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Fishing village, Nova Scotia

The Charms of Atlantic Canada‬

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,485 pp incl. flights


Short description

A true driving spectacle of whales, historic towns and epic vistas


  • Showcase the region’s natural splendours on stunningly scenic drives
  • Spot giant whales on an included bay cruise
  • Make stops at exciting capitals and historic country towns
  • Enjoy included entrance to ten national historic sites
  • Stay in heritage properties throughout

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Halifax
  • 2 Nights Annapolis Royal
  • 2 Nights Charlottetown
  • 3 Nights Baddeck
  • 1 Night Halifax


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | October holidays | Self-drive | Wildlife

This is an ideal, superb-value introduction to the delights of Atlantic Canada. Impossibly scenic drives skirt lakes, trace coastlines and hop over giant bridges to showcase the region’s all-natural beauty. You’ll spend your nights in heritage properties, staying in vibrant cities and quaint fishing villages as you enjoy a wealth of excursions. As well as a whale-watching cruise, we’ve included entrance into ten national historic sites, ranging from centuries-old fortresses to the Anne of Green Gables House. 

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2

Begin your holiday with VIP airport lounge access before your day flight to Nova Scotia’s welcoming capital. Staying in Halifax’s most historic hotel, the elegant, early-20th-century Lord Nelson, you’ll be ideally poised for exploring the city’s myriad charms. To help you get your bearings, we’ve included entrance into its premier attraction – the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Perched atop a hill, this 18th-century fort commands stunning views over the entire city. You’ll also want to descend to sample Halifax’s craft-beer scene, waterfront walks and Victorian public gardens. 

Stay: Lord Nelson Hotel (Superior)

Day 3
Annapolis Royal

Collecting your hire car, you’ll set off along on the Lighthouse Route, so called for its spectacular coastal views and famous red-and-white eponyms. You’ll soon arrive into Lunenburg, a UNESCO-listed Victorian old town where red-painted houses line pretty marinas and turreted, half-timber buildings peek out from forested hills. Then, continue on to Kejimkujik National Park where we’ve included entrance to its river-lined hiking trails and petroglyphs – thousand-year-old stone carvings that remember the region’s indigenous past. Your final destination is Annapolis Royal where you’ll stay in a 19th-century inn full of Victorian charm and surrounded by idyllic gardens.

Stay: Hillsdale House (Superior)

Day 4
Annapolis Royal

Today, making the short-but-scenic drive along the Digby Neck peninsula, you’ll enjoy an included whale-watching experience on the nutrient-rich waters of the Bay of Fundy. After spotting everything from humpbacks to fin backs, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the bay’s fishing villages. We’ve also included admission to Fort Anne National Historic Site, a military stronghold that dates back to the 1600s and Canada’s first historic site. Alternatively, strolls through Annapolis Royal’s tree-lined streets will bring you among the highest concentration of heritage buildings in Canada. It’s the ideal showcase for the region’s slower pace of life.

Stay: Hillsdale House (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5

Today sees you hop over to Prince Edward Island aboard the mighty Confederation Bridge – an 8 km-long engineering marvel that crosses the Northumberland Strait. In turn, Wolfville makes for a charming lunch stop, its historic centre set among a tapestry of hills, valleys, rivers and ocean. You’ll also enjoy included entrance into the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. This interpretive centre of rolling meadows and villages brings to life the region’s turbulent past; its French-Acadian settlers were forcibly deported by the British in the 18th century. 

Stay: The Great George (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 6

Charlottetown is the birthplace of Canada, its Province House having hosted the meetings that led to the country’s formal creation in 1867. You’ll also know it as the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables; you can even visit Anne’s fictional home. But, there’s nothing fictional about its rural idyll, exemplified by the PEI National Park. Here, on the island’s north shore, hiking trails lead between pretty beaches and green-fringed bays. As yesterday, you’ll spend the night in the Great George Hotel – a collection of suites converted from 17 carefully restored heritage buildings.

Stay: The Great George (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 7
Cape Breton Island

As you leave Charlottetown, be sure to make a stop at Orwell Corner. This abandoned village and graveyard has been faithfully restored, giving a real sense of life in the 19th century. Your next included island hop, on the Wood Islands Ferry, will see you cross back to Nova Scotia to make the drive, over the Canso Causeway, to Cape Breton Island. It’s a scenic route that continues through the island’s mountainous interior and ends with Baddeck. A small slice of Scotland backed by undulating hills, you’ll stay right on the picturesque Bras d'Or Lake, enjoying some optional spa relaxation at an 11-acre resort that dates back to 1850.

Stay: Inverary Resort (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 8
The Cabot Trail

Today, set off on the Cabot Trail to loop around Cape Breton. As one of the world’s most scenic drives you’ll map cragged coastlines, trace river canyons and gaze up at eagle-plied mountains as you keep your eyes out for Canadian moose. There are also plenty of hiking routes to keep you occupied, with the Skyline Trail among the finest. Here, clifftop paths bring you along a cragged coast, offering the chance of seasonal whale sightings. Further highlights include the Glenora Distillery, the Acadian Cultural Centre and the Music Interpretive Centre, where Celtic ballads live on. 

Stay: Inverary Resort (Superior)

Day 9

On your last full day you’ll head north to the Louisbourg National Historic Site – the largest living museum in North America. With admission included, it’s the chance to step back in time to an 18th-century French garrison town, perhaps taking part in a battle re-enactment or sampling period food from the restaurant. You’ll also enjoy entrance into the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. A museum dedicated to the great inventor, it features full-scale replicas that bring to life his work on everything from aircraft to artificial respiration.

Stay: Inverary Resort (Superior)

Day 10

Mapping the shimmering waters, set off on the Bras d’Or Lake Drive as you begin your journey back to Halifax. You'll have some time to stop off at anything you'd missed along the way, with pretty coastal towns making for ideal lunch stops. Then, back in Atlantic Canada's largest city, you'll have some time to visit Keith's Brewery – one of North America's oldest – and the superb Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which tells the story of the city’s seafaring heritage and fateful connection to the Titanic.

Stay: The Lord Nelson (Superior)

Days 11-12
Depart for UK

With an evening flight, you'll have some time to explore Halifax further before you drop your car at the airport and board your flight home, travelling overnight.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

12-day tailor-made self-drive
from £2,485 pp incl. flights


15 - 24 May 2024

from £2,485 pp. incl. flights

21 Jun - 30 Sep 2024

from £2,850 pp. incl. flights

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return international flights
  • 10 nights accommodation BB where stated - Hillsdale House, Annapolis Royal & The Great George, Charlottetown
  • 9 days Intermediate car hire
  • Bay Ferry Tolls - Wood Islands to Caribou
  • Brier Island Whale watching tour
  • Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax

Admission to Historic sites

Nova Scotia

Alexander Graham Bell, Fort Anne, Grand Pre, Halifax Citadel, Fortress of Louisbourg, Kejimkujik, Port Royal

Prince Edward Island

Green Gables House, Prince Edward Island National Park

  • Ferry between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia 

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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