Fogo Island, Canada

Photo: Fogo Island Inn
Photo: Fogo Island Inn

The alarm clock rings at 5:30 a.m. You wish you could stay curled up under your colorful quilt, but you force your feet to the cold ground. In the bathroom, you start to fill the tub with water, turn on the heated floor and heated towel rack, and pull back the curtain. It’s still gray outside. You really should be asleep. Instead, you slip into the warm water and stare out the window. Small waves lap against the craggy shore. It’s silent and peaceful. Slowly the sky starts to brighten to the east. Yellow and orange take over the gray. And the sun peaks up from the horizon. Newfoundland’s sunrise is worth the early morning wake-up call. Now go back to bed.

The next time you wake up–for real, this time–a daybreak box sits outside your door. It’s filled with warm scones, freshly squeezed orange juice, and hot coffee. Another wonderful way to wake up at the Fogo Island Inn. Sitting in a Bertha chair by the window, you sip your coffee and hope to spot humpback whales. Seagulls fly between lichen-covered rocks. And a single fishing boat glides through the water.

It was a long trip to reach the Isle of Fire off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. A few flights to Gander, a slow drive, a 45-minute ferry from Farewell, and another drive once you arrived on Fogo Island. But now you’re surrounded by stunning scenery, an inn whose staff anticipates your every need, and friendly locals who welcome curious tourists. Spend the day hiking to Burnt Point Lighthouse for amazing views. Watch eider ducks dive for mollusks in the frigid water at Sandy Cove Beach. Have a picnic on the stunning stretch of white sand–the inn’s chef put together cold prawn salad in a Mason jar and a Brie-and-kale sandwich before you left. And then hike to Brimstone Head, a short but steep coastal hike. On your way back to the inn, stop in Tilting, an Irish fishing community that was one of the first settlements in the area.

Photo: Fogo Island Inn
Photo: Fogo Island Inn

The strikingly modern Fogo Island Inn sits on stilt wood legs overlooking the North Atlantic. Houses on the island–never meant to be permanent–were built on these legs instead of heavy stone foundations. The traditional structure worked well for an inn trying to have a low impact on its surrounding environment.

A huge Newfoundland dog sits in front of the inn awaiting your return. Many guests are finishing afternoon tea, making it the perfect time for you to relax in the direct sunlight of a south-facing sauna or with the ocean views from the rooftop hot tub. You may just hang out here until sunset. You’re getting used to your skin pruning at dawn and dusk.

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