I like to think that I’m pretty well traveled. But every now and then, I would meet fellow travelers who have seen more of my own home country (Canada), than myself. Not until this summer! I went east, and I went as far east as I could (fit into my schedule). I went to the Maritimes.
In case you didn’t know, the Canadian Maritimes is a group of three provinces located in Eastern Canada, and we visited all three of the provinces! This was an eight day road trip that covered almost 2,500 kilometers.
|Jul 25||Halifax||Arrive in Halifax (5pm)||Explore Halifax||Halifax|
|Jul 26||Sydney||Arisaig & Cape George Lighthouse (10am)||Getting lost enroute to Louisburg||Sydney|
|Jul 27||New Glasgow||Louisburg Fortress (9 -12:30pm)||Cape Breton Park (4-8pm)||Arrive to New Glasgow at 10pm||New Glasgow|
|Jul 28||Charlottetown||6:30am ferry to PEI||PEI National Park & Cavendish Shores||Explore Charlottetown downtown||Charlottetown|
|Jul 29||Saint John||Confederation Bridge||Explore Saint John||Saint John|
|Jul 30||Moncton||Fundy Park (11-2pm)||Hopewell Rock (4-6pm)||Moncton|
|Jul 31||Halifax||Joggins Fossil Cliff (10-1pm)||Arrive in Halifax around 4pm||Halifax|
|Aug 1||Halifax||Lunenburg & Blue Rocks, and Peggy’s Cove||Evening Flight (8pm)|
Why this schedule?
When planning, we first jotted down the places we really wanted to see. We also knew that we wanted to fly in and out from the same airport. If not, we would get charged a pretty hefty fee to return our rental car in another city. With those things set, we decided to go counter-clockwise since it would be cheaper entering Prince Edward Island by ferry, and leaving via the Confederation Bridge (more on this in a later blog).
One thing I found difficult was allocating travel time between various locations in the Maritimes. From our experience, Google Maps tend to underestimate the time it takes to reach a destination (even though I was a pretty brisk driver).
The Martimes’ peak travel time is in the summer, and so accommodations and rentals were a bit more expensive than other months. Their summer weather is gorgeous, and I think a road trip outside of this season might be dicey.
My sister had great discounts on accommodations and car rental, so please take that into account when referring to our tab. Here’s a rough breakdown of total spending (for 3 people, and in Canadian dollars):
Return Flight (Vancouver > Halifax): $2,417
Rental Car: $392
- We rented a mid-size Toyota Corolla, and added an additional driver fee to two of the seven days. Without the discount, this would have cost around $650. We also saved around $200 by making sure we had the necessary insurance coverage through our personal auto insurance and credit card travel insurance.
- We mostly stayed in Hampton Inns during this trip. Without the discount, it would have cost around $1,200 for seven nights. Options are limited in smaller cities, but there are definitely some cheaper options available.
- Breakfast was also included in all of the hotels we stayed in. This helped us save around $300 in food spending
We were time pressed to fit things into our travel, so adding an extra two days would allow for a more leisurely pace. We also lost a day in the beginning because of poor weather and poor GPS directions.
If we had an extra week, we would have also loved to visit Newfoundland. Most of the places on my bucket list are in Western Newfoundland. Some of those include iceberg viewing by Twillingate, explore the Vikings Settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows, or stroll along the Tablelands Trail.
Are you into the details? Check out the details to my time in Nova Scotia here at Lesson One: 5 Days in Nova Scotia 🙂