Have you ever been to Nova Scotia
7 great experiences that are worth traveling to Nova Scotia for [ADVERTISEMENT]
Since we have no choice but to dream far away in this darn year 2020, we would like to take you back to Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia) in Canada in this post. We were able to get to know this - still quite unknown to German holidaymakers - spot on a one-week road trip last year. We didn't have any great expectations in advance because this part of the world didn't really tell us anything either. But so much can be revealed: To be honest, it blew us away and was completely enthusiastic! Which may be due to a not inconsiderable part of the incredible seafood that you can enjoy here on every corner.
Below are 7 great tips for Nova Scotia that you definitely shouldn't miss. If you would like to find out more about our tour of Nova Scotia, read this article as well.
1. Whale Watching in Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island - Nova Scotia Tips
For me, whales are incredibly fascinating animals. They radiate such a majestic calm and sublimity that I get very quiet and reverent with all the documentaries about these animals. They seem to contain the knowledge of our entire planet and they make me feel as though I know exactly about us and our destructive flaws. So I and Martin were all the more excited when we were supposed to go on a whale-watching tour at the port of Chéticamp on this sunny morning. We had tried several times in vain to experience these impressive creatures in the wild.
In South Africa in Hermanus, THE hotspot for humpback whales, we missed them by two days. Likewise on the South Island in New Zealand, where we just missed it. Well, we were full of confidence that it would finally work out on this perfect, sunny day here in Canada.
The nice thing about this tour by Captain Zodiac Whale Cruises was that there were only ten of us on a small Zodiac inflatable boat. The advantage of these boats is that they are quite stable on the water and therefore the risk of getting seasick is significantly lower. And we had a very quiet day. With our group of tourists, most of them from western Canada and the USA, a marine biologist was also on board. She studies the population of fin whales in Cheticamp Bay, which is unfortunately also declining significantly.
Up close and personal with one of the largest mammals in the world
Fin whales are the second largest mammals in the world and a blue whale should also roam here. We were excited to see what we would see. And we were lucky, because it didn’t take long before we could see the blow (the breath when the whale emerged) of three whales on the horizon. The captain drove cautiously in that direction, but since the animals then submerged again for about ten minutes and covered a considerable distance, it was just huge luck that they reappeared directly in front of our rubber dinghy!
An indescribable feeling to have three of these gigantic creatures so close in front of you. We could look them straight in the eye and had the feeling that they knew everything about us. An absolute goosebumps moment. We accompanied the animals for a while and tried to discover the blue whale. But since it is on its own and stays under water much longer, it is much more difficult to discover it. We were just happy the rest of the day and couldn't get our grins off our faces.
About the tour
In addition to fin whales, there are also humpback whales, right whales, pilot whales, minke whales and dolphins to be discovered here, depending on the season. The chance of seeing whales here is high and if it doesn't work out, you will get your money back. Great attention is paid to the respect for the animals, only one other rubber dinghy was on the way with us and the boats are parked near the animals. The animals are not driven, they decide for themselves how close they can get to the boat.
You can find more information here.
2. Hike and spot moose in Cape Breton Highlands National Park - Nova Scotia Tips
The Cape Breton Highlands National Park is located on the island of the same name in the north-east of the province. The landscape here is breathtakingly beautiful: rolling, wooded hills, pretty little villages and absolute tranquility. The perfect place for a road trip, hiking, and seclusion. Incidentally, one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world leads along here - the Cabot Trail. It always offers fantastic views of the sea and the wooded hills. Lookout points along the way invite you to take a photo.
In Cape Breton Highlands National Park there are 26 hikes that you want to be discovered. Several campsites throughout the park serve as starting points. It is best to first find out about the hikes and possible special features in the Visitor Center.
We have one of the most famous hikes that Skyline Trail, made. This is an 8.2 kilometer circular route from which you have a spectacular view of the sea and the island. Thanks to a newly introduced limit on the number of people, you can also enjoy the trail at the weekend. With a bit of luck, you can even see whales passing by from the Headland Cliffs. We didn't see any whales from here, but on our way back from the viewpoint we were lucky enough to see two gigantic moose grazing in a clearing.
If you are looking for a little more seclusion and challenge, you can do the Franey Trail, for example. It has it all, but also rewards you with fabulous views. You can find more information on the park's website.
3. Spend the night in the middle of nature in a Geodesic Dome
Do you know glamping? Then I can promise you that this is the absolute icing on the cake! Haven't you always wanted to spend the night in such a cool "tent"? The Blue Bayou Resort is located in South Harbor, which is directly adjacent to the park and is ideally suited for this. From here you can quickly reach all sights and activities in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. After an eventful day, we sat by our fireplace in front of the dome until late at night, listening to nature and marveling at the stars above us.
The campsite is right on the water and you can first go for a swim or stand-up paddling in the morning. If that's not the perfect way to start the day!
➜ This way to the hotel: Blue Bayou Resort
4. Explore the mouth of the North River by kayak - Nova Scotia tips
No matter where you go on vacation in Canada - a kayak tour is definitely part of it. This is also the case in Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island on the North River. We went on our discovery tour with North River Kayak and were a small group of 6 people and our guide. It led us a bit along the widening North River to the bay, in which it then mixes with the Atlantic Ocean.
It's just nice to rediscover the landscape from a different perspective. The forests reach up to the water. Be sure to keep an eye out for eagles' nests in the trees. We discovered a gigantic eagle castle that has been used by bald eagles for decades.
Halfway through the tour we had a picnic on a pebble beach where a waterfall flowed straight into the sea. It couldn't be more idyllic.
5. Immerse yourself in the 18th century with a Beggar’s Banquet - Nova Scotia tips
A very special experience awaited us in Louisburg: In our Point of View Suites, we were allowed to take part in the Beggar’s Banquet. We really want to recommend this to you. You will be catapulted into the 18th century in proper style - with the right clothes and the right music. Even the drinks are adapted to the times and the food is a feast!
Afterwards there is dancing to suitable music - the operators really put their heart and soul into it and it was an all-round successful evening. We can also recommend the accommodation at the Point of View Suites. The rooms are right by the sea and you fall asleep to the sound of the waves.
For the next day, we recommend a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.
6. Hike the Lighthouse Trail near Louisbourg - Nova Scotia Tips
Before you leave Louisburg, you should make a detour to the pretty lighthouse of Louisburg. Either you just have a photo stop here, or you hike the Lighthouse Trail like we did. With a little luck you might see a snake basking in the sun along the way.
Otherwise, just enjoy the beautiful views along the way.
7. Discover the capital of Nova Scotia on a trip with the Harbor Hopper Tours - Nova Scotia Tips
You will certainly start or end your round trip through Nova Scotia like we did in Halifax. In any case, take at least a day to get to know the cozy capital. To learn more about the city and its history, we can definitely recommend a ride on one of Harbor Hopper Tours' amphibious vehicles. The tour is done super well and you can get an overview.
You can then explore the city on foot or by bike. For dining, we can recommend the Waterfront with its numerous restaurants.
➜ Here you can find all of our Halifax tips
Hotel tips for Nova Scotia
Westin Nova Scotian
In Halifax, we can recommend the Westin Nova Scotian. The hotel with restaurant and cocktail bar is located right in the heart of Halifax on the waterfront.
➜ This way to the hotel: Westin Nova Scotian
Hotel Auberge Bay Wind Suites
In Chéticamp we started the whale watching tour. The on-site Harbor Restaurant and Bar serves tasty fish dishes, among other things. Definitely try the snow crab or the lobster here! A dream.
➜ This way to the hotel: Auberge Bay Wind Suites
The Markland Coastal Beach Cottages
We also recommend staying at The Markland Coastal Beach Cottages. Located directly on the beach, with an outdoor pool, the hotel offers all the desired amenities. And the food is, like everywhere else, the Oberhammer!
➜ This way to the hotel: The Markland Coastal Beach Cottages
Point of View Suites
The Point of View Suites are the ideal overnight accommodation for excursions around Louisbourg. With its own beach and a wonderful view of the sea and the Louisbourg fortress.
➜ This way to the hotel: Point of View Suites
All information for your Nova Scotia tour
If you are looking for more information for your Nova Scotia road trip, be sure to have a look at our great tour guide.
Nova Scotia Travel Guide:
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Stock Photo: Cover image by Stockphotoguy81
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