Let us be your guide for seven days of unforgettable touring we believe completely covers the "Gentle Island", Prince Edward Island.
Arrive at Halifax. airport meet & greet. transfer to hotel directly in the down town core and eight minutes’ walk to the water front at the four and a half star “Halifax Hotel”. Enjoy an orientation/familiarization tour around the historic core of the city. where your hotel is located. balance of the day at leisure with an evening sailing around Halifax Harbour at dusk on Nova Scotia Van Tours.
Day one – To the Gentle island
Following breakfast, we'll head for Prince Edward Island. Our first stop will be in Truro so we can learn about our 'First Nation's Peoples', the Mi'Kmaq. Next we’ll travel PEI ferry at Caribou for a ninety-minute crossing. Once we arrive in PEI, we'll explore part of the eastern area of the province including Murray River and Harbour, Montague (via Route 319) and Brudenell before going on to Charlottetown.
We'll tour Charlottetown, known as The Cradle of Confederation. We'll also visit Province House (where Confederation was conceived), and explore Founder's Hall where we'll learn all about Confederation. Next, it's a drive through the UPEI campus.
Depending on your accommodation requests we’ll allow for some additional self-exploration in Charlottetown and of course Your trip would not be complete without a trip to Canada’s Best, Cow’s Ice Cream – As Anne of Green Gables once said: there is nothing more delectable than ice cream!
Ending our day at our accommodator for a restful sleep for tomorrows day of touring.
Day two – Anne’s Land
Following breakfast at our hotel we're off to the Cavendish area of the province, known as Anne of Green Gables country. First, we’ll discover where it all began, Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, was born in 1874 in a modest white and green house, decorated with authentic Victorian period pieces and overlooking New London Harbour. Take into view the special exhibits include the replica of the writer's wedding dress and personal scrapbooks containing copies of her many stories and poems.
We will tour the national historic site, Anne of Green Gables House and explore 19th century gardens, farmyard, walking trails, including the Haunted Wood and much more. We’ll continue to tour part of the Central Coastal Drive and make our way to Cavendish Beach.
When visitors think of Prince Edward Island, many immediately imagine the smooth warm sand, red sandstone cliffs, soft blue skies, and white-capped waves of the surrounding seas. With 1,100km of shoreline, much of it in the form of pristine beaches, PEI is a beach lover’s dream destination and we want to share one of the most important one with you. It’s here at the Centrepoint of PEI’s north coast that all its natural attributes converge. Inviting white sand, crystal blue water warmed by the Gulf Stream, and red sandstone cliffs that fall from a carpet of green. Here, charming coastal communities lie in wait to welcome visitors new and old.
Take some time to self-explore and walk the boardwalk or the beach itself.
We’ll continue on our coastal drive passing through North Rustico a picture prefect community which is strongly connected to its proud fishing tradition, North Rustico residents pride themselves on their closeness to both land and sea.
Lastly, we are on to the original home of the first major groups of British emigrants who settled in P.E.I. in 1770, Stanhope is a very popular destination for many visitors. Once a local hotspot during P.E.I`s rum-running era, Stanhope epitomizes the beauty and tranquility of our North Shore.
Nearing the end of our touring day we hope you and your group are hungry because it’s a full course lobster dinner on us at Nova Scotia Van Tours!
After dinner we’ll return you to your accommodator for the evening.
Day three- Potatoes smashed, distilled, and served on the rocks...
Today following breakfast, you will travel along the Gulf of St. Lawrence side of Prince Edward Island, or as Islanders call it, the North Shore. We’ll tour along the east coastal drive (Route 2) and stop to visit the spectacular dunes system and floating boardwalk at Greenwich.
This site contains an extensive and fragile coastal dune system, wetlands, and various natural habitats in which numerous rare plant species are found. Among the most spectacular natural characteristics to be protected at Greenwich are the unusually large and mobile parabolic dunes with their associated counter ridges or Gegenwälle. This phenomenon is very rare in North America.
Next, we’ll travel along the jutting coastline and pass through scenic fishing ports as we head for Hermanville. Here we will tour Canada’s first and only producer of potato vodka. While most commercial vodkas strive for a neutral character, this isn’t the case at the Prince Edward Island Distillery. Owners Arla Johnson and Julie Shore are coaxing the truest expression of the island’s unique terrain through a commitment to local ingredients, including using select island spuds for their internationally-acclaimed Potato Vodka, best enjoyed on its own. As one of the distillery’s slogans states, “I like my potatoes smashed, distilled and served on the rocks.”
We’ll head next to Basin Head Fisheries Museum which is located near Souris and sits high on a bluff over-looking the Northumberland Strait. While we’re here, we’ll learn the story of PEI’s inshore fishery. You will have an opportunity to wander along the magnificent, white ‘singing sands’ ’beach. Take your shoes off and hear their unique sounds.
This is the Moonshine Excursion, so we’re off to Rollo Bay for a visit to PEI’s first artisan distillery. During Prohibition (which reigned over the island longer than anywhere else in Canada), you needed a doctor’s note to get a drink from an approved government vendor. Today, locals and visitors come to enjoy ‘shine’ in broad daylight at the distillery’s distinct fire-engine-red barn on the province’s eastern shore, which comes complete with dramatic views of the Northumberland Strait.
Myriad produces spirits unique to PEI and the industry. You will be able to tour the distillery and witness Strait Shine being collected right from the still. It does not happen anywhere else. Enjoy on-site sales and tasting. This is a true PEI tradition brought from the back woods into the daylight.
As the day unfolds, we will be stop for lunch. We will return to our accommodator via a different route as we continue to sample a day in the life of an Islander.
Day Four- Malpeque Oysters
Following breakfast, we’ll make our way to the other side of the North Coast. The way oysters are fished on Prince Edward Island hasn't changed much in the past hundred years. Fishers still set out in small boats with tongs and crates the way their fathers and grandfathers did.
Departing the cruise dock, we’ll make our way through Charlottetown to the north coast of Prince Edward Island on our way to Salutation Cove near Malpeque. Here, Brian and Erskine Lewis will show you how the high quality Malpeque oyster is farmed.
At one time the world famous Malpeque oysters were almost completely destroyed by a disease that struck in 1915. It took decades to bring the industry to its present multi-million dollar status. Today oysters are both fished and farmed, and one of the leading producers of quality oysters is their neighbour in Salutation Cove, Future Seafoods. Their Rocky Bay Oysters can be found on menus in some of the finest seafood restaurants across North America, and we have arranged for you to learn where these succulent delicacies come from, how they are harvested and most importantly, how they taste!
Oysters harvested elsewhere on the Island are brought to Salutation Cove to be cleansed by the pure waters of the cove. Here you’ll see how they farm oysters to produce the highest quality product, and you’ll be taken out in an oyster dory just offshore to try your hand at tonging!
Therese from Calgary had never been on salt water before and had certainly never been in an oyster dory. "This was the most amazing experience I've ever had. Brian is so funny. . . .and so passionate about oyster fishing. I had such a great time and learned so much. "
After you come back to shore with your oyster catch, you'll pay a visit to the nearby Future Seafoods packing plant where thousands of oysters are graded and packed for shipping every day. You'll learn how to determine the freshness of an oyster, what to look for when selecting oysters, at a store and what to ask for when ordering oysters at a seafood restaurant. Ted Boutilier, the co-owner of Future Seafoods, will give you a lesson in oyster shucking, an art that will amaze your friends when you get back home. And most importantly, you'll get a chance to sample the finest oysters you'll ever taste!
Oysters are like fine wine. . .every kind has its own unique flavour. Here's the way Rocky Bay Oysters have been described:
“Salutation Cove oysters are very delicate in texture, very salty with a sweet, crisp finish that leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed. A perfect appetizer!"
Tong & Shuck is available on a daily basis at high tide (Monday to Friday) beginning in mid-June until the end of November. Outside activity is weather dependent. We provide rubber boots, but just in case we don't have a pair in your size, it’s a good idea to bring along footwear that won't be ruined if they get wet.
This experience takes place in Fernwood near Bedeque, 20 minutes east of Summerside, and an hour west of Charlottetown.
Following our Tong & Shuck experience, we’ll make our way back to our accommodator for the evening via a different scenic route.
Day Five – Art Treasures of P.E.I.
Following breakfast today you will have a chance to visit many local stuidos showcasing the wide variety of exclusive and unique handicrafts and art that the island has to offer.
The following is a brief description of a few such places:
Sandscript features unique sand treasures handcrafted with class by artisans Nicole, Albert and Claude.
At Gaudreau’s Fine Woodworking in Rustico, you can marvel at the unique designer woodenware made by the studio`s award-winning artisans, Diane and Jacques Gaudreau.
Village Pottery in New London celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013. Here you can watch potters Daphne Large and the Potter Daughter, Suzanne Scott, create their unique pottery items. You can also browse through a large selection of handmade crafts and artwork, or stroll through the perennial gardens on site.
Also located in New London is Gallery 18, owned by Aubrey Bell and Patricia Bennett. The gallery offers a surprising selection of authentic antique maps and prints, fine art, old and collectible books, original vintage posters, and small antiques. Much of their inventory is related to Canada, especially Prince Edward Island. They also carry original works by noted Island artist Robert Harris (1849-1919), and offers a wide selection of original works by PEI artists Charles and Eileen Bentley. Additionally, they carry a significant selection of first edition titles by British author, Graham Greene, including many signed copies. Gallery 18 is also home to an impressive selection of original prints from 19th century illustrated newspapers, including Canadian Illustrated News, Illustrated London News, The Graphic, and Harper's Weekly.
Anne Gallant is an acrylic painter who lives in Summerside. The natural beauty of Prince Edward Island is her greatest inspiration - the colours, the shoreline, the lighthouses and old barns. You can find Anne's work at the Mermaid Gallery in Charlottetown and Spinnakers Landing in Summerside, where a gallery features her work.
Studios in Stanley Bridge offer pottery, jewellery, linens, quilts, antiques, iron works, and prints of local art inspired by the earth, sea and sky. These studios are located on hills overlooking amazing views.
The Dunes Studio Gallery and Cafe on Route 15, in Brackley Beach features the pottery of Peter Janson and is one of the Island’s most enchanting sites. Peter's pottery career began at age 13 in his mother Velga’s studio in Toronto. After majoring in ceramics at Sheridan School of Design, he taught pottery at Western Tech and in 1978 opened Janson's Pottery in the old Brackley Point schoolhouse. In 1983 with his father Harry's assistance, Peter designed and built The Dunes, a studio and gallery featuring fine Canadian crafts. Ten years later he added the restaurant, new studio, and a large upper gallery with a reflecting pool garden and fourth floor lookout. You may visit Peter and his associate potter of 20 years, Joel Mills, as they produce the award-winning Dunes pottery. Peter draws inspiration from the surrounding gardens, beautiful beaches, bays and landscape of PEI and the global design village. His passion for travel has brought to The Dunes a stream of art, fine furniture, jewellery, housewares and artifacts from Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Nepal. It is truly a memorable place to visit.
Also located in Brackley beach is Howe’s Hall Gallery which offers original fine art and hand hooked rugs by The Group on Brackley Bay composed of artisans Betty Jenkins, Mary Ploughman Jones, Margaret Muzika, Linda Shaw Packard, and Mary Roscoe Murphy Robertson.
As with all of our excursions, your itinerary will be uniquely yours. We will visit the places that you want to visit and spend as much or as little time as you determine - it is your day on Prince Edward Island.We’ll return to your accommodator for the evening.
Day Six – Western Prince Edward Island
Today following breakfast we’ll explore the western portion of the island with making our way to Prince Edward Island’s second largest city, Summerside caps off the North Cape Coastal Drive with a laid-back city feel. Here you will discover the College of Piping where pipe band demonstrations are done daily or If you have an interest in historical homes, explore Wyatt Heritage Properties, or perhaps some light shopping at Spinnakers’ Landing.
Our next stop the Canadian Potato Museum. in O’Leary. The Potato Kitchen is a hidden gem inside the museum and it wouldn’t be a trip to Prince Edward Island without learning a little about the industry the island is famous for, be sure to try their potato fudge, trust us we think it will surprise you!
we’ll make way for Cedar Dunes Provincial Park is home to beautiful beaches that stretch for miles and even if you’re not a lighthouse lover you’ll want us to stop at the West Point Lighthouse minutes away and Climb the 72 stairs and experience the coastal views of white-sand beaches and crashing waves from the lantern deck.
Commemorating one of Canada’s greatest folk and country singer/songwriters of all time, the Stompin’ Tom Centre Homestead & Schoolhouse will have your hands clappin’ as you listen to some classics like Bud the Spud and The Hockey Song. While there, be sure to check out one of the region’s best beaches, Skinners Pond Beach!
In North Cape, witness the meeting of the waters as the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait converge over the longest natural rock reef in North America.
Timing considered and based on your interests perhaps walk the Black Marsh Nature Trail or view impressive wind turbines and learn about renewable energy at the Wind Energy Interpretive Centre.
Before coming near to the end of our touring day a stop at Kildare Capes is a must to see the red cliff coastline, a photo op we highly encourage!
Day Seven- Nova Scotia Bound
Following breakfast, we'll drive to Gateway Village at the Confederation Bridge Complex. After we cross the 13.8-kilometer bridge,
Depending on your interests and tide times while traversing New Brunswick to make our return to Nova Scotia we can visit Hopewell Cape….
The Hopewell Rocks is a place to pause…a place to appreciate a remarkable story interwoven through time, tide, and the intricacies of nature. These are the highest tides in the world. And they happen twice a day.... every day. Time and tide have carved from the cliffs and coves distinctive sandstone formations topped with trees. During periods of low tide, you can walk 2 km of beach and explore several coves filled with these flowerpot rocks.
Leaving New Brunswick behind us we’ll take a scenic drive and return you and yours to Halifax for a balance of leisure.
At the appropriate time we’ll transfer you and yours to the Halifax International Air Port and bid you farewell with fond memories of Nova Scotia.
Please note if you'd prefer accommodations directly in Charlottetown for self-exploration at the end of the touring day or a more relaxed sea-side beach accommodations for a more relaxed pace.
Contact us today for your quote on this private, pre-booked fully narrated packaged tour today !