Tucked up in the eastern corner of Canada, Newfoundland & Labrador doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. Away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Canada (and even the rest of Atlantic Canada) it’s one of Canada’s least populated provinces – but it still has a lot to offer.
On its shores, you’ll find ample opportunity for wildlife watching, hiking, biking and kayaking opportunities against a rugged background. Plus, the people here are some of the nicest you’ll ever meet (even by friendly Canadian standards!). Here are nine reasons why you should visit Newfoundland & Labrador.
You might spot the humpback whale
The waters surrounding Newfoundland & Labrador are home to the world’s largest concentration of humpback whales. Not only that, but there’s the chance to spot a further 21 species of whale and dolphin – including minke, sperm, pothead, blue, and orca. Peak season is between July and August, and you can opt for a boat tour, sea kayak or even look out for them from the shore!
And plenty of seabirds
The stunning Avalon region boasts the accolade of The Seabird Capital of North America with over 35 million seabirds – including half a million Atlantic puffins!
You’ll more than likely see an iceberg
Along the northern and eastern coastlines you’ll be treated to sights of striking icebergs (sometimes they’re only a few metres from shore). Roughly 90% of icebergs seen off Newfoundland and Labrador come from the glaciers of western Greenland, while the rest have broken off of glaciers in Canada’s Arctic. One of them managed to sink the Titanic in 1912 a mere 400 metres away!
Oh, and don’t forget to sample some Iceberg Vodka and Iceberg Beer.
There’s fascinating Viking history
Historians generally believe that Vikings were the first Europeans to arrive in North America back in 1000 AD (about 500 years before anyone else from Europe). The best place to learn more about Newfoundland’s Viking history is the L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada. This fascinating archaeological remains of a Viking encampment was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 and can be found at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula.
It’s the home of Fogo Island Inn
If you’re not familiar with the stylish Fogo Island Inn, let us introduce you. Its modern and sleek design is in stark contrast to the rugged coastline that it is perched on, but local architect Todd Saunders designed it as a modern take on traditional Atlantic Canadian outport architecture. Plus, the interiors are filled with the handiwork of the local people: traditional outport furniture, handcrafted quilts, and woven rugs. Furthermore, the restaurant (considered one of the finest in Atlantic Canada) offers a selection of gourmet dishes lovingly-created with local produce – including ingredients straight from the Inn’s gardens.
There are well-posted walking trails
Newfoundland knows that its rugged landscape is its most alluring feature, so the locals have designed over 300 hiking and walking trails. Along the way, you might stumble upon historic fishing villages, moose, and boreal songbirds. As well as icebergs and whales off in the distance.
Witness beautiful fjords
There are fjords in Canada, we hear you ask? Head to Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can take a boat tour along the deep, glacial fjords.
There are colourful houses
Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital of Saint John’s has a strong architectural theme: coloured wooden houses. Almost every street you walk down is a multi-coloured sweet bowl. It makes for very attractive travel photos.
You might witness the Northern Lights
With endless open country and shoreline (and a population density of just 1.4 people per square kilometre) Newfoundland & Labrador is low on light pollution and offers incredible views of the night sky. The Terra Nova Dark Sky Preserve on Eastern Newfoundland is one of the best places to view the constellations. While Northern Labrador (think the Torngat Mountains) offers incredible views of the Northern Lights.
It’s only 5 hours from the UK
St John’s airport is the closest Canadian airport to the UK. The flight only takes five hours and there are direct flights from London.
Which of our 10 reasons makes you want to visit Newfoundland & Labrador the most?