The outport of TWILLINGATE is one of the largest towns in northern Newfoundland, with over three thousand inhabitants and a rich history that goes back to the 1700s. Twillingate Island became the year-round headquarters of Poole-based merchant John Slade in 1750, after several decades of use by itinerant French fishermen, who gave the place its original name, “Toulinguet”, from an island back home in Brittany. Though it remains an old fishing village at heart, it’s far more developed than Fogo Island – several boat operators compete for tours of frolicking whales in summer and parades of towering icebergs in the spring. If you visit the town in September, you’ll be able to go berry-picking; thousands of bakeapples (cloudberries), partridgeberries and blueberries smother the slopes around the town.
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Between April and June, the myriad inlets near Twillingate can ensnare dozens of icebergs as they float down from the Arctic, though in these days of climate change it can be hard to predict their appearance. You won’t forget the experience if you do encounter one: tinted in shades of aquamarine and white by reflections from the sea and sun, they seem like otherworldly cathedrals of ice, which stand out brilliantly from the blue-green ocean and, if you’re particularly lucky, you might witness the moment when one of them rolls over and breaks apart, accompanied by a tremendous grating and wheezing and then an ear-ringing bang. You should also check out w icebergfinder.com for a heads-up on the latest berg activity. Several local companies offer iceberg-watching boat tours:
Iceberg Quest Pier 52 t 709 884 1888, w icebergquest.com. Daily departures at 9.30am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm ($50).
Twillingate Adventure Tours t 709 884 5999, w twillingateadventuretours.com. Mid-May to mid-Sept 3–4 daily; 2hr; $50.
Twillingate Island Boat Tours t 709 884 2242, w icebergtours.ca. Mid-May to Sept 3 daily; 2hr; $50.