More than just a taste of Nova Scotia, our Grand Nova Scotia Tour takes you from north to south, east to west. This tour encompasses the Lighthouse and Evangeline Trails, the Glooscap Trail, the Sunrise Trail, the Ceilidh and Cabot Trails and Marine Drive to enable you to see all Nova Scotia has to offer.
2207km / 1371mi
Start / End
Halifax / Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Route - 2207 km / 1371 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Halifax to Liverpool 147 km / 91 mi Approx. 1 hour 37 minutes
02 Liverpool to Yarmouth 205 km / 127 mi Approx. 1 hour 38 minutes
03 Yarmouth to Annapolis Royal 131 km / 81 mi Approx. 1 hour 26 minutes
04 Annapolis Royal to Kejimkujik National Park 78 km / 48 mi Approx. 45 minutes
05 Kejimkujik National Park to Truro (via Wolfville) 254 km / 158 mi Approx. 3 hours
06 Truro to Pictou (via Cape Chignecto) 344 km / 214 mi Approx. 4 hours 25 minutes
07 Pictou to Cheticamp 264 km / 164 mi Approx. 2 hours 52 minutes
08 Cheticamp to Baddeck (via Cape Breton National Park) 261 km / 162 mi Approx. 4 hours
09 Baddeck
10 Baddeck to Sydney 77 km / 48 mi Approx. 55 minutes
11 Sydney to Liscomb 264 km / 164 mi Approx. 3 hours 10 minutes
12 Liscomb to Halifax 182 km / 113 mi Approx. 2 hours 25 minutes
13 --

Trip Details

Leave Halifax behind you as you head south to Peggy's Cove to begin your tour of Nova Scotia. This is one of the most photographed places in Canada. The graceful lighthouse sitting high upon the smooth wave-worn granite of the coast once did duty in the summer months as Canada's only post office in a lighthouse.

The South Shore journeys through a landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm. In Mahone Bay, the narrow streets are lined with a unique collection of studios and galleries of some of Canada's finest artists and craftspeople. Drive to the other side of the inlet to view another very photographed scene - Mahone Bay's three churches standing in a row on the banks of the inlet.

Continue to Lunenburg, where the colourful waterfront, narrow streets and captivating architecture radiate the flavour of the town's seafaring heritage. Lunenburg is home to Nova Scotia's famous racing schooner, "Bluenose", the ship on the Canadian ten-cent piece.

Today's journey ends in Liverpool, the privateering capital of North America, located at the mouth of the beautiful Mersey River.

Before leaving Liverpool this morning, take a drive out to Fort Point Lighthouse Park. After leaving Fort Point Lighthouse, travel further south into the province's scenic countryside on Highway 103.

Plan to stop at Sable River, East Jordan, Shelburne, Barrington, Shag Harbour, Tusket and Wedgeport before landing in Yarmouth for the night. This tour will take you about two and a half hours of driving and allow you to see rich history, several historic attractions, lighthouses and Acadian history.

Another full day today as you continue along the Evangeline Trail towards Annapolis Royal.

Make Mavillette Beach Provincial Park your first stop and cruise the lovely 2 km (1.2 mi) expanse of sand and dunes. The Park provides interpretive panels, guided tours, and a bird watch­ing platform on the marsh. Saint Alphonse is just a short drive further, home to I'Eglise St. Alphonse, a charming Acadian church. Next, stop in at Smugglers Cove Provincal Park and then Meteghan.

Head further north to Digby, home port of one of North America's largest scallop fleets and harvesters of the world-famous Digby scallop. A great place to stop and enjoy lunch. If you feel like adding a day or so to your itinerary here, consider a trip down to Brier Island at the bottom of the Digby Neck. Two ferry rides will break the journey as you hop from the mainland to Long Island then Brier Island before arriving in Westport. Make sure you stop in Tiverton to walk the 2.5km trail to Balancing Rock - the most-photographed of Long Island's basalt formations.

Your overnight stop is at Annapolis Royal, which offers a captivating blend of heritage and charm making it a favourite place to explore along the Evangeline Trail.

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Today you will travel into the province's scenic countryside to Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site - 381 square kilometres of scenic inland wilderness country which abounds with wildlife.

Quiet lakes and gently-flowing rivers make Kejimkujik National Park the best canoeing country in Nova Scotia. Five cycling trails are open in the park ranging from easy to more demanding.

There is a beautiful National Park Campground in the park. We recommend you make advance reservations for this campground during the busy holiday period (July and August).

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Retrace your steps back to Annapolis Royal and continue your journey through the delightful villages and orchards of the Annapolis Valley.

Stop briefly in Wolfville, a charming university town with stately trees and beautiful heritage homes. Continue on to the town of Windsor, where lovers of Canada's favourite sport will be delighted to find that this town is the birthplace of hockey.

Along your route today, be sure to check the tide schedule as you might have the opportunity to ride the world famous tidal bore at one of the tidal bore rafting companies that operate along the Shubenacadie River.

Your destination today is Truro. Colourful painted murals throughout the town depict its history, and tree sculptures highlight important figures from the past.

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Travel today along the Fundy Shore, where the majestic power of the world's highest tides have shaped a landscape of unforgettable splendour. You’ll be visiting Cape Chignecto before arriving in Pictou.

Stop in Economy, a great place to "walk on the bottom of the sea", where clam digging, rock housing and bass fishing are popular activities. Then visit Parrsboro, the largest community in this area. It is the headquarters for rock lovers who come to the Minas Basin looking for zeolites and semi-precious stones such as agate and amethyst, which are found on the beaches and in the cliffs.

Visit Cape Chignecto, site of Nova Scotia's largest provincial park, with a hiking trail that circumnavigates the cape along rugged cliffs rising high above the Bay of Fundy. From Amherst, take Highway 6 towards Pugwash and Tatamagouche. Here the Northumberland Shore follows 450 km (280 mi) of shoreline along the Northumberland Strait with over thirty fine sand beaches which offer an irresistible invitation.

Your journey today ends in the historic harbour town of Pictou, one of the largest communities on the Northumberland Shore.

Take your time today as you begin your journey up Cape Breton Island, where historic villages and fashionable resorts combine to create a rhythm that is uniquely Cape Breton.

Pass through the Scottish inspired towns of New Glasgow and Tracadie before crossing the Canso Canal Bridge, considered to be the official dividing line between Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia. Follow the coast to Port Hood, Mabou, Inverness and Dunvegan. Along the way, stop at Mabou Provincial Park, where you will get a panoramic view of the Mabou Valley. Explore small bays, inlets and fishing villages and stop to view the work of artisans en route. At Inverness, take a trip out to the Beach, actually the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and to Broad Cove Banks, to the south of Inverness, which takes you to a beautiful viewing spot above all of Inverness.

From Dunvegan you can follow the seacoast on Highway 219 to Margaree Harbour or continue on Highway 19 through the Margaree Valley to Southwest Margaree and then follow the Margaree River back to Margaree Harbour. Join the Cabot Trail at Margaree Harbour and continue on to Cheticamp. Cheticamp is a busy fishing village with a thriving Acadian culture. Visitors will often hear the lively sounds of Acadian being spoken and in restaurants, visitors will sample typical Acadian food. Cheticamp is the centre of rug hooking and many other fine crafts.

Stay overnight at Cheticamp Campground. Located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, this is a quiet family campground with the mountains as a backdrop by the Chéticamp River. Advance reservations are strongly recommended, particularly during July and August.

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Spend today exploring the world famous Cabot Trail - a coastal highway described as one of the most spectacular drives in North America. The Cabot Trail winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a 950 square metre (366 square mile) wilderness area that is home to a variety of wildlife. Some places of interest to stop at include Pleasant Bay, a working fishing village where you find the fascinating Pleasant Bay Whale Interpretive Centre, and Dingwall, originally known as Youngs Cove after Walter Young, one of the first settlers in the area.

Back on the Cabot Trail, the road takes you to, a popular resort destination, where visitors can enjoy outdoor recreational activities that include hiking, deep-sea fishing, whale watching and biking. The Cabot Trail continues slightly inland to North River Bridge then on to St Ann's and ends at South Haven where you join Highway 105 and head south to Baddeck for your overnight stop.

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Baddeck is a beautiful town with lots to see and explore. Enjoy a wander around this Nova Scotian gem.

The choices today are many. With all day to spend in Baddeck, there's an activity to suit everyone. Take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalks and government wharf with wonderful photo opportunities, including the lighthouse, eagles and sailboats, or browse the various arts and craft shops around the village. Enjoy a day at the beach on Kidston Island, a short ferry ride away or hike to the scenic Uisige Ban Falls.

Baddeck is the place where Alexander Graham Bell, famous as the inventor of the telephone, chose to build his Canadian residence. His estate, Beinn Breagh (Gaelic for "beautiful mountain") can be viewed from the rooftop gardens of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site Complex.

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Leave Baddeck behind as you retrace your steps on Highway 105 back to South Haven before continuing east on Bras d'Or Lakes Drive and through North Sydney to Sydney. Follow signs on Highway 22 to visit the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.

Return to Sydney via scenic Route 255, which becomes Marconi Trail as it nears the coast. At Glace Bay, visit the Marconi National Historic Site and the Cape Breton Miner's Museum. Take highway 4 back to Sydney or, if you have time, take the scenic loop road 28 to New Waterford and return to Sydney along the coast, through South Bar and Whitney Pier.

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From Sydney today, you will travel along the shores of Cape Breton Island's beautiful inland sea - the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Stop in St Peter's, known at the "Gateway to the Bras d'Or Lakes", which is a full-service community situated on a narrow strip of land separating the Atlantic Ocean and the Bras d'Or Lakes. The St Peter's Canal, a National Historic Site, connects these two great bodies of water.

At the Canso Causeway, travel back to the mainland of Nova Scotia through Antigonish and inland to Sherbrooke before arriving in Liscomb.

Your drive continues along the Eastern Shore before ending up in Halifax, for the final days of your tour of Nova Scotia. Stop at the Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte, which offers a nostalgic look at life in the 1940's, and at Fisherman's Life Museum in Jeddore.

The dependable breezes and steady surf at Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park make it a favourite playground for surfers and windsurfers and it's a great place to take a walk on one of the province's most popular sand beaches.

End your day at Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage, a restored fishing village located at the mouth of Halifax Harbour, which offers an inviting collection of craft shops and restaurants along with an extensive seaside boardwalk.

Spend the night in Halifax, at a campground of your choice, before ending your tour of Nova Scotia.

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