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5 reasons that Atlantic Canada is hot for 2017

Our top five reasons Atlantic Canada is calling right now

The spectacular scenery, the friendly locals, the poutine, Justin Trudeau – there are countless reasons why Canada consistently finds itself on our bucket list. We’re shining a spotlight on the east coast of the country with our top five reasons Atlantic Canada is calling right now…

Whale-watching

Humpback whale, Newfoundland, Canada

The Bay of Fundy lies between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on the Atlantic coast. Fundy is home to the highest tides of anywhere in the world – with over 100 billion tonnes of seawater pouring in and out, twice a day. During the summer, you can see 12 species of whale in the bay. Finback whale, Minke whale and Harbour Porpoises are the first to arrive in late spring. By June, humpback whale and white-sided dolphins have arrived. In mid-July, pilot, fin and endangered North Atlantic Right whale have joined the party. And here they all stay until October. A vital nursery area for calves, it is also an important feeding ground and play area – with up to 400 whales present at any given time. Just call us Ishmael.

Cool as ice

Cape Bonavista, Canada

We dare you not to shout ‘iceberg, right ahead!’ when you catch your first thrilling glimpse of one of these 10,000-year-old floating mountains. One of the best places to see them is Iceberg Alley - a stretch of coast that runs from Labrador to the northeast coast of Newfoundland – during May, June and early July. They range in colour from snow white to deep aqua, and their size is mind-boggling (and that’s only the small proportional you can see above the waterline). It was exactly one of these icebergs that sank the Titanic, a mere 400 miles away, in 1912.

Toe-tapping beats

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia, Canada

The music scene in this part of the world is excellent, with some red-hot festivals to tempt travellers. The Cavendish Beach Music Festival will rock Prince Edward Island from 7-9 July. A country music extravaganza – past acts have included Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Also in July, in St John’s – the vibrant capital of Newfoundland and Labrador – there is an acclaimed street party, the George Street Festival. It offers a real chance to party with the locals. In September, Fredericton in New Brunswick host the award-winning Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival for six days, and has featured acts like Colin James, Michael Franti & Spearhead, JJ Grey to name but a few.

In search of Anne’s island home

Prince Edward Island, Canada

In the mid 1980s, an adoring public fell in love with Anne of Green Gables. A children’s novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, it was given the TV treatment in 1985. Audiences fell hard for Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe and Prince Edward Island, where the story was set in the 1890s. A new generation is hopping aboard Matthew’s buggy to rediscover the series. The iconic programme is being rebooted by Netflix in 2017, with all eight planned episodes being filmed on location on Prince Edward Island. Anne will hit our screens in May.

Leaf-peep without the crowds

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia, Canada

Immerse yourself in the harvest spirit with the ultimate road trip in search of autumn’s changing colours. Without the crowds. Most leaf-peepers head to New England, but smart foliage fans head to Atlantic Canada to find the fiery reds, glimmering golds and pumpkin oranges of the changing leaves from the start of September through to the end of October. Recommended routes are the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful drives; or the Fundy Coastal Drive in New Brunswick – another outstanding coastal route.