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"The Rock" is what Newfoundlanders affectionately call their homeland, and it's a good description of this island that thrusts up from the North Atlantic. Almost the entire coastline is bounded in spectacular cliffs often eroded into dramatic shapes and punctuated with deep coves. These rocky coves, most of which are surrounded by steep cliffs, make dramatic settings for tiny fishing villages, some accessible only by boat. Vikings landed here about 1000 AD, and their settlement has been excavated and portions of it re-created. Artifacts of Dorset culture and later native sites are scattered over the island. The Mayflower stopped to ...

"The Rock" is what Newfoundlanders affectionately call their homeland, and it's a good description of this island that thrusts up from the North Atlantic. Almost the entire coastline is bounded in spectacular cliffs often eroded into dramatic shapes and punctuated with deep coves. These rocky coves, most of which are surrounded by steep cliffs, make dramatic settings for tiny fishing villages, some accessible only by boat. Vikings landed here about 1000 AD, and their settlement has been excavated and portions of it re-created. Artifacts of Dorset culture and later native sites are scattered over the island. The Mayflower stopped to reprovision here, the Titanic foundered in Shipwreck Alley, early transatlantic aviators took off from Harbour Grace and hundreds of thousands of Canadian and American troops stopped at Gander's air base en route to World War II action.

Rich as its history is, Newfoundland attracts visitors today for its stunning scenery — the fjords of Gros Morne National Park rival Norway's — its extraordinary sea bird and whale viewing and its lively local culture, a blend of Irish, French and English that gives rise to some of Canada's finest maritime music.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Newfoundland, is a large Canadian island off the east coast of the North American mainland, and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Language: English, French
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Newfoundland | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June and early July are best times for whale and iceberg viewing. Local festivals enliven the entire summer and fall.