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Self-Guided Walking : North America

Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Island

Easy to Moderate Terrain: 3-7 Miles Daily

Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Island

Below the windswept headlands of Cape Breton Island, the iconic Cabot Trail hugs the island’s coast in a series of switchbacks and swooping curves. This is the Nova Scotia you’ve always imagined: a land of bald eagles, wild blueberries, foraging moose, and 350-year-old sugar maples. Explore sleepy villages rich in Scottish and Acadian history: traditional fiddlers, crofters’ cottages, and historic distilleries. With the freedom to set your own schedule—and your own vehicle to take you from place to place—experience walks in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, soak in the view from the top of Burnt Mountain, and maybe even go for a refreshing swim in Bras d’Or Lake. Along the way, spot rare songbirds in prime birding locations, enjoy an optional whale watch, unwind at a spa, or explore the coast via kayak. At night, savor quaint and comfortable accommodations in timber-frame lodges, clapboard inns, and a grand ocean-view resort.


Tour Highlights:
  • Enjoy the spectacular views from Skyline Trail, looking down from headlands 1,000 feet above sea level to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • Stay in the elegant seaside resort of Keltic Lodge, which counts a private beach, spa, and 18-hole golf course among its many amenities.
  • Enjoy daily live music from local Cape Breton musicians in the pub and distillery attached to your lodgings.
  • Delight in the freedom of having your own transportation as you explore the Cabot trail by car and on foot.
Tour Only

7 days, 6 nights

FROM $1,998 USD

per person, double occupancy



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Itinerary & Accommodations

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Day 1

Arrival & Transfer to Baddeck

Arrive in lovely lakeside Baddeck—starting point for Cape Breton’s spectacular coastal road, the Cabot Trail—and set off to explore the town’s shops and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Accommodation: Dunlop Inn, Baddeck

A gracious small inn, this is Baddeck’s only waterfront accommodation with a waterside deck with perfect views of Baddeck lighthouse. Spacious guest rooms have elegant English-country and coastal décor, with muted colors and fabric accents. The harbor-view sunroom overlooks Bras d’Or Lake, and a spacious living room with television and self-serve kitchen are also available. The shops, restaurant, and sites of historical Baddeck are within walking distance, as well as outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, and the Bell Bay 18-hole golf course.

Day 2

Baddeck River Trail and Uisge Ban Falls

Following a morning walk to beautiful Uisge Ban Falls, meander through the Margaree River valley, with its craft shops, lobster shacks, fly-fishing opportunities, and dazzling coastline. Later, enjoy traditions brought to Cape Breton by 19th-century Scottish immigrants, as you tour North America’s only single-malt whiskey distillery (also an inn, where you’ll sleep tonight!) and listen to live Gaelic music in the on-site pub.

Accommodation: The Glenora Inn and Distillery, Glenville

The Glenora Inn and Distillery is a charming country inn—with a single-malt whiskey distillery on site—in Glenville, a small fishing and farming community. Spacious guest rooms, with classic décor and colors, overlook a lovingly tended courtyard garden and back patios. Walking trails lead from the inn to nearby MacLellan Brook and grounds. Conceived and developed by local businessmen using equipment and know-how from Scotland, the distillery has been in operation since 1989. The restaurant serves locally sourced and inspired fare, and the cozy pub offers a wide selection of single malts in addition to their own.

Day 3

Acadian Trail & Salmon Pools Trail

Walk the Acadian Trail in stunning Cape Breton Highlands National Park, climbing Burnt Mountain to marvel at it’s grand vistas, following the cascading Cheticamp River past pools filled with Atlantic salmon, and looping back beneath towering cliffs. Your home tonight is the fishing village of Cheticamp, whose 18th-century Acadian roots shine through in its exquisite hooked rugs.

Accommodation: Maison Fiset House, Cheticamp

Located on the Cabot Trail with panoramic views of Cheticamp harbor, the town, and surrounding Cape Breton Highlands, this boutique hotel offers eight guestrooms. A meticulously renovated historic home dating from 1895, individually decorated guestrooms are plush with muted tones. Surrounded by outdoor seating on terraces and several balconies, just a short walk leads to Cheticamp’s craft shops and restaurants specializing in lobster, maritime salmon, local crab, and Acadian-style baked cod.

Day 4

Skyline Trail & Optional Whale Watch

Watch for moose and eagles and enjoy far-reaching coastal views from a dramatic headland along the famous Skyline Trail this morning. Afternoon options include a whale-watching boat tour from Cheticamp.

Accommodation: Maison Fiset House, Cheticamp

Located on the Cabot Trail with panoramic views of Cheticamp harbor, the town, and surrounding Cape Breton Highlands, this boutique hotel offers eight guestrooms. A meticulously renovated historic home dating from 1895, individually decorated guestrooms are plush with muted tones. Surrounded by outdoor seating on terraces and several balconies, just a short walk leads to Cheticamp’s craft shops and restaurants specializing in lobster, maritime salmon, local crab, and Acadian-style baked cod.

Day 5

Lone Shieling Trail

Marvel at 350-year-old sugar maples on the Lone Shieling Trail this morning, then savor Cape Breton’s most breathtaking coastal scenery on the White Point Trail. Tonight’s destination is the award-winning Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, gorgeously situated on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic.

Accommodation: Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach

An elegant resort and spa, in operation since 1940, perched on a headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and boasting extensive grounds, recreational facilities, and amenities. Main lodge guest rooms have been updated with contemporary furnishings and colors, hardwood floors, and luxurious linens. Set amidst the manicured grounds are a heated pool, beaches, a tennis court, a full-service spa (advance reservation required for treatment), and an 18-hole links golf course. On site are both fine-dining and casual restaurants and an inviting lobby bar, all offering locally inspired and sourced cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. In the nearby town of Ingonish, numerous activities are available, such as hiking trails, wildlife and bird viewing, artisanal craft shopping, and freshwater fishing.

Day 6

Franey Mountain & Warren Lake

This morning, undertake the exhilarating ascent of Franey Mountain, or discover an astonishing variety of native birds on an easy walk around Warren Lake. Back at your resort, enjoy the heated outdoor pool and spa.

Accommodation: Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach

An elegant resort and spa, in operation since 1940, perched on a headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and boasting extensive grounds, recreational facilities, and amenities. Main lodge guest rooms have been updated with contemporary furnishings and colors, hardwood floors, and luxurious linens. Set amidst the manicured grounds are a heated pool, beaches, a tennis court, a full-service spa (advance reservation required for treatment), and an 18-hole links golf course. On site are both fine-dining and casual restaurants and an inviting lobby bar, all offering locally inspired and sourced cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. In the nearby town of Ingonish, numerous activities are available, such as hiking trails, wildlife and bird viewing, artisanal craft shopping, and freshwater fishing.

Day 7

Departure from Ingonish Beach

Golf the renowned Highland Links (at your own expense) or stroll the pink granite stones of Ingonish Beach before transferring to Sydney or Halifax for onward travels.

Download Full Itinerary
Download Full Itinerary
Day 1

Arrival & Transfer to Baddeck

Arrive in lovely lakeside Baddeck—starting point for Cape Breton’s spectacular coastal road, the Cabot Trail—and set off to explore the town’s shops and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.

Accommodation: Dunlop Inn, Baddeck

A gracious small inn, this is Baddeck’s only waterfront accommodation with a waterside deck with perfect views of Baddeck lighthouse. Spacious guest rooms have elegant English-country and coastal décor, with muted colors and fabric accents. The harbor-view sunroom overlooks Bras d’Or Lake, and a spacious living room with television and self-serve kitchen are also available. The shops, restaurant, and sites of historical Baddeck are within walking distance, as well as outdoor activities such as sailing, kayaking, and the Bell Bay 18-hole golf course.

Day 2

Baddeck River Trail and Uisge Ban Falls

Following a morning walk to beautiful Uisge Ban Falls, meander through the Margaree River valley, with its craft shops, lobster shacks, fly-fishing opportunities, and dazzling coastline. Later, enjoy traditions brought to Cape Breton by 19th-century Scottish immigrants, as you tour North America’s only single-malt whiskey distillery (also an inn, where you’ll sleep tonight!) and listen to live Gaelic music in the on-site pub.

Accommodation: The Glenora Inn and Distillery, Glenville

The Glenora Inn and Distillery is a charming country inn—with a single-malt whiskey distillery on site—in Glenville, a small fishing and farming community. Spacious guest rooms, with classic décor and colors, overlook a lovingly tended courtyard garden and back patios. Walking trails lead from the inn to nearby MacLellan Brook and grounds. Conceived and developed by local businessmen using equipment and know-how from Scotland, the distillery has been in operation since 1989. The restaurant serves locally sourced and inspired fare, and the cozy pub offers a wide selection of single malts in addition to their own.

Day 3

Acadian Trail & Salmon Pools Trail

Walk the Acadian Trail in stunning Cape Breton Highlands National Park, climbing Burnt Mountain to marvel at it’s grand vistas, following the cascading Cheticamp River past pools filled with Atlantic salmon, and looping back beneath towering cliffs. Your home tonight is the fishing village of Cheticamp, whose 18th-century Acadian roots shine through in its exquisite hooked rugs.

Accommodation: Maison Fiset House, Cheticamp

Located on the Cabot Trail with panoramic views of Cheticamp harbor, the town, and surrounding Cape Breton Highlands, this boutique hotel offers eight guestrooms. A meticulously renovated historic home dating from 1895, individually decorated guestrooms are plush with muted tones. Surrounded by outdoor seating on terraces and several balconies, just a short walk leads to Cheticamp’s craft shops and restaurants specializing in lobster, maritime salmon, local crab, and Acadian-style baked cod.

Day 4

Skyline Trail & Optional Whale Watch

Watch for moose and eagles and enjoy far-reaching coastal views from a dramatic headland along the famous Skyline Trail this morning. Afternoon options include a whale-watching boat tour from Cheticamp.

Accommodation: Maison Fiset House, Cheticamp

Located on the Cabot Trail with panoramic views of Cheticamp harbor, the town, and surrounding Cape Breton Highlands, this boutique hotel offers eight guestrooms. A meticulously renovated historic home dating from 1895, individually decorated guestrooms are plush with muted tones. Surrounded by outdoor seating on terraces and several balconies, just a short walk leads to Cheticamp’s craft shops and restaurants specializing in lobster, maritime salmon, local crab, and Acadian-style baked cod.

Day 5

Lone Shieling Trail

Marvel at 350-year-old sugar maples on the Lone Shieling Trail this morning, then savor Cape Breton’s most breathtaking coastal scenery on the White Point Trail. Tonight’s destination is the award-winning Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa, gorgeously situated on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic.

Accommodation: Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach

An elegant resort and spa, in operation since 1940, perched on a headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and boasting extensive grounds, recreational facilities, and amenities. Main lodge guest rooms have been updated with contemporary furnishings and colors, hardwood floors, and luxurious linens. Set amidst the manicured grounds are a heated pool, beaches, a tennis court, a full-service spa (advance reservation required for treatment), and an 18-hole links golf course. On site are both fine-dining and casual restaurants and an inviting lobby bar, all offering locally inspired and sourced cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. In the nearby town of Ingonish, numerous activities are available, such as hiking trails, wildlife and bird viewing, artisanal craft shopping, and freshwater fishing.

Day 6

Franey Mountain & Warren Lake

This morning, undertake the exhilarating ascent of Franey Mountain, or discover an astonishing variety of native birds on an easy walk around Warren Lake. Back at your resort, enjoy the heated outdoor pool and spa.

Accommodation: Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach

An elegant resort and spa, in operation since 1940, perched on a headland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and boasting extensive grounds, recreational facilities, and amenities. Main lodge guest rooms have been updated with contemporary furnishings and colors, hardwood floors, and luxurious linens. Set amidst the manicured grounds are a heated pool, beaches, a tennis court, a full-service spa (advance reservation required for treatment), and an 18-hole links golf course. On site are both fine-dining and casual restaurants and an inviting lobby bar, all offering locally inspired and sourced cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. In the nearby town of Ingonish, numerous activities are available, such as hiking trails, wildlife and bird viewing, artisanal craft shopping, and freshwater fishing.

Day 7

Departure from Ingonish Beach

Golf the renowned Highland Links (at your own expense) or stroll the pink granite stones of Ingonish Beach before transferring to Sydney or Halifax for onward travels.

Download Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Seasonal Tour Pricing

2016 Dates Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
more info
Solo Surcharge
more info
Jun 15 - Oct 15 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $950 $450
*All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

Seasonal Tour Pricing

2017 Dates Number of Travelers
2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement
more info
Solo Surcharge
more info
Jun 15 - Oct 15 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $1,998 $565 $520
This tour is available daily, on request, from June 15 through October 15, 2017. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy.

Photos

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