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Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova scotia, Canada, Maritimes

Self-Drive the Canadian Maritimes

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

14 Days

Prices Start from

£0pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Solo Traveller Photographers Families

Encompassing the iconic trio of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island – which are Canada’s three smallest provinces – this impressive self-drive itinerary incorporates properties perched on dramatic cliffs, eclectic island cities, and sustainable backwood wildernesses that will appeal to travellers with an enduring sense of adventure.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Halifax, Moored Yachts, Sunset, Maritimes 1

Tour Halifax

Visit museums and historic sites with a private guide, and sample local cuisine.

Cabot, Trail Cape, Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia, Canada, Maritimes 2

Drive the Cabot Trail

Get a taste of local life while self-driving the world-renowned Cabot Trail.

Prince Edward Island, Canada, Maritimes 3

Sail to PEI

Explore Prince Edward Island, stopping at the must-visit Spinnakers’ Landing.

Cozy Fireplace, Trout Point Lodge, Maritimes, Canada 4

Nat Geo Hideaway

Kayak, cook, swim and relax in a riverside wood-fired hot tub at Trout Point Lodge.

Why we like it

What do you get when you combine Canada’s three Maritime Provinces, a hire car and a series of highly unique properties? Wildlife-rich territories, one of the most scenic drives in the world, and a feeling of untethered freedom that is countered by the knowledge that a hand-picked hideaway is waiting for you at each days’ end… Ideally suited to those keen to go off-piste, this route combines loop-routes around Cape Breton Island, herds of moose, pods of whales, and a handful of extraordinary local culinary experiences to boot. We think it is the properties that make this itinerary extra special – many look like something out of a National Geographic documentary, and some have even been endorsed by the institution for their innovation and sustainability programmes.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Days 1-2

    Halifax

  • Day 3

    Halifax - Cape Breton Highlands

  • Days 4-5

    Cape Breton Highlands

  • Day 6

    Cape Breton Highlands - Pictou

  • Day 7

    Pictou - Prince Edward Island

  • Days 8-9

    Prince Edward Island

  • Day 10

    Prince Edward Island - Saint John

  • Day 11

    Saint John - Tobeatic Wilderness Area

  • Days 12-13

    Tobeatic Wilderness Area

Days 1-2

Halifax

Halifax, Moored Yachts, Sunset, Maritimes

Tour Halifax, visiting museums and historic sites with a private guide, and sample local cuisine.

Day 3

Halifax - Cape Breton Highlands

Days 4-5

Cape Breton Highlands

Ingonish Beach, cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, Maritimes

Drive to a private peninsula overlooking Ingonish Beach in the Cape Breton Highlands, arriving at a formidable landmark hotel.

Day 6

Cape Breton Highlands - Pictou

Day 7

Pictou - Prince Edward Island

Days 8-9

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island, Canada, Maritimes

Spend time exploring the island, known as the “Million-Acre Farm”, on foot, by bike, or on sail boat.

Day 10

Prince Edward Island - Saint John

Day 11

Saint John - Tobeatic Wilderness Area

Days 12-13

Tobeatic Wilderness Area

Picnic Lodge, Trout Point Lodge, Maritimes, Canada

Journey to a luxury wilderness lodge set within 100 acres of Canadian backwoods, then set out to explore Nova Scotia’s stunning Acadian Forest.

Now for the details

Peggy's Cove, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Maritimes
Peggy's Cove, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Maritimes

Bicycle Tours & Peggy's Cove

Embark on a private tour of Halifax, the Atlantic Ocean port city that is known for high tides and delicious blueberries, in the company of an expert private guide. Whether visiting museums and historic sites or travelling to fortifications to learn about the region’s deep military roots, there are options to suit all interests and age ranges – for example, families might prefer a bike tour that highlights local hotspots rather than historical places. Then detour off the tourist trail to the small rural community of Peggy’s Cove to see Peggys Point Lighthouse, which still watches over the surging ocean and its myriad of working lobster boats. If you’re feeling fancy, let us arrange a luxurious scenic sunset sail off the coast of Halifax with local wines and cheeses.

Ocean Shore, Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Nova Scotia , Canada

Swirl Whisky, Sail Sea Wolf

Drive to a private peninsula overlooking Ingonish Beach in the Cape Breton Highlands, arriving at a formidable landmark hotel with spectacular 360-degree views, a cliff-side spa and famed blueberry cinnamon pancakes to boot. Perhaps go an exclusive tour of Glenora Distillery to draw a barrel, swirl and sample local Glen Breton Rare – or have them come to you at Keltic Lodge! Alternatively, explore the Cabot Trail and sample its local fare or sail the Sea Wolf Island National Wildlife Area with an experienced whale-watching captain. Those keen to try something different might take a private one-on-one blacksmithing class with an artisan or horseback ride from the mountains to the sea.

 

Prince Edward Island, Canada, Maritimes
Prince Edward Island

Sail to “Million-Acre Farm”

Take the car-ferry crossing to Prince Edward Island and drive to a lovingly restored heritage building in downtown Charlottetown before settling into your room, suite, townhouse or luxury apartment. Then, spend time exploring the island, known as the “Million-Acre Farm”, on foot, by bike, or on sail boat. For a real taste of local life, we can arrange a private farm-to-table organic cooking workshop, or a one-on-one woodworking experience in the company of a professional craftsman. Maybe learn horse body language during a private session lead by an expert wrangler, or learn all about falconry with a bird of prey master.

Kayaking, Trout Point Lodge, Maritimes, Canada
Trout Point Lodge
River Deck, Trout Point Lodge, Maritimes, Canada
Trout Point Lodge

Wilderness & Wellness

Journey to a luxury wilderness lodge set within 100 acres of Canadian backwoods, then set out to explore Nova Scotia’s stunning Acadian Forest ecosystem with its myriad of rivers, marshes, bogs and glacial formations. From canoeing and mountain biking to forest bathing and wild swimming, the outdoor experiences at Trout Point Lodge are unpretentious and immersive. Wooden boardwalks and nature trails make for a more leisurely way to discover the enchanting and pristine wilderness in a self-guided capacity, while sailing voyages, culinary workshops and stargazing experiences benefit from the company of field experts. A place to get cosy, finish the days by relaxing in the wood-fired riverside hot tub or cedar barrel sauna.

Harbour, Boston, Massachusetts, New England, USA
Harbour, Boston, Massachusetts, New England, USA

Extend to the USA

The Maritimes combine wonderfully with the US six-state region of New England. Elegant ship captains’ homes, delicious local cuisine and magnificent ever-changing scenery define New England. The coastal portion of Maine is host to many pretty and quaint fishing towns, while the islands off Massachusetts are renowned for their white sand beaches. The Gilded Age mansions of Rhode Island are placed in stark contrast to the historic red barns of Vermont and New Hampshire.

View a New England self-drive itinerary

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Keltic Lodge at the Highlands £££££

  • Canada
  • Wellness and Spa
  • Golf Resort

A majestic property perched on the cliffs overlooking Ingonish Beach, Keltic Lodge at the Highlands is an oceanfront resort set off the Cabot Trail that boasts a world-renowned 18-hole, par 72 golf course. The property offers 120 main lodge rooms, luxurious suites and oceanside cottages, as well as a handful of plush lounges, an outdoor heated pool and a panoramic al fresco restaurant that showcases the fresh flavours of Cape Breton. The seaside spa is built on the edge of the cliffs at Middle Head Peninsula and is the ideal spot for sipping herbal tea and marvelling at the panoramic views of Cape Smokey.

View Property

The Great George £££££

  • Canada

Set within a cluster of 17 lovingly restored heritage buildings in the Prince Edward Island capital city, The Great George is an award-winning boutique hotel that is quite unlike any other in downtown Charlottetown. Offering an eclectic mix of classic rooms and suites, multi-room townhouses, luxury apartments and romantic hideaways, the property is made up of 54 individual accommodations. While a plethora of nearby walking and jogging trails complement the in-house fitness centre, we find that the on tap fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, family board games and lobby library can make it hard to leave this comfy island property.

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Trout Point Lodge £££££

  • Canada
  • Wilderness

Dubbed by National Geographic as one of the ten “most innovative, sustainable travel programmes around the world”, Trout Point Lodge is a luxury wilderness lodge and nature retreat that has garnered a rising collection of major accolades. Set within 100 acres of Canadian backwoods and bordering the Tusket and Napier Rivers, the rustic five-star property offers 12 rooms, suites and cottages that all feature original artworks and antique furnishings. Offering an outstanding culinary experience that is centred around local produce and extensive on-site gardens, roughing it in the wilderness never tasted so good. In an effort to maintain the quiet peacefulness, Trout Point Lodge is generally an adults-only property (although children over the age of 14 are welcome if the entire property is booked by a single group).

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Dream Dome at Ridgeback Lodge £££££

  • Canada
  • Unusual
  • Wilderness

A unique adults-only glamping site in the Canadian Maritimes, the Dream Dome at Ridgeback Lodge is a romantic getaway set against the natural beauty of the Kingston Peninsula. Featuring its own private Japanese wood-fired hot tub, propane barbeque, fully-equipped kitchenette and modern bathroom, the Dream Dome is suited to both hardy campers and lovers of luxury. Come rain, shine or snow, the Dream Dome is a tranquil place to watch the world go through panoramic 180-degree windows from the comfort of a memory foam bed.

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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