Five Must Explore Beaches on an Irish Loop Road Trip #ExploreNL
I love to grab my camera, hop in the car and head out on the highways and byways of Newfoundland. And I love doing it at any time of year. I drive around the coastlines to off the beaten path places, usually taking the roads less travelled but always in the direction of the sea. Sometimes I'm by myself other times I have company. I grew up next to the sea in rural Newfoundland, where the beaches were our playground. So its not unusual that I‘m naturally pulled toward the sea. And with 29,000 kilometres of coastline to explore, I've plenty of beaches to discover. Here's five I found on the Irish Loop on the southern Avalon on the East Coast of Newfoundland. There’s so much to discover on the Irish Loop and if you ever find yourself there, I guarantee you’ll be stopping to explore the spectacular beaches. I absolutely know I have more to explore.
1. Portugal Cove South - The Home of Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site
Love the colours of these two benches. They stand out against the landscape and as I crest the hill they pull me towards the beach. Portugal Cove South is the home of the magical Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve UNESCO World Heritage Site. So before you head out on your guided tour to see the fossils at Mistaken Point, I'd recommend stopping by the beach for a moment of reflection with your camera.
2. St. Vincent's Beach - Getting Close to Whales
On my road trips around the Irish Loop I always stop at St. Vincent's Beach. Stunning at any time of year, the most spectacular time to visit is when the whales are feeding off shore. I make a trip there several times during the summer when whales come to feed on the tiny caplin that arrive like clock work in June/July to spawn on the beaches of Newfoundland. I pack a picnic, grab my camera of course and head to the beach, where I've watched whales feed and swim so close to shore that I felt like I could touch them. It's always a moment of complete awe - just me and the whales. In the very beginning of the video below I was able to capture a whale just as it breached and then glided below to feed.
3. On the Downs in Ferryland and the Colony of Avalon
I love Ferryland. Of course I fall in love with every place I visit. But Ferryland has a "feel" to it that is hard to describe. Perhaps its because of the history of its settlement uncovered by archeologists and told so beautifully at the Colony of Avalon Interpretation Centre and by local interpreters. Or maybe its the landscapes that seem to quiet the soul. In any case strolling the historic landscapes of Ferryland and taking in a Ferryland Lighthouse Picnics experience is one of my most memorable road trips.
4. Tors Cove - A View of the Islands of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve
I happened upon this beach and this view by chance. And it blew my mind. I could have stayed for hours. I was actually looking to photograph a house in Tors Cove called the "Cribbies" made famous by our award winning Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism ads and made a few wrong turns. Not to worry a friendly local put me back on track and off I went. I'm glad I got lost for a while.
5. Gaskiers/Point La Haye - A Hidden Gem
As you wind your way along the Irish Loop coastline, past beautiful views of the ocean, it seems beaches appear out of nowhere. All of a sudden you see in the distance long stretches of sandy and pebble beaches outlined by blue ocean waves and you wonder how to get there. The one thing to remember is that in Newfoundland most roads lead to the ocean. Here I am in my happy place on a beach in Newfoundland.