is traditionally furnished. Demonstrations of drumming, canon firing and rifle shooting onsite. Overnight in Sydney.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Paradise Found B&B
Standard: Days Inn Sydney

DAY 14: SYDNEY - HALIFAX

Return to Halifax. You will drive along the Bras d’Or Lake, a true inland sea and refuge to the bald eagles. Many Micmac tribes have made the banks of the lake their home. Take this last opportunity to soak up the wonderful landscapes of the region and to do a little shopping. Overnight in Halifax.

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: B&B Waverly Inn
Standard: Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Superior: The Halliburton

DAY 15: HALIFAX - EUROPE

According to your flight schedule, return your rental vehicle at Halifax International Airport prior to take-off.

The itinerary and the activities are subject to change with the season.

The holiday includes

  • 14 nights' accommodation with a choice of bed and breafkast, standard or superior as described in the itinerary
  • 14 breakfasts
  • The activities, the tours and visits mentioned in the programme

Not included in you Holiday

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Personal spending
  • Car hire (please contact us for further details)
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • The cost of parking at some of the hotels (where applicable)