I am from Newfoundland and I am ashamed to say that while I have travelled many places around the world I have seen very little of Newfoundland. Two years ago we decided to spend at least a few days each year enjoying a staycation. This came after spending a few days exploring Bonavista and Trinity and remembering what a beautiful place it is where we live. Last week I actually booked this year’s staycation – Gros Morne. If you have been there please feel free to send me your recommendations!
Travel Guide: Fogo Island, Newfoundland
In 2017 we decided our staycation destination would be Fogo Island. Neither myself or Bruce had ever been there before. Also, there was a half marathon taking place there the first weekend in September that I wanted to run. So we checked out AirBnb, found a place to stay and planned our trip to an island off our island!
If you are headed to Fogo Island or Newfoundland in general be sure to pack for four seasons. The weather can change here in a second. We spent 3 nights on the island and that to me felt like enough time. There were a couple of hikes we planned to do and we didn’t. There is also a beach we drove by but didn’t check out because it was a little too cold. Other then that we felt like we saw everything we planned on seeing.
How To Get There
If you live in Newfoundland the obvious choice is to drive and take the ferry. If you don’t your options are to fly into St. John’s, drive about 5 hours and take the ferry OR fly into Gander, drive about 90 minutes and take the ferry. I have heard this year there will be flights from Gander to Fogo Island with the cost ranging $100 – $140. Based on my experience of the ferry I think that price may be worth it!
While the ferry operates on a schedule, the weather and the actual ferry breaking down seems to be an issue. Check out this facebook group for the latest updates on what is happening with the ferry. I suggest trying to get on the first run of the day whether you are coming or going. On the way over we accomplished this by getting up super early and leaving plenty of wiggle room to be there early. On the way home we arrived almost 2 hours before the ferry departed and we did not get onboard the first run. The other ferry was out of service so we ended up having to wait over 6 hours in line to get on the ferry which sucked. There is no food nearby and your car has to stay in line. Luckily we had food in the car so we didn’t starve to death but it is something to keep in mind for sure.
Where To Stay
We stayed at an Airbnb (use this link to save $45 off your first booking), that was fairly basic but clean and had a nice yet obstructed view of the location. This is the exact one. It was located in the Town of Fogo, if we went to Fogo again we would stay in Joe Batts Arm or Tilting – yes these are real town names! These towns are a little bigger with more amenities.
Things To Do
Drive Around The Island
Fogo Island is beautiful in a way that is completely different then the east coast of Newfoundland. Much of it is quite barren which I think is beautiful in it’s own way. You can drive from end to end on the island with time for stopping and taking pictures in a couple hours. I’d recommend doing so early in your trip to get a feel for the island. We even took our two year wedding anniversary photo on the island!
Hike To All The Art Studios
We love hiking so it was a no brainer that we would hike to see the four artist studios on the island. Some are easier to get to then others but I am happy to say we visited all four! Long and bridge studio are definitely the hardest to locate. All four are in beautiful picturesque areas and I would highly recommend checking them out. I used this guide to find them all.
Hike To One Of The Four Corners of the Flat Earth – Brimstone Head
We hiked Brimstone Head on our first full day, it is considered one of the four corners of the flat earth! Until my trip to Fogo Island I didn’t know that was actually a thing. Turns out it is and I was there and I didn’t fall off, madness! The hike is offers beautiful views and is fairly short but has lots of steep inclines. We do a lot of hiking, I would rate this one as easy if you are used to hiking. If not you may find the inclines challenging. Hiking boots are not needed.
Tour of The Inn
The Fogo Island Inn has truly revitalized this little fishing community. Rooms at the Inn start $1675 CAD per night, so needless to say I am not their target customer. David Letterman recently stayed here so it is a little out of my league! However, you can arrange a tour of the Inn in advance if you would like to see where the stars stay on Fogo Island.
Places To Eat
There aren’t a whole lot of options for restaurants in this small community but I do have a couple of recommendations. I also recommend getting an Airbnb or rental with a kitchen and cooking some of your own meals because there are so few options. We did this two nights while we were here and had lovely meals at home.
We had an amazing meal at Nicole’s Cafe. Everything was just superb! I can still taste the pasta it was so so so good, it was in a white cream sauce and had salt beef in it. If you aren’t from Newfoundland and you come here you need to try the Newfoundland delicacy of salt beef. It is terrible for you but tastes so good!
Growler’s Ice Cream
The ice cream here is so good we visited twice! Many of the ice creams here have a Newfoundland twist – we tried the Jam Jam and the partridgeberry ice cream. If you don’t know what a Jam Jam is, you truly haven’t lived! I always thought there was nothing better then a Jam Jam and a hot beverage until I tried a Jam Jam in Ice Cream.
We enjoyed our time on Fogo Island, it really is a gorgeous place to visit.
Planning a trip to Newfoundland? Check out my other posts on Newfoundland here. Feel free to drop me a line with any questions you may have!
Do you plan staycations? Where is your next trip?