Highlights of Nova Scotia

Destination: Nova Scotia

| Activities: Hiking with a day of kayaking

Nova Scotia offers an enticing combination of outdoor adventure, fascinating history, and great wildlife viewing. Completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, it is particularly known for the high tides of the Bay of Fundy, the Cape Breton Highlands, its many picturesque fishing villages, and the migratory wildlife that includes puffins and whales, as well as many other seabirds. We'll start our adventure in Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital and a very happening city. We'll visit two of its most popular sites, the craggy headlands of Peggy's Cove and the historic town of Lunenburg with its many brightly colored houses, before heading north to the Bay of Fundy. We'll watch the tides roar in from the heights of Cape Split. Then it's on to the Cape Breton Highlands and the famous Cabot Trail. We'll go hiking, sea kayaking, and whale watching, and we'll hope to find some of the music that epitomizes Nova Scotia's rich Gaelic heritage. Maximum group size: 14


  • Looking for wildlife, particularly moose, seals, puffins, and other seabird life
  • Seeing the stunning coastline of Cape Breton and learning about its history
  • Experiencing the huge tides of the Bay of Fundy
  • Visiting Peggy's Cove and Lunenberg
  • Learning about Acadian and Gaelic culture and listening to Gaelic music

Departures and Prices

July 06 to July 14, 2024
$4295.00 - Limited Availability
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  • A local guide and an AGC guide (If there are fewer than 8 on the trip there will not be an AGC guide)
  • All activities on the itinerary, including a kayak tour, a whale watch, wine tasting, and a puffin boat tour.
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the final day, unless otherwise noted on the itinerary
  • Eight nights lodging in double occupancy rooms
  • 15% VAT tax
  • Transportation during the trip except the initial airport transfer

What's not included: Travel to and from Halifax, travel from the airport to the hotel at the start of the trip, beverages (other than water), one dinner, guide gratuities, travel insurance and optional activities.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip has lots of activity, interspersed with time for sightseeing, and our days can be enjoyed by any active and fit woman in good health who regularly walks briskly for exercise and loves being outdoors. No previous experience in any of the activities is necessary. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5

This is a multisport adventure vacation which means we'll do some of everything: hiking, kayaking, wildlife watching, sightseeing, and visiting a couple of museums. We'll also hope to listen to Gaelic music at least one night or more.

We'll be staying in a variety of lodging: 2 nights in Halifax, 2 nights in Wolfville, 2 nights in Cape Breton, 1 night in Indian Brook, and 1 night in Baddeck. Each of the accommodations were selected for their charm and local feel. The rooms will have two beds and an ensuite bathroom. Rooms are double-occupancy, we will pair you with another traveler unless you request a specific roommate. There are 2 single rooms available for an additional cost. Availability of room types is on your registration form.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Arrive Halifax any time before 4:30 p.m. We'll meet as a group for the first time at 5:30 p.m. at our Halifax hotel for a welcome and introductions. We'll continue getting to know each other as we go out for our first dinner together. Since many of us will be tired from traveling, bedtime is likely to be early tonight - unless of course, we can find some music to listen to.

Overnight: Halifax (D)
We'll start our trip with exploring the town of Halifax. A charming coastal town that offers great views, food, and historical legacy. We will enjoy a walk throughout the city and near the waterfront to get acquainted.
In the afternoon we'll visit Peggy's Cove, a small fishing village that is one of Nova Scotia's iconic sites and home to the most photographed lighthouse in the world. We'll also have time to marvel at the stone sculpture William deGarthe made in his backyard as a memorial to the fishermen that have lived here for hundreds of years. Later we'll go for a beautiful hike (about 1.2 miles) through the coastal barrens, learning about how the area was formed by glaciers 12,000 years ago, its unique vegetation, and the wildlife that call it home.

Hiking: 1.5 hours. Driving: about 1.5 hours. Overnight: Halifax (B, L, D)
This morning we leave Halifax and head for the south shore. Our day starts with seeing Nova Scotia from the perspective of the sea as we kayak along the coast, exploring inlets and islands, and watching the varied birdlife. No previous kayaking experience is needed. After a morning of paddling, we drive to the town of Lunenberg. Known for its colorful houses, well-preserved architecture, and interesting history, the old part of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After a picnic lunch you'll have some time to wander through some of the many art galleries and shops, the Knaut-Rhuland house museum, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, or a micro-distillery. In the late afternoon, we'll head north to the Annapolis Valley area, the location of the Bay of Fundy and its famously high tides, and also one of the centers of Acadian history.

Kayaking: 2 hours. Walking: 1 hour. Driving: 2.5 hours driving. Overnight: Old Orchard Inn, Wolfville (B, L, D)
Today we'll hike the Jodrey Trail in Blomidon Provincial Park, a well-graded trail of 4.5 miles through forest that emerges onto an absolutely stunning bluff with magnificent views of the Minas Basin below. The trail up is a steady and mostly moderate climb, after which it is mostly flat. The footing is generally good with some areas of roots and rocks, and it may be muddy in parts if it has rained recently.
After a picnic lunch and good rest, we return the way we came. With its cool climate, long summers, and rich soil, the Annapolis Valley area has recently become a center for the production of Nova Scotian wine. This afternoon we'll visit one of the many wineries located here and learn more about the wine they make here with a wine tasting. If we time our return to our lodging right, there may well be time for a swim before a dinner on your own in Wolfville.

Hiking: 4 hours, 5 miles. Driving: 1 hour. Overnight: Old Orchard Inn, Wolfville (B, L)
We start the morning with a visit to the Grand Pre National Historic Site. Grand Pre, the largest Acadian community in the 1750s, was destroyed during the mass deportations by the British. Immortalized in the famous poem "Evangeline" by William Wadsworth Longfellow, the deportations occurred after the Acadians refused to take an unconditional oath of loyalty to the British during the British-French conflict. The movie and exhibits at the Center leave us with a much better understanding of this devastating history and its legacy.
We'll then head to Cape Breton, considered by many to be the crown jewel of Nova Scotia with its dramatic coastlines, abundant wildlife on both land and sea, striking scenery, and Gaelic culture. It's definitely a drive today but Cape Breton is well worth it! Our route takes us along the Trans Canada Highway; beautiful in its own right. We will stop on our way to have a picnic lunch by a river where we can dip our feet, all while surrounded by a towering coniferous forest. In the evening we will attend a Ceilidh in Baddeck to hear local musicians and learn about the history of the Gaelic music brought here by the Scottish settlers and how it has shaped the culture of Cape Breton Island.

Hiking: 1 - 2 hours. Driving: 4.5 - 5 hours. Overnight: Silver Dart Lodge, Baddeck, Cape Breton (B, L, D)
Today we start our circumnavigation of the Cabot Trail, considered one of the most scenic drives in North America with its loop around Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We drive through mixed forest and the Margaree Valley, which is home to one of Canada's Premier salmon rivers. We will make a brief stop in the town of Cheticamp, where we may notice a strong Acadian Culture and presence. We'll stop at the Visitor Center and then continue on into the Park, making stops to take photos of the magnificent scenery. Of course, there is no better way to see and experience Cape Breton than by foot.
After soaking in the views, we’ll hike the 2.9 mile Le Chemin du Buttereau trail. Along the way, we’ll trace the footsteps of Acadian pioneers. Along the trail, we’ll view the Chéticamp River, old pastures, small mammals and birds.
Returning to the van, we continue driving across the highlands with its vast expanse of mountain plateaus and glacial valleys. We then arrive at the quaint little harbor village of Pleasant Bay, one of the best places in Canada to go whale watching. Many species of whales can be seen in these rich waters, including Minke, Humpback, Fin and Pilot whales. Our lodging tonight is situated right near a quiet beach on the Atlantic Ocean and if you've been wanting to swim in the ocean, this is the time!
After watching the gentle giants, we’ll hike one final trail for the day; MacIntosh Brook. This short, 1.1 mile hike will allow us to gently stroll along mature hardwood forest and babbling brook, only to view the falls themselves at the end.

Hiking: 2-3 hours. Whale Watching: 2-3 hours. Driving: 2 hours. Overnight: Markland Resort Dingwall, Cape Breton (B, L, D) *Please note: The Markland Resort has 1 sofa sleeper and 1 bed in each room. You won’t be spending much time in your room with the stunning ocean views anyway!
Another day packed with fun and beauty! We continue our journey on the Cabot Trail, we make a stop for a morning 1.4 mi (loop) hike. The scenic “Jack Pine” trail overlooks the Atlantic coastline and winds through a post-fire jack pine stand.
After having a picnic at Black Brook Beach, we enjoy our second hike of the day. The 2.4 mi (loop) Middle Head trail follows a long, narrow peninsula separating two ocean bays, ending on headland cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Smokey and Ingonish Island. There are opportunities to see seabirds, seals, whales and eagles, as well as fishing boats in the early summer. We then drive through Ingonish and over Smokey Mountain, one of the highlights along this famous drive.

Hiking: 2.5 hours. Driving: 2 hours. Overnight: Cabot Shore Resort, Indian Brook (B, L, D)
In the morning, we'll enjoy a 2.3 mile hike on the Red Island Trail. We’ll start out at the St. Anne’s Bay and eventually find ourselves on the cobblestone beach viewing the MacDonalds Pond. We’ll finish the loop hike in the forest, keeping our eyes peeled for wild mushrooms and other fungi.
In the early afternoon, we’ll enjoy a unique experience - a puffin boat tour! We’ll be on the lookout for the marine birds, and hopefully see playful puffins, seals, eagles, and various other sea birds! We'll learn about the puffin and why it calls this part of Nova Scotia home.
After the boat tour, we’ll arrive in the town of Baddeck. We’ll enjoy shopping, live music, and views of the nearby Kidston Island.
After a day full of views and learning, we'll enjoy our final farewell lobster dinner; a tasty treat well-earned.

Hiking: 1 - 2 hours. Boat tour: 2.5 hours. Driving: 1 - 2 hours. Overnight: Inverary Resort, Baddeck, Cape Breton (B, L, D)
Today is the final day of our trip, so after breakfast we will make our way back to the Halifax airport. Along the way, about 4 hours driving, we will stop and stretch our legs and have lunch (on your own). We will be back to the Halifax airport by 1:00 PM, so plan to book flights for 3:00 PM or later.

Driving: 4 hours. (B)


(47 reviews)
4.3 Food
4 Lodging
4.5 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Pamela C.
10 months ago

I enjoyed the variety of activities, the mixture of planned and free time, and the locations we visisted.

Kathy S.
10 months ago

The guides, Adele and Chelsea were excellent. The activities and places we got to see were fun and beautiful.

Judy R.
11 months ago

This trip had a wonderful blend of variety with the activities we enjoyed. The pace was well managed with not a lot of waiting or rushing which helped the flow of the trip each day. Smaller groups are always special for me because of being able to interact with everyone and getting to know each person for their uniqueness.

Erin L.
11 months ago

Janet S.
11 months ago

The mix of activities including culture and music, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing, and the enthusiastic guides.

Carolyn Y.
11 months ago

Chelsea was fabulous! Her knowledge of the history and the area was appreciated.

Laurie L.
1 year ago

Learned important historical events, saw iconic locations

Cynthia P.
1 year ago

Camaraderie with the guides and the location made this a great trip! The only real issue I had was the transportation around Nova Scotia. The bus had 14 seats so it was 100% full. The back seats on both sides were affected by wheel wells that restricted foot space and were VERY comfortable. Sadly, several people chose not to take a turn riding in those seats and several of us suffered through sitting there. Even the seats that had no restrictions like that had very little foot space and considering we had to keep our backpacks with us and put them between our legs on the floor, it was very uncomfortable. Viewing scenery out of the windows was also impaired due to the space and that the seats were well below the window openings. One window was steamed up continuously which totally blocked any view we might have had.

Linda B.
1 year ago

It was a memorable experience for me to visit the Halifax Explosion Memorial park, to learn of the Acadian deportation and to witness the natural beauty of the Cape Breton area. I enjoyed two wonderful kayak excursions, several very fun hikes and the Puffin tour was awesome.

Mary H.
1 year ago

Cynthia F.
1 year ago

The lobster dinner with all the elements of comedy theater, and the rug hooking demonstration. Those two local ladies were special in imparting their knowledge and entertaining us.

Odette C.
1 year ago

Nova Scotia’s beauty, the friendliness of the Canadians, the trip guides and the participants.

Deb C.
4 years ago

I really enjoyed Cape Breton and the Puffin boat tour. The seafood was excellent.

Roberta P.
4 years ago

seeing the puffin and the bay of fundy hiking on those greaat rocks it was so well planned

Kathleen G.
4 years ago

Shelda F.
4 years ago

Great guides, hikes, food, scenery, and fun activities. Having the opportunity to attend performances by local musicians really enhanced the cultural aspects of the trip.

Sarah H.
4 years ago

This was an Excellent adventure trip. I enjoyed being able to kayak, bike and hike several times during one trip. The weather was fabulous - 60-70 most days. The quality of food was amazing; even the picnic lunches.

Linda S.
4 years ago

The beautiful scenery and the opportunity to hike, kayak, visit museums, take a boat tour and enjoy wine tasting made this a fantastic trip. It was well planned and the guides made the trip enjoyable as well as educational.

Trudy M.
4 years ago

I would have liked to have more all day hiking options. The kayaking was great with beautiful surroundings.

Annette G.
4 years ago

Maxanne W.
4 years ago

Puffin boat trip, scenery

Susan H.
5 years ago

I loved being exposed to and learning more about the Acadian culture.

Maureen C.
5 years ago

I especially liked the kayaking portions of the trip.

Monica K.
5 years ago

Cynthia N.
5 years ago

Cape Breton highlands, hikes, kayak and music. Wonderful gaggle of women

Anya R.
5 years ago

Margaret M.
5 years ago

Great guides. Great itinerary.

Bonnie M.
5 years ago

The highlights of these trips are often the interaction with other women and listening to their stories. I loved the musicial gigs we went to. The hike to Cape Split was definitely a highlight. the kayaking was just the right amount of time.

Mary C.
5 years ago

1. Excellent guides who executed the myriad details of the trip smoothly and in good humor. 2. Wonderful hikes of varied lengths and character. 3. AMAZING food. 4. Ceiligh in Baddeck was a wonderful experience. 5. Both kayaking excursions were amazing! 6. Donelda's puffin tour was a joy!

Lisa H.
5 years ago

The variety of adventures all week, the beautiful scenery, learning about the history, culture. Cape Split trail, the wonderful company of the women in the group.

Kathy B.
5 years ago

I felt like we really got to know the people and culture along with the wildlife and landscape. The places we stayed were owned by real people not corporations. The food was excellent! The South Harbor kayak paddle and the boat tour were especially special because of the people who did the tour. A beautiful province with beautiful people!

Elaine A.
6 years ago

the activities were excelllent

Mary B.
6 years ago

My absolute favorite part of the trip was the hike on White Point trail. It was a spectacular and beautiful place that spoke to my soul. I loved the Ceilidh music. Traveling with awesome empowered women, making new friends and seeing friends from prior trips, is such a gift. We made travel memories and will connect in some way on another adventure.

Barbara R.
6 years ago

the people places we visited

Beth W.
6 years ago

Variety of activities each day. I like to see and do as much as I can on each vac day!

Ford B.
6 years ago

Eileen C.
6 years ago

Great people (including guides), great activities, and great food.

Jan C.
7 years ago

I enjoyed it, but we struggled to keep up with the itinerary, and we missed a few things that I had really looked forward to (Grand Pre and several of the planned hikes). There was more driving than I had expected, and less "adventure". Note: Marian was great, and our guide Line is a treasure! You need to hold onto her!

Barbara F.
7 years ago

Bay of Fundy

Donna G.
7 years ago

Tidal bore rafting, winery, wildlife, great fellow travelers

Christine F.
7 years ago

I enjoyed all the activities, hard to pick one highlight. Liked the variety of activities.

Mary H.
7 years ago

all: location; activities; fellow travelers; guides.

Frances G.
7 years ago

The wildlife and the tidal bore rafting!

Janet L.
7 years ago

I enjoyed every single activity! I loved the kayaking, hiking and rafting. Even though I'm not a big history buff, the last day's trip to the historic village was great. The storytelling on the beach was a huge highlight and the music gathering the night before we left was great. The guides were so accommodating, friendly and helpful. I would have loved to somehow hear more Gaelic music but I don't know where it could have been squeezed in. I thought our time at the winery was perfect - a longer tour probably would have been too much for me.

Susan H.
7 years ago

Birding was a highlight for me, with 6 "life birds" to add to my growing list. Every day was a highlight. I met a personal challenge of a 10 mile hike, with a leader (Marion) who patiently put up with me coming in last. Sights, sounds, friends, food, oh my. Everything was amazing. The guide, Line, was a highlight for me with her knowledge and curiosity.

Susan H.
7 years ago

Birding was a highlight for me, with 6 "life birds" to add to my growing list. Every day was a highlight. I met a personal challenge of a 10 mile hike, with a leader (Marion) who patiently put up with me coming in last. Sights, sounds, friends, food, oh my. Everything was amazing. The guide, Line, was a highlight for me with her knowledge and curiosity.

Sue M.
7 years ago

Tidal Bore

  1. Where do we eat?

    Most breakfasts and dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu or are buffet style. The guides will cook the final dinner at the condos. Before you start the day, the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch or occasionally lunch will be picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.