Canadian Maritimes

Canadian Maritimes – Why they should be on your ‘must visit’ list


It is the land of hockey, maple syrup and gloriously snowy winters. It is the world’s second largest country and stretches 7,800km from coast to coast. This is Canada – and it should be at the top of your list of places to visit.
The ‘Maritimes’ refers to three provinces of Canada: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick – however Labrador and parts of Quebec have been included under this title at different times.
 
Many people associate this area with some of the world’s best fall foliage. Visit during late September and October to watch the leaves change from a lush green to vibrant Autumn oranges and yellows - and gloriously rain down to create carpets of rich reds and purples.
 
There’s no doubt the Maritimes have it all: unspoilt scenery, friendly people, magnificent (and sometimes unusual) food, a rich history, the highest and wildest tides and an abundance of wildlife. Here are just a few of the highlights you can encounter in the region…

Superb Food

Over half the world’s supply of Canadian lobster comes from Atlantic Canada’s pristine, cold waters. Not surprisingly, the provinces are also known for oysters, mussels, scallops and other shellfish. In fact, oysters and mussels from Malpeque Bay on Prince Edward Island are world-famous! Lobster rolls are available on just about every street corner and are loved by locals and tourists alike.

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries grow in abundance and are some of the sweetest fruits you’ll taste. A classic maritime dish in Nova Scotia is Hodge Podge, a vegetable stew made with the freshest seasonal vegetables cooked in a mild broth – and is classic around the Maritimes. Be sure to try Dulse, an edible red seaweed and oatcakes, in Nova Scotia; Rapée pie, an Acadian speciality in New Brunswick; and fish-cakes made with salt cod and potatoes in Prince Edward Island.

These maritime provinces’ extremely cool climate make for delicious wines – particularly sparkling wines, to accompany local delicacies.
Sample the superb oysters in Canada

Wildlife and Nature

Despite the small size of the provinces, the Maritimes are home to some well-known Canadian National Parks, such as Cape Brenton Highlands National Park, Prince Edward Island National Park, Fundy National Park, Kouchibougauc National Park, Sable Island Reserve and Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site.

These parks are a maze of untouched canyons, vast lakes and stunning coastal views – perfect for scenic hiking and camping, sand-dunes, spotting seabirds and cold-water kayaking. Local fauna include moose, Canadian lynx, White-tailed deer, Eastern coyote, seals and even Black bears.

The Fundy National Park is located near the Bay of Fundy and is famous for having the worlds’ highest tidal range. At full and new moon, the difference between high and low tides can reach up to 16 metres– allowing a whopping 160 billion tons of seawater to crash onto the shore every day on a flooding tide.

It also is one of the richest and most biodiverse regions of the world, comparable to that of the Amazonian Rainforest. The Bay of Fundy, Cape Brenton and Prince Edward Island is a haven for multiple species of whale – from Minkes to Finbacks - from spring until late fall. 
Spot moose in Canada

Rich Cultural Heritage & Literature

The Mi'kmaq Indigenous peoples inhabited the Atlantic provinces of Canada 2000 years ago. European exploration began in the late 10th Century along the east coast of Canada. After Jacques Cartier’s arrival in 1534, the British and French moved further west and continued their exploration.

In 1604, the first European settlement was established by French explorers, Pierre de Monts and Samuel de Champlain - first on St. Croix Island (located in present-day Maine), then at Port-Royal, Acadia (in present-day Nova Scotia). At the Charlottetown Conference on Prince Edward Island in 1864, the possibility of a union of the Maritime Provinces was discussed. After three more years of political debate, the Province of Canada was joined with the two other British Colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to form a self-governing entity - the Dominion of Canada.

Prince Edward Island is also home to the fictional character: Anne of Green Gables. First published in 1908, this Lucy Maud Montgomery classic has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 36 languages. The author drew upon her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island to develop the novel, which has since been adapted into films, mini-series and musicals.

Just a short drive from Charlottetown, the perfectly preserved Green Gables House – the real-life inspiration for the fictional Cuthbert farm – sits in its original form. Stroll down Lover’s Lane, enjoy a carriage ride and step back in time when you visit the one room Lower Bedeque Schoolhouse.
Charlottetown Prince Edward Island

Great Attractions and Experiences

From Halifax, Nova Scotia you can visit Peggy’s Cove, one of Canada’s most visited places, the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg (a postcard-perfect fishing village of brightly painted old British Colonial buildings). Or roam the streets of St. John in New Brunswick, Canada’s oldest city before standing at Reversing Falls, a world-famous attraction where the St. John river flows in reverse twice daily, thanks to a huge tidal surge from the Bay of Fundy.

In Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, enjoy a visit to the Coastal Lighthouse and nearby winery or visit the Red Sand Cliffs and historical Confederation Bridge.

However you decide to spend your visit, you can enjoy the real taste of the salty Atlantic Ocean, fresh seafood and the best Canadian brews, as you explore wind-swept sea cliffs, centuries-old towns and the hearty way of life of the locals.
Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove

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