Nova Scotia Travel

The Best Day Tours from Halifax, Nova Scotia

May 6, 2022

Tourism in Nova Scotia in the Spring and Summer of 2022 is predicted to be huge. However due to the pandemic visitors to Nova Scotia might be limited with where they can visit. There is currently a worldwide rental car shortage. During the pandemic many rental car companies sold off their fleet as the cars weren’t being used. The pandemic however has created a shortage in car parts and computer chips. Now not only is it almost impossible to buy a new car as a consumer right now but car rental companies are having an impossible time refilling their fleets as well.

Before you plan your trip to Nova Scotia this year (2022) be sure the first thing you book is a rental car.

People visiting Nova Scotia this year by car will have no problems exploring our beautiful province. Whether they drive from New Brunswick and further or take the CAT ferry from Bar Habor, Maine or the ferries from PEI or Newfoundland. Aside from gas prices soaring Nova Scotia is open for you to explore. But if you fly into Halifax or take a cruise ship to visit Nova Scotia you are going to be limited with what you can see and explore.

Nova Scotia however is home to some great tour companies that operate day tours from Halifax. I have compiled a list of the best so you can hopefully still get to explore Nova Scotia even if you can’t find a rental car. Here are the best day tours from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

peggys cove at sunset image credit cailin oneil nova scotia explorer

Ambassatours Gray Line Day Tours from Halifax

Ambassatours Gray Line is the biggest tour company in Nova Scotia. They operate various harbour tours in Halifax, double decker bus tours and tour bus day tours. Whether you just want a tour around Halifax, you want to take a sail on the harbour or you want to visit Peggy’s Cove, then Ambassatours Gray Line has a trip for you.

If you want to get out of Halifax and you can’t book a rental car or you are visiting by cruise then be sure to check out the Ambassatours Peggys Cove Tour by Bus. This 3.5hr tour starts in downtown Halifax showing you some of the highlights of the city before taking you on a scenic coastal drive to this charming fishing village. While visiting Peggys Cove take pictures with the iconic lighthouse, visit some art galleries and a souvenir shop and take in the ocean breeze.

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lunenburg nova scotia at sunset from lightship brewing beer garden

Explore the South Shore on the Ambassatours Lunenburg & Mahone Bay Bus tours. This 6 hour tour takes you to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg where you can see the home of the Bluenose II, get a local guided tour or visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. If you have time be sure to also stop in to one of the great restaurants for some local fish and chips or a lobster roll. You will also get a chance to explore the colourful streets of Mahone Bay a great place to grab a quick bite to eat at a cafe like the Barn Coffee & Social House or do a little shopping. The colourful charming streets of each town and their laid back lifestyle will definitely entice you to want to visit again.

white wine grapes in wolfville nova scotia annapolis valley

Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours

Are you hoping to visit Nova Scotia’s gorgeous wine region in the Annapolis Valley? Then the Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours offer the tour you are looking for. Departing from downtown Halifax to Wolfville, Nova Scotia daily they offer a couple different Nova Scotian Wine Tour options.

The Grape Escapes Wine & Lunch Escape tour departs Halifax and is a 6hr tour where you visit three vineyards, learn all about our unique terroir, Tidal Bay wines and enjoy a delicious lunch experience. If you want a bit more of a fancy meal book their Wine & Gourmet Lunch Escape tours on Thursdays where you visit 3 vineyards but also enjoy a two course lunch wine/beer paired lunch at award winning restaurant Le Caveau.

USE CODE: NSExplorer for 10% their tours Monday to Friday.

If you are already in Wolfville then I also recommend the Magic Winery Bus for a great wine tour of the area. There are also many private guides in the area and many B&B’s offer their own wine tours as well.

INSPIRING CONTENT DESTINATION CAPE BRETON ASSOCIATION image credit tourism nova scotia photographer dean Casavechia
image credit Tourism Nova Scotia / photographer Dean Casavechia

Atlantic Tours & Travel Company

If you are looking to explore more of Nova Scotia then just a day tour from Halifax but can’t get a rental car then check out Atlantic Tours & Travel. With Atlantic Tours & Travel not only can you take a guided tour of Nova Scotia but they also offer tours throughout the maritime provinces. If you just want to explore parts of Nova Scotia however they have three Nova Scotia specific tours. Best of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia City Lights & Country Sights, and Cape Breton Highlands Hiking. There is even a Celtic Colours of Cape Breton tour offered on one day in October only during peek leaf peeping season in Cape Breton.

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These tours are more in depth than a day trip and have you touring the province for 3 – 6 days.

sable island horse with cruise ship off the coast of nova scotia image credit cailin oneil nova scotia explorer

Intrepid Travel Tours of Nova Scotia

If you want to tour Nova Scotia with one of the top names in travel around the world then I definitely recommend checking out the tours that Intrepid Travel offers. They offer two great multi-day bus tours of the province also including stops in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. They also offer an epic expedition cruise trip that takes you to some destinations that aren’t regularly visited like Nova Scotia’s Sable Island, or St. Pierre and Miquelon off of the south coast of Newfoundland. (That tour however starts and stops in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.)

maritime bus transportation service in nova scotia

Nova Scotian Provincial Shuttles

If you are looking for a way to commute between parts of Nova Scotia one of the preferred bus companies is the Maritime Bus Company. They can take you from Halifax to many different parts of the province via coach bus. Maritime Bus Company has about 34 destinations that they can take you to all around Nova Scotia. The bus can take you south to Lunenburg and Bridgewater or to New Minas and Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley. Or you can head north to Cape Breton and various stops along the way. Prices vary by destination and age.

If you are looking for a shuttle to other destinations in Nova Scotia, do a google search for the town and shuttle. There are often small business van companies that offer commuting options as well. For example Mariner Shuttle does daily trips between Halifax and Yarmouth.

ford suv in front of a purple house in lunenburg nova scotia

Car Share Companies in Nova Scotia

I have never used them personally but during this rental car shortage a lot of people have been recommending Turo. It is basically an airbnb service for cars. Anyone can rent out their car to anyone else. If you are stuck finding a rental car in Nova Scotia check out their site and you might just find what you need.


Hopefully the rental car shortage in Nova Scotia and around the world will be resolved in the next few months. Either way I hope you can enjoy exploring our beautiful province and these day tours from Halifax, Nova Scotia soon!


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