A Travel Guide to the Fjords of Canada

Tadoussac fjord water

Fjords are long, narrow creeks with steep sides created by glacial erosion across successive ice ages. Canada has many breathtaking fjords to visit, distributed on the eastern, western and northern coasts of the country.

Some Canadian fjords serve a practical purpose, acting as commercial shipping lanes leading to the surrounding oceans, whilst the beauty of others attracts visitors from across the globe.

Tourists in Canada seeking the most stunning scenery and exceptional landscapes should certainly consider adding fjords to their Canadian travel itinerary.

Visitors can find information below about where and how to see the fjords in Canada as well as the best time to visit.

Where Are the Canadian Fjords Located?

Fjords can be found on the eastern, western and northern coasts of Canada. From British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, travelers at opposite ends of the country can visit these natural phenomena.

The lists below show just a few of the fjords located in various provinces of Canada followed by a more detailed look at one of the most noteworthy fjords in each region.

Fjords of British Columbia

British Columbia is home to the greatest number of fjords in the country. Just a few of the creeks which can be visited in this part of Canada are:

  • Alan Reach
  • Douglas Channel
  • Howe Sound
  • Indian Arm

From this list, Howe Sound deserves particular attention. This fjord is situated right by the city of Vancouver and, with green forests and high peaks, the scenery is truly breathtaking. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities including sailing, fishing, and diving at Howe Sound.

Location: West Vancouver north to Squamish

Closest international airport: Vancouver International Airport

What to do: Sailing, diving, camping, and hiking are popular activities.

Fjords of Newfoundland and Labrador

A selection of some of the most interesting fjords in the easternmost province of Canada are:

  • Nachvak Fjord
  • Western Brook Pond Fjord
  • Hebron Fjord
  • Telliaosilk Fjord

Western Brook Pond Fjord, with its breathtaking vistas, is a popular tourist attraction in Newfoundland and a great opportunity for hiking and scenic photographs.

Tour boats cross the lake here from June to mid-October and the water is in pristine condition.

Location: Gros Morne National Park

Closest international airport: St. John’s International Airport

What to do: Take a boat tour and explore the fjord from the water.

Fjords of Quebec

Tourists in Quebec can visit several fjords including Saguenay, one of the most well-known in the country.

  • Qanartalik Fjord
  • Fjord de Salluit
  • Fjord du Saguenay
  • Tursukattaq Fjord

Saguenay Fjord National Park has 3 areas: Baie-Éternité, Baie-de-Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Marguerite, each offering different landscapes and activities. This park is well equipped with visitor and discovery parks providing information about the area. Sea kayaking excursions and hiking trails are popular options for exploring the park.

There are various options for taking a cruise in Saguenay. Canadian cruises are a fantastic way to see the stunning natural landscapes up close with several different routes available.

Alternatively, Saguenay is perfectly suited to exploration by car. The Fjord Route takes drivers around the 105km long Saguenay Fjord, past the towering cliffs and toward some of the most charming villages in Quebec.

Lucky adventurers may even catch a glimpse of a whale. The driving route takes a day or 2 to complete.

Location: Saguenay Fjord National Park, Quebec

Closest international airport: Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

What to do: Day fishing, wildlife watching, and biking.

How to See the Canadian Fjords

To visit the Canadian fjords from overseas, identify the closest international airport to the area. Due to the remote location of many of the fjords, it is usually necessary to hire a car to reach the final destination.

Alternatively, some travelers opt for a Canadian cruise. Saguenay cruises in Quebec are highly recommended whilst cruises of western Canada are a great option for seeing the fjords of British Columbia.

What documents do I need to visit the fjords in Canada?

Foreign nationals intending to fly to Canada to visit the Canadian fjords should ensure they have all the necessary documentation including a valid passport and visa or Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) for Canada.

The ETA is required by citizens of visa-exempt countries, travelers should consult the Canadian eTA requirements to confirm eligibility.

The online application for the Canadian eTA takes just a few minutes to complete and, once approved, is automatically linked to the e-passport and the confirmation is sent via email to be printed at home.

The Canadian eTA is multi-entry and valid for 5 years, for a maximum stay of 6 months at a time.

Visa-exempt foreign nationals are not required to apply for an eTA if arriving by boat, including a cruise ship. However, an eTA should be applied for if flying into Canada to start the cruise at a Canadian port or transiting through a Canadian airport.

When to Visit the Canadian Fjords

Travelers should consider weather conditions in Canada when planning a trip to visit the fjords.

To enjoy the most pleasant conditions, it is generally recommended to visit in the summer months.

The weather is considered favorable in Saguenay from late June until mid-September when temperatures range from around 68ºF to 77ºF (20ºC to 25ºC) and evening temperatures rarely drop below 46ºF (8ºC).

Due to the remote and exposed nature of the fjords, visitors are not advised to go during the very cold winter months when temperatures drop well below freezing.

Regardless of the time of year, when visiting the fjords tourists should be prepared for rain and strong winds.