Cape Breton is an island idyll, which offers an incredible vacation destination for tourists looking for all kinds of trips. From intrepid explorers and foodies to those looking to spend their days taking in the views and soaking up the tranquility, there’s something for everyone. From whisky to whales and mountain trails to sweeping bays, it’s impossible not to fall head over heels for Cape Breton. One of the most famous inventors of all time, Alexander Graham Bell, sums up this magical gem. On arrival, he said, “I have traveled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.”
Exploring Cape Breton
With so much on offer, it’s challenging to know just where to start when planning an itinerary in Cape Breton. For inspiration, it’s a fantastic idea to make use of the recommendations from Maxim. Documenting a voyage around Cape Breton in a custom Land Rover Defender 90, explorers noted the following highlights:
The Cabot Trail
Arguably one of the most beautiful natural trails in the world, the Cabot Trail is a winding stretch of tarmac that spans 185 miles. A scenic drive that offers breathtaking panoramic views around every corner, the trail loops around a large part of the island, providing vistas of the imposing peaks of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, rolling ocean waves, ancient forests and prehistoric rock formations carved by glaciers.
For those who thrive on action, adventure and adrenaline, the Cabot Trail is a bona fide treasure trove. As well as the spectacular scenery, there’s a host of activities on offer, providing incredible opportunities to discover the fascinating geography of the region and enjoy the views. Go off-roading, mountain biking, hiking or climbing, or take advantage of fresh powder and enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
The Cabot Trail is also a haven for foodies and those who enjoy the buzz of busy restaurants, live music and community festivals. Cape Breton has a thriving cultural scene and some of the finest fresh produce out there. Delicacies include crab, oysters, mussels, clams, scallops and mackerel.
No visit to Cape Breton is complete without sampling the local nectar courtesy of Glenora Distillery. Tucked away in the North Cape Highlands, the distillery is recognized as the first single malt whisky distillery in North America. The distillery runs tours between May and October. This is a fascinating experience, which not only enables enthusiasts to learn about the process of making top-quality whisky but also provides a chance to enjoy a wee dram. For those keen to line their stomachs, there is a fabulous restaurant located at the distillery, as well as an inn offering a range of accommodation options. The perfect base to spend the night after enjoying the fruits of the distillery.
Golf is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Cape Breton, and it’s no wonder. The courses here are far from the average golf courses that feature pristine greens and fairways adorned with flower beds and uniform bunkers, pools and ponds. Golfing in this part of the world is a roller coaster ride that is not for the faint-hearted. Clifftop holes, changeable weather conditions and a backdrop of mountains makes every round an adventure.
Driving around Cape Breton is exhilarating, but you can’t really appreciate the splendor and scale of this awe-inspiring island on the ground. Helicopter tours are a brilliant way to enjoy a bird’s eye view and appreciate the scenery in all its glory. Soaring high about the mountains and undulating waves, visitors can see everything this unique location has to offer.
Cape Breton boasts rumbling rivers and swathes of rugged coastline, which provide an ideal base for anglers of all levels of experience and ability. Fishing in Cape Breton offers a diverse range of experiences, including salmon fishing in the Margaree River and cod fishing in Bras d’Or Lake.
Cape Breton has something to offer every traveler. From adventurers, those seeking rest and relaxation and foodies to anglers, fans of music and outdoor enthusiasts, this island idyll provides a unique destination for unforgettable vacations. If you’re keen to explore, why not come and visit us at Glenora Distillery? We offer a warm welcome, fabulous food, comfortable, cozy lodgings and endless supplies of the best single malt whisky.