Overview

Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge © Nicolas Raymond

Known as the birthplace of the Canadian Confederation and often referred to as the 'Garden of the Gulf', Prince Edward Island is situated on the east coast of Canada and is the country's smallest province.

Next to agriculture, tourism is the province's largest industry and visitors flock to visit the home of Anne of Green Gables, the beloved novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which was inspired by the island's landscape and people. One of the world's longest continuous multi-span bridges, the Confederation Bridge connects Prince Edward Island to the mainland at New Brunswick. Stretching over a body of shimmering ocean, the bridge is a spectacular point of arrival, although many still prefer to reach the island by ferry, which allows for a more leisurely approach.

With its distinctive red soil and diverse landscape, Prince Edward Island is both beautiful and captivating. The charming and compact capital, Charlottetown, proudly lays claim to its heritage as the birthplace of the Confederation, and boasts other popular attractions such as Founders Hall, the Confederation Centre of the Arts and Province House. There are plenty of other activities in Charlottetown too, and visitors can stroll along the historic waterfront boardwalks, shop or dine at Peake's Wharf or even enjoy a tour with historic reenactment group, the Confederation Players.

There is plenty to do on the rest of the island, from deep-sea fishing and windsurfing to golf, skiing and cycling. The north shore has a number of beautiful unspoilt beaches, such as Brackley Beach and Cavendish, both located in Prince Edward Island National Park. For the less active inclined, there are scenic drives, intriguing museums to visit and plenty of fine dining eateries. A particular delicacy is the island's famous shellfish, celebrated at the International Shellfish Festival in the Charlottetown Waterfront each September.

The landscape is diverse: rolling farmland contrasts with sand dunes and sandstone cliffs, while sandy beaches compete with evergreen forests and saltwater marshes, meaning there is always something new to explore. Although locals refer to those not born and bred on Prince Edward Island as being 'from away', they are always happy to welcome travellers to their picturesque province with a smile. And those who visit will certainly leave with one.