Karen Davies works in our Reservations Department and was lucky enough to visit the amazing province of Nova Scotia. Here's her incredible experience.
Canada's Nova Scotia is full of quaint towns, rugged coastline and fantastic scenery and last autumn I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore it first hand.
We flew from London Heathrow to Halifax, with Air Canada, and the luxury of their Executive First cabin, which was a delight and made for a very relaxing and comfortable journey.
We started with 2 nights in Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada. We were acquainted with the city on a comprehensive city tour; our local guide was charming and dressed in a traditional kit and sporran. Our first stop was the cemetery where 126 victims of the Titanic disaster are buried, it was a very moving experience. The tour also took us to the docks, waterfront and the beautiful park located in the centre of the city.
After the tour, we headed to the Citadel in the centre of town where we were met by a kilt clad sergeant major who showed us around and told us fascinating stories of everyday life as a solider. This is one of the most popular sites in Halifax, especially for kids (big and little ones!).
We left Halifax and travelled to the picturesque village of Peggy’s Cove, known for its famous lighthouse. It’s best to travel there early or late in the day for two main reasons; you can capture stunning pictures of the early morning mist or the spectacular evening sunset; also because it means avoiding cruise ship visitors.
Next we took a spectacular drive along the coast towards Lunenburg, very much a picture perfect Nova Scotia town with road after road of clapboard houses painted in bright colours. The consensus was unanimous; we all fell in love with Lunenburg. We enjoyed a walking tour of the town including the Lunenburg Academy, The Lennox Inn (the oldest inn in Canada), the Anglican Church and many other highlights. We also enjoyed a visit to the Ironworks Distillery and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Leaving the rugged Atlantic coast behind, we travelled on to the Annapolis Valley, a region rich in history and the heartland of Nova Scotia’s farming and wine industry. A tour of the Luckett Vineyards was fascinating, as was a tasting session; all the wines were lovely, especially the Tidal Bay.
We then travelled to Grand-Pré National Historic site with its myriad of treasures from the days of the early European settlers giving visitors a great insight into the area’s history.
Next up was the Tidal Bore Rafting on the Bay of Fundy. For those participating (not me – I am a coward) it is an experience unlike any other. You float along the calm, peaceful river taking in the scenery and then the river is suddenly transformed into raging rapids. Twice a day when the tide changes, the bore temporarily reverses the flow of the river, creating incredible roller coaster rapids as high as a four-story building. Be warned my colleagues came back looking very wet, soggy and dirty but thoroughly exhilarated!
The final leg of our journey took us to stunning Cape Breton. Here, a hike along the Skyline Trail is highly recommended as it offers an eagle’s eye view of the Cabot Trail as it winds its way down the mountain. We headed off to visit the Glenora Distillery before arriving at Baddeck for my last night in Nova Scotia, a small and quaint town with lots of independent shops and restaurants. The next morning after a short drive around Baddeck, we headed to the small town of Sherbrooke. Today the town lives up to its Victorian roots and many of the local establishments such as printers, blacksmiths, bakers and carpenters are run and manned as they would have been back in the Victorian times. The locals are very passionate and knowledgeable and revel in sharing the town’s history.
We headed off to our last stop of the trip, a great lodge set in beautiful woodlands where we enjoyed some lunch and a fantastic view. With heavy hearts the group said their goodbyes as we all went our separate ways. I was very lucky to be upgraded to Executive First for my flight back to the UK with Air Canada, it was nice to sit back, relax and reflect back on a truly incredible trip.
You can experience a similar trip on our Atlantic Charm self-drive tour.
About the Author: Karen Davies works on our reservations team and has over 30 years experience within the travel industry. She has travelled extensively around the world to destinations far and wide including Western Canada and Florida in North America, Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia and Dominica in the Caribbean.