St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula

The “Narrows” entrance to St. John’s harbour and Signal Hill taken from the air looking north-west

The Avalon Peninsula & St. John’s Area

Welcome to the far east, where Newfoundland and North America begins. Where the sun shines first, at Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, just a few kilometres outside the historic, yet contemporary, capital city of St. John’s.

The Avalon Peninsula is not only scenically stunning, but it’s also a place full of natural wonders: icebergs drifting along coastlines, groups of whales frolicking, migratory seabirds nesting on cliffs, and caribou roaming.

As the oldest region to be settled, the Avalon is full of the legends, lore and history of the early adventurers who first laid claim to the New World. It’s home to bustling urban centres like St. John’s and Mount Pearl – cities perched on the edge of nature, surrounded by scenic beauty and wildlife.

From the downtown of St. John’s — a vibrant city embracing both the old world and the new, full of music, boutiques, art, culture, quirky architecture and scenic walks — to charming, historic, outport (small fishing village) communities gathered around its coast,  the Avalon has something to offer every traveller.

Map of the Avalon Peninsula

Colourful “Jelly-bean” Houses in St. John’s

It is a land of firsts. It was here Marconi ushered in the modern era of long-distance wireless communications by receiving the first transatlantic signal atop Signal Hill in 1901. And, of course it was here that the oldest city in North America, St. John’s, was founded.

The Avalon bears a fitting name, reminiscent of the legend and romanticism of King Arthur and his home at Avalon in southern England. It is also home to the East Coast Trail which, with hundreds of kilometres of scenic hikes, is perfect for exploring the stunning coastline. This is a place full of beauty, cultural depth and the rugged drama of a seafaring peninsula that has weathered trials, triumphs and everything in-between.