The gem of Nova Scotia is undoubtedly Cape Breton Island and its world famous Cabot Trail. The incredibly scenic roadway is deemed as one of ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Drives’, popular with international tourists as well as experienced cyclists.
The route winds its way up and down and around the perimeter of the island, through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and past communities rich in Celtic heritage and hospitality.
The island itself, considered one of the world’s must-see islands, provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking, whale and bird watching.
But that’s just the island! The Nova Scotia Peninsula boasts its own endless opportunities for exploration.
The South Shore, west of Halifax, is spotted with lighthouses (including the postcard perfect Peggy’s Cove), beaches, sea caves, coastal cliffs, and charming seaside hamlets serving up some of the best seafood the Maritimes have to offer.
This is also where you’ll find the picturesque town of Lunenburg – A designated UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the famous Bluenose, featured on the Canadian dime.
Further west, Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is a wild and isolated 22 km² stretch of coastline characterized by glacier-carved headlands, secluded rocky coves and broad sweeps of silver sand.
To the north, enjoy Annapolis Valley wineries, succulent sea scallops in Digby, and coastal hiking and whale watching in the Bay of Fundy.
Located in eastern Canada and almost completely surrounded by ocean, the province of Nova Scotia is almost exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
The mainland is separated from Prince Edward Island by the Northumberland Straight and from New Brunswick by the Bay of Fundy.
Cape Breton Island is part of the province and lies to the northeast of the mainland, connected by the 1,385m long rock-fill Canso Causeway.
Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital city, is roughly 1800 km (1120 miles) from Toronto, 1200 km (745 miles) from Montréal, and 1380 km (860 miles) from New York City.
Apart from the obvious fishing villages and maritime attractions, visitors to Nova Scotia will immediately notice the creative spirit that permeates the culture – In the form of music, theatre, creative arts & crafts.
You’ll find artisan shops spotted in communities throughout the province, like those established along the Cabot Trail’s artisan loop – featuring mediums such as pottery, glass, wood, photography, leather and kilt makers.
The South Shore is home to hand crafted pewter, potters, rug hookers and stainglass artists with the only mouth blown, hand cut crystal makers in North America found at NovaScotian Crystal in Halifax.
Latin for ‘New Scotland’, the largest ethnic group in Nova Scotia is not surprisingly Scottish, a result of an influx of tens of thousands of Gaelic-speaking settlers from Ireland and Scotland.
Today, fiddle playing styles, Anglo-Irish folk songs and dance are lively and enjoyable parts of the Irish culture experience in Nova Scotia and can be found everywhere from concert halls to cozy pubs.
The spirit of l’Acadie also echoes deep in the culture, a legacy of the intrepid French settlers who first claimed Nova Scotia as their home in the seventeenth century.
From the brightly painted houses and towering churches of the seaside villages to the quiet beauty of the masterfully created hooked rugs, Acadian culture infuses much of Nova Scotia with its vibrancy, jaunty rhythms and the romance of its history and language.
Of course, the Europeans were by no means the first to arrive – The Mi’kmaq are native to this rugged, sea-swept peninsula and their art, music, language and spirituality are just a drum beat away.
Spring is comfortable with rainfall highest in April. Early May to mid June is alive with colour and temperatures usually range from 10 to 22 degrees C (50 to 71 degrees F).
Summer is hot, but rarely humid. Daytime temperatures from mid June to mid September are usually from 20 to 25 C (70 to 80 degrees F).
Autumn is clear and bright. September and October afternoons can be quite warm, evenings cool. Temperatures range from 8 to 20 degrees C (46 to 70 degrees F).
Winter is crisp and clean. Temperatures from late November to mid March usually range from -15 to 0 degrees C (5 to 32 degrees F).
We recommend visiting Environment Canada’s website for information specific to the region in which you are travelling.