If you like the sea, you'll love Nova Scotia. The entire region combines the history of every North American discoverer from the early Vikings to the ancient Celts and Gauls to the known explorers such as John Cabot, Vasco de Gama and Samuel Champlain. And they all put a cultural stamp on the string of land that marks Eastern Canada's beautiful shores. I'm sure those discoverers were too busy, but you should have time to whale watch, tour lighthouses, and explore the mineral mines and sandy bogs that paint the ancient shoreline and measure the distance between romantic sea towns with real fishing history and great folklore. Nova Scotia is an idyllic land where the ocean rules. The weather can get windy, the walks mesmerizing, and the sea can roar.
Maxxim Vacations (tel. 800/567-6666; www.maxximvacations.com) has a host of package trips to Nova Scotia. Whether you're looking for a guided tour of the region's biological sites for bird watching or botany or a self-driving tour stopping at the region's prettiest towns, Maxxim has several air/land package tours from which to choose. One moderate to easy eight-night hiking and walking tour that covers the South Shore and the highest tides on the world at the Bay of Fundy starts at $2,119 with departures out of Boston. Other cities are available including New York for $2,239 and Los Angeles for $2,319. The trip, which departs from July to October 2005, includes round-trip airfare to Halifax, eight nights' accommodations in top-flight hotels and small inns, all meals during the guided portion of the trip, a whale watching cruise and all sightseeing and park entrance fees. The trip features tours of Halifax's public gardens, a lobster feast, a walk through the wilderness at Gaff's Point and a hike out to Case Split for one of the regions best prettiest and most popular treks. All guides are expert in the region and the natural details of the wildlife.
A seven-night self-driving tour to the Northern Nova Scotia isle of Cape Breton is available through Maxxim Vacations starting at $1,139 per person out of Boston. (Prices for this trip based on double occupancy.) Features for this trip include round-trip airfare to Halifax, a seven-day rental car with unlimited miles, and all accommodations at a wide variety of hotels and inns along your route to and through Cape Breton. Along the drive sites include the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the many wildlife and natural preserves housing thousands of bird species. See glorious sunrises, incredible mountain ranges and coastal headlands as you drive to and from historic seafaring sites. Airport departure fees and security fees are not included in the tours price.
Caravan Tours (tel. 800/227-2826; www.caravantours.com) also has some all-inclusive, land-only guided tours of Halifax and Cape Breton at low prices. An eight-day tour of Nova Scotia that includes Prince Edward Island starts around $895 for double occupancy. You'll hit the towns of Baddeck and Hopewell Cape as well as the Fortress of Louisbourg as you learn about the surrounding area from your professional tour guides. This trip departs approximately three times per month from May till October. Taxes and fees are not included in the tour price.
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