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Explore Atlantic Canada

14 day Self Drive - from £1299

Explore the best of Canada’s Maritime Provinces on this 14 day self drive around Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province and Cape Breton Island where you can access the Cabot Trail, widely considered one of the world’s most scenic destinations.

Highlights:

  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
  • Visit the scenic village of Peggy’s Cove
  • Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy
  • Explore Canada’s birthplace, Charlottetown
  • Explore the fabulous Cabot Trail
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Your Itinerary

Day 1: Halifax Arrival

Arrive in Halifax, pick up your rental vehicle and explore this true maritime city. First settled in 1749, Halifax today is Nova Scotia’s capital and the largest city in Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Hotel: Lord Nelson Hotel

Day 2: Halifax Sightseeing

A full day in Halifax to explore boutiques, pubs and cafes of Privateers Warehouse and Historic Properties, tour the Bluenose II (see the “tails” side of a Canadian dime for a picture of the Bluenose I). Get a terrific view of the city from the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and visit York Redoubt National Historic Site a 200-year-old fortification overlooking Halifax Harbour.

Hotel: Lord Nelson Hotel

Day 3: Lunenburg (90 miles)

Head south to Lunenburg, visiting Peggy’s Cove along the way. Peggy’s Cove (45km) is a small village with houses built right into the granite rock and a lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic. Old Town Lunenburg (98km), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a lovingly restored Victorian town that begs you to wander and explore.

Hotel: Boscawen Inn

Day 4: Annapolis Royal (83 miles)

Cross the peninsula and make a stop at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, renowned for its hiking trails and incredible canoeing on wilderness lakes and rivers. Park interpretive staff conduct outings on foot to reveal the natural history of the area, including the Mi’kmaq pretoglyphs. Continue along Route 8 to Annapolis Royal.

Hotel: Annapolis Royal

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 5: Whale watching and fishing villages (128 miles return)

Today drive along 95 km along the Digby Neck to experience a whale watching excursion in the nutrient rich waters of the Bay of Fundy. You will likely see finback and Minkes, humpbacks or even the rare North Atlantic right whale. Spend the afternoon exploring Annapolis Royal and Fort Anne.

Hotel: Annapolis Royal

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 6: Wolfville (68 miles)

Make time to stop at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site, commemorating Grand-Pré area as a centre of Acadian settlement from 1682 to 1755 and the Deportation of the Acadians, which began in 1755 and continued until 1762. Also the Domaine de Grand Pré is a fantastic winery in the area well worth a visit. (Breakfast included)

Hotel: Tattingstone Inn

Day 7: Charlottetown (224 miles)

En route to Charlottetown take time to stop and see the Bay of Fundy a marvel of nature. You will cross the 13km long Confederation Bridge.

Hotel: The Great George

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 8: Charlottetown Sightseeing

Explore Charlottetown site of Canada’s birthplace – Province House National Historic Site was the scene of meetings that led to the formation of Canada as a country in 1867.

Hotel: The Great George

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 9: Island Sightseeing (Approx 50-62 miles round trip)

You can explore picturesque Prince Edward Island National Park on the island’s north shore -see sand dunes, beaches and Green Gables, fictional home of Anne, the character created by Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery and loved by millions worldwide.

Hotel: The Great George

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 10: Cape Breton Island (170 miles)

Depart Charlottetown taking Route 1 to Wood Islands Ferry crossing to Caribou, Nova Scotia then drive to Cape Breton Island, a little piece of Scotland in North America.

Hotel: Inverary Resort

Meals: 1 Breakfast

Day 11: Cabot Trail (187 miles)

Allow a full day to drive with time to get out and hike or take in the stunning views. There are 28 beautiful hiking trails in the National Park between Cheticamp and Ingonish. The most recommended one would be the Skyline Trail which is located about 15 minutes drive from park entrance. Explore the fabulous Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Island for awe-inspiring views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The route winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Hotel: Inverary Resort

Day 12: Louisbourg Sightseeing (137 miles return)

This morning head north to discover the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This incredible “living museum,” largest historical reconstruction in North America, is an impressive restoration of a French garrison town dating from the 1700s, complete with costumed interpreters who re-enact daily life from the French colonial period. You can even sample period food in the restaurant, or take part in a mock battle.

Also, don’t miss a visit to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in the village of Baddeck, a museum dedicated to the life and inventions of this fascinating man – who spent his summers here on the shores of the Bras d’Or – Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site is located on Chebucto Street (Route 205), in a residential area on the east edge of the village of Baddeck. You may also want to visit the Highland Village Museum in Iona.

Hotel: Inverary Resort

Day 13: Halifax (222 miles)

A full day for the return trip to Halifax along the scenic Bras d’Or Lakes Drive to the Canso Causeway to enter mainland Nova Scotia. At the community of Antigonish, travel southwest along Marine Drive to your destination.

Hotel: Lord Nelson Suites

Day 14: Depart Halifax

Your self drive concludes today when you return you hire car to the depot. Head for the airport for you flight back to the UK. Or you could choose to stay a little longer in this harbour city.

14 day Self Drive - from £1299

With flights from £1825

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Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and includes pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

Explore Atlantic Canada Map

SELF DRIVE TOURING

Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.

Your self drive includes:

  • Well planned, easy to follow route
  • Travel guide and maps
  • 13 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • Activities and day tours included
  • Modern air-conditioned car
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car upgrades available upon request

See more Canada Self Drives…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a Canada Expert on 0333 234 0943