Challenging
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)
6 Night, 7 Day
Duration

Canada, Newfoundland: Viking Trail Bike

Seven days, six nights to hikes in Gros Morne National Park and points north along Newfoundland’s rugged western coast to L’Anse aux Meadows.


“I still think of all the bike trips we have ever done around
the world the Viking Trail was the best.” – Cliff G.

 

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • Long oceanside rides with prevalent tailwinds.
  • Spontaneous moose encounters on the roadside – not guaranteed, but common.
  • Fjord exploration by boat, with waterfalls from the clifftops.
  • Good chances of whale and/or iceberg sightings.
  • Newfoundland fishing culture and friendly, generous locals.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows historical site – the first Viking settlement in N. America.
  • Full day mountain hike.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gros Morne National Park. See Earth’s mantel exposed, and see evidence of plate tectonics.
  • A night on a spectacular island, at a lighthouse.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The most challenging trips, these include longer distances, bigger hills, long hikes, exposed paddling, and full days of activity. We recommend a higher degree of fitness and training to make the most of the experience.


There are some big hills, long rides, and challenging hikes, which include steep ascents and descents. Relaxed riders may choose shorter options, but will require some van support. Advanced cyclists will enjoy the challenge. One day is over 100 miles, but is helped with wide, not so hilly roads, and usually a tailwind.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: ~41 km or up to ~76 km
  • DAY 2: ~38 km or ~111 km
  • DAY 3: 14 km
  • DAY 4: ~58 km or ~90 km
  • DAY 5: Up to ~283 km
  • DAY 6: 10 km
  • DAY 7: Farewell & Transfer

Elevation Profile:

 


Start: Deer Lake, Holiday Inn Express, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location if necessary.

Finish: Deer Lake, Holiday Inn Express, 17:00, day seven.

Optional finish at St. Anthony with flights available to St. John’s, Newfoundland operated by Provincial Air. Note that these flights leave St. Anthony late afternoon, and our van leaves as soon as you get ashore. You will have part of the day to relax or visit St. Anthony, and will need to use taxis to get around and to the small airport. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

1

Bike into Gros Morne National Park. Long: Up to 76km / Short: 41km

From Deer Lake, bike past the Newfoundland insectarium and the Wiltondale Pioneer Village en route to lunch near the entrance to Gros Morne National Park. Spend the afternoon riding the hilly and exhilarating approach to the shore of Bonne Bay, finishing in the tiny fishing village of Norris Point. LD (meal inclusions shown for guided trips; self-guided include only breakfasts).

Neddie’s Harbour inn, or; Sugar Hill Inn, Norris Point

2

Riding the Tablelands, plus hiking options 38km or 111km.

Begin the day with a ferry to Woody Point and bike to Trout River for lunch overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. On the way, stop at the Discovery Centre to learn about the fascinating geographical history of the Tablelands. You can take a steep one-hour hike up Partridgeberry Hill along the Lookout Trail, or continue on and take a short hike through the geological curiosity of the Tablelands. Continue cycling to Trout River. After an afternoon exploring the Tablelands or Green Gardens, return to Woody Point for your water taxi across Bonne Bay, or a van transfer to Norris Point. If you want a long ride, you can ride the thrilling hills around the shore of Bonne Bay. BLD

Same lodging

3

Hike Gros Morne Mountain 14km/8 h; 806m/2645ft

Hike to the top of Gros Morne Mountain where caribou are sometimes seen roaming the Long Range Mountains. This is a difficult eight-hour hike rewarded (weather permitting) by phenomenal views over Ten-Mile Pond, the Long Range Mountains, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Return to your inn to freshen up before exploring independent dinner options in Rocky Harbour – a pretty community with gorgeous sunsets! BL

Same Lodging

4

Bike to Western Brook Pond - 2 hr boat tour and cycling 58km or 90km (based on lodging)

Ride north through Gros Morne this morning before a fascinating afternoon boat trip up the fjord at Western Brook Pond (in Newfoundland, even the largest lakes are usually called ponds). Continue by bicycle to Cow Head where a coastal hike reveals an abundance of fossils and a record of marine life through the ages. Return to your village for an evening with colourful Newfoundland characters. BLD

Entente Cordiale, Portland Creek; or Sea Breeze B&B, Cow Head; or, Sunrise Cottages, Parsons Pond

5

The long ride north. Up to 283km (for most, this ride is vehicle assisted)

A very long ride today, assisted (we hope!) by the prevailing tailwind and the wide flat road leading you north. Most cyclists will accept a boost or two from the van while others will be determined to complete the entire ride. Either way, following an evening of fresh local cuisine, you’ll rest well tonight at your lodge in its fabulous wilderness setting near the L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. This scenic retreat is well out of the way; be prepared to enjoy comfort in the northern wilderness! BLD

Valhalla Lodge, L’Anse aux Meadows; or, Burnt Cape Cabins, Raleigh

6

L’Anse aux Meadows, Zodiac boat trip and Quirpon Island 10km

Arise early this morning to visit the profoundly stirring site of L’Anse aux Meadows, where Vikings landed more than five centuries before Columbus. Believed to be Leif Eriksson’s Vinland of the Norse sagas, this is the site of the birth of the first European descendant in the New World: “Snorri”. The archaeological and historical significance of L’Anse aux Meadows has earned it recognition by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site; it does not disappoint. You will hear sagas of ancient times and hardy people who sailed forbidding seas to inhabit this wild and beautiful place. You can also visit Norstead, and experience life in a Viking port of trade in a setting described as one of Canada’s top ten local experiences. After lunch, a 90 minute boat trip* will take you through iceberg alley to Quirpon Island Lighthouse. You will learn about the shipwrecks, history, and natural attractions, often sighting whales and icebergs. Your destination is a private island with fantastic coastal trails, wide views, and an exceptional lighthouse lodge. You may even find ruins of unexcavated Viking sod houses. Overall, this is a magical experience, often considered the highlight of this trip. BD

*Please note a 25 pound luggage restriction for today’s boat trip to the island.

Quirpon Island Lighthouse, Quirpon

7

Morning on Quirpon, transfer back to Deer Lake

Following breakfast, board your boat to return to mainland for a transfer back to Deer Lake, arriving by about 17:00. There are late afternoon flights from St. Anthony airport to St. John’s, as an often-preferred alternative to taking the van back to Deer Lake. BL

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST OF YOUR TRIP?

Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!

Guided: C 4595 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 full days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, van and guide support, entrance fees to Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Western Brook Pond boat tour (weather permitting), Quirpon boat tour, luggage handling, maps, route instructions, 15% sales tax

Does not include bike rentals & single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and guide(s) gratuities.


Self-Guided: C 3965 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 full day, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, all ground transportation as outlined including an afternoon pick up on day 5, inn to inn luggage transfers, emergency on call support, Western Brook Pond tour (weather permitting), Quirpon boat tour, route instructions, maps, 15% sales tax

Does not include bike rentals & single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and support driver gratuities.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


2022 Guided dates:

  • Jul 17-23
  • Jul 31-Aug 6
  • Aug 14-20
  • Aug 28-Sep 3

2023 Guided dates:

  • Jul 16-22
  • Jul 30-Aug 5
  • Aug 13-19
  • Aug 27-Sep 2

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.

Interested in custom or private departures?


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.

2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. Please ask us for a no-obligation quote from our insurance providers: Century Insurance, or CSA Travel Protection.

Difficulty This route is rated easy (green circle).
Daily Distances 30-100km/day
Optional Extras Fishing, Swimming, Golfing
Best Months June-October

Best Times:

The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-June to mid-October.

 Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June. Note that seasonal businesses may still be closed, or on off-season hours, until late June.
 Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F). Freshwater and saltwater swimming is encouraged.
 Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing. Mid-October is the best time to see spectacularly colorful fall foliage.

BEFORE & AFTER THE TOUR

Getting There:

If you fly:Fly to Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF), connecting from an international airport – St. John’s (YYT), Halifax (YHZ), or Toronto (YYZ).

If you drive: Access the province by Marine Atlantic ferries, which operate between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. These superferries carry hundreds of vehicles and passengers to two entry points. There is a year-round, daily service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port aux Basques, in southwestern Newfoundland, and a June to September service operating three days per week between North Sydney and Argentia, Newfoundland (which is a 90-minute drive from the capital city of St. John’s). Please view Marine Atlantic’s website for schedule times, or to reserve your crossing at: www.marineatlantic.ca/en, or call 800-341-7981.

To Do:

If you have one day:

Rent a car and go tidal bore rafting, visit Peggy’s Cove, or explore the waterfront city of Halifax. The Citadel is a good place for a scenic overview, and to learn about its history.

If you have several days:

Extend your trip by joining one of our other rides in Nova Scotia, or the adjacent provinces, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.
We recommend the following accommodations in Halifax for before or after your tour; please let us know if we can assist with reservations:

Finish:

Transfer back to Deer Lake at the end of day seven (5 hour). Participants looking to skip the van ride might consider an optional finish at St. Anthony with flights available to St. John’s, Newfoundland operated by Provincial Air (www.provincialairlines.ca). Note that these flights leave St. Anthony late afternoon, and our van leaves as soon as you get ashore. You will have part of the day to relax or visit St. Anthony, and will need to use taxis to get around and to the small airport.

More Reading:


This is a fabulous trip, well suited to intrepid explorers with lots of energy for the hills, distances, and sheer joy of hiking and traveling through such an undeveloped and exciting landscape. You will encounter people whose unabashed friendliness is truly extraordinary.

Begin in Gros Morne National Park, where the incomparable landscape and unique natural history have earned it a place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Climb Gros Morne Mountain and take a boat into a fjord akin to those of Norway. Later, transfer to the remote reaches of the Great Northern Peninsula, to see where the Vikings landed over a millenium ago.

The coastal hikes here are superb, and the final night in a lighthouse, from where whale and iceberg sightings are common, is the jewel on top of a week of breathtaking exploration.