Newfoundland and Labrador comprise Canada’s easternmost province and the largest by far of the four Atlantic Canadian Provinces. Newfoundland is the 16th largest island in the world (bigger than Cuba); while Labrador is a vast territory on the Canadian mainland that’s larger than Great Britain, yet with less than 27,000 inhabitants. Obviously these are not places that the average traveler just drops into for a day or two, but if you have the time and a sense of adventure Newfoundland and Labrador will make the effort necessary to get there more than worth it.
The history of human settlement in Newfoundland Labrador goes back more than 9,000 years and includes the oldest known funeral mound in North America. Four hundred years before Columbus, the Vikings were regular visitors and the only authentic Viking settlement in North America is at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The fabled Grand Banks lie off Newfoundland’s east coast and European fisherman have been coming here annually since at least 1500.
Some claim that St. John’s, the provincial capital, is the oldest city in North America. Even if it isn’t, its rollicking nightlife along the two blocks of George Street has been drawing locals and visitors alike for centuries.
However, there is far more than just an amazing history to this province which is renowned for its friendly people who speak with a unique Newfoundland accent. Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a myriad of reasons to spend at least a few days exploring it either by foot or by boat. The trip up Western Brook Pond, which is actually a landlocked fjord, features some of the tallest cliffs in the world some of which have spectacular waterfalls flowing over them. To try your hand at a pastime that has been a staple of Newfoundland and Labrador culture from time immemorial, go jigging for cod in Bonne Bay.
Newfoundland and Labrador offers some of the most unique accommodations you’ll find anywhere in Canada. How about staying in a former RCMP detachment or bunkhouse in Battle Harbour, an island off Labrador? Once one of the largest communities in the province it’s now a virtual ghost town. There are a number of other depopulated outports that offer accommodations in the former homes of fishermen, some left almost in the same condition as the day the last family left. Alternatively there’s the lighthouse keeper’s home in Quirpon where you can kayak among the passing icebergs and watch the migrating humpback whales from close up. If you seek modernity then look no farther than the award winning Fogo Island Inn which sits perched on the bare rock with the pounding Atlantic surf only a few feet away.
Along with unusual accommodation, Newfoundland and Labrador offers a variety of local foods that, chances are, you will never have seen on a menu anywhere but here. Fish ‘n’ brewis dates back to the days when fresh meat and vegetables were scarce, but salt cod was abundant. It’s a combination of softened hard tack, salt cod and pork scrunchions that is still common today. For the more daring there’s seal flipper pie or cod tongues and cheeks. Touton is a Newfoundland version of fried dough often topped with bakeapple (aka cloudberry) jam.
St. John’s – With its colourful wooden houses clinging to the rocky hillsides surrounding a horseshoe shaped harbour, Newfoundland & Labrador’s capital city has a look and feel unlike any other Canadian city. Where else can you stand on the hill where the first trans Atlantic wireless signal was received by Marconi in 1901, watch icebergs drift by, then finish the day listening to great music at one of the famous pubs of George Street?
In planning your trip to St. John’s make sure to include at least one day to experience the grandeur of the East Coast Trail – Newfoundland’s premier long-distance hiking trail.
Gros Morne National Park – This huge park on Newfoundland’s west coast offers some of the best hiking in the world, cruising on a real fjord and guaranteed moose sightings. No wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
L’Anse aux Meadows – Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the visitor can tread the same ground that Viking leader, Eric the Red did over 1,000 years ago. Explore a recreated Viking village and learn how these first European settlers survived in the New World.
Red Bay – Only the truly adventuresome ever make it to remote Labrador and get the chance to explore the site of a genuine Basque whaling station that dates back to the 16th century, and yes, it’s another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Torngat Mountains National Park – Are you up for the challenge of coming face to face with a polar bear who’s not in a cage? With the help of trained Inuit guides you can do just that in this pristine northern wilderness.
Cape St. Mary’s – Newfoundland has one of the world’s greatest concentrations of sea bird colonies and birders come from around the world to see puffins, razorbills and other species in their natural breeding grounds.
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Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We donât want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.
Price ranges are quoted in C$.
See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
$ => Tickets less than $5 per person
$$ => Tickets $6-15 per person
$$$ => Tickets $16 per person
$ => Rooms less than $100 for a double
$$ => Rooms $101-200 for a double
$$$ => Rooms $201 for a double
$ => $1-20 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$ => $21-40 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => $41 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
N/A => Not applicable
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-30 per person