The colourful fishing village of Peggy’s Cove and its lighthouse is one of Nova Scotia’s top tourist attractions. The lighthouse in particular just might be the most photographed in the world.
The beauty starts as you approach the sheltered harbour. During the 30 minute drive from Halifax, the landscape changes from forests to stony shores. Huge, polished boulders are all that’s left from retreating glaciers.
In the summer, weekday or early morning visits are best. There will be fewer people crowded on the large granite rocks around the lighthouse. You might even get a picture with no one else standing around the lighthouse!
Don’t let the natural beauty fool you though. The sea is sly here and wandering too close on the slippery rocks is dangerous. Every year, usually during rough winter weather, a few people are literally swept off their feet.
A visit doesn’t take long. About 1 hour will let you see the lighthouse, which dates from 1914, and take a relaxed walk through the traditional fishing village. Look out for the Fishermen’s Monument, a tribute carved into the face of a granite outcrop.
There’s a small post office inside the lighthouse and the stamps on mail sent from here are cancelled with a special lighthouse postmark. Just across from the lighthouse is a large gift shop and restaurant, where you can tuck into fish ‘n’ chips or a serving of lobster.
A memorial to the victims of Swissair flight 111, which crashed into the ocean near Peggy’s Cove, is nearby.
Once you’ve seen Peggy’s Cove, it’s easy to continue on to the fishing village of Lunenburg, gorgeous Mahone Bay and the picturesque south shore or return to Halifax for more sightseeing in Nova Scotia’s capital city.
Without a car, it’s a little tricker to get to and from Peggy’s Cove. There’s no public transportation so you’ll have to pay for a private tour. Operators include:
- Ambassatours – Bus tours in large coaches, running mid-June through mid-October. Cost is about $50 per adult.
- Route 333 Shuttle – A small van service run by Harry, a friendly local man. Call: 1-902 497-5105 and see what he can arrange for you.
Directions: Driving there is easy. From Halifax, follow signs for Highway 103 and then take Exit 2 onto Route 333 and follow the signs.
Parking: Free next to the visitor information centre but $5 at the private lot owned by the Sou’wester restaurant and gift shop (you get your money back if you buy something).
Admission fee: Free
Opening times: Accessible year-round, 24-hours a day