Peggy's Cove tour

The best Peggy’s Cove tours for your 2023 vacation

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They say that Peggy’s Cove lighthouse may be the most photographed scene in Canada. It’s also one of the most popular destinations and Peggy’s Cove tours are high on most people’s vacation planning list.

Since arriving in our new Nova Scotia home in early 2020, Jackie and I have been touring the province learning about all it has to offer so we can share that with you. Peggy’s Cove lighthouse has been high on our touring list and we’ve visited several times already.

There’s something about the Peggy’s Cove experience that you’ll remember for years: the rugged rocky coastline, the swirling and crashing of the waves, the endless ocean background, the onshore breezes, and the lone century-old lighthouse that stands to defy nature and keep our seafarers safe.

And just a stone’s throw away is the classic picture-post-card fishing village of Peggy’s Cove with its colourful houses perched on a wave-washed and wind-swept Atlantic coastline.

It doesn’t get much better than this!

Peggy’s Cove tours are very popular but beware — most combine a visit to Peggy’s Cove with visits to other destinations. So if you’re interested in quality time at the lighthouse, our top-rated-list includes the estimated time each tour will give you at Peggy’s Cove to help you make a decision about which Peggy’s Cove tour is best for you.

Peggy's Cove tour

Our pick for the best Peggy’s Cove tour

Our pick is the Nova Scotia Day Tour because it includes Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and the Annapolis Valley and has a fantastic customer ratings record.

Key points to remember

  • Many of the Peggy’s Cove tours start and end in Halifax, which is good for tourists since the proximity of the international airport and the cruise-line docks make it convenient for them to make Halifax their home base. Being able to do the round trip from-and-back-to Halifax makes Nova Scotia destinations much more accessible to vacationers.
  • Most of these Peggy’s Cove tours cater to travelers arriving in cruise ships and some folks in your tour may be cruise line passengers. The schedules of the cruise lines tend to dictate the tour schedules as their passengers must be picked up and dropped off with precise timing. So if you see a Peggy’s Cove tour you’re interested in, book early to have the best chance of getting the dates you want and be considerate enough to watch the clock for tour start times and destination schedules.
  • IMPORTANT:  Once you’re at Peggy’s Cove, most people like to get close to the lighthouse by walking across the rocks (that’s us!). But be cautious and keep your distance from the crashing waves — they can easily catch you by surprise on the slippy rocks and sweep you off your feet.  The safe way to enjoy the view is to walk on the dry, white rocks and not on the dark slippy ones. Signs are posted to show you how far you can safely walk, so please heed them.

OK, with all that out of the way, let’s get to our list of top-rated Peggy’s Cove tours, starting with the Nova Scotia Day Tour, a great-value, full-day, multi-stop tour.  

#1 Nova Scotia Day Tour: Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and Annapolis Valley

▶︎ BOOK Nova Scotia Day Tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — with 144 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: approximately 8 hours, 45 minutes
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax (they’ll pick you up outside any accommodation on the Halifax Peninsula. But they are concerned about their schedule – so be there on time!)
  • Tour available: March through November

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? Billed as a relaxed day-long tour along the South Shore, this tour packs a lot into an almost 9-hour-day. Although they advertise no fixed schedule, the itinerary indicates you’ll have 45 minutes to explore Peggy’s Cove.

The rest of the day is filled with visits to Lunenburg, quick stops at Mahone Bay and Queensland Beach, and on to the Annapolis Valley for the Wolfville waterfront park and wine tastings at the Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards. Although it’s a busy day, you’ll see a lot of Nova Scotia’s natural beauty as well as the old and the new of the province.

The Nova Scotia Day Tour includes:

  • Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse – spend about 45 minutes at the lighthouse and stop in at the the Sou’Wester Gift & Restaurant.
  • Queensland Beach – about 10 minutes to dip your feet in the water.
  • Mahone Bay– a quick stop to snap a photo of the famed “Three Sisters” churches.
  • Lunenburg – a colourful historic fishing town that UNESCO designated as a world heritage site.
  • Wolfville Waterfront Park – spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy and sometimes wildlife.
  • Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards – be sure to ask your driver to stop here so you can taste our Nova Scotia wines (included in the cost of the tour).
  • Air-conditioned vehicle, hotel pickup, bikes available to use at the tour stops.
  • Small group (maximum of 7 travelers).

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“Peggy’s Cove is breath taking, a must see. Ian was an outstanding guide very personable, and very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this tour.”

— John (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#2 Peggy’s Cove, Mahone Bay, & Lunenburg tour

Peggy's Cove tour, Mahone Bay

▶︎ BOOK Peggy’s Cove, Mahone Bay, & Lunenburg tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — with 87 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: May through December

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? This 7-hour tour takes you to Peggy’s Cove for a full hour at the lighthouse. Next, you’ll move on to several other places on the South Shore’s “Lighthouse Route”: Chester, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg. Your knowledgeable guide will tell you when and why they were settled, about the history of the fisheries and ship building, the natural history of the Atlantic Coast, and much more.

The Peggy’s Cove, Mahone Bay, & Lunenburg tour includes:

  • Peggy’s Cove – scheduled for one hour at the lighthouse
  • Lunenburg – explore at your own pace or join our complimentary walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Mahone Bay – See the “Three Sisters” churches, the oldest gift show in Nova Scotia, and learn about the pirates.
  • Acadian Maple Products – stop by this quaint place for your authentic Nova Scotia Maple Syrup and souvenirs.
  • Small group (maximum of 7 travelers).

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“Our tour guide Jonathan was excellent! Super knowledgeable and entertaining. Peggys cove wasn’t too busy when we went (on a Sunday) which was great for photos. We had a lobster roll at Toms lobster shack in Peggys cove and it was SO delicious albeit a bit expensive (25$ per roll).

Lunenburg was beautiful as well and Jonathan was able to provide some great restaurant suggestions. We ate at Salt Shaker in Lunenburg and food was also great. Fish shack looked like they had good food as well. Not too much walking required for the day and you have free time to explore at each location. Overall super impressed with the tour and would definitely recommend!!”

— Jennifer (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#3 Half-Day Small-Group Tour of Nova Scotia’s South Shore

Peggy's Cove tour, Lunenburg

▶︎ BOOK Half-Day Small-Group Tour of Nova Scotia’s South Shore

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — with 29 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: about 6 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax (pick up at any downtown hotel. Cruise guests meet at Pier 22 parking lot)
  • Tour available: this tour is available all year round.

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? This is an ideal tour for people with limited time and an interest in Nova Scotia history and culture. You’ll be chauffeured in an air-conditioned wi-fi enabled vehicle by a knowledgeable guide. You’ll see Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay with up to nine other folks (maximum of 10 passengers).

Note that admission to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, one of the stops of the tour, is not included and will cost $10 ($8 for seniors). Also, parking at the pickup point (if you drive there) will cost $10 for the day.

The Half-Day Small-Group Tour of Nova Scotia’s South Shore tour includes:

  • Lunenburg – a quick look at the Bluenose Lodge, the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (the only intact 19th century academy building surviving in Nova Scotia), and the St. John’s Anglican Church (the first church built in Lunenburg),
  • The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg where you can see wharf-side vessels and a unique aquarium.
  • The famous Bluenose II, if its in port, is a replica of the original world-famous racing schooner that is on the back of the Canadian dime.
  • Mahone Bay – see the “Three Sisters” churches on the main street next to the harbour including St. James’ Anglican Church.
  • Peggy’s Cove – 30 minutes to explore the most famous of Nova Scotia’s 180-or-so lighthouses.

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“My husband and I had a wonderful time on the half-day tour of Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and Mahone Bay. Our guide, Paul, was very knowledgeable about each area and provided a fascinating history lesson of Halifax and the surrounding area. He picked us up at the hotel right on time and returned us to Halifax a little over six hours later.

The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove was an incredible sight, and we were allowed sufficient time to see it up close and go to the gift shop. We spent 1.5 hours in the picturesque town of Lunenburg, where we had lunch and explored this lovely town. Mahone Bay was our last stop before returning to Halifax; there we went inside a restored Anglican Church that was breathtaking. We highly recommend this tour with Paul as your guide!”

— Pamela (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#4 Peggy’s Cove & Halifax tour

▶︎ BOOK Peggy’s Cove & Halifax tour

  • RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars — with 12 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: approximately 4.5 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax
  • Tour available: May through December

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? This tour focuses on Halifax and Peggy’s Cove, so you’ll get to see some of the highlights of Nova Scotia’s historic port city as well as spending about an hour at the Peggy’s Cove community and the lighthouse.

The Peggy’s Cove & Halifax tour includes:

  • Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse – about an hour exploring the Peggy’s Cove community and the famous century-old lighthouse.
  • Halifax Citadel National Historic Site – the fully-restored 18th-century fort that the British used in its struggle with the French to lay claim to Atlantic Canada.
  • Fairview Lawn Cemetery – one of the three cemeteries in Halifax in which victims of the RMS Titanic are buried. 
  • Halifax Public Gardens – see the beautiful gardens, the second-oldest public garden in North America.
  • Acadian Maple Products – stop by this quaint place for your authentic Nova Scotia Maple Syrup and souvenirs.
  • SS Atlantic Heritage Park – time permitting, visit the scene of the worst Nova Scotia maritime disaster prior to the Titanic.

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“This trip was absolutely wonderful! The scenery was spectacular and it gave you a good feel of the Maritime region. But what made it so wonderful was our tour guide, Jonathan. The nicest, most patient tour guide I’ve ever encountered. Not only did he not rush us, he added some additional points of interest and made it a spectacular day. I would strong recommend Aberdeen Tours and most definitely request Jonathan!”

— Fred (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#5 Peggy’s Cove Express Tour

▶︎ BOOK Peggy’s Cove Express Tour

  • RATING: 4.8 out of 5 Stars — with 42 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Halifax. The air-conditioned Mercedes van will meet you at any hotel in the downtown area or at the docks for cruise line passengers.
  • Tour available: April through October

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? This tour is focused primarily on Peggy’s Cove and the lighthouse and you’ll get about two hours to explore the site. Ride in a high-end Mercedes van driven by a local knowledgeable guide to Peggy’s Cove, a picturesque fishing village and the century-old iconic lighthouse. The village offers unique shops you can explore and great spots at one of their benches to enjoy the stunning ocean views and a rugged rocky coastline. 

Note that food and drink is not included in the price of the tour and a bit of walking is involved to appreciate the full experience of Peggy’s Cove.

The Peggy’s Cove Express Tour includes:

  • Peggy’s Cove and lighthouse – about two hours to explore and enjoy the century-old lighthouse and shops in the Peggy’s Cove small community.
  • Sou’Wester Gift & Restaurant – dine in full view of the lighthouse and the ocean.
  • Scenic drive to and from Halifax – learn why Halifax is called “The City of Tree’s” and other tips and stories
  • Small group (maximum of 6 travelers).

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“Sarah was the best, we could listen to her as a podcast, super friendly. We went to Peggy’s Cove for an hour and a half and it was the perfect amount of time there. We visited the shops and tried chicken bone candies and moon mist ice cream, which is a nova scotia thing of banana, grape and bubblegum, its not actually gross. Ate a killer lobster roll and the entire surroundings are beautiful. Definitely recommend.”

— No name (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

#6 Halifax: Guided Halifax Tour and Peggy’s Cove Visit

Peggy's Cove tour

▶︎ BOOK Guided Halifax Tour and Peggy’s Cove Visit

  • RATING: 4.6 out of 5 Stars — with 42 reviews.
  • TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours
  • Starts and ends at: Pickup & drop-off from any hotel in the downtown Halifax area
  • Tour available: This tour operates year-round.

Why choose this Peggy’s Cove tour? This tour combines the beauty of Peggy’s Cove with the history of Halifax and the Halifax Citadel. If your time is short, you’ll only need to allocate a half-day to see two of the most iconic sights in Nova Scotia with access to knowledgeable experienced guides throughout the day.

The Guided Halifax Tour and Peggy’s Cove Visit includes:

  • Peggy’s Cove – after the 45-minute drive in the air-conditioned Mercedes van, you’ll spend about 30 minutes exploring the century old iconic Nova Scotia lighthouse.
  • The Halifax Citadel – you’ll spend about 45 minutes on a guided tour of the perfectly restored 18th century British fort, which was built to protect Halifax harbour.
  • A quick tour of Halifax landmarks – Drive-by or short stops at the Titanic Cemetery, the City Gardens, Pier 21, and the Halifax Farmers Market.
  • Small group (maximum of 7 travelers)

What past Peggy’s Cove tour guests have said:

“It was just what I was looking for. After spending the beginning of the week at a work function, I just wanted to relax and unwind before heading home to Ontario. I book a short tour out to Peggy’s Cove and a tour of the Citadel….it was fantastic. Will definately recommend.”

— Tammy (see more reviews)

▶︎ Check availability and prices now!

Our wrap-up: the best Peggy’s Cove tours

Gazing at Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is certainly peaceful for your soul: standing on the new viewing platform or on the rocks of the barren, rocky shoreline, and gazing at the 107-year-old lighthouse flanked by a seemingly endless Atlantic ocean just leaves you breathless.

And if you’re there in the evening, the spectral sunset behind the lighthouse just defies description.

For me, the best Peggy’s Cove tour is the Nova Scotia Day Tour. It comes out on top because it shows you a great cross-section of Nova Scotia scenery with Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, and the Annapolis Valley — and because it’s been enjoyed and highly rated by so many travelers in the past.

But that’s just me — be sure to read through all the top-rated Peggy’s Cove tours above to find the one that’s the best fit for you.

Here’s a few things to remember when planning for your trip to Peggy’s Cove:

  • First, Nova Scotia weather is changeable, and second, the temperature can change significantly between the city to the coast, so bring layered clothing that you can add or remove as the weather demands.
  • Nova Scotia’s natural beauty is second-to-none, so definitely bring your camera and/or binoculars. And don’t forget the memory card (something I’d do!).
  • Also, keep in mind that some of these Peggy’s Cove tours cater to passengers disembarking from cruise ships, which makes timing very important. So be sure to be on time to meet your group and also be sure to watch the clock at each stop along the way so the tour can get them back to the ship before it sails away!

Most of all, please enjoy your Peggy’s Cove tour and enjoy visiting Nova Scotia. People here are friendly and approachable and the natural beauty is breathtaking.

For more information on all of these locations, check out our South Shore Travel Guide.

Thanks for joining us on this new adventure! Got a question or a comment? Go to the comments page where you can find our email address and drop us a line.

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