Newfoundland and Labrador, for good reason, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers. This easternmost Canadian provides an opportunity for an unforgettable escape, from stunning scenery to fascinating wildlife and extremely friendly individuals. The Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism is accompanied by miles and miles of trails, and historical sites include the first documented Viking village, early European explorers’ sites, early flight pioneer landmarks, and tangible remnants of prehistoric cultures. See our guide to the best tourist attractions in Newfoundland and Labrador for a better understanding of the province and suggestions for what to do here.
Best Time to Visit Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is a year-round destination with plenty to do all year round, but between early July and mid-August, it is best to visit the region and enjoy the best of Newfoundland and Labrador.
How to Reach Newfoundland and Labrador
By Air: Flying is by far the simplest and the most open way to get to Newfoundland and Labrador. Flights are available to get you to Newfoundland from anywhere in Canada, from all over North America, from big gateways and towns, from the USA, and from Northern Europe.
By Water: If you intend to travel by sea to the island of Newfoundland, the main ferry carrier is Marine Atlantic Ferries. There is a year-round service in southwestern Newfoundland between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port aux Basques. To get from the island of Newfoundland to Labrador, take the ferry that runs from St. Barbe on the island’s Great Northern Peninsula to Blanc Sablon on the southernmost coast of Québec, just off the Labrador frontier.
By Road: Newfoundland and Labrador, located on the easternmost tip of North America, is a perfect destination for road trips. If you prefer to drive on the road and enjoy the breathtaking view, the best alternative is to travel by road.
Now Coming to top attractions, here are the must see places in Newfoundland and Labrador…
1. Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada
The National Historic Site of Signal Hill is not your regular landmark. During the Seven Years’ War’s final battle, British and French troops clashed for possession of this strategic location. And, in 1901, on Signal Hill, Guglielmo Marconi got the first ever transatlantic wireless signal, making communications history and setting off the revolution that would finally lead to the cell phone on which you could be reading this. Today, for tourists, this history is put on display.
2. Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park, a majestic mountain landscape partially covered by thick woodland, is arguably one of the most spectacular natural features in eastern Canada. Special animals and plant life have evolved to situations rarely seen anywhere so far south. This is one of the most popular destinations, with dramatic landlocked Western Brook Pond trails and sightseeing boat trips. Rock-climbing, boating, diving, hiking, and fishing are other things to do here.
3. L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
The National Historic Site of L’Anse aux Meadows is the very first evidence of a European presence in North America. The Vikings reached Cabot, Newfoundland and Labrador well before that, and here you can see the remnants of one of their villages. The wood-framed and peat-turf buildings dated back to the 11th century are similar to those seen during that time in Greenland and Iceland. Immerse yourself in history with the aid of costumed guides, see objects 1,000 years old, and live for a day like a Viking.
4. East Coast Trail
The East Coast Trail has a course designed for you, no matter your fitness level, skill level or favourite terrain. The trail provides a number of quick to strenuous wilderness hiking and walking trails that include geological wonders such as soaring cliffs, fjords, sea stacks, rock arches, and even the Spout, a wave-driven fresh water geyser. The Headlands provide stunning views of our coasts, taking you close to seasonal icebergs, whales, sea and woodland birds.
5. Fogo Island
Fogo Island is the largest island on the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. While Fogo Island is often seen as a destination for outdoor adventurers and cultural explorers, it has become a special and outstanding destination for art and architecture lovers. While here, you can take a welcoming Islander island tour, visit local artist workshops, enjoy simple yet tasty Newfoundland specialties and delicious locally forged sweets, and enjoy traditional music and storytelling.
Bonavista, where John Cabot is believed to have seen the “New World” for the first time in 1497, is the best known peninsula in Newfoundland. A statue of Cabot stands at Cape Bonavista, and tourists can look out for seals, puffins, and icebergs along the coast. The former lighthouse, a historical site in the province, dates back to 1843 and was rebuilt about 1870. Picturesque Trinity is an old fishing and trade town that has maintained its historical character well.
7. Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve
At Cape St. Mary’s, there are large seabird colonies, including around 24,000 Northern Gannets. If nesting on the cliffs or dive-bombing the ocean for a meal, the birds are a beautiful sight. The black-legged kittiwake, common murre, razorbill, and broad cormorant are other seabird populations in the cliff-side sanctuary. This captivating location is one of seven ecological reserves for endangered seabirds. Its natural beauty makes it suitable for hikes and family trips in nature.
8. Castle Hill National Historic Site
Between Highway 100 and Placentia, where one of the two ferry routes to Nova Scotia starts and finishes, is Castle Hill National Historic Site. It is the location of ancient fortifications in English and French, and an interpretive centre. “In 1662, the French established the “Plaisance” colony and constructed Fort Royal in 1693. Although just 20 years later, the strategic position was turned over to the British, who called it Castle Hill. There is a splendid view of Placentia Bay.
9. Red Bay National Historic Site
It has only been a few years, the Red Bay was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But for the past five decades, the designation has really been won. Thousands of Basque whalers hunted blubber beasts in the depths of Red Bay in the 1500s. The whaling town remains where it was first set up. You can still visit the ruins of their ovens and other buildings.
10. Terra Nova National Park
For its fjords and calm coastline, Terra Nova National Park is known. Icebergs float by in spring, and kayakers and canoeists take to the waters in summer, while families line the campgrounds in the park. Winter provides opportunities for cross-country skiing. Just north of the park, with the traditional charm of waterfront fishing sheds, Salvage is a small fishing village.