The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is on the stunning east coast of Canada, with plenty to see and discover from historical towns to beautiful coastline and breath-taking scenery.
One of the best historical sites to visit is the spot where the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid down at Heart’s Content Cable Station, which transformed the little sea-port town into a global communications hub. You can also visit the first wireless station to receive and relay the Titanic’s distress signal: the remote Myrick Wireless Interpretation Centre.
If you are a sports fan then Newfoundland and Labrador is the place to be! The province is home to the oldest continuous sports event in North America: the Royal St. John’s Regatta, dating back to 1816.
To experience the diverse flora and fauna that can be found in Newfoundland and Labrador head to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve to see puffins and humpback whales, or Gros Morne National Park for the spectacular moose and caribou. Some incredible walking trails through these areas allow for more intimate experiences with a wide variety of animals. Another favourite of ours is to visit the Newfoundland Insectarium, where you are completely surrounded by butterflies.
Newfoundland and Labrador also host regular festivals for all the family to enjoy, including music festivals and art shows throughout the year. If you’re looking for something a little different, we recommend visiting the international Sound Symposium, St. John’s, which takes place in July.
Our top recommendation for your Newfoundland and Labrador holiday would be to watch a sunrise there; it's the point where the sun rises first in Canada and is a magical experience.
Things to do
Popular things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador
This is a great orientation of St. John's, as well as the most Easterly point in North America. You will be driven to the National Historic site of Cape Spear; where you may walk to thru a World War II gun battery, look for whales at the most Easterly point in North America, while having a chance to visit to oldest standing light house in North America. Then we will head back into the city to see the beautiful view on top of Signal Hill while hearing the historic tales of North America's oldest colony. Other stops include Quidi Vidi Village, Government House, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and an orientation of the shops and restaurants of downtown St. John's.
Departures: May 1 - Oct 31
This two-hour narrated tour will enlighten and entertain passengers as they sail in search of icebergs and whales on a true Newfoundland cultural adventure. Depart from downtown St. John’s aboard the M.V. Cetacean Quest and sail through “The Narrows” and past Cabot Tower en route to Cape Spear. Journey through pristine waters that are home to the world’s largest concentration of humpback whales, and sail past 12,000 year old icebergs and watch as Atlantic puffins frolic along the coastlines. Experience Cape Spear from the sea, North America’s most easterly point, and discover a place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the edge of the earth. This excursion is a Signature Experience with Destination Canada.
Departures: Jun 1 - Sep 30
Popular Newfoundland and Labrador holiday ideas
Top tips for visiting Newfoundland and Labrador
Top Tip 1
• Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the most spectacular whale watching destinations in the world. Home to over 22 species; choose from several boat tours departing from along the northern and eastern coasts. Alternatively, get as close as safely possible to towering icebergs in a kayak and see wildlife up close including dolphins, puffins and eagles – there is a reason why this province is named the ‘Seabird Capital of North America’.
Top Tip 2
• The meeting of the cool Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream sees marine life flourish in Newfoundland & Labrador. Coupled with over 8,000 shipwrecks on the sea floor, the province is a diver’s paradise with opportunities to cross paths with icebergs whilst diving next to humpbacks.
Top Tip 3
• One of the best ways to enjoy the province’s breath taking natural beauty is to choose from one of its 200 trails. Hike along dramatic coastlines dotted with beaches, wildflowers and fresh berries – bakeapples are a local favourite for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Top Tip 4
• We particularly recommend walking through Gros Morne National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second largest National Park in eastern Canada. Hike along trails exposed to the land by the collision of the earth's tectonic plates nearly 500 million years ago, looking out for some of the continent’s biggest black bears along the way. In the evening, enjoy culturally-rich performances at Theatre Newfoundland & Labrador, located within the Park.
Top Tip 5
• Theatre festivals are popular in the province. The eclectic Writers at Woody Point festival (11th – 16th August 2015) sells out quickly, as people flock to listen to writers and musicians from around the world.
Top Tip 6
• Newfoundland and Labrador also has a thriving music scene. August sees music festivals of many genres span the province including the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival held during the first weekend in the month whilst modern music fills the air at the annual George Street Festival (30th July – 4th August 2015) held in the picturesque city of St John’s – the capital of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Top Tip 7
• Music is not the only reason to visit St John’s. Over 500 years old, the city is brimming with character and is home to a picturesque waterfront, historic buildings, and vibrant nightlife. You could easily spend a day here wandering the narrow criss-crossing streets lined with colourful houses before hiking Signal Hill to enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Top Tip 8
• People have inhabited Newfoundland and Labrador for 9,000 years and history remains alive in the province. Visit L’Anse aux Meadows at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula and be transported back to life 1,000 years ago. Challenge yourself in traditional games and spin yarn at Norstead, a recreated Viking port of trade, before having your fortune told in the style of the 11th century.
Top Tip 9
• Newfoundland & Labrador has had thousands of years to perfect its arts and crafts scene. With many charming towns across the province, visitors will find unique momentos from elegant stoneware pottery to hand-crafted wooden bowls made from local trees. Don’t forget to save room in your suitcase for a selection of gifts made from Labradorite – an exotic mineral used in everything from striking jewellery to beautiful coasters.
Top Tip 10
• Take some time after shopping to play a round of golf overlooking stunning coastlines. With over 20 courses in the province, there are opportunities for golfers of all abilities. During the day, look out for the occasional moose which wander onto the grass or play a round in the evening under the spectacular Northern Lights.
Top Tip 11
• Renowned for its seafood delicacies, Newfoundland & Labrador offers a wealth of dining options from award-winning restaurants to historical menus in Viking huts! Enjoy fresh Atlantic salmon during the Great Viking feast in L’Anse aux Meadows or for something more contemporary, indulge in mouth-watering lobster at Bacalao restaurant in St John’s. Alternatively, simply sit on a clifftop and enjoy Ches’ Fish & Chips which has been satisfying locals for over 60 years.
If you’d like more information about booking your holiday to Newfoundland & Labrador call one of our dedicated team of experts who will help you plan the trip of a lifetime!