“On two wheels and at your pace — that’s the very best way to get to know Nova Scotia.”DESTINATION CANADA, Talking about nova scotia biking
Nova Scotia, one of the 10 provinces (and three territories) of Canada, is a peninsula connected to the rest of Canada by a small land bridge but is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland and has fewer than one million inhabitants, almost half of whom live in the capital of Halifax. The land was once inhabited by the Mi’kmaq people and was the site of the first European colony in North America in what became the French colony of Acadia, in 1605 (two years before Jamestown in Virginia was settled by the English.)
We cycle from Yarmouth in the southwest of the province up along the Bay of Fundy to the town of Wolfville. The closeness to the Bay of Fundy and the importance of the local fishing fleets means the seafood is as good as it gets, with scallops, shrimp, lobster, and many kinds of fish available. We also cycle through the Annapolis Valley, which is an agricultural center of the province, including vineyards. The pace of the region is relaxed, the views are outstanding, biking is the best way to see Nova Scotia, and you will feel like you are in another world on our Nova Scotia Biking Adventure.
Nova Scotia Biking
This tour is perfect for cyclists who want to pedal from inn to inn without ever getting in the support van. There is a support van available, however, and we have e-bike rentals for those who choose them.
The highest point in Nova Scotia is only 1,755 feet above sea level. Even better, the southwest portion of the country where our tour takes place has beautiful shorelines, agricultural-laden valleys, and only small hills. We cycle from Yarmouth in the south 240 kilometers north to the town of Wolfville. We cycle on a combination of coastal roads and over 100 kilometers of unpaved, car-free bicycle paths.
The cycling is excellent, not too challenging, and always incredibly scenic with the inland on our right and the coast on our left most of the time. With the Bay of Fundy’s incredible tides – the highest in the world – we have plenty of opportunities to be amazed.
Nova Scotia Culture
Nova Scotia was founded as the territory of Acadia by the French but was eventually taken over by the British, with most Acadians forced to move away from their homes in 1755. We will get to visit both the Port-Royal National Historic Site, a reconstruction of the original settlement of the Acadians, and the Grand-Pré National Historic Site, a commemoration of their exile. This combination of cultures is still present today, with French-influenced restaurants standing next to Victorian mansions.
None of the towns we visit on our tour are large, with the largest being Yarmouth at the start, which is under 7,000 inhabitants. So we are in a sparsely populated, agricultural area that is also very dependent on the sea. Small towns, orchards, wineries, and fishing boats are all common sights along the way.
Want more? Here is a video of our Day 5 route.
Private Tour Info
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- Dates: September 16 - 21, 2024
- Cost Per Person: $3,400
- Single Supplement: $600
- Activities: Biking
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Guides: Kris Lucky Keys
Other Info: Bike Rentals Available:
- Hybrid $200/week
- Road $330/week
- Road Carbon $435/week
- Electric Hybrid $435/week
- Tandem $400/week
- Watch the fascinating tidal movements of the Bay of Fundy, which has the largest tides in the world
- Cycle on the 70-mile Harvest Moon Trailway through the Annapolis valley, past farms and cute small towns
- Stay in the heart of Annapolis Royal, the first European settlement in North America (two years before Jamestown)
- Cycle up the coast of Nova Scotia from inn to inn, from Yarmouth 240 kilometers up to Wolfville
- Enjoy the freshest seafood our great planet has to offer, with scallops, lobster, shrimp, and many kinds of fish
DAY 1: CAPE FORCHU LIGHTHOUSE & CHEBOGUE LOOP
We meet after lunch in the town of Yarmouth on the southwest coast of Nova Scotia. You can choose to arrive in Nova Scotia via plane to Halifax or via high-speed ferry from Bar Harbor, Maine. After introductions, we'll get acquainted with our rental bikes and then head off for a fun ride to the Cape Forchu Lighthouse, which marks for ships the edge of the famous Bay of Fundy and its connection to the Atlantic Ocean. For those seeking more distance on this first day, we'll ride on Water Street through downtown Yarmouth (population only 7,000 people yet the largest town on our tour) and on a loop ride on the Chebogue Peninsula, past farmlands and salt marshes. After our ride we'll shower and walk over to Marco's Grill & Pasta House, with an optional stroll through Central Yarmouth (and perhaps a visit to one of its three breweries) if you have enough energy.
BIKING DISTANCE: 21 or 45 KM
DAY 2: YARMOUTH TO METEGHAN
Our main route today will take us north on the Evangeline Trail coastal road along the Bay of Fundy. The Bay is famous worldwide for its twice-daily tides, which sweep in and out from the Atlantic Ocean. The entire Bay fills and empties with billions of gallons of water, with the tides ranging from 11 to 53 feet - the highest tides in the world. You can see the rushing waters, so there is no slow movement over time, and boats can be left sitting high and dry as they wait for the tide to return. We'll pass some small coastal towns, several beaches, and two provincial parks on our ride. Well worth a stop is Mavillette Beach, with its two-kilometer long stretch of beach and sand dunes. Those seeking more mileage can do an optional extra loop to the St Benoni Waterfall and Moulin de Bangor sawmill. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel with delicious local seafood such as scallops, shrimp, and the many kinds of fish caught by local fishermen - directed from a seafood company located right on the bay.
BIKING DISTANCE: 25, 54, OR 66 KM
DAY 3: METEGHAN TO DIGBY
Today we start out on the beautiful coastal road, passing through Belliveau's Cove with its lighthouse and high-quality restaurants that make a nice lunch break, as well as the small village of Weymouth located on the Sissiboo River right before it enters the Bay of Fundy. We then head inland and and travel 30 kilometers along a car-free bike path. We’ll see agricultural fields and lush forests on this isolated route. Our goal is Digby, a cute small fishing village with shops and restaurants located on the Bay of Fundy. Our inn is located right on the seashore, so a perfect place to explore at low tide. This evening we will dine at the Sydney Street Pub, featuring local seafood as well as plenty of other options.
BIKING DISTANCE: 21, 62, or 75 KM with options for even more riding
DAY 4: DIGBY TO ANNAPOLIS ROYAL
Today we head inland along the Bear River to find a bridge allowing us to cross over to the north as we continue our way up the coast of Nova Scotia. We'll face one long hill as we head from the bridge and back to the coast but from there it is moderate riding. Our last 12 kilometers are on a rail trail that runs straight and flat to our destination in Annapolis Royal, which in 1605 saw the first European settlement in North America - two years before the English settled in Jamestown, Virginia. The town now is a magnet for artists. Those interested in more cycling can do a loop ride to the Port-Royal National Historic Site, a reconstruction of the original settlement of the Acadians (the French who first settled in this area. Dinner tonight will be at Bistro East, a small but delicious purveyor of steaks, seafood, and much more. After dinner we'll stroll the National Historic District center of town, with its tree-lined streets and historic homes, perhaps stopping into the Annapolis Brewing Company.
BIKING DISTANCE: 36, 62, or 83 KM
DAY 5: ANNAPOLIS ROYAL TO WOLFVILLE
Today is our longest day as we cycle 105 kilometers from inn to inn. However, the good news is almost all of this is along the Harvest Moon Trailway, an old railroad grade that runs up the valley formed by the Annapolis River. We'll pass farmhouses, cute small towns, agricultural producers, and even wineries and breweries along the way. In fact, our target of Wolfville is the epicenter of Nova Scotia's burgeoning wine scene, with eight wineries in the area. It is a splendid day and worth every kilometer - but you will have three options for van pickup along the way in case you don't want to ride the whole distance. Reaching Wolfville, our historic inn is located in the center of town. We'll be tired after a long day but ready for dinner at Troy Restaurant & Grill. If you have energy, you can take a walk by nearby Acadia University in the evening.
BIKING DISTANCE: 45, 56, 80, or 105 KM
DAY 6: GRAND PRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
In 1755, the Acadians of French descent were deported from what is now Nova Scotia by the British. 11,500 of the 14,000 inhabitants of the area were forced to leave. We'll continue this morning on the bike path we used yesterday to visit the Grand-Pré National Historic Site, which commemorates this expulsion from what used to be the heart of Acadia. On our return ride, you can stop by the Wolfville Farmer's Market, one of the largest in the area with 50 stalls - all with Nova Scotia food and artisan products. After our short ride, we'll return to the hotel to shower and check out. You are then free to shuttle back to Halifax or continue on your journey in another way.
BIKING DISTANCE: 11 KMBook this Tour
NIGHT 1 >> LAKELAWN MOTEL B&B / YARMOUTH Although the name is not fancy, this is one of the highest-rated hotels in Yarmouth. An historic structure, the hotel is located near the heart of downtown and only a few kilometers from the ferry terminal that connects Nova Scotia to Maine. Yarmouth itself is a cute small town with a walkable central district.
NIGHT 2 >> AU HAVRE DU CAPITAINE / METEGHAN
Au Havre du Capitaine is a 21-room inn located on Nova Scotia's Highway 1 with expansive views of the Bay of Fundy. You can enjoy the common area with hardwood floors and a fireplace or simply settle into the comforts of your room. Meteghan itself is very small and a few kilometers away, so we'll shuttle to dinner tonight.
NIGHT 3 >> HEDLEY HOUSE BY THE SEA / DIGBY
Hedley House is indeed by the sea, with a waterfront location on the protected Annapolis Basin off the Bay of Fundy. Each room has its own deck, so you can sit down and watch the local fisherman as they move in and out of nearby Digby Harbour. Or you can walk a few steps to the inn's own tidal beach.
NIGHT 4 >> HILLSDALE HOUSE / ANNAPOLIS ROYAL
After spending two nights in seaside inns, tonight we'll be in the heart of town. And what a town Annapolis Royal is, home to the first European settlement in North America, right across the bay. The inn itself has 163 years of history and has been operated as an inn that entire time. You'll love the inn's comforts but will want to walk the tree-lined streets of the historic town!
NIGHT 5 >> VICTORIA'S HISTORIC INN / WOLFVILLE
Another historic inn, this one built in 1893, in another historic town. Victoria's Historic Inn has 16 rooms in the inn and carriage house and is only a two-minute walk to Acadia University and a five-minute walk to the cute downtown of Wolfville.
Arrival & Departure
We meet after lunch in the town of Yarmouth on the southwest shore of Nova Scotia. You can opt to fly into Halifax and shuttle to Yarmouth or take a ferry to the town from Bar Harbor, Maine. We finish our tour in the late morning of the final day in Wolfville, about 250 kilometers northeast up the Bay of Fundy. You can take a shuttle back to Halifax for your flight home or perhaps to spend a few more days in the capital city.
- Two or three Zephyr guides.
- Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. If you are coming on a trip solo, you have two options: 1) Pay the single supplement to receive your own room. 2) Ask us to try to find you a roommate of the same gender to share a room with; if we are not successful you will be charged the single supplement and receive your own room.
- Breakfasts and dinners are included.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
- All costs for extra activities listed in the itinerary are included.
- NOT INCLUDED: Bike rental, beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses, and travel to and from the destination.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
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