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Cape Breton Explorer

from £827 excluding flights

  • 6 nights
  • May-Oct
Home Destinations Americas Canada Cape Breton Explorer


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Drive the renowned Cabot Trail, one of Canada’s most scenic drives

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Uncover the past at the Halifax Citadel or York Redoubt

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Explore the hiking trails of Cape Breton Highlands National Park

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Spot wildlife at Bras D’Or Lake, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

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Visit National Historic Sites including the Fortress of Louisbourg

Why this trip...

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Explore at leisure

With the route, transport and accommodation sorted, each day offers the freedom to explore

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Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe

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Well-researched route

We've put our years of experience into creating this well-paced itinerary that includes the places we know you'll enjoy


This week-long self-drive holiday takes in the highlights of Nova Scotia, from the historical splendour of Halifax to the stunning scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Bursting with things to see and do, you’ll have time to explore Cape Breton Island at leisure.

Discover countless hiking trails, National Historic Sites, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, plenty of wildlife and a wealth of arts and crafts. You’ll also drive the breathtaking Cabot Trail, often regarded as one of North America’s most scenic drives.

Halifax is a picturesque city with a fascinating maritime history, which can be uncovered at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic – including permanent exhibits on the Titanic and the Halifax Explosion. The Halifax Citadel offers a glimpse into the city’s role as a naval base for the British Empire, as well as providing fantastic views over the city and the harbour. Countless cafes and harbourfront restaurants provide the ideal place to relax after a day’s sightseeing.

Following time to explore the city of Halifax you’ll spend 3 nights based in Baddeck, the gateway to Cape Breton’s renowned Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail is just under 300kms in length and follows the coastline of northern Nova Scotia. Tiny fishing villages, local galleries and quirky museums hug the coast, whilst the Cape Breton Highlands National Park stretches right across the island from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Atlantic Ocean, offering numerous hiking opportunities amongst lakes and forests.

Cape Breton Island is home to four fascinating National Historic Sites: the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, the Fortress of Louisbourg, St Peter’s Canal and the Marconi National Historic Site at Table Head. It is also home to Bras d’Or Lake, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve famed for its sheltered coves, secluded beaches and diverse wildlife including majestic bald eagles and curious grey seals. The Biosphere’s extensive watershed offers a number of trails with sweeping views of the Bras d’Or Lake and surrounding hills, and hikes through gorges to towering waterfalls. Here you’ll also find a fascinating cultural history of Mi’kmaw First Nations and descendants from early French, Scottish, and English settlers.


Arrive in Halifax, pick up your rental vehicle and spend the rest of the day exploring this fascinating maritime city. First settled in 1749, Halifax today is Nova Scotia’s capital and the largest city in Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

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The Lord Nelson, Halifax

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Originally built in 1928, the 260 room Lord Nelson retains an air of a bygone era with plenty of welcoming character in the elegant lobby.

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Enjoy a full day at leisure in and around Halifax. You may wish to visit the Halifax Citadel, with its spectacular views across the city, or York Redoubt, a 200-year-old fortification overlooking Halifax Harbour. Stroll around the boutiques, pubs and cafes of the Historic Properties around the waterfront, or perhaps head further afield and drive out to the scenic attractions of Peggy’s Cove or Lunenburg.

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Depart Halifax for your journey to Cape Breton Island, a little piece of Scotland in North America. Baddeck is home to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a museum dedicated to the life and inventions of this fascinating man who spent his summers here on the shores of the Bras d’Or Lake.

Inverary Resort, Baddeck

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Originally built in 1850, this 11-acre resort sits on the shores of Cape Breton's glorious Bras d'Or Lakes at Baddeck, the gateway to the renowned Cabot Trail.

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Explore the fabulous Cabot Trail around Cape Breton Island for awe-inspiring views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the North Atlantic Ocean. The route winds through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which boasts 28 beautiful hiking trails including the highly recommended Skyline Trail on the western side of the park. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife – the park is home to moose, snowshoe hare, coyote and lynx as well as a wealth of birdlife, and you may even spot whales offshore. Other attractions along the Cabot Trail include the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, Glenora Distillery, Les Trois Pignons Acadian Cultural Centre & Museum, and St. Ann’s Gaelic College of Arts & Crafts.

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This morning head east to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. This fascinating ‘living museum’ is the largest historical reconstruction in North America; an impressive restoration of a French garrison town dating from the 1700’s, complete with costumed interpreters who re-enact daily life from the French colonial period. You can sample period food in the restaurant, or even take part in a mock battle.

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Enjoy the return trip to Halifax at a leisurely pace along the scenic Bras d’Or Lakes Drive to the Canso Causeway, to cross back into mainland Nova Scotia.

Conclude your tour by returning your rental vehicle this morning.

Accommodation Options

With a wide choice of accommodation in Canada, we can mix and match different grades and styles to suit your personal preference – from motels and hotels to design properties and wilderness lodges in stunning locations.

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  • canada novascotia Hillsdale House Inn Front Exterior
  • lord nelson hotel traditional double room

Prices and Departures

Price from £827 excluding flights

Airfares start from around £550 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.
Note: Airfares tend to be cheaper the earlier you book.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Intermediate car hire including GPS, unlimited mileage, 2nd driver, loss damage waiver and third-party liability
  • National Historic Sites Pass including admission to Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site, Fortress of Louisbourg & Halifax Citadel
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection


This itinerary starts from around £827 per person, based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom in superior hotels, and rental of an intermediate vehicle.

Prices may vary depending on departure date and booking date, as well as any changes to the included components. The final cost of a tailored holiday will be based on the level of accommodation, size of vehicle, included activities, travel season, and how far in advance it is booked. We will confirm the exact price for your holiday in your individual quotation, based on your chosen travel dates and inclusions.

As Standard, Complete Piece of Mind

We’re listening. We always care what our fellow travellers think and love building strong customer relationships so we continuously focus on improving future experiences based on feedback. How incredible for the last three years we have received the Feefo Platinum Award.

The World's Great. Pass it On

To mark our 40th anniversary, we've launched our Education Bursary Fund to help disadvantaged school children experience the wonders of travel. A percentage of revenue from every holiday booked will go into the bursary fund to pay for at least 40 students to join one of our school trips abroad.