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Newfoundland is unlike any other place in Canada. It’s filled with rugged landscapes, refreshing sea breezes and one-of-a-kind experiences. Between touring an inlet that’s sandwiched between cliffs and enjoying a gourmet picnic in a lighthouse, there’s something here for everyone.

Find glaciers and whales — St. Anthony, N.L.

St. Anthony is located in the northern corner of Iceberg Alley. Despite the 11 hour drive from St. John’s, it has more icebergs than any other area in Newfoundland — so it’s well worth the trip. Northland Discovery Boat Tours will even bring you right up to these majestic glaciers for a closer look. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see a whale or two.

Hang out with puffins — Witless Bay, N.L.

Witless Bay, just half an hour away from St. John’s, is home to the largest Atlantic puffin colony in North America. With more than 260,000 pairs of nesting Atlantic puffins in the spring and summer, you can easily spot out these adorable orange-billed birds from a boat.

Take a boat ride through a landlocked fjord — Western Brook Pond, N.L.

The BonTours’ Western Brook Pond Boat Tour is one of the most sought after activities in Gros Morne National Park. This narrated tour takes you through soaring cliffs carved out by glaciers to discover incredibly tall waterfalls (keep an eye out for Pissing Mare falls, which is nearly 2000 feet high) and gorgeous landscapes. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment — the boat fills up quickly.

Dharan Vinayagarasa

Picnic at Ferryland Lighthouse — Ferryland, N.L.

Foodies and nature lovers alike flock to this secluded lighthouse to enjoy a homemade picnic lunch. The entire menu is made inside of the Ferryland Lighthouse, which was built in 1870. Hungry picnickers can choose between a selection of sandwiches on freshly baked bread, homemade desserts and lemonade. One you’ve ordered, you’re given a picnic blanket to place on your favourite spot overlooking the ocean. Then, your picnic lunch will be brought over to you when it’s ready. This is a popular spot, so be sure to book ahead.

Amanda Nunes

Check out Viking settlements — L’Anse aux Meadows, N.L.

This official UNESCO World Heritage Site is the only authentic Norse site in all of North America where you can see Viking ruins among rugged cliffs, and tour a recreated Viking settlement. This spot is tucked away on the northern tip of Newfoundland, 45 minutes away from St. Anthony’s.

Amanda Nunes

Trek along the Earth’s mantle — The Tablelands, Gros Morne, N.L.

Gros Morne National Park is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada and is made up of varying landscapes, including The Tablelands. This spot is one of the few places in the world where you can actually walk upon the Earth’s mantle. Take a guided tour or hike to the top of the cliffs for a beautiful view.

Experience Fogo Island Inn — Fogo Island, N.L.

Few places in Canada have captivated locals and tourists like Fogo Island Inn has. This inn is no stranger to the rich and famous. Gwyneth Paltrow is just one of the celebrities that have been enchanted by the stunning views of the ocean, jagged cliffs and floor-to-ceiling windows in this luxurious property.

As a luxury writer I spend a lot of my time in really great hotels and resorts, from small boutique-style to larger brands we all know. Looking back at 2016 though I can say without a doubt that my favorite experiential luxury experience was at the remarkable Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. I loved it so much because staying there wasn’t just about the hotel itself, it was about the entire community. Built just a few years ago by a former island resident who did well in life, she returned to not only give back to her community, but to both transform and preserve it at the same time. The luxury hotel is just part of her master plan to use the arts and creative pursuits to regenerate the island’s economy. And it’s working. A major aspect of this are the residents themselves, proud individuals that the luxury hotel uses to augment the experience for their guests. Dozens are hired to serve as community hosts, to share with visitors what they love most about Fogo Island, to drive them around as amateur tour guides and to just be there in case they need anything. The net effect is that all visitors almost immediately feel like they are part of the community, a remarkable and rare travel experience to be sure. It’s this unusual phenomenon that not only makes the Fogo Island Inn one of the best hotels in the world, but makes Fogo Island one of those unique travel experiences everyone should enjoy at least once in their lives.

A post shared by Matt Long (@landlopers) on

Get over your fear of bugs — Reidville, N.L.

There are only two insectariums in Canada, and one is right in Newfoundland. The Newfoundland Insectarium features thousands of exotic insects from around the world. A big draw is their live butterfly garden where 1000 tropical butterflies roam free in a 100-foot garden.

Dharan Vinayagarasa