Canada, Nova Scotia: South Shore Hiking Tour
Five nights; six days of easy to moderate walking and hiking on the Lighthouse shores.
“The picnics, the lodgings, the music, the laughs and the roar of the ocean will be treasured by me for a long time.” – Joyce L.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Maritime culture!
- Fabulous coastal views at Peggy’s Cove, Cape Split, Gaff Point, & Mahone Bay to Lunenburg.
- A mix of easy walking and rocky coastal hikes.
- Stay in Lunenburg – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with nice harbour and amazing architecture, shipbuilding and fishing heritage
- Lighthouse Route – myriad empty white sand beaches, hidden coves, boat-builders, small villages, art & antique shops.
- Great seafood.
- This is our home, and we love showing it off!
- DAY 1: Rendezvous & ~9km
- DAY 2: Up to ~11km
- DAY 3: ~20km
- DAY 4: Up to ~10km
- DAY 5: Up to ~14km
- DAY 6: ~10km
- DAY 7: Farewells & transfer
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 10:00, day one.
Finish: Halifax, The Lord Nelson Hotel, 12:00, day seven.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary. For those going to the airport: Halifax Transit operates its MetroX service from downtown to Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The #320 bus operates every 30 minutes during peak morning (6 am to 9 am) and afternoon (3 pm to 6 pm) times. The regular schedule departs every 60 minutes. Fares are $4.25 for adults/students and $3.00 for children/seniors. Exact fare is required.
Rendezvous in Halifax; 30-minute transfer; hike ~9km; one-hour transfer.
Your adventure begins as you gather in Halifax for a 30-minute transfer to Sambro. Along the way, soak in the mesmerizing views of Halifax Harbour, one of the deepest natural harbours globally, and catch glimpses of its picturesque shoreline. Sambro Island lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in the Americas, beckons with its history dating back to 1758. The hike to Pennant Point starts with a picturesque boardwalk, offering views of three pristine white sand beaches. As you traverse this trail along the point, prepare to be awed by the dramatic shorescapes, where the Atlantic waves crash against Nova Scotia’s white granite coast. Conclude the day with a short transfer to your charming seaside lodging, where you’ll enjoy a delightful dinner. LD (Meal inclusions for guided trips only, other support levels only include breakfasts).
Peggy’s Cove and area – coastal walking; up to ~11km.
Enjoy a coastal walk at Peggy’s Cove, starting at the Flight 111 memorial, set against the backdrop of the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. This coastal trek offers breathtaking views of the open Atlantic coast. After a morning of exploration, enjoy a picnic lunch before embarking on a relaxing walk around the neighboring Polly’s Cove, with stops on grassy outcrops overlooking the rugged shoreline. Return to your comfortable lodging for the night. BL
Chester, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg; one-hour transfer; up to ~20km.
Continue your journey along the scenic southern shores of Nova Scotia, through Hubbards, the village of Chester, to Mahone Bay, where you can explore the shops before your coastal walk on quiet back roads. Explore sheltered inlets, beaches, and pastoral landscapes. Afterwards, continue to Lunenburg in time to explore the wonders that make this tiny but bustling town a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your day culminates with your arrival at your charming seaside lodging, where you’ll savor a well-deserved dinner. BLD
Gaff Point Hike and Ovens Exploration; optional sea-kayaking/zodiac tour; up to ~10km.
Your day begins with a short transfer to a beach and headland hike at Gaff Point, characterized by striking shale cliffs, conifer forests, and juniper heaths. As you explore, you’ll encounter evidence of the last ice age, such as glacial erratics and drumlins. This hike is made possible through conservation efforts, allowing you to enjoy its natural beauty while preserving it for future generations. On the way back, stop in to walk at The Ovens Park, or if you prefer to go boating, you can explore the ovens by zodiac, or return to Lunenburg for one of the best sea kayak experiences in Nova Scotia, where you can meander between many islands, both inhabited and wild, and will often be visited by dozens, maybe hundreds, of seals. There is a supplemental fee for the sea kayaking. BL
Beach Hiking and Relaxation at White Point; up to ~14km.
Today is a day of beach-hopping along the beautiful shores of Nova Scotia. You’ll indulge in a delightful picnic lunch while overlooking the expansive sea and sky views. Then, continue to your seaside resort where you’ll have the opportunity to spot bunnies, surf, swim, golf, or partake in a range of evening activities. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner to cap off the day. B
White Point Beach Resort, White Point
Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct - A Coastal Gem; ~10km.
Prepare for one of the highlights of your trip as you navigate a labyrinth of dense shrubs en route to the coast. Your efforts will be rewarded with expansive views of the Atlantic shoreline, featuring headlands, islands, and tranquil bays. The observation deck offers a stunning perspective of Saint Catherines River Beach, a pristine crescent of sand caressed by turquoise waters. Return to your seaside lodging for a relaxing evening. BLD
Transfer back to Halifax & Farewells.
After a delightful breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to the captivating South Shore of Nova Scotia. Your journey comes full circle as you head back to Halifax, arriving by noon. Depart with cherished memories of a week filled with coastal beauty, hiking adventures, and the warm hospitality of Nova Scotia. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Jun 23-28
- Jul 7-12
- Aug 4-9
- Sep 1-6
- Sep 29-Oct 4
Self-Drive available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 3795 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners, luggage handling, guide support, ground transportation, maps, trail notes, 15% sales tax
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Self-Drive: C 2165 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and trail notes, welcome briefing, personal daily ground transportation, 15% sales tax
Fully independent travel including lodging, detailed itineraries, route instructions and resources. Choose your own dates, provide your own transportation. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 995
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 15% sales tax included.
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, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. 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.
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.
GET TO THE START
If you fly: The best option is to fly to Halifax (YHZ). We meet you at your inn in Halifax, for a transfer (four hours) to Cape Breton Island with the Freewheeling shuttle. Halifax’s downtown core is located about half an hour from its airport. Taxis are readily available; Maritime Bus offers an airport express shuttle ($40 roundtrip or $22 one way); and Halifax Transit provides hourly departures on its MetroX bus service ($4.25 fare).
If you drive: We will meet you at your Halifax inn. Halifax is 1400km from New York, and 1900km from Toronto. You can park here for the week; call us for help if your inn does not offer the option.
Freewheeling shuttle gets you back to Halifax by about noon.
BEFORE AND AFTER
If you have one day:
Rent a car and go tidal bore rafting, or explore the waterfront city of Halifax. The Citadel is a good place for a scenic overview, and to learn about its history.
Join us for a day trip kayaking on the South Shore, or rent a bike from our HQ and ride the Aspotogan loop.
If you have several days:
Extend your trip without leaving Cape Breton Island on the 6-day Cabot Trail Bike or Cape Breton Hike experience. Join 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:
• The Lord Nelson, 1515 South Park Street Ph: 902-423-6331 or 800-565-2020
• Prince George Hotel, 1725 Market Street Ph: 902-425-1986 or 800-565-1567
• The Halliburton Inn, 5184 Morris Street Ph: 902-420-0658 or 888-512-3344
The best experiences on Nova Scotia’s shores include meeting unusually friendly people, passing through fishing villages, and seeing secluded anchorages, boat builders, antique shops, artists’ hamlets, and beautiful beaches. This is our home, and we love showing you the secret swimming holes, little-known cafés, and the best trails to hidden coves and beaches, while delivering trailside picnics to keep you outdoors as much as possible through the days. You can dine on lobster, swim in warm lakes or the cool ocean, feel the warm sand between your toes, and appreciate the cooling sea breeze in your hair. You’ll spend a night in the UNESCO heritage township of Lunenburg, whose uniquely crafted architecture reflects skills of numerous shipbuilders and fishermen whose lifestyle built the town. Visit the university town of Wolfville, and venture on foot to one of the most spectacular headlands in the province. This is a perfect introduction to Nova Scotia’s coastal charms, and will show you why many visitors return again and again.