What Travel Writers Say

Red Cliffs and Sand Dunes

© by Jane Hastelow
Prince Edward Island

Photo Courtesy Of Natural Resources Canada

I have spent a lot of time on beaches; I even got married on a beach. In fact, there is nothing I enjoy more than the sound of the surf, the smell of the salty air, and the feeling of the sun soaking into my skin - picking my way along the pebbled beaches of Nice in the South of France, strolling on the pristine white sand shores of Negril in Jamaica, lounging on the black sand of volcanic Perissa in Santorini, Greece, and exploring the variegated shores of the Pacific in Vancouver Island.
     They are all beautiful, but here in tiny Prince Edward Island, Canada, I am spoiled. I can visit a different beach every day of the summer and still know that the following summer I could probably do the same again and not duplicate any one of those visits.
     This tiny Island is only 175 miles long and 40 miles wide, but it is blessed with a stunning shoreline that, in my opinion, is one of the best. It is uniquely diverse, offering the red-cliffed expanses of the South Shore, the golden dunes of the North Shore, and the pristine white sands of "down East."
     When I am feeling introspective and in need of some peace, I head for Canoe Cove or Argyle Shore on the Island's South Shore. There I can either sit with a book on the grassy cliff tops, or take a walk on the firm red sand, dipping my toes in the tranquil tide pools as I go. The water is warmer here than the North Shore, but I won't be swimming, because when the tide is out, it's out. The charm of these beaches is their gentleness; even the patterns of the sand are soothing. This is the perfect oasis after a day's work. The South Shore also boasts some rocky areas perfect for collecting sea glass and other treasures.
     On a hot, sticky, August afternoon, when I need a swim, the North Shore is my favourite. A short walk on the boardwalk over the dunes provides one with vast expanses of golden sand, and an ocean that has a little more life to it! Here, I can lie on the soft sand, listening to the sound of the waves, or go for a bracing swim. The water is not warm by tropical standards (Islanders are famous for saying "It's great once you're in"), but it is just what I need on a hot summers day.
     Cavendish is the better-known touristy beach of this shore, but there are so many lesser-visited gems. Try Rustico, Greenwich, Blooming Point or Dalvay for the same stunning experience, but with less people!
     When I really want that feeling of "being away," I'll make the trip "down East" to Red Point or the famous singing sands of Basin Head. These beaches are a marvel to me; they are, technically, on the South Shore of the Island, so they have the rugged red cliffs, but their sands are whiter and even more immaculate than those of the North Shore. The juxtaposition of the white and red provides the best of both, and it is worth the hour drive from Charlottetown. The surf is loud and raucous, and swimming in it is exhilarating. The scenery is stunning. Here, I feel like I am in a true tropical paradise.

Argyle Shore   Brackley, North Shore   Point Prim Collection   Dalvay, North Shore    Darnley   Point Prim, South Shore   Red Point Provincial Park   Twin Shores Campground, North Shore

     PEI beaches are clean, quiet, and dazzlingly beautiful, and unlike many other worldwide beaches I have visited, their allure is unmarred by surrounding development. This is pure, unaffected nature at its best.
     And yes, I got married, not in an overpriced, bustling resort, but on the romantic, unassuming shores of Prince Edward Island.

Photo Credits
Jane Hastelow

Jane Hastelow is a former high school English teacher currently working as a Secondary Curriculum Coach in PEI, Canada. She has a Masters in Communication Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, and loves to combine her love of writing with her love of travel.
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If you go
Confederation Bridge: http://www.confederationbridge.com/en/our_story.php
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Edward_Island
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Prince_Edward_Island
Tourism: http://www.tourismpei.com/index.php3
Singing Sands: http://www.canadacool.com/COOLFACTS/PEI/SingingSands.html
About.com: http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/provinces/p/peifacts.htm
Places of Worship: http://www.gov.pe.ca/infopei/index.php3?number=601&lang=E
Fiction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_of_Green_Gables

Travel Aid
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Maps (Google interactive map): http://maps.google.com/
Maps (Mapquest) U.S. & Canada: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp
Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Media Guide (local newspapers with current listings): http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/
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