Discover the eclectic Canadian city of St. John’s

16 April 2019

As North America's most easterly city, and situated in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's is a swift four-and-a-half-hour flight away from London Heathrow. The short flight time (just enough time for a meal and a movie) combined with a time difference of only three and a half hours means that you can be in St. John's in time to enjoy a leisurely late lunch.

Close enough to the UK to be a weekend break destination and home to a diverse range of experiences, St. John’s is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Regularly compared to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík on account of its beautiful island location, rugged landscape, colourful houses and wonderful wildlife encounters, St. John’s brings extraordinary to life.

Urban on the edge of nature

Overlooking the vast North Atlantic, this incredibly colourful and quaint city is a melting pot of wildlife, fine dining and creative arts. Shaped by a mix of Irish and European influences, St. John’s holds on to its traditions, yet boasts uniquely Canadian energy that stems from the warmth and hospitality of the friendly locals.

Whether you choose to tuck into world-class cuisine, hike along the East Coast Trail, visit historical sites, dance until dawn on George Street or admire the perfectly-painted houses that are often referred to as Jellybean Row, St. John’s promises to deliver once-in-a-lifetime encounters and create lifelong memories.

Wine and dine

Delve into delicious fresh seafood at one of the city’s award-winning restaurants. Sample cod tongues, mussels, lobster, fish, brewis and other native culinary delights, before heading over to make the most of the vibrant nightlife on George Street - St. John's answer to Dublin's Temple Bar. Enjoy the welcoming and warm Newfoundland hospitality and live music over a beer in one of the area's many pubs and cocktail bars.

Wildlife and Mother Nature

There are few things more thrilling than an up close and personal encounter with humpback whales and 10,000-year-old towering icebergs, and St. John’s is one of only a few places in the world where you can see them both together. Experience the migratory paths of thousands of humpback whales that grace Eastern Canada's coastline between June and August, and prepare to be amazed as the giant icebergs float down a stretch of water called 'Iceberg Alley.'

History and culture

A short 10-minute drive from downtown St. John’s, you’ll find the Cape Spear National Historic Site. As the most easterly point in North America, it’s the place where you can see the sunrise before anyone else on the continent, and also be the first to ring in the New Year.

Once at Cape Spear, meander around the World War II gun battery and visit the oldest standing lighthouse in North America. As you head back towards the city, stop at the Signal Hill National Historic Site and drink in the incredible views over St. John’s and across the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Hiking

If you enjoy hiking, there is no better place than St. John's, with some awesome hiking trails right on the city's doorstep. The famous East Coast Trail unites wilderness hiking with richly historic communities along glorious ocean paths that make up 300 kilometres of developed trails.

Hike from Downtown St. John's to Cape Spear along the 13-mile oceanside path and experience some of the most dramatic vistas you might ever get to see – this is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking hikes in the world.

When to visit

As Newfoundlanders say - "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing." July and August are the most popular holiday months and temperatures can reach as high as 25 degrees Celsius but can dip as low as 12 degrees Celsius. However, a great time to visit is early summer (from May onwards). Although still cool, the icebergs can still be seen as late as June from the city (later in Labrador), and the whales make their way to the shores of Newfoundland to feed right through until August.

Summer activities, such as golfing, hiking and kayaking, continue through September and come October, it's dry and wonderfully crisp. Newfoundland boasts a short but breath-taking fall foliage season, with colours typically peaking in late September and early October.

 

 

If you’re ready to discover eclectic St. John’s for yourself, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits, including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to support you before, during and even after your trip.

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