Why Atlantic Canada Is Worth The Wander In 2024

Step back in time and visit Newfoundland’s Change Islands—an active fishing community and home to a pony sanctuary, this hidden gem is accessible by ferry at Farewell © Barrett & MacKay Photo

Spanning the four provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Canada is renowned for its incredible natural scenery, delectable seafood, quaint towns and villages, and maritime hospitality.

Easy to reach, UK travellers already have access to its shores via several airlines, including Air Canada, with flights available from London Heathrow direct to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fabulous news for Scottish fans of the country’s “Ocean Playground,” this summer Halifax will be accessible from Edinburgh via a six-hour flight, and beginning in May, London’s Gatwick Airport will fly direct to St. John’s, Newfoundland, with both routes operated by WestJet. Getting you there in a little under six hours, the Happy Province made The Telegraph’s list of “Top 20 Destinations to Visit in 2024” after the new seasonal connection was announced.

Whales, Trails, and Lobster Tails: Crafting Your Perfect Atlantic Canadian Escape

No matter what type of travel experience you are seeking and whatever the season, this distinctive part of Canada has it all. And with each province offering something unique, we would advise you to combine two, three, or even all four so you can truly appreciate the region.

One of Fundy National Park’s most spectacular waterfalls, Laverty falls tumbles over a 39 foot sheer rock face ©Tourism New Brunswick

For those looking to embrace the beauty and serenity of nature, head out to Cape Breton Highlands National Park and traverse Nova Scotia’s iconic Cabot Trail. Alternatively, marvel at thundering waterfalls in New Brunswick’s Fundy National Park, or watch whales and puffins off the coast of Newfoundland.

Prince Edward Island’s north central coast near Darnley is famous for its stunning, wind-and-sea sculpted sandstone cliffs ©Tourism PEI/Paul Baglole

Prefer something a bit more low-key? Stroll the sandy beaches on Prince Edward Island’s north central coast with its towering red cliffs, kayak past fishing boats in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, or wander the historic streets of Saint John, a fascinating seaport city in New Brunswick.

Enjoy a seafood gourmet picnic on the Rocks at Peggy’s Cove with The Sou’Wester Gift and Restaurant—made-to-order, choose your appetiser, entrees, desserts and beverages © Tourism Nova Scotia/Photographer Jive Photographic

Foodies will also delight in the region’s fresh-from-the-sea lobster (Barrington, Nova Scotia, is the Lobster Capital of Canada), scallops, oysters, mussels, Atlantic salmon, and more. And beer lovers can sample craft brews at breweries and pubs in Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, St. John’s, and beyond.

From Kitchen Parties to Pub Tales: The Heartbeat of Atlantic Canada

But aside from impressive natural wonders, stunning beaches, and delicious seafood, it’s really the people that make travel to Atlantic Canada special. Historically settled by the Scottish, Irish, English, and French colonists, and home to cultures 10,000 years in the making, today you’ll discover diverse, welcoming communities where music, storytelling, and a laidback way of life persist.

Find yourself at a Cape Breton Ceilidh and kitchen party and experience the music and warmth of the island’s local communities ©Destination Cape Breton Association

Sit with locals for a kitchen party in Cape Breton, where Celtic music flows as freely as the beer; chat with a French Acadian in northeastern New Brunswick; travel to the Tyne Valley, home to Prince Edward Island’s indigenous people; and listen to stories (perhaps even a screech-in ceremony!) at a pub in Newfoundland, where the accents are rich and the humour is quick.

Take a tour of St. John’s and discover its past, the vibrant, historic, colourful, and contemporary city that is 500 years young, changing from a port in a storm to a fishing village and finally to the provincial capital of Newfoundland & Labrador © Barrett & MacKay Photo

Whether you fancy an active hike with nature falling in on all sides, a relaxing beachside sojourn, a foodie frenzy on a specially designed trail, an historic city stay, a game of golf (each of the provinces has at least one course in the top 100), or even a bit of everything, Atlantic Canada has you covered. Dip into the individual provinces below and find out where your travels might take you.

New Brunswick

On New Brunswick’s magnificent Fundy Coast, the highest tides in the world ebb and flow, creating twice-daily tidal spectacles. Watch them rush in at Hopewell Rocks, and when they leave, marvel at the vast flowerpot islands and sea stacks dotting the coast.

At Hopewell Rocks, at low tide you can walk on the ocean floor, explore coves, and take in the distinctive sandstone formations topped with trees © New Brunswick Tourism

Inland, the province is over 85% forested, with verdant rolling hills perfect for hiking. Don’t miss the Williams Falls Trail with its fabulous viewing platform in Mount Carleton Provincial Park (the park home to the highest point in all the maritimes), or circumnavigate Grand Manan Island on the multi-day Lighthouse Trail trek for some of the best coastal views in the province.

For more sedate sight-seeing, sign up for whales and cocktails at Campobello Island, beloved by Franklin Roosevelt, or get behind the wheel and soak up living history on the Acadian Coastal Drive, the designated route filled with welcoming Acadian communities.

Nova Scotia

From the Scottish charm of Cape Breton to the Acadian shores of the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia wows visitors with its incredible coastal vistas and cultural links to its immigrant ancestors. Included in the long list of must-see sights are Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, just 27 miles west of the capital of Halifax, and Lunenburg, the port town, a UNESCO site and the perfect place to stroll in search of seafood and spirits that are both otherworldly and worthy of imbibing.

The Telegraph named Dining on the Ocean Floor one of the 13 Most Spectacular Dining Destinations in the World—the culinary adventures takes place at Burntcoat Head Park, Bay of Fundy © Tourism Nova Scotia/Photographer @daveyandsky

For more adventure, take to the Cabot Trail, where you might spot whales or puffins, and don’t forget to savour the province’s famous seafood. Visit Digby, famous for its scallops; journey across Halifax on a food tour of its locally owned eateries; or savour the site of the world’s highest tides and enjoy the ultimate culinary experience and the opportunity to dine on the ocean floor.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island features gently sloping fields dotted with clapboard farmhouses and quaint fishing villages with boats bobbing in their harbours. Around every curve is a lighthouse, a white-sand beach, or a state-of-the-art golf course.

On Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables, the protagonist of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel, springs to life ©Tourism PEI/John Sylvester

Don’t miss sampling mouthwatering lobster and oysters, cycling the famous Confederation Trail, or visiting the many Anne of Green Gables sights on this gentle island paradise.

Be sure to catch one of the island’s biennial performances of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical™, as the production is set to resume in 2024. From singing beaches to its Celtic heritage, you’ll soon see why the province has a cultural allure all its own.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador boasts Viking history, songs and hues that hint of Ireland, and remote fishing villages only reachable by boat. Here, icebergs float by, puffins pose for days, and orcas and whale sharks come to feed. Rugged hiking trails criss-cross wild landscapes, and it’s even rumoured that one of the four corners of the earth is to be found off Fogo Island.

The waters of the northeast coast of Newfoundland, where Fogo Island sits, are known as “Iceberg Alley © Fogo Island Inn

Then there’s sophisticated St. John’s, one of North America’s oldest cities, filled with fine dining experiences, historic sites, and nature trails only a few minutes drive from downtown.

Onwards to Labrador and the towering, fjord-like beauty and basalt cliffs of the Torngat Mountains—a spectacular wilderness and one of the most remote parts of Canada. Wherever you find yourself, local characters will bemuse you with music, tales, and flavours from the sea, and being the homeland of the now extinct Beothuk tribe, you can expect the mysteries here to run as deep as the Atlantic itself.

With custom travel planning expertise, we will design an Atlantic Canada holiday tailored precisely to your interests. So what are you waiting for? The friendly faces and places of this fascinating region are less than six hours away!

For more information and to book, call us on 020 8776 8709 or email us at canada@frontier-travel.co.uk. ATOL PROTECTED No 5405 ABTA W3207.