Warm-hearted locals, beautiful landscapes, rare wildlife, and rich history await you in Newfoundland & Labrador. This province is quickly becoming increasingly popular with travellers – and it’s easy to see why. Here are just some of the places we think you should visit whilst you’re there.
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador’s capital city, is the perfect combination of big-city luxury and small-town charm. As the oldest and most easterly city in North America, the city is full of character and charisma, with a contemporary, sophisticated edge. Wander down the narrow, crisscrossing streets past colourful jellybean row houses toward the waterfront, then hike up nearby Signal Hill National Historic Site through the famous Battery, where tiny wooden homes still cling valiantly to cliffsides ravaged by ocean waves. Perched on the top of the horizon is The Rooms, home to the provincial museum, art gallery and archives. For nightlife excitement, head to the famous George Street, a full street of clubs, pubs, bars, and restaurants. In St. John's, courteous and lively people will treat you as friends – willing to send you in the right direction, help you on your way, or even take you there. Always happy to tell a tale, no matter how tall, just to make you smile. Certainly, this city is like no other.
Cape Spear National Historic Site
The easternmost point of land in North America, Cape Spear National Historic Site offers spectacular views along the coast towards St. John’s. Spot whales swimming below the cliffs in summer or witness icebergs floating in the waters between April and July. The cape is home to a number of stunning boardwalks, with its main path leading to the oldest remaining lighthouse in the province. A beloved symbol of Newfoundland & Labrador’s seafaring history, this Victorian lighthouse has been restored with 19th century furnishings.
Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) first landed in the Americas in 1497, and it’s believed that Bonavista is the spot where the Italian explorer disembarked. This pretty town takes its name from the words Caboto’s exclamation of “O buono vista!” (Oh happy sight!) when he first saw the beautiful coastline. Consider heading to the top of the town’s 19th-century lighthouse, where you’ll be able to spot ten thousand-year-old icebergs floating in the waters off the rocky coast. The area is a wonderful place for wildlife-watching, with puffin nesting grounds found nearby the lighthouse, as well as whales and seabirds often visible from the shoreline.
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park offers a huge expanse of hauntingly beautiful natural scenery. The park is carved into northern and southern sections by Bonne Bay. Head to the southern area to see the Tablelands, a rare stretch of exposed mantle rock that earned the park its UNESCO World Heritage status. In the northern area of the park, take part in challenging hiking trails that run through dwarf forests. If you’re feeling adventurous, travellers can reach the summit of Gros Morne Mountain - the second highest peak in Newfoundland. Dotted with windswept beaches, tumbling fjords and huge mountains, the park is a perfect spot for camping, hiking, wildlife-viewing and kayaking; a perfect day out for all ages.
Quidi Vidi Village
This unique fishing village just outside of downtown St. John’s is especially charming and scenic. Visit Mallard Cottage, a white cottage and national historic site that sits next to the road. Explore the small harbour by boat or by foot, taking advantage of the numerous food, beverage and artisan experiences on offer.
Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve
Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve is set on the Avalon Peninsula and is one of North America’s most accessible bird colonies. Covered with alpine wildflowers and earthy mosses, the reserve is a wonderful place for pleasant nature walks or vigorous hikes. It is also home to dozens of different bird species, ranging from black-legged kittiwakes to great cormorants. Some of the cape’s most impressive scenery can be found by following the trail leading to Bird Rock; take this easy 1-kilometer path winds past lush fields filled with grazing sheep to reach a dramatic cliff face, home to over 70,000 birds.
Brigus’ winding lanes slope up gently to meet lush cliffs that look out over the coast. The town’s stone walls, beautiful gardens and historic buildings display the city’s deep connection with its English, Irish and Welsh heritage. If visiting in August, make sure to visit the famous Blueberry Festival which attracts thousands of visitors every year. Eat delicious traditional food, dance, sing and watch fireworks.
Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist
The Anglican Cathedral of St John the Baptist sits in the capital city of St John's and is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. The cathedral was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1892 and features intricate oak carvings, stunning stained glass windows, bluestone walls and stone arches. For a taste of history, make your way to the south transept to see a 12th-century gargoyle. If you’re visiting in summer, enjoy homemade cakes and a cup of tea in the crypt.
Torngat Mountains National Park
Despite Torngat Mountains National Park being one of Canada’s newest national parks, its history stretches back for more than a billion years. With no roads, signs, or campgrounds, some travellers may see Torngat as somewhat of a hidden gem. However, if you take the time to find it, the park reaps the rewards for its visitors, with ultra-high peaks and wildlife ranging from caribou to polar bears.
Codroy Valley is a picturesque landscape of lush green farmlands. The valley is overlooked by rugged cliffs topped with beautiful old churches, and is actually one of the earliest recorded settlements on the west coast of Newfoundland. Today, it’s home to several small Scottish communities with strong ties to their heritage. In the summer, the Grand Codroy River area offers excellent opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and bird-watching; in the winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are popular.
Thinking of exploring Newfoundland & Labrador? Maybe a tailormade tour where you can explore Atlantic Canada in its entirety? Call us on 0161 888 5632 and our Canada experts will tailomake the perfect holiday for you.