Labrador is a remote arctic land believed to have once been ruled by the Vikings, but adventure awaits those who dare to explore it.
Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the Maritime provinces of Canada. It is made up of two parts, the more populous island of Newfoundland, and the arctic and sparsely populated mainland of Labrador. Visiting Labrador is a life changing activity where one can truly enjoy the stunning natural beauty of this remote land.
It is a wild and untamed land that is harsh and menacing but majestic at the same time. A place where you can see polar bears, northern lights and many icebergs. This is where it is believed that the Normans or Vikings “discovered” America around 1000 AD.
About Labrador and its history
Although this is believed to be where the Normans landed in America, no Nordic remains have been found anywhere in the region. To the Vikings living in Greenland, they knew this area as Markland and the people who lived there were called “SkrÃ¦ling”.
- Vikings: The site of the fable of the Nordic landing in the Americas
It has long been inhabited by the local Innu and Inuit and they have been largely linked to the sea, depending on the sea for their food and sustenance. Labrador has been inhabited by the Innu and Inuit for thousands of years and they have a deep and spiritual relationship with the environment. In fact, the history of indigenous peoples dates back almost 9,000 years.
The first Europeans to arrive here in modern times were the Portuguese in 1499 and 1500. The name Labrador is believed to come from that early Portuguese explorer JoÃ£o Fernandes Lavrador.
- Province: Approximately 71% of the territory and only 6% of the population of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Indigenous Peoples : Inuit of Northern Nunatsiavut, Inuit-MÃ©tis of Southern NuntauKavut and Innu of Nitassinan
- Cut: 113,600 square miles or 294,300 square kilometers
- Population: 27,000 (approximately half of the indigenous populations and the other half are white)
- The largest colonies: Happy Valley – Goose Bay Pop. 8,100; Labrador City Pop. 7,200
Activities and attractions in Labrador
Labrador is a fisherman’s paradise as it is home to some of the best brook trout fisheries in the world and the visit can be massive. Trophy-sized catches can be expected. Other fish waiting to be caught are northern pike, whitefish, Atlantic salmon and large arctic char.
In the not-so-distant past, the southeastern part of the coast was filled with whaling and fishing industries – now they are teeming with many popular tourist destinations. The 16th century Basque Whaling Center at Red Red is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During the winter months, the Northern Lights dance and sparkle in the night sky, and many tourists come to enjoy the thrill of thunder under the Northern Lights on their snowmobiles. Other winter activities include skiing and ice fishing.
For accommodation in Labrador and Newfoundland, see here.
Some of the best sites in Labrador are:
- Torngat Mountains National Park
- Red Bay National Historic Site
- Battle port
- Forteau and L’Anse-Amour
Labrador is connected to mainland Canada by Highway 500 called the Trans-Labrador Highway. So unlike many other arctic regions, it is actually possible to drive here. It is connected to the island of Newfoundland by a ferry. There is a coastal road for part of its coastline and ferries for other parts.
- Access to Labrador: By Trans-Labrador Highway, by Air or Ferry from Newfoundland
One of the travel agencies operating in this inhospitable but dramatic region is Labrador Tower. They offer a range of sightseeing packages, fishing trips, lighthouse dinners and specialty tours.
- Battle port: A journey through time
This is one of their most exciting all inclusive tours and is ideal for those who want to get a feel for life in Labrador over the past 7,500 years. This package includes one night’s accommodation at the beautiful Point Amour Lighthouse and two nights at Battle Harbor. The tour includes a visit to the must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site of Red Bay and delicious food and hiking experiences.
- Duration: 4 days and 3 nights
- Season: Visits are from June 15 to September 15
- Price: Starting at $ 2,295 Canadian plus taxes or from $ 1,820 US (based on double occupancy)
One of the best ways to explore Labrador is to take an Arctic Expedition Cruise. These tours will often explore more than Labrador and often include more of the Canadian High Arctic and Alaska and Greenland. Here is a sample shipment.
- Duration: 15 days expedition
- Or: West coast of Greenland (including Nuuk), Greenland fjords, Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador, KakKauak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve, Newfoundland ending in St. John’s
- Wildlife: Spot polar bears, eagles, and many other types of marine life
- Vikings: Learn about the history of the Vikings wandering the fabulous wonders
- Raise: In northern Labrador with daily zodiac expeditions
- Cost: From $ 6,995
For more information, see Adventure life.
Next: How To Explore Beautiful Greenland And What To Expect
Visiting Canada for the first time? Here are some things you should know
About the Author