Labrador, is a rugged land of mystic, history and vast wilderness areas typified by clear air and pure water. A good tour start is at the southeast corner just across the Strait of Belle Isle from Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. A short ferry trip can be made departing from the Viking Trail community of St. Barbe to the Quebec town of Blanc Sablon, founded by the French in the early 1700s. Route 510 to Red Bay leads east and north through scenic fishing villages sprinkled with historic locations such as the 7500 year old native burial site at L'Anse-Amour. Many of these coastal towns were established as temporary summer fishing camps and were slowly settled permanently by people succumbing to the lure of the land. Trout and salmon fishing still abound in this massive land but make sure some insect spray is included in your arsenal of fishing lures!
The coast of Labrador can be viewed via two options by sea from June to September. Marine Atlantic operate a passenger and car ferry from Lewisporte, Newfoundland through to Goose Bay, a strategic air refuelling location during WWII. The ferry trip takes 33 hours one way and you can then drive westward from Happy Valley-Goose Bay along Route 500 to Quebec just past Labrador City. A second option is a coastal boat tour from Lewisporte to the northern Labrador community of Nain, a two week round trip because of stops at about 40 isolated communities along the way. At any point, one may see gigantic iceburgs, whales and a myriad of seabirds. The Gannet Islands Ecological Reserve is the largest razorbill colony in North America and a major breeding ground for murres, puffins and black-legged kittiwakes.
Viking sagas said to originate from early Norse explorers Thorvald Eiriksson and Thorfin Karlsefni permeate a sense of mystic and excitement throughout this rugged coast. If you travel inland past Northwest River to Goose Bay, be aware that this part of the world is a terrific winter holiday area. There is ice fishing, snowmobiling, tabogganing, cross-country skiing and also downhill skiing at Snow Goose and Smokey Mountains. When the ice and snow melts, thousands of pristine lakes and hundreds of clear water rivers teeming with fish will test your boating and angling skills!
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