Long before Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, the Vikings had crossed the Atlantic and beaten him to it. The proof can be found among the timber framed turf buildings excavated on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland. Closely resembling Norse dwellings, the site is the first known evidence of European influence in the Americas. Visitors learn about the Viking lifestyle and archeological discovery through various exhibits, and can explore the surrounding area with a number of hiking trails.
Length of Trip : 2-4 hours
Cost : Click here for National Park fees. Parks Canada also offer a Vikings Trail pass, valid for 7 days with entrance to Gros Morne, L’anse Aux Meadows and other parks along the coast. Vikings Trail pass prices: Adult: $44.10 Senior: $35.55 Youth: $22 Family/group: $88.30
Best time to go : June to September
Wheelchair friendly : Yes
Family friendly : Yes
Official Site : www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows/index.aspx
Where to Stay : Grenfell Heritage Hotel
Getting There : L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is located on the tip of the Northern Peninsula, 433 km north of Deer Lake along the Viking Trail (Route 430). The Viking Trail begins at the town of Deer Lake on the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1). 20 km before of St. Anthony, turn onto Route 436 and drive for 30 km to L’Anse aux Meadows.
Note from Robin : I’m struck at people’s reaction to the old Norse houses in L’Anse Aux Meadows. I have to remind them they’re not original, but reconstructions of how the settlement may have looked, complete with costumed interpreters to explain how the Vikings might have lived. The magic of the place comes with its remote location, and the sweeping views of the Newfoundland coast. It’s a pleasant walk to the site from the interpretation centre, and well worth taking a guided tour. L'Anse Aux Meadows also features in Great Canadian Trails 3-day Vikings, Whales and Icebergs package that captures the region's bucket list highlights!
Vikings Whales and IcebergsHere's a three day trip that ticks off a few of the region's bucket list highlights. Quirpon offers a unique island experience at a 1922 light-keeper's home on the shores of Iceberg Alley. Fully restored, the Lighthouse Inn features ten beautiful rooms at the base of a still-operating lighthouse and is a Registered Heritage Building. Located off the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, this is the province's best location for viewing icebergs as the Labrador Current carries them south. Quirpon Island has never failed to have icebergs in July and boasts the longest iceberg-viewing season in Newfoundland, with most years seeing icebergs into late August and the last melting in the fall during a good year. Whales are constant companions off its shores, often coming close enough to the rocks to be touched. Whale experts ascribe this phenomenon to the underwater topography and ample food supply. In addition to Humpbacks and Minke - the presence of which is virtually inevitable - you may spot as many as 27 more species, including Orca, which are being spotted with increasing frequency around the Island despite becoming a rarer sight elsewhere in Newfoundland. Located just north of the only viking site in North America, your stay includes a visit to L'Anse aux Meadows UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as road and boat transfers to and from St. Anthony. Accessed by regular flights from St. John's and by road via the Viking Trail highway from Deer Lake/Gros Morne, this is a fantastic way to top off your trip to 'The Rock'.
With daily departures from end of May through mid-September, this trip includes:
• 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
• 2 nights double room with private facilities
• Local hosts to guide day trips
• Ground transfers in St. Anthony
• Ferry to/from Quirpon Island
• Zodiac tour
• Entry fees to L'Anse aux Meadows and Grenfell Historic Site
Click here for costs, departure dates, and more details from Great Canadian Trails. Don't forget to mention The Great Canadian Bucket List.
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