spa and wellness canada
NOVA SCOTIA SPAS & WELLNESS TRAVEL
The Atlantic Canada province of Nova Scotia, just 560 km (350 miles) long, boasts 5,400 lakes, six major rivers, 11 scenic routes and a coastline that stretches more than 7,360 km (4,600 miles.) Like neighbouring provinces, Nova Scotia is famous for its fresh local fish and seafood plus individual town have their own unique distinctions. The town of Digby, for instance, is known for its scallops.
The town of Oxford is the self-acclaimed Blueberry Capital of the World. There are also unique artist communities such as Bear River.
Things you should know before you go
SPAS IN NOVA SCOTIA
Fox Harbour Golf Resort & Spa (a 40-minute drive from Halifax)
Annapolis Valley Spa at Digby Pines, Eau Spa at the Old Orchard Inn, Spa at Oak Island Resort
Other spas in Nova Scotia
Articles Spirit Spa, Halifax
Things you should know before you go:
• No matter where you are in Nova Scotia, the coastline is never more than 56 km (35 miles) away.
• Nova Scotia offers a unique maritime culture with Celtic music, dramatic sea vistas and fishing villages serving up local catch of the day.
• It's the home of the renowned Cabot Trail - Canada's great ocean highway. Good to drive, hike or cycle.
• It's home to Lunenburg, a UESCO heritage site and famous for the Canadian tall-ship, the Bluenose II and Peggy's Cove, Canada's most famous fishing village. More on Lunenburg
• Bay of Fundy is where you'll see some of the highest tides in the world. - rising as high as 16 metres (54 feet).
FOX HARB'R GOLF RESORT & SPA
A gem of luxury on the shores of Northumberland Strait, this beautiful, 1,000 acres property is located about 40 minutes outside of Halifax and just 15 minutes from the village of Pugwash. Drive up to its immense rod iron gates and you know you've arrived at a unique destination. The spacious suites (all accommodations are suites and townhomes) property has lots of little indulgences including heated granite floors in the bathroom, private patios overlooking Northumberland Strait, high-speed Internet access, Judith Jackson bathroom amenities, complimentary bottled water, juice, tea and Tim Horton's coffee. Of course, it's Tim Horton's coffee. The owner of the resort is Ronald Joyce, former partner in the highly-successful roadside chain.
Open May to December 31, the resort offers a huge number of amenities and acitivites including golf, a fitness and aquatics centre, variety of fitness classes, tennis courts, sea kayaking, guided mountain bike tours. It even has its own executive airplanes and luxury cabin cruiser, and, one of the most upscales spas in the country. It offers eight treatment rooms, and no attention to detail has been spared. Luxuious robes, sandals that fit, a beautifully decorated lounge drenched in earth tones, even an ice-cream scoop to dish out exfoliation products. Yummy spa lunches (items such as chilled red pepper cucumber soup and grilled vegetables with goat cheese) are served on an inside deck overlooking the indoor pool. It's the best spa in Atlantic Canada.
ANNAPOLIS VALLEY SPAS
Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley is a fertile region known for its apple orchards, three of the province's premiere vineyards - Sainte Famille, Domaine de Grand Pré and Gaspereau Valleyits - and the famed Bay of Fundy tides that it shares with New Brunswick. At the centre of the valley is Berwick, the apple capital of Nova Scotia filled with acres of orchards that surround the town. The town of Digby is famous for its scallops which you’ll find on the menus of most of the town’s restaurants.
The Spa at Digby Pines
No surprise, apple treatments are the speciality at this Aveda spa located in its own building just steps from the Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa which overlooks the Bay of Fundy. It's a small spa - just three treatment rooms, a small lounge area, a small salon and esthetics area and a lovely deck (with whirlpool) overlooking the Annapolis Basin. One of the unique, sense-of-place touches that the spa offers is a milk-based footbath with real apples.
Eau Spa at the Old Orchard Inn
Eau Spa at the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville, is the first resort spa in the lovely Annapolis Valley. Eight generously-sized, multi-purpose treatment rooms are large enough for two treatment beds, and double as change rooms so guests can stay for more than one treatment and it's the therapists who move from room to room. There’s also a hydro therapy room with a Cleopatra tub. A relaxation lounge includes a small water feature. From the relaxation lounge spa guests can walk out to a garden patio. There’s also an indoor pool and beyond - an expansive view of the apple orchards of the Annapolis Valley. Fittingly, the Apple Blossom Facial using an apple mask from CA Botana is a signature treatment. The menu also includes more exotic treatments such as Raindrop Massage, Thai Yoga Massage and medi-spa treatments such as Botox injections and acupuncture. It’s also one of the few spas in Canada that is fully wheelchair accessible.
A classic inn with traditional decor, the Old Orchard Inn enjoys an enviable location in the scenic Annapolis Valley.
Oak Island Resort
The Spa at Oak Island Resort on Nova Scotia's Western Shore offers just six treatment rooms but the spa itself is spacious with bamboo floors throughout. There's a couples room with two treatment tables, whirlpool bath and corner shower. The Island Souffle Wrap using local sea salt and shea butter from Ontario is one of the signature treatments.
Oak Island Resort, situated on Nova Scotia's South Shore (in the town of Western Shore and less than an hour's drive from Halifax), overlooks beautiful Mahone Bay and has its own marina. The bay's more than 350 islands make it an idea spot for sea kayaking. The area is also great for cycling and hiking.
The town of Mahone Bay is a lovely little town on the shores of the bay that gives it its name. Read more
Take a walking tour of hilly Luxemburg, a World Heritage Site.
Fox Hill Cheese House
Other spas in Nova Scotia
Spirit Spa Halifax
Lunenburg Arms Hotel & Spa Lunenburg
Fox Hill Cheese House
A six generation dairy farm with 130 head of cattle and 140 acres of land produces 24 varieties of cheese plus two varieties of yogurt. Blueberry and Cranberry cheddars are the signature cheeses. They use “last night’s” and “the morning milk” to make “today’s cheese.” After that, depending on the variety the cheese is aged eight weeks to three months. Old is aged up to one year and longer. There’s a viewing window allowing visitors to watch when cheese is in production.
Set on the shores of lovely Mahone Bay, the town of Mahone Bay is an arts community with a collection of pretty, brightly-coloured Gingerbread Houses. Its box-of-crayon colours are reminiscent of the hues of the Salt Box houses of St. John's, Newfoundland, and the homes of coastal Main. Purple, turquoise, sage green and periwinkle blue mixed in with shops, cafes, antique stores and art galleries. The towns three churches are some of the most photographed in the country. One of our favourite Canadian towns for retail therapy, Mahone Bay just makes you feel happy.
A World Heritage Site, Lunenburg is a hilly, waterfront town great for taking a brisk walk to break up a long driving tour. Brightly-painted, cedar-shingle houses, New England-style architecture, a collection of colourful boats hugging the pier and a smattering of seafood restaurants are what you'll find. Expect to hear the lovely peel of church bells.
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BEAR RIVER: ARTIST COMMUNITY ON STILTS
Bear River a tiny artist community on Bear River close to Digby in Nova Scotia just five minutes off highway 101 is a bewitching little town with a Cape Cod feel. Hugging the shoreline, pretty ginger-bread houses painted in bright purple, turquoise, sage green and periwinkle blue sit on stilts to protect from the tides that rise and fall up to 30 feet twice daily. Some of the buildings house artist studios open to visitors. There are unique and interesting shops with catchy names such as Oddacity Designs, Flight of Fancy and Innocent Rose. There’s also a small Peace Garden and The Bear River First Nation Heritage & Cultural Centre. There’s a real community feel here. It may be the colours, the people, the shops and homes on stilts, but there is something about the town that just makes one feel happy. It’s a town with a special soul. Definately worth the five-minute drive off the highway.
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