Discovered by Viking explorers, Newfoundland holds a unique place in the history of the Western Hemisphere. On the northern point of the island, you will find an archaeological site known as L’anse aux Meadows. According to legend, Leif Ericson made landfall on this point. Set against an impressive backdrop of colossal rock cliffs, the capital of St. John’s is one of the earliest English settlements in North America. The city is renowned for its hospitality, live music and iconic primary colour clapboard buildings. Visit Newfoundland where you can discover the picturesque countryside and the panoramic views of the harbor from Signal Hill. This historic site is the location where Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal. The city is a popular destination for sporting events and live entertainment. In Newfoundland you are on the doorstep of the continent’s eastern point. The craggy shoreline along Cape Spear and its historic lighthouse provide an idyllic backdrop for picnics and watching birds, whales and icebergs.
The most easterly of the Canadian provinces changed its name in 2001 to better represent the cultural and geographical influence of Labrador, the mainland portion of these coastal lands. The locals have long made a modest living by and around the frigid ocean. Labrador is on the mainland and juts into the icy Atlantic, while Newfoundland is a massive, 42,000-square-mile, rocky island. Whether its tundra, rocky highlands, or craggy coastline, when visiting Newfoundland and Labrador you can soak up this land where the terrain is powerfully pristine, and the people have a charming warmth and humor about them.
Newfoundland covers a lot of geographic territory, so technically it has more than one climate type. Generally speaking temperatures in the summer don’t get any higher than the low 70s F, and in the winter average highs struggle to reach freezing – and can often be far below, depending on where on the island you are.
Unless you love blustery winters with low temperatures and snow, come in July or August when temperatures are highest.
The beauty of Newfoundland and Labrador is, well, all of it. The best way to see the coasts and the interior is to drive, so rent a car. But take caution: wildlife poses a serious hazard in roadways, and hitting a moose is a much more dangerous prospect than a deer. Be alert.
Newfoundlanders are a friendly, funny bunch – just don’t call them Newfies. You may hear that term tossed around; from one Newfoundlander to another it can be a term of endearment, but from an outsider it can be disparaging. You’re bound to be approached by many more than one welcoming local wherever you stop. You’ll be in for a friendly, casual conversation. You may also be prodded to have a shot of the local rum or to kiss a codfish as a show of good sport.
(prices quotes are from London)