Are you looking for some holiday inspiration? Head off to a destination that has been less explored for a unique travel experience. Sometimes, you have to take the road less travelled to create memories. From picturesque landscapes to fascinating geology, Bell Island, Newfoundland is a hidden gem for tourism and one of those offbeat destinations that’s worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.
Bell Island is a tiny remote island that spans across 6 miles in length and around 2 miles in width. Home to only three communities, this island is located off the Avalon Peninsula in Conception Bay. Home to less than three thousand inhabitants, this island is a hidden treasure located right off the coast from St Johns, Newfoundland. Named after a large bell-shaped rock off its west end, it was one of the world’s major iron-ore producers from 1895 to 1966.
Bell Island History
Bell Island is well known for its rich history and culture. Although it may seem like a small island, this destination has played a crucial role in writing history. On your visit, you’ll notice how little Bell Island still has a piece of Second World War history alive. Apart from that, listen to some of the most fascinating stories on how Bell Island became Canada’s longest continually operating mining project. Go on a mining museum tour with local guides, who will walk you through history. During your tour, they’ll also tell you stories about how miners risked their lives to supply the world markets with precious iron-ore. If you are a history buff, read more to find out some of the landmarks to explore.
Bell Island top tourist attractions
Embark on a ferry journey to Bell Island, where time stands still. Be mesmerized by the beauty of this island and natural landscapes on the very brink of discovery. Whether you are a history buff or a true adventurer, this glorious destination has something for every kind of traveller. Grebe’s Nest, Sacred Heart Grotto, Community Museum, Lighthouse, Seamen’s Memorial, Sunken Ore Wrecks and the Coastal Battery are some of the must-visit places here.
Eat like a local
When you are travelling to someplace new, ensure you try some local food. Apart from history and culture, Newfoundland has a unique food culture too. From baked apples to cod tongues, explore the local cuisine at some of the finest restaurants here. Set along the coastal side, Dicks’ fish and chips is an absolute favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. If you are looking for some delicious local baked goods, don’t forget to stop by the Bell Island Bakery too.
Bell Island events and festivities
Bell Island has a lot worth celebrating. As soon as summer starts, Bell Island hosts dozens of events and festivities every year. Bellefest on The Beach, Town Square Days, Music on Harry’s Lookout and Lobster boil are just some of the key celebrations you must be a part of. Take a look at some of the upcoming events and make a space for them in your travel itinerary.
Mysteries and supernatural stories
Bell Island celebrates the supernatural and unsolved mysteries. Travellers are always intrigued to know the fascinating legends, traditions, folklore, and superstitions of this island. Don’t forget to go on a guided “Ghosts of Bell Island” sunset walking tour to hear about the hair-raising stories from the locals themselves.
Enjoy a comfortable stay
Whether you are looking for vacation rentals, cottages or luxury stay options, Bell Island has plenty to offer. Some of the top-rated stays on TripAdvisor include Heather’s Haven Bed & Breakfast. That’s not all, Bell Island has no shortage of charming cottages and Airbnb‘s with scenic views. The locals are extremely welcoming, and you are sure to enjoy a comfortable stay on the island. So, stop dreaming of your fairytale getaway and get started with your booking now.
Know more about the communities
Bell Island is home to five communities – Wabana, Bickfordtown, Lance Cove, Parsonsville, and The Green. The largest of which is the incorporated town of Wabana, and their mine was one of the largest producers of iron ore in northeastern North America.
How to get there?
After a short drive from St. John’s to Portugal Cove, take a 30-minute ferry ride to Bell Island. Ferry service begins at 5:55 am every morning. As you approach the location, you’ll start noticing the steep cliffs and the great rock of Conception Bay. To explore the island, you could use the local taxi services, which are fairly affordable.