Fogo Island - A Paradise of Newfoundland Sights
By Corbin Fraser, IbackpackCanada.com
When most picture Newfoundland, pictures of colourful houses, scenic downtown vistas overlooking the St Johns harbour, and perhaps the blur that George Street leaves in most visitors minds, long after leaving. While St Johns is no doubt a beautiful city, it is such a small piece of the mosaic of sounds, cultures, and experiences that Newfoundland has to offer. You’d have to be crazy not to get out of town and see what else is out there. On my recent trip to Newfoundland this September, I was exposed to some of the most remote parts of Canada’s most easterly province. To say they were awe-inspiring might be the biggest understatement of the century.
The blowing wind cutting through sharp jagged rocks, a sea of colours overwhelming your vision as you strain to keep your eyes open at what is one of the most picturesque destinations in all of Newfoundland. This small rural island is home to some 2,500 residents, and due to its small size and seclusion from the rest of Newfoundland, their local culture and lifestyle has remained in tact. Ferry’s leave daily from Farewell. Be sure to take in the views from the upper deck of the Captain Earl W. Winsor. The comfort & views aboard this ferry are comparable to many cruise ships. So be sure to have you camera ready!
After an hour on the island, you’ll soon realize why Fogo Island is fast becoming one of the most sought after destinations in Newfoundland. Fogo Island is also famous for it’s appearance in the award winning Newfoundland & Labrador tourism videos, the rugged beauty of this island is simply astounding.
Fogo Island Artist in Residence Studios
Driving throughout the island, you may catch sight of a slab of architecture that you simply can’t quite figure out. It certainly isn’t historical, yet, it feels natural. It’s as if an alien life form dropped a monolith in the middle of the rugged outdoor beauty. You’ll find these strange buildings all over the island. No, you’re not in 2001: A Space Odyssey and no, you’re certainly not seeing things.
Zita Cobb, a self-made millionaire who came from Fogo Island, recently returned to her home to help encourage artists to continue their passion in whatever form of art that fancies them. Rather than simply creating a scholarship, she had these truly mind boggling artist retreats built throughout the island. Artists have the ability to work in what might be one of the most beautiful places on earth. This unique take on an artist-in-residence has sparked interest around the world, and Zita is being given praise for providing jobs, and giving people many reasons to return to Fogo Island.
A Hikers Island
If you fancy yourself an outdoorsy type of individual, Fogo Island can deliver. Between The Lions Den Trail, The Fogo Head Trail, The Brimstone Head Trail, or The Turpin’s Trail, there’s something for just about everyone. While the trails aren’t nearly as difficult as some you’ll find on the main island of Newfoundland, the scenic panoramas that each provides will surely explore your mind into thousands of pieces. Needless to say, bring a camera!
I’ve always heard that Newfoundlanders are some of the friendliest people in the world. The residents of Fogo Island hold true to that title and will go out of their way to ensure every CFA (Come from Away) feels at home. Sunsets, seafood, unique architecture, jawdropping landscapes, and a salty sea breeze – this island in Central Newfoundland is the epitome of Newfoundland culture.