Cajun Motherland Tour
Upon arrival in Halifax, we’ll meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel, giving a brief orientation of the area on the way. The remainder of the day is yours to relax.
Day 1 – Grande Pre and surrounding area
Grand Pre is a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on reclaimed shores of the Bay of Fundy and was once home to a large Acadian community. We will spend the morning exploring the history of Acadians and their triumphs and tribulations. The site has a superb visitor’s centre with interactive displays and an interesting multimedia presentation. Following a visit to the centre, stroll the expansive gardens, visit the memorial chapel and explore the nearby trails which offer stunning views of the Acadian landscape.
A short drive or walk, will take us to the Deportation Cross. The cross was erected in 1924 and marks the site where Acadian deportees were loaded onto row boats and taken out to the transport ships anchored in the Minas Basin. Take some time to reflect and imagine the scene in 1755.
Leaving Grand Pre, we’ll travel over Acadian dykelands to the village of Port Williams where we’ll lunch and enjoy the view across reclaimed lands. Following lunch and weather permitting, enjoy a short stroll across the dykes before a short drive to Blomidon Look-Off. Here, stunning panoramic views of the Minas Basin will captivate you!
Prior to returning to Halifax, we’ll stop at Sainte-Famille Winery in Falmouth. The winery is located on land which was first settled by Acadians around 1685. Remains of the original church are still on the property today, although somewhat under water. We'll visit the cemetery and interpretive area which describes the deportation of these Acadians to the United States, then stroll through the scenic vineyard, tour the winery and sample a selection of their wines, perhaps pairing with local cheese for a true Nova Scotian taste.
We’ll return to your hotel in Halifax where the remainder of the day is yours at your leisure.
Day 2 – Shore to Shore
We’ll begin the day with a scenic drive along the South Shore of Nova Scotia, stopping in Lunenburg for a brief stroll around the quaint town. Founded in 1753, Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Town steeped in history and offers breathtaking architectural and ocean views. If we’re lucky, the famous Bluenose II schooner may also be in port!
Continuing our drive along the South Shore, our next port of call with be Fort Point Museum in LaHave. This National Historic Site celebrates the founding of "Fort Sainte Marie de Grace" in 1632, the first capital of New France. Enjoy a brief tour of this unique, community museum and savor the views which are as “picturesque as when Champlain discovered the area in 1604!”
Leaving LeHave, we’ll head to Liverpool, which is where we’ll lunch, before traveling cross-country to Port Royal National Historic Site. This site, features a reconstruction of the Habitation, where, in 1605, Samuel de Champlain helped establish one of the first European settlements in Canada. Costumed interpreters will transport you back in time to help you learn about early European colonization and settlement, and the French settlers’ important relationship with the Mi'kmaq people. You may also be able to trace your Cajun roots here.
Following our afternoon at the Habitation, we’ll head to Digby Pines which is where we’ll spend the evening.
Day 3 – Acadian Coastline
Today, we’ll tour along the Acadian coastline and immerse ourselves in Acadian history and culture, beginning with a stop in the community of Church Point. Church Point is home to Université Sainte-Anne, the only French language university in Nova Scotia, and houses the Acadian Centre Archives. The university is also home to Rendez-vous de la Baie (Acadian Cultural and Interpretive Centre), a “state-of-the-art museum” featuring bilingual interpretive panels, artifacts and interactive multimedia displays which illustrate the story of the Acadians, past and present. Located next to the university is Église Sainte-Marie, a former church and the largest wooden structure in North America! It is now a registered museum and well worth a visit.
We’ll stop for lunch in Yarmouth before heading to the villages of Pubnico – founded over 350 years ago and part of the oldest Acadian settlement in Nova Scotia. Located in West Pubnico in a c1800 homestead, is Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos et Centre de recherche (Acadian Museum and Research Centre). Explore Acadian history dating back to 1653, tour a traditional Acadian garden and experience life as it was for your Acadian ancestors. The research centre has an extensive collection of historical and genealogical documents and over 6000 publications with information dating back to the 17th century.
We’ll continue on to Lower West Pubnico where we’ll visit Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Situated on 17 acres overlooking the harbour, this community is the oldest Acadian region still inhabited by descendants of the original founder. Explore this unique little village and learn how it survived the deportation.
No trip to this area would be complete without a Musique de la Baie kitchen party experience! On our return to Digby, we may stop for dinner and a toe-tapping, musical evening at an Acadian kitchen party.
We’ll return to Digby Pines for the night.
Day 4 – The Rocky Coastline
Leaving Digby, we’ll travel through the Annapolis Valley to the small community of New Ross to visit Ross Farm Museum where we’ll take an agricultural trip back in time. Learn from the costumed interpreters, enjoy a stroll on the grounds or try your hand at one of the many hands-on activities on offer.
Cutting across country, we’ll stop in the seaside town of Chester, a beautiful, unique community which was a one-time fishing village but is now a wealthy resort community and home to the largest keelboat regatta in Canada. Chester boasts a beautiful harbour, quaint streets, superb architecture and some stunning scenery. It truly represents ocean living at its finest.
We’ll continue to follow the rugged coastline to Peggy’s Cove, one of the most photographed and visited places in Nova Scotia. Spend some time exploring this quaint lighthouse and, if time allows, have a sunset dinner on the rocks.
We’ll spend the evening in Halifax.
Day 5 – Hants County Shoreline
The Hants County shoreline is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Nova Scotia! Not only is it home to the highest tides in the world, had numerous Acadian settlements but it also has a rich ship building history and offers stunning scenery around every turn.
From Halifax, we’ll head to South Maitland to visit the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre. Learn about the power of the Fundy tides and the tidal bore – a unique phenomenon which can be seen from this location (if tide and times cooperate).
Continuing along the shoreline with dramatic views abound, we’ll pass through the historic ship building village of Maitland, then briefly stop at Anthony Provincial Park in Lower Selma, to not only enjoy the view, but to discover its role in the development of the atomic bomb!
We’ll enter the small village of Noel, named after Acadian Noel Doiron, who constructed the numerous dykes which still frame the shoreline and which we’ll cross as we head to Burncoat Head Park – home of the highest recorded tides in the world! Here, you can explore the lighthouse, trails and perhaps even walk on the ocean floor! The natural beauty of this area will captivate you, from sea stacks to soaring eagles, it truly is a sight to behold.
From one lighthouse to another of a very different design. The Walton lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Hants County (built 1873) and is perched on top of cliffs overlooking the Bay of Fundy. A short walking trail will take you to some amazing views of the Bay of Fundy.
Our next stop will be in the small village of Summerville at the Flying Apron Inn, where we’ll lunch and enjoy local, seasonal fare.
Today, our last port of call will be in Avondale, a former Acadian community and thriving shipbuilding village, now home to a boutique winery. The Avondale Sky Winery is housed in a former church from Walton, which, only a few years ago, sailed on the Bay of Fundy, to its new home in Avondale. A big adventure for a little church!
We’ll return to Halifax in time for your evening meal.
Day 6 – Glooscap & Sunrise Trails
Departing from Halifax, our first stop will be at the Glooscap Heritage Centre on the outskirts of Truro, where we’ll explore Mi’kmaq heritage and Glooscap legends. Learn about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the Mi’kmaq people and how they lived relatively peacefully with the Acadians.
With the theme of Glooscap, we’ll follow the Glooscap Trail along the Bay of Fundy to Coastline to the picturesque town of Parrsoboro where we’ll stop to explore and lunch.
A scenic drive will take us to Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the Bay of Fundy. Located on an old coal mine, a superb fossil centre illustrates the rich geological history of the area through exhibits and displays. Join a guide on the shore and see if you can find a 300 million year old fossil or you may prefer to relax in the café and enjoy a coffee from Nova Scotia’s organic, fair trade company “Just Us”.
By way of scenic countryside, we’ll head to North Shore of Nova Scotia and travel the scenic Sunrise Trail to Tatamagouche. Due to its location, Tatamagouche was one of the main Acadian settlements on the north shore of Nova Scotia and was an important trading post. It is also the site where the British began the expulsion of the Acadians. Take some time to explore this beautiful village and all it has to offer while imagining the scene from many years ago.
We’ll return to Halifax in time for your evening meal.
Day 7 – Eastern Shore
Following breakfast, we’ll meander along the coastline of the Eastern Shore, briefly stopping in the quaint fishing village of Eastern Passage, prior to our destination, L’Acadie de Chezzetcook (Acadian House Museum) in West Chezzetcook. This little corner of Acadia was once home to a large number of Acadians, many of whose descendants still live in the area. The museum portrays the Acadian way of life as it once existed in the area. Take a step back in time and experience how your ancestors lived.
We’ll return to Halifax for an afternoon, leisurely tour of the historic city.
Throughout this tour, we encourage you to ‘spot’ Acadian Heritage Markers along the roadside which commemorate an important site or event in Acadian history. There are approximately 40 on this tour. See you many you can find…
As with all Blue Diamond Tours, this is tour can be tailored to your personal interests. Contact us for more information.
Price is per couple / Double occupancy