Self-Drive Newfoundland & Labrador Explorer
13 nights from £1,859 per person
With just a short flight to St John’s, this self-drive itinerary is a perfect two week holiday for those who enjoy the great outdoors and rugged coastline. You will enjoy a mix of spectacular National Parks, UNESCO Heritage Sites and ancient archaeological wonders. You travel from coast to coast discovering unique landscapes and wildlife habitats. Experience an Iceberg Quest Tour, cruising through Iceberg Alley to spot these cathedral-like ice structures, along with whales and birdlife. (JV request)
- Visit the three Norse buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage Site L’Anse Aux Meadows, recreating the earliest known European settlement in the Americas.
- Explore the stunning Gros Morne National Park, with its glacier-formed mountains
- Enjoy time in the capital of St John’s, with its rich history and charming community
- Cruise Iceberg Alley and see icebergs, humpback whales and other sea life
Days 1 & 2
St John’s NL
Arrive in St John’s and transfer independently to your hotel. You will be spending two nights here – the largest city in Newfoundland but very much with the charm of a small town. A lovely place to start your Newfoundland & Labrador adventure, you can stroll the beautiful East Coast Trail and enjoy the entertainment of lively George Street. Climb up Signal Hill for spectacular views, it will take you about an hour but its well worth the effort (or you can drive if you prefer). You will see the city, the harbour and sweeping views of the ocean, and the visitors centre explains the history of the city. This also was the site of St John’s harbour defences from the 17 century to the Second World War and also where Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901. You can also visit fascinating Cape Spear Lighthouse in its glorious setting, and The Rooms which house various exhibitions and art collections.
Accommodation: Jag Boutique Hotel, Courtyard by Mariott St. John's or similar
Days 3 & 4
St John’s – Trinity (118 miles)
Pick up your hire car and take the scenic drive to the Bonavista peninsula and the picturesque historic town of Trinity, which will be your home for the next two nights. this friendly little community has a long history, that you might want to discover on a Historical Walking Tour that you can book locally. The following day you might want to continue along the peninsula to the town of Bonavista. This is where the Italian Giovanni Caboto, known locally as John Cabot, first discovered North America in 1497, greeting land with the words “O buono vista”. Here, dense forest meets rocky shoreline, and picturesque fishing boats nestle in the harbour. You can step inside a full-scale replica of John Cabots ship, the Matthew, and imagine life on the epic voyage across the ocean.
Accommodation: Artisan Inn or similar
Days 5 & 6
Trinity to Twinlingate (192 miles)
Take the meandering route northwards to Twilingate, located on the edge of what is known as “Iceberg Alley” where 10,000 year old icebergs float serenely by in the early summer. You will stay for two nights in Twinlingate. Included in this itinerary is a two-hour excursion – the Iceberg Quest Boat Tour. You will cruise Iceberg Alley and marvel at the icebergs on their epic journey from the Arctic Circle, whilst the friendly crew narrate the background to Newfoundland’s way of life. Spot humpback whales and watch the seabirds swoop along the coastline.
Accommodation: Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites or similar
Rocky Harbour (264 miles)
A slightly longer drive today, as you traverse the northern part of the island, until you reach the spectacular Gros Morne National Park, where you will find glacier-formed mountains and sweeping views of the Tablelands. Pay a visit to Port au Choix National Historic Site to explore 6000 years of human history, amongst ancient burial sites, settlements and original artefacts. You’ll stay one night in Rocky Harbour, and the price includes admission to Gros Morne National Park.
Accommodation: Ocean View Hotel or similar
Days 8 & 9
Rocky Harbour to L’Anse Au Clair (171 miles)
Head to north to St Barbe and take the ferry to L’Anse au Clair on the Labrador mainland, first established by the French settlers in the early 1700’s. There is a lovely sandy beach and a walking trail that brings you to the Jersey Rooms – a site with foundations of buildings and stone walkways that were part of an 18 century fishing enterprise. A visit to the Gateway to Labrador Visitor Centre is a must, not only to help you plan your stay but also to admire the building – a restored 20 century church. You’ll spend two nights here and the ferry between the island and the mainland is included.
Accommodation:Northern Light or similar
Days 10 & 11
L’Anse Au Clair to St Anthony (105 miles)
Take the ferry to return to Newfoundland and drive to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site in the very northern tip of the island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site marks the earliest known European settlement in North America and gives a fascinating glimpse into the Viking lifestyle. You’ll be staying in St Anthony for two nights, just a short drive away.
Accommodation: Haven Inn or similar
St Anthony - Cow Head (189 miles)
Begin your journey back down south to the community of Cow Head in the Gros Morne National Park. There are the beautiful sands of Shallow Bay Beach, stretching for over 6 miles, enjoy a stroll or weather permitting you can swim here. Walk the Lighthouse Trail with its gorgeous views and visit Green Point where you will find amazing rock formations.
Accommodation:Shallow Bay Motel or similar
Cow Head – Gander (260 miles)
Travel through central Newfoundland towards Gander where you’ll check in for a relaxing evening in this small town with an interesting aviation history.
Accommodation:Sinbad's Hotel & Suites or similar
Gander - St John’s (207 miles)
Drive the final part of your journey back to St John’s, where you will drop off your hire car and catch a flight home.
- International flights
- Fully inclusive car hire
- 13 nights hotel accommodation
What’s not included?
- Meals, excursions & entrance fees
You will need to pack warm clothes, sturdy shoes or walking boots, rain gear and sunscreen. The weather is extremely variable in this province, so the key is to layer clothing so that you can add or take off depending on the temperature.