If travelling from the UK to Canada, fly to Halifax which is less than six hours. There are regular flights on WestJet and Air Canada. Halifax is quiet and an excellent entry point for North America.
Nova Scotia is very rural, so it is best to hire a car from the airport. The roads are uncongested, and the airport is outside the city of Halifax. However, be aware of some of the potholes around the province. The weather can also be quite fickle so come prepared.
You will find the people extremely friendly. So, don’t hesitate to ask if you get stuck, lost or have a problem.
Nova Scotia produces some excellent wines and the vineyards are quite spectacular. There are also plenty of craft beers on offer from the many micro-breweries.
There are a large number of traditional inns which are worth investigating.
There are a lot of options for breakfast including baked beans with maple syrup or molasses, an acquired taste. Breakfasts can be quite substantial, and the fishcakes are delicious.
Make a visit to Hall’s Harbour and the tiny cafe at the end of the jetty. Here you can feast on lobster and experience some of the world’s highest tides. If you can, take the tour which gives you the background to lobster fishing in the area.
Halifax is small by city standards so easy to navigate. The quayside is very attractive and so are the public gardens. For an excellent shopping mall just hop on one of the many buses outside the park gates and ask the driver to let you know when to get off.
Harbour Hopper Tours will take you around the city in their amphibious craft and then out onto the harbour. Quite an experience as you hit the water!
The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. An enchanting village, it is extremely photogenic. It can get very busy but with a clever eye you can usually get some pictures without the crowds. The family run restaurant near the lighthouse is worth a visit.
Lunenburg is extremely attractive. A UNESCO World Heritage site you should try breakfast at the Savvy Sailor. The walking tour around the town provides an insight into life as it was and explores some of the many historic buildings. An early morning walk is a great way for getting a feel of this small town which is also known for the famous Bluenose II, a replica of the fishing schooner.
Nova Scotia is a large island, so if you have a limited time don’t go too far.
Wolfville is within easy reach of the airport and a delightful town on the Bay of Funday. It has a pretty centre and some wonderful views down by the jetty. Look out for the rural farmers market which is a great way of getting a flavour of the area. Very popular with the locals, just ask for directions.
Visit in the spring or autumn when the leaves are changing colour. It is a good alternative to New England which can get very busy.
Life is very laid back in Nova Scotia, it is a beautiful part of the Atlantic Coastline. One area which is particularly attractive is the Cabot Trail. However, set aside several days for this trip. Otherwise concentrate around Halifax, Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove and the region around the Bay of Funday.
Photos by © Godfrey Hall
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Frontier Canada and Canadian Sky for trips to Canada.