Enjoy Your Custom Adventure.
Dive into Acadian Culture, Heritage and Scenic Beauty!
Place of departure
Note :The distances to be covered and the time required to do so are approximate. They are based on driving according to the speed limits in force. The distances between the regions represent the shortest distance between them from their respective limits, unless otherwise noted.
Days 1 and 2: Cabot Trail with your arrival in Chéticamp, your destination for nights 1 and 2
Travel distance: 229 km
Travel time: 6 to 12 hours ncluding frequent stops along the Cabot Trail.* (*Travel distance and times will vary depending where you begin today’s journey). This winding road with frequent climbs and descents, has lookouts overlooking spectacular views. A journey of 6 to 12 hours is expected to appreciate its splendor.
Begin your day at the Canso Causeway, the rock-filled causeway in Nova Scotia that connects Cape Breton Island to mainland Nova Scotia. The causeway itself is an engineering marvel, with the Strait of Canso being one of the deepest straits in the world. As you cross the Canso Causeway, make a short stop at Port Hawkesbury, a gateway to Cape Breton Island. Grab a breakfast bite and perhaps some snacks for the road. Once you’re ready, head north on the Cabot Trail. This world-famous scenic roadway is renowned for its stunning vistas, winding roads, and picturesque landscapes. The trail loops around the northern part of Cape Breton Island, offering views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lush highlands, and rugged coastline.
As you continue along the Cabot Trail, consider a detour through the Margaree Valley. This area is famous for its salmon-filled rivers, charming farmland, and artisanal shops. Maybe even try your hand at fly-fishing if time allows. Before reaching Chéticamp, you'll pass through a significant portion of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This national park is home to stunning plateaus, lush forest valleys, and steep coastal cliffs. Make a point to stop at some of the lookout points for unforgettable views and photo opportunities. One of the most recommended hikes in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Skyline Trail, offers an easy walking path with a payoff of dramatic cliffside views over the Gulf of St. Lawrence. If you're up for a hike, this trail is a must-do, though be sure to budget about 2-3 hours for the round trip.
As the day winds down, you'll arrive at the vibrant Acadian fishing village of Chéticamp. This town is renowned for its rich Acadian culture, which is expressed through its music, dance, and art. You'll see distinct French influences everywhere, from street signs to the local cuisine. Treat yourself to a hearty seafood dinner in Chéticamp. The town boasts an array of restaurants where you can savor fresh lobster, clams, mussels, and other maritime delicacies.
Spend a perfect day in Chéticamp, immersed in the vibrant spirit of Acadian culture. Begin your morning at Freya and Thor, where you can enjoy a delightful coffee and explore their art gallery, surrounded by inspiring creativity.
Next, journey to the Mi-Carême Center, a whimsical hub of Acadian traditions. Immerse yourself in cultural experiences and uncover the fascinating facets of this cherished local tradition.
If the weather is favorable, make your way to St. Pierre Beach, a serene oasis where you can relax by the water's edge and bask in the beauty of the surroundings. As the day unfolds, explore the charming streets of Chéticamp, discovering local shops and boutiques that showcase Acadian crafts and arts.
For dinner, head to one of the restaurants in Chéticamp, where you'll discover the authentic flavors of Acadian cuisine. There, delectable dishes that celebrate seasonal local produce and the rich culinary heritage of the region await you. In just one day, you'll weave a tapestry of Acadian experiences, from cultural immersion to culinary delights, in the heart of Chéticamp.
Day 3: Return to departure destination – Canso Causeway
Start your day in Chéticamp with a delicious breakfast to fuel your journey. You're spoiled for choice with local eateries; consider the homey comforts of Marguerite Café or the traditional baked delights from Aucoin's Bakery. With a full belly and an eager spirit, it's time to set off on your journey.
As you leave Chéticamp, venture through the southern part of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. If any trails or lookouts eluded you on your initial journey, now's the chance to explore them. As you make your way south, you'll pass through the scenic Margaree Valley once again. If you didn't get a chance on the way up, take this opportunity to immerse yourself in the region's charm, be it through fly fishing or visiting local artisanal shops. The valley also presents a splendid lunch spot with its myriad eateries. Consider a small detour to Middle River for a change of pace. This peaceful village, enveloped by rugged highlands and serene waterways, beckons travelers to pause and appreciate nature's beauty.
Closer to the heart of Cape Breton, the village of Baddeck awaits on the shores of the Bras d'Or Lake. Here, delve into history and innovation at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, and discover why Bell held Cape Breton so close to his heart.
As the day winds down and you approach the Canso Causeway, take a moment to reminisce about the journey's highlights, from the Acadian flavors of Chéticamp to the breathtaking vistas of the Highlands. The causeway, a marvel of engineering, symbolizes the end of this Cape Breton chapter, but the memories will last a lifetime.
We hope your stay was pleasant and our itinerary was to your satisfaction,
feel free to plan your next trip to Nova Scotia by using our other itinerary selections.