St John’s is the capital of the Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador – the most easterly Canadian province. It’s the first place in Canada that the rays of the rising sun touch, and it has plenty more special experiences besides the stunning sunrises. Read on to find out why a city break in St. John’s is something beyond the ordinary.
Giants of the ocean
Along the rugged shores of Newfoundland, 10,000 humpback whales frolic in the waters of the wild Atlantic Ocean. They can of course be seen from land but for a once-in-a-life-time experience, get up close and personal with these majestic mammals. You can choose a boat tour, sea kayak right by them or even snorkel with them.
Cape Spear, a ten-minute drive from Downtown St. John’s and the most easterly point in North America, is a great place to spot whales. But you don’t need to leave the city – head up to Signal Hill or hike along the city’s coastal path and it’s likely you’ll spot them if you’re visiting between mid-June and late August.
Colourful wooden Victorian-era houses known as jellybean rows perch on the steep streets above the harbour, lending the Canadian city of St. John’s all the makings of a miniature San Francisco. Except that St. John’s is a lot closer to the UK – just a five-and-a-half-hour flight from London to be exact.
From spring to early summer, you can marvel at Mother Nature’s skyscrapers – 10,000 year old icebergs travelling down the North Atlantic Coast from Greenland, some as high as 80 metres!
Coastal hiking is superb. The world-class East Coast Trail stretches 265km north and south of the city.
Chic city vibes
St. John’s has a cool, vibrant creative arts scene. Many of the buildings’ exteriors flaunt Banksy-style murals, and buskers line the streets, filling the city with song. Even the letterboxes on the houses across the city are artistic and colourful.
The city’s unique energy derives from a colourful patchwork of Irish heritage, hospitality and warmth; Mother Nature; the city’s wild positioning on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean; and a deep-rooted sense of fun and a relaxed attitude towards life.
There are few cities so close to the UK where a short break can include such a multiplicity of encounters and experiences – perhaps only Reykjavik. In that case, maybe St. John’s is the new Reykjavik – just without the extortionate price tags.