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Nova Scotia

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  


Nova Scotia ©paul bica

Nova Scotia is a 350-mile (560km) peninsula on the east of Canada, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The rugged and jagged coastline, and the fact that this semi-island is covered in numerous rivers and lakes, makes it a watery wonderland famous for its seafood (the province is the world's largest exporter of lobster), scenic routes, wilderness trails, dolphin and whale-watching opportunities, and the Scottish flavour of its bars and restaurants. The island has a mixed history as a French, Scottish, and British colony, but it is the Scots who have most influenced the culture, with even the name Nova Scotia meaning 'New Scotland' in Latin. The Mi'kmaq Nation is also local to the area, bringing its own cultural flavour.

Nova Scotia, together with its neighbouring provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, are known as the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is further than 35 miles (56km) from the sea, and the busy port of Halifax attracts more than 200,000 cruise ship passengers every year. The relatively small spit of land supports a vibrant musical culture, which includes the only symphony orchestra in Atlantic Canada, and a rich tradition of Scottish and Irish music.

The warm summers in Nova Scotia make it ideal for a range of outdoor activities, such as golf, sailing, zip lining, hiking, cycling, fishing, swimming and horseback riding. The winters are cold, and offer other pastimes like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Climate Info

The Nova Scotia climate is a continental one, tempered by the province's coastal location, and the weather is often changeable from day to day. Summers tend to be warm, though short; winters are moderately cold; and autumn tends to be a lovely time of year as it is a long, mild season. Summer temperatures average around 70ºF (20ºC) with the coastal areas cooler than inland. Winter temperatures are modified by the Gulf Stream and snowfall is moderate, with more snow inland than on the coast. Fog is prevalent in late spring and early summer and the province receives plenty of rain.

Getting Around

Central Halifax can be covered on foot, but those who want to explore farther afield are advised to hire a car. Metro Transit does provide a bus service in the city and to surrounding areas, and runs passenger ferries from various terminals in the city. Free transfers are available from the ferry to the buses. Cabs can be hailed in the downtown area, and there are taxi ranks at the largest hotels and shopping centres.

Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

LocationThe airport is 17 miles (27km) north of Halifax.
Time DifferenceGMT -4 (GMT -3 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).

Tel: +1 (902) 873 4422.

Getting to city

An airport shuttle service serves the main hotels in the metro area, and a variety of other bus services connect to various destinations in the region. Taxis are available at the side of the road outside the airport building.

Car Rental

Several major car rental companies are represented at the airport: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National, Alamo, Thrifty, Dollar and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxi services are available curbside in the arrivals area.

Airport Facilities

There are a number of shops, restaurants and cafes at the airport, as well as duty-free shopping, internet access and children's play areas. ATMs are available in Arrivals and Departures, and a currency exchange booth is available for international travellers. Tourist information is available in Arrivals. Disabled passengers are well catered for.

Car Parking

Short-term parking, charged at C$6 for the first hour and C$4 per hour therafter and is located in lots P1, P2, P3 and P4. Long-term parking is C$21 per day or C$105 per week at the daily parkade.



One of Halifax's military history heritage sites, the citadel was built between 1828 and 1856 and is regarded as a fine example of a bastioned fort of the 'smooth bore' era. It is built in a star-shaped design and features vaulted rooms, a dry defensive ditch, a musketry gallery, and off
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Citadel, Halifax ©drazz

Memory Lane Heritage Village

This site in Clam Harbour Road, Lake Charlotte, is community owned and operated and features 13 rescued and restored buildings that illustrate rural village life in Nova Scotia in the 1940s. The buildings include a general store, a one-room schoolhouse, church, homestead, barn, icehouse,
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Halifax International Busker Festival ©Heidi Maria

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

This museum has one of Canada's finest collections of both ship models and ship portraits, the world's largest collection of wooden artefacts from the Titanic, some rare and beautiful examples of unique Nova Scotian boatbuilding traditions in its small craft collection, and a collection
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Maritime Museum Boat Shed ©Dale Simonson

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