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Newfoundland in spring: 3 experiences you should not miss

Taking a spring vacation is simply the best, especially if your preferred destination is Newfoundland!

Come spring, there are fewer tourists, it is less hot than in summer, icebergs are coming in, as well as puffins and fog! It means you will see the province at its best!

Here are three must-see spring experiences you shouldn’t miss in Newfoundland and that are not far from St. John’s.

Hunting for icebergs

You will not understand the beauty and immensity of these ice giants until you have seen one up close. In the spring, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of icebergs to be found. The climax of this natural display usually happens by the end of May.

Renting a car to hunt for icebergs allows you to discover something new at each curve of the road: they are sometimes small, sometimes very large, with strange shapes and variable colours. Whether you see one or fifty icebergs, you will always be as impressed.

Popular places to spot these giant chunks of ice include the Bonavista Peninsula and Dungeon Provincial Park, just over three hours' drive from St. John’s.

No time to go that far? About 20 minutes from St. John’s, Petty Harbour is a great place to spot icebergs and even whales.

Otherwise, you just have to climb to the top of Signal Hill, where it is not uncommon to see huge pieces of ice several kilometres away.

Always consult the “Iceberg Finder” map before going on an iceberg hunt. It is updated live according to citizens' observations.

Puffin Cruises

Puffins arrive in the country mid-May in order to reproduce. They will not leave until September for their next trip over the ocean.

These pretty seabirds with colourful beaks are easily observable on board short cruises.

Our favourite? O’Brien’s Boat Tours, which takes its passengers to the Witless Bay ecological reserve, not far from St. John’s. If you have not planned to rent a car to go to the departure site, know that the company can pick you up directly at the hotel and then bring you back.

Cruising is the best way to get very, very close to these beautiful birds. You will see thousands of them during this pleasant boat trip. Also on the menu? Icebergs and sometimes even whales, if you are lucky!

On the way to Bonavista, stop at the Elliston Puffin Viewing site. Are you scared of heights? This adventure may not be for you! You will get to see hundreds of puffins up close, but you will also have to cross steep cliffs through small wooden bridges over the ocean. This is quite enough to boost your adrenaline levels!

Hikes in the Mist

There is something surreal about walking on quiet, even deserted paths, covered with an opaque fog sometimes or light mist. To hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach near you, without being able to see them. To arrive at the end of the path and to be alone with a faded environment.

Yes, the mist may seem like a disadvantage when you expect to see the landscape, but it also creates an exceptional atmosphere that will make your hike a memorable experience.

Cape Spear, about a ten-minute drive from St. John’s, is particularly beautiful in the light morning mist as the sun rises slowly over the ocean. Explore the many paths leading to the lighthouse in an atmosphere straight out of a parallel universe.

If you decide to hit the road to visit southern Newfoundland, a stop at Chambers Cove is a must. Park your car at the beginning of the trail and head over to the beach. Depending on the thickness of the fog, you will see all or parts of the immense cliffs of Chambers Cove.

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Virginie LandryMarch 6th, 2020
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