Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s & the Avalon Peninsula: Where North America Begins

Explore the history of this picture-perfect province, from the geology of its creation, to the settlement by Great Britain and its culture today.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23007RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Explore historic St. John’s, where the warm and creative spirit of Newfoundland looms large and is evident everywhere, from its unusual and colorful architecture to its thriving folk art, music and culinary scene. Learn from local experts about the forces of isolation and scarcity on this rocky outcrop in the Atlantic. Discover how they forged a people of unique charm and creativity and fostered a place where Gaelic traditions and dialects, lost to much of the modern world, survive and storytellers thrive. Immerse yourself in one of Canada’s most vibrant cultural cities filled with music and art, and experience the new and exciting culinary scene in St. John’s.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking 2-3 miles, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Sample beer brewed with 25,000 year-old iceberg water, and enjoy a collaborative dinner between a local chef and a wild food forager.
  • Tap your feet to fiddlers as you explore the diverse music and arts scene in St. John’s.
  • Soak up the legendary Newfoundland culture as you meet local residents in picturesque outports and colorful fishing villages, like Petty Harbour, Cupids and Heart’s Content.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Bill Montevecchi
Bill Montevecchi is a professor of psychology, biology and ocean sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research is focused on marine birds, ocean ecology and conservation biology. Bill is the co-author of “Newfoundland Birds: Exploitation, Study and Conservation and created Seabirds – Oceanic Barometers for the Ideas Series of the CBC Radio.” Bill lectures nationally and internationally about avian ecology and conservation.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Philip Hiscock
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Terrence Howell
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Jane Dennison
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Bill Montevecchi
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Kevin Major
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Jerome Canning
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Eleanor Dawson
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Island, The Complete Stories
by Alistair MacLeod
Raised in Cape Breton, Alistair MacLeod writes of family, the pull of old Gaelic traditions, love and the landscape and folkways of Nova Scotia in this collection of 16 stories. Winner of the Pen/Malamud Award.
Vikings, The North Atlantic Saga
by William Fitzhugh (Editor), Elisabeth Ward (Editor)
An extensively illustrated volume of Viking culture, history and exploration that focuses especially on voyages to North America. Published in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibit, it features essays and 400 color photographs.
A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife
by Noble S. Proctor, Patrick J. Lynch (Illustrator)
A comprehensive pocket guide to commonly encountered marine mammals, seabirds and other marine life of Northeastern North America, from North Carolina to Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes.
The Atlantic Coast, A Natural History
by Harry Thurston
Thurston illuminates the geology, plant and animal life and nature of the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras in this illustrated, engaging survey.
Cod, A Biography of a Fish That Changed the World
by Mark Kurlansky
A sparkling extended essay on the cod, looking at the importance of the fish to cuisine and history, as well as to Scandinavian, American and Canadian commerce.
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float
by Farley Mowat
A laugh-out-loud account of Mowat's determination to refurbish and sail a clunky old boat in the not-always-forgiving waters of Newfoundland.
The Far Traveler, Voyages of a Viking Woman
by Nancy Marie Brown
Brown's intriguing account of the life of the young Viking woman Gudrid sheds light on early Norse settlements in Iceland, Newfoundland and beyond. It's an archaeological mystery, a history of ancient seamanship and a biography all rolled into one.
Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
by Mark Carwardine
In the trademark, graphic Eyewitness style, this sturdy guidebook colorfully describes the world's cetaceans with numerous illustrations, range maps, fluke drawings and a few paragraphs on each species.
This Marvellous Terrible Place, Images of Newfoundland and Labrador
by Yva Momatiuk, John Eastcott
This portrait of Newfoundland, compiled by two accomplished photojournalists, combines color photographs and oral histories of the area.
A Traveller's History of Canada
by Robert Bothwell
A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.
Guide to the Offshore Wildlife of the Northern Atlantic
by Michael H. Tove
An oversize field guide to the seabirds, ocean mammals and turtles found off Atlantic shores north of the Tropic of Cancer featuring 39 excellent color plates and extensive descriptive information.
Moon Handbook Atlantic Canada
by Andrew Hempstead
A comprehensive guide to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. With regional maps and detailed descriptions of St. John's and other points of interest, along with an overview of the people, wildlife and history of the region.
The Bird Artist
by Howard Norman
Memorably set in a remote coastal village in 1911, this vivid book is the tale of an odd local man who murdered the lighthouse keeper. It's as much about human character and motivation as it is about Newfoundland.
Wildlife of the North Atlantic, A Cruising Guide
by Tony Soper, Dan Powell (Illustrator)
This compact, illustrated guide covers the many petrels, ducks, gulls, terns and other seabirds, as well as the rich abundance of life existing under the waves, that populate the vast Atlantic region from the British Isles to Newfoundland.
Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die, Outdoor Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations
by Chris Santella
Santella (Once in a Lifetime Trips) includes insider tips, color illustrations and concise descriptions of 50 hikes from the Lunana Snowman Trek in Bhutan to the Amalfi Coast.
The Shipping News
by E. Annie Proulx
LITERATURE, 1994, PAPERBACK, 337 PAGES An international bestseller that put Newfoundland on the world stage, this lyrical novel conjures the tough life of a recently divorced journalist struggling to get through the day in a remote fishing town. (NFL03, $16.00)
Sylvanus Now
by Donna Morrissey
Morisette writes with authority of the struggles of cod fishermen and their families in a remote coastal village in the 1950s in this third novel of maritime Newfoundland.
The Day the World Came to Town, 9/11 In Gander, Newfoundland
by Jim Defede
When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the citizens of this small community were called upon to come to the aid of more than six thousand displaced travelers.
by Michael Crummey
Facing the prospect of losing his land, the fierce, enigmatic Moses Sweetland recalls stories about his home, a village founded by his ancestors on a storm-battered island in Newfoundland.
Theatre of Fish, Travels Through Newfoundland and Labrador
by John Gimlette
A rollicking account of Gimlette's adventures in Newfoundland and Labrador on the trail of a great-great grandfather. It's a witty tale, soaked in fishy history, myth, lore and incident.

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