Icebergs tourism newfoundland canada
Photo © Liz Leyden

For bergs, birds and whales, travellers the world over are heading to Atlantic Canada.

Spring may have you thinking more of tulips than ice (hopefully!) but for Atlantic Canada some of the season's hottest tourist attractions have arrived: the icebergs.

Each year visitors from around the world head to Newfoundland and Labrador to take in the hundreds of majestic icebergs that drift along the north and east coasts of the island. Recognized as the greatest iceberg theatre in the world, the area is known as Iceberg Alley.

"Here in Newfoundland and Labrador we never tire of seeing these majestic icebergs," says Jill Curran, president of Maxxim Vacations.  "It doesn't matter if you're a kid or a great-grandmother, it's always a thrill to see them, and a reminder that summer is on its way."

The icebergs, which are about 10,000 years in the making, return from the Arctic every spring. On a sunny day, the bergs can be seen from many points along the northern and eastern coasts. Some of the more popular viewing spots either from shore or tour boats include: Bay Bulls/Witless Bay, St. John's/Cape Spear, Bonavista, Twillingate, La Scie, St. Anthony, Point Amour, Battle Harbour and Cartwright. (Check out this iceberg finder.)

Whale and bird watching

And while you're there, you'll want to take in some whale watching. Known internationally for their whale watching venues, Newfoundland and Labrador have more than 20 species of sea-faring mammals, including sperm whales and blue whales.

The Atlantic Provinces are also known for their marine birds. The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, for example, is home to the largest Atlantic puffin colony in North America.

And the East Coast Trail is a wilderness paradise of towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords, and a natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. In addition to icebergs, it provides access to abandoned settlements, lighthouses, ecological reserves, seabird colonies, whales, two active archaeological dig sites, and many more attractions.

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Cynthia Ross Cravit