Many visitors come to Newfoundland and Labrador to see whales, birds, icebergs, and other natural attractions. Because the best time for sightings, as well as the most favorable weather, is between June and September, summer is the busiest season. Winter is becoming more popular as more people discover good skiing on the west coast. Spring can be quite cool and foggy, but flowers start blooming at the end of May or beginning of June.
- high season: June to September
- low season: April to May
- shoulder season: October to March
In general, Newfoundland and Labrador experience unpredictable shifts in daily weather. For example, the same day can bring sunshine, howling winds, and downpours. Warm and sunny days are prevalent during the summer high season, with cool temperatures at night. Cooler temperatures continue through autumn as leaves change colors. Winter brings severe snowstorms and cold weather. However, this climate is suitable for skiing along the west coast.
The largest number of people visit from June through August to see the 2.5 million puffins nesting, the 60,000 pairs of gannet seabirds at Cape St. Mary's, the largest congregation of Humpback whales in the area, 10,000 year-old icebergs that drift south, and other natural sightings. February through March is a popular time for skiing. Numerous events also attract visitors year-round, including the George Street festival, the Royal St. John's Regatta, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk festival, the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival, the Stephenville Theatre festival, the Woody Point Literary festival, and the International Women's Film festival.
There is a possibility that accommodations and historical sites may close from October through June. Check in advance before making travel arrangements.
When to Save
High season is more expensive than the rest of the year, but room rates remain reasonable. The biggest cost can be transportation into the province, but carriers like CanJet and WestJet offer competitive prices.
When to Book
Book by April or May to ensure lodging during the summer high season, especially for hotels in the smaller ports where options are limited. Also reserve car rentals by April or May, as there can be a shortage of vehicles during the high season.
Information provided by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.