It’s not easy to get to Fogo Island in Newfoundland, but that is half the fun of the journey.
Fogo Island is the largest offshore island of Newfoundland and Labrador, with bright-colored houses, sea-cliff paths, and warm hospitality lining the coast in the most beautiful way. In Fogo, you’ll experience by strong creative traditions of music, dance, and storytelling – don’t be surprised if you get invited to a ‘shed’ party or a kitchen party; it’s a fun way to experience life like a local and the island’s love of folk and fiddle music.
Originally a fishing community, tourists are exploring Fogo, captivated by the remote, rugged and wild experience. Established in 2008, the Fogo Island Arts Collective attracts visitors to local exhibitions, museums and galleries. The island’s residency-based venue brings in contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, designers and curators from around the world.
Fogo Island Inn
Fogo has a long history, but in the last five years, it has become a luxury travel mecca with the opening of the $40M Fogo Island Inn by a former islander. The Inn is a not-for-profit enterprise; it gives jobs to locals and a reason for young people to stay on the island; profits go toward the Shorefast Foundation which is helping maintain and preserve the island’s environment, culture and traditions. The Fogo Island Inn was established in 2013 with innovative architecture- suites are supported by long stilts to minimize the building’s overall footprint. Each suite is designed to feature the island’s rich culture with an emphasis on locality. The Inn has been drawing tourists ever since to this remote corner of the earth.
Fogo Island Arts
Fogo is also a hub for artists with painters from across Canada and the U.S. making their home studios on the island. Local women will introduce you to the skills they have passed on through generations, such as quilting and food preservation. Fishing has always been the way of life for locals – you’ll see their colourful saltbox sheds dotted across the island. Fogo also has a network of hiking paths that take you along the coast to get you up close with the rocky coast. Every corner is stunning and like nothing you will see anywhere else in Canada.
Fogo Island is one of the first places along Iceberg Alley that you’ll see icebergs making their way from the Labrador Sea. Iceberg Alley stretches across the southeast coast of Newfoundland from Fogo Island, to Bonavista and Bay Bulls. The best time of year for Iceberg hunting is in the late-spring,/early-summer, around April/May, sometimes being delayed until May/June if the icebergs get locked up during their travels. In Fogo Island, the waters are usually still rough to get out in the water to see them when they first start to appear sometimes in May. But, no worries. The icebergs come so close to the shore. Combined with pack ice and bergy bits – it’s so incredible to witness that you’ll forget how cold it still is in the Newfoundland spring!
Check out this story by Jennifer Bain on top things to do in Fogo Island.