Labrador Coastal Drive

Labrador's southeast coast is one of the longest-settled parts of the province, with early aboriginal presence dating back almost 9,000 years. In the 1500s the Basques hunted whales here, and they were followed by French and English fishermen curing cod. You can find the second-tallest lighthouse in Canada at Point Amour.

Day 1 - Getting Started in Labrador

Catch the ferry to Labrador from St. Barbe on the island's northern peninsula. You'll arrive at Blanc Sablon on the Quebec-Labrador border and then take the short drive to L'Anse-au-Clair. Drop by the old church residents have transformed into a visitor centre. There's a path right outside the door that leads to an old English settlement in one direction, and a sandy beach in the other. This is the start of the Labrador Pioneer Footpath, which stretches along the coast to Pinware.

Day 2 - On to Red Bay

Along the L'Anse-Amour road is a marked mound of stones. 7,500 years ago, the Maritime Archaic people buried a child here, making it the oldest known funeral site in North America.

Further up the coast at Red Bay is the province's third UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beginning in the mid-1500s, Basque whalers established a factory to render whale blubber into oil for the markets of Europe. One of the many artifacts on display is a small boat - a chalupa or shallop - from which they hunted.

Day 3 - Battle Harbour

Once you reach Mary's Harbour, you can take a boat to Battle Harbour, a tiny island community that was once a major commercial and service centre. It is a trip into the past that comes with the benefits of great food and a spa.

Take a guided tour of the community, where some of the buildings date from the 1780s. This is both a National Historic Site and District, and is the best-preserved fishing outport in the province. Spend the night here, and enjoy the peace and quiet when the lights go out at midnight.

Day 4 - Port Hope Simpson

Take the morning ferry from Battle Harbour back to Mary's Harbour and drive to Port Hope Simpson. Arrange to fish on Shinney's River with the guides from the Alexis Hotel. Depending on the time of your visit and water conditions, you may be angling for a feisty sea-run brook trout or the king of the game fish, an Atlantic salmon. Be sure to book any excursions or guides well in advance.