The highest mountains in Nova Scotia drop almost straight to the sea in places, combining to give Cape Breton Island some of Canada's most beautiful coastal scenery. Cape Breton Island forms the northeastern part of the province of Nova Scotia, linked to the mainland by a causeway across the Strait of Canso. Celtic culture blends with Acadian French to create a shared island heritage celebrated in festivals and community events throughout the island's towns and villages. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Cabot Trail that circles it will draw you to the north. In contrast, the magnificently restored French Fortress of Louisbourg attracts visitors to the southeastern corner.
The cool maritime climate and rugged landscape allow a unique blend of Acadian, Boreal and Taiga habitats, plants and animals. This unique mix of northern and southern species is not found anywhere else in Canada. Several dozen species of rare or threatened plants and animals can be found here, and old-growth forests are of international significance. Tiny populations of arctic-alpine plants left over from the last ice age can also be found—the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
No short answer. National Geographic once rated Cape Breton as the 2nd most beautiful island in the world. That is pretty remarkable considering the world is full of majestic islands. What makes it so special?
Cape Breton is part of Nova Scotia, but has a very distinct identity. Today, Cape Breton is an island famous for its Celtic heritage, which visitors may enjoy through the music, food and charm of the people. Cape Breton is also home to one of the world's most beautiful drives. The Cabot Trail.
Approximately five hours
But you must understand the drive
According to the Cabot Trail tourism map, available at Nova Scotia welcome centers and various museums and merchants on Cape Breton Island, the entire Cabot Trail drive takes approximately five hours. What the map does not tell you is that this time is calculated without any stops.
Yes. You can arrive on Cape Breton Island BY PLANE, BUS OR CAR. Sydney Airport J. A. Douglas McCurdy (CYQY) or Allan J. MacEachen Port Hawkesbury Airport (CYPD) is a registered aerodrome.
The world-renowned Cabot Trail.
Dramatic coastal views, highland scenery and the Bras d’Or Lake.
A variety of hiking trails, world-class golf, Celtic culture and a lively music scene.
Named the #1 Island in the Americas by Condé Nast Traveler in 2019.
Pjila’si! One hundred thousand welcomes! Bienvenue! Ciad mille failte!
These words of welcome have long been offered to visitors as they arrive here in Cape Breton, ready to explore a place filled with outdoor adventure, coastel drives and breathtaking views, and the freshest seafood imaginable.
No. Planned out well and with stops prioritized. Make sure your car is in good condition and test your brakes. There are a lot of steep and winding roads. Bathing suits and hiking shoes should be at the ready. Part of the trail goes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park so make sure you visit the website and choose a trail or two to hike.
A true natural beauty, Cape Breton is consistently lauded for its outdoor attractions—sprawling coastline and mountainous vistas among them. To see why the island has earned its share of accolades as a bucket list destination, head to the Cabot Trail.
Driving. It takes about 5h 20m to get from Sydney to Halifax (YHZ) Airport.