Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Scenery and lobster in Saint John, New Brunswick & Bay of Fundy
Scenery and lobster in Saint John, New Brunswick & Bay of Fundy
Whales Bay of Fundy & Lundenburg, Nova Scotia
Whales Bay of Fundy & Lundenburg, Nova Scotia
Charlottetown & Prince Edward Island landscapes
Charlottetown & Prince Edward Island landscapes
New Brunswick Lobster; The Hopewell Rocks
New Brunswick Lobster; The Hopewell Rocks

Self-Drive A Taste of the Maritimes

12 nights from €2,155 per person Including Flights

Overview

A lovely leisurely self-drive tour of the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We love this circular itinerary as the driving distances are not too long and there are several two night stays to allow you the time to appreciate your beautiful surroundings.

You will begin in the waterfront city of Halifax, then travel along the and picturesque and aptly named “Lighthouse Route” in Nova Scotia. Cross the Bay of Fundy, home of the world's largest tides, into the charming province of New Brunswick where you will discover beautiful coastal landscapes and delicious seafood. Cross the world-beating Confederation Bridge into the gem of  province – Prince Edward Island to enjoy time in its appealing capital city. Take a scenic ferry journey to Nova Scotia across the Northumberland Strait and then explore the spectacular Cape Breton Island, before returning to Halifax.

Highlights

  • Discover the picturesque lighthouses and fishing communities of Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia
  • Visit the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park and marvel at the most dramatic tides in the world, revealing the sea floor and towers of naturally carved stone
  • Enjoy time in Saint John New Brunswick, browsing the historic city market and savouring delicious cuisine from an appealing array of restaurants
  • Experience the small city charm of Charlottetown, the capital of Canada’s smallest province
  • Explore the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, drive along the majestic Cabot Trail and perhaps take time to hike the spectacular Skyline Trail

Itinerary Overview

Fly to Halifax NS 2 nights – Western Shore NS 2 nights – Digby NS 1 night – Saint John NB 2 nights – Moncton NB 1 night – Charlottetown PEI 1 night – Baddeck NS 2 nights – Halifax NS 1 night – Fly home

Whats included?
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Checked baggage
  • CAR licensed & bonded
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
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Day 1

Fly to Halifax, Nova Scotia

Arrive at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. Instead of flying direct to Halifax you may want to fly via another city such as Toronto or Montreal to extend your Canadian experience.

Day 2

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Enjoy a full day to explore the historic city of Halifax, located on one of the world’s largest natural harbours. You can discover its proud maritime heritage in the many museums and along the waterfront area, which includes the restored Historic Properties. Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and traverse the star shaped fort that has guarded the city since the 18th-century, admire the Victorian Gardenesque style at the Halifax Public Gardens or perhaps take a leisurely sail on a harbour cruise aboard the Tall Ship Silva.

Day 3

Halifax to Western Shore, Nova Scotia (47 miles)

Drive the scenic Lighthouse Route along Nova Scotia’s southern coastline to the fishing community of Peggy’s Cove. This picturesque fishing village is surrounded by bare granite and coastal barrens with trails leading to its famous lighthouse. Continue along the coast and perhaps stop in the port of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a visit to the renowned Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic before driving just a little further along the coast to Western Shore for a two night stay.

Day 4

Western Shore, Nova Scotia

A day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of your hotel and the locality. You can also pay a visit to the Oak Island Interpretive Centre and learn how this small island is rumoured to have been a site of buried treasures for centuries. You could take the 10 minute drive to pretty Mahone Bay, where you can enjoy a stroll and perhaps visit the museum or charming boutique shops.

Day 5

Western Shore - Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site – Digby, Nova Scotia (98 miles)

Take the scenic, cross-country drive linking the rocky south shore with the lush Annapolis Valley. Enjoy the amazing views as you traverse extensive woodlands dotted with lakes. Take some time to explore the wilderness of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site along the centuries-old Mi’kmaq canoe routes or follow the hiking trails into its forested heartland. Travel along the Annapolis Basin, boasting relics of Anglo-French colonial rivalry. Arrive in Digby for your one night stay.

Day 6

Digby – Saint John, New Brunswick (50 miles on land)

Enjoy a ferry* ride across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, famous for having the world’s largest tides. Arrive in In Saint John for a two night stay and check into your hotel. Enjoy a relaxing evening in this charming seaport, with a plethora of restaurants, many with pleasant outdoor patios, offering delicious seafood and regional dishes.

* The ferry cannot be pre-booked. The crossing takes around 3 hours and costs approximately $180pp

Day 7

Saint John, New Brunswick

A full day to enjoy Saint John, perhaps visiting one of the many small museums and galleries, or browse the vibrant Saint John City Market, where you will find mouth-watering food and local arts and crafts beneath a ceiling created in the 19 century to resemble the hull of a ship. It’s worth taking a look at the famous Reversing Falls – a trick of the tide that seems to reverse the water’s current. If you wanted to explore further afield in New Brunswick you could take the scenic drive to Fredericton to visit the King’s Landing Historical Settlement – a role-playing historic community depicting everyday life in 19th century.

Day 8

Saint John to Moncton (94 miles)

Today you will discover the charming covered bridges en route to Fundy National Park. Explore The Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park and marvel at the most dramatic tides in the world, revealing the sea floor and towers of naturally carved stone on your self-guided tour (entrance fee included). You could make a short detour to Shediac, the lobster capital of the world, and enjoy an early lobster dinner before continuing to Moncton for your overnight stay.

Day 9

Moncton to Charlottetown (102 miles)

Before leaving Moncton we suggest a stop at the Magnetic Hill where you can put the car in neutral to experience the illusion of being pulled up hill by a ‘magnetic force’  (hint – it’s actually an optical illusion). Then head south to the architectural gem of Dorchester and visit the French fort of Beausejour at the Nova Scotia provincial border.  Arriving at the Confederation Bridge, which links New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, you’ll find the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre, displaying the cultural history and environmental diversity of the region.

Then drive across the Confederation Bridge - the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered water, stretching for eight miles across the Northumberland Strait. Arrive onto Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, just 174 miles tip to tip with just 152,000 “islanders”. Overnight in Charlottetown.

Day 10

Charlottetown to Baddeck (169 miles – land only)

Today’s journey takes you past Orwell Corner Historic Site to board the ferry* across the Northumberland Strait to Nova Scotia. Drive through tranquil scenery and small communities that continue to celebrate Nova Scotia’s Scottish, Indigenous and Acadian identities. Continue into Cape Breton Island through the magnificent highland scenery that surrounds Bras d’Or Lake, and drive to the delightful resort community of Baddeck. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site  is dedicated to the life and works of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. You will be spending two nights in Baddeck, to allow a full day tomorrow exploring the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands.

* Ferry crossing from Wood Islands, PEI to Caribou, Nova  Scotia cannot be pre-booked. The crossing time is 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs approximately $85 per vehicle

Day 11

Cape Breton Highlands

A scenic highlight of this trip is to drive the Cabot Trail into the highlands of northern Cape Breton. The trail runs past lochs and glens settled by Scottish Highlanders and along scenic coastlines settled by Acadians. Meander through the rugged Cape Breton Highlands National Park enjoying stunning views of sea-swept headlands, steep cliffs and tranquil beaches. Hiking trails lead into the interior of the park where stunning vistas appear at each turn. Return to Baddeck through the lush Margaree Valley.

Day 12

Baddeck to Halifax (218 miles)

Today take a leisurely drive across the heart of Nova Scotia. Perhaps stop for lunch in either the small town of Truro or Antigonish for a taste of the peaceful Maritime life. Continue on to the port city of Halifax, renowned for its long and fascinating history and great importance to the East Coast for your final night

Day 13

Fly home from Halifax

  • Return international flights
  • Fully inclusive car rental – upgrades available at a supplement (eg: SUV or convertible)
  • Hotel accommodation in 3* to 4* hotels on a room only basis unless otherwise stated
  • Admission to Hopewell Rocks and self guided tour
  • Electronic roadbook

What's not included

  • Meals
  • Fuel or parking fees
  • Entrance fees to national parks and attractions
  • Ferry from Digby NS to Saint John NB - approximately $183pp
  • Ferry from Wood islands PEI to Caribou NS - approximately $115pp

Rachel McAnaspie
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