Highlights of Nova Scotia

Destination: Nova Scotia

| Activities: Hiking, Kayaking, Biking

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: 12


  • 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


  • 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 2 kayak tours, a whale watch, wine tasting, and an electric bicycle rental
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the final day
  • Eight nights lodging in double occupancy rooms
  • Transportation during the trip except the initial airport transfer
  • 15% VAT tax

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), guide gratuities, travel insurance and optional activities.

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

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, rafting, biking, 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, 1 night in Margaree, 1 night in Dingwall, and 2 nights 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: Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax (or similar) (D)
We'll start our trip with a tour of Halifax by electric bike. Don't worry about Halifax being a hilly city; we will have an extra boost from electric bikes. Our ride will provide a great introduction to Halifax and its history. We'll explore the historic south end, pedal through Point Pleasant Park, pass Saint Mary's and Dalhousie University, visit the eclectic North end, and end with a ride along the Halifax waterfront.
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.

Biking: 3 hours with stops. 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: Wolfville (B, L, D)
Today we'll hike the Cape Split Trail, a well-graded trail of 5 miles through forest that emerges onto an absolutely stunning bluff with magnificent views of the Bay of Fundy below. The trail up is a steady and mostly moderate climb with a couple of steeper parts to the top of the ridge, 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 dinner.

Hiking: 4 hours, 5 miles. Driving: 1 hour. Overnight: Wolfville (B, L, D)
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 through the Margaree River Valley, regarded as the center of Gaelic music, and beautiful in its own right. There are many trails in this area and we'll stop to hike for 1 - 2 hours before continuing to our lodging. With any luck, we'll find traditional music to enjoy in the evening, and maybe even a campfire.

Hiking: 1 - 2 hours. Driving: 4.5 - 5 hours. Overnight: Margaree, 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. We'll hike the world-famous Skyline Trail, a gentle and well-graded path which follows a mountain ridge out to panoramic views of the surrounding highlands and the Bay of Saint Lawrence 1,000 feet below. We'll keep our eyes open for our first sighting of the park's largest land animal, the majestic Moose.
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!

Hiking: 2 hours. Driving: 2 hours. Overnight: Dingwall, Cape Breton (B, L, D)
Another day packed with fun and beauty! We start the day with the Benjie's Lake Trail, a mostly flat out and back trail that goes to a beautiful highland lake. If we haven't seen moose yet, keep your eyes peeled today! We then head to the other side of the Cape for a couple hours of kayaking. Paddling the waters of the South Harbour lagoon, we're likely to see bald eagles. The water is so clear here you can even see fish swimming underneath your kayak. This is also the location of an oyster farm and our guide will explain how they're raised. You might think after this that it just doesn't get any better - but it definitely doesn't get any worse!
A short drive brings us to our next hike, past the seaside village of White Point out onto the peninsula where pink granite cliffs rise from the sea. This location is a great place to spot eagles, whales, and various seabirds. If you didn't know better, you would think you were in Scotland. From there we continue further down the coast to our lodging for the night. We'll spend the next two nights in Baddeck where we are likely to find some more local music.

Kayaking: 2 hours. Hiking: 2.5 hours. Driving: 2 hours. Overnight: Baddeck, Cape Breton (B, L, D)
When Alexander Graham Bell visited Cape Breton for the first time he exclaimed, "I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all!" It was here on Cape Breton that the world-famous inventor of the telephone and many other innovations spent years enjoying the beauty of the lake and surrounding hills, experimenting and testing his inventions. We will start the day with the crew at Amoeba Sailing to set out on a sailing vessel which passes by the long-standing residence of the Bell family. It's not hard to see why Mr. Bell and his family fell in love with this lakeside town. We are quite sure you will too!
After the boat tour is over, we'll return to Baddeck and visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Alexander Graham Bell had his summer home here and the museum is widely acclaimed for its representation of both his work and life.
If the museum doesn't interest you, you can spend some time exploring the town, or going for one final hike: a 2.4 mile trail that follows Falls Brook upstream, passing through a hardwood forest of maple, birch, and beech on the way to 50 foot high Uisge Ban Falls (Gaelic for "white water"). The deep stream valley narrows dramatically and at the falls, the sheer walls of the gorge tower 500 feet on either side.
Whether you've chosen the museum or the hike, we'll join up together for our final farewell dinner and, if it's available, we'll finish up with a traditional ceildh (pronounced "kaylee") with local musicians.

Boat tour: 2.5 hours. Hiking: 1 - 2 hours. Driving: 1 - 2 hours. Overnight: Baddeck, Cape Breton (B, L, D)
We'll end out trip in Nova Scotia with a visit to the Highland Village Museum, a living history museum that celebrates Nova Scotia's Gaelic culture and heritage. From the Museum, we'll head back to Halifax (4 hours drive), with a stop for a picnic and a chance to stretch our legs. We will be back to the Halifax airport by 4:00 p.m.

Driving: 4 hours. (B, L)

*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.


(35 reviews)
4.3 Food
4.1 Lodging
4.7 Safety
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Deb C.
2 years ago

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

Roberta P.
2 years ago

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

Kathleen G.
2 years ago

Shelda F.
2 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.
2 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.
2 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.
2 years ago

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

Annette G.
2 years ago

Maxanne W.
2 years ago

Puffin boat trip, scenery

Susan H.
3 years ago

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

Maureen C.
3 years ago

I especially liked the kayaking portions of the trip.

Monica K.
3 years ago

Cynthia N.
3 years ago

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

Anya R.
3 years ago

Margaret M.
3 years ago

Great guides. Great itinerary.

Bonnie M.
3 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.
3 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.
3 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.
3 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.
4 years ago

the activities were excelllent

Mary B.
4 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.
4 years ago

the people places we visited

Beth W.
4 years ago

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

Ford B.
4 years ago

Eileen C.
4 years ago

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

Jan C.
5 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.
5 years ago

Bay of Fundy

Donna G.
5 years ago

Tidal bore rafting, winery, wildlife, great fellow travelers

Christine F.
5 years ago

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

Mary H.
5 years ago

all: location; activities; fellow travelers; guides.

Frances G.
5 years ago

The wildlife and the tidal bore rafting!

Janet L.
5 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.
5 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.
5 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.
5 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.