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Canada land of adventure

Still a little-known corner of the world, Newfoundland and Labrador is very different from Canada's other Atlantic provinces—not just geographically but historically and culturally, as well.

The province's geographical isolation, at the northeastern most edge of North America, has helped forge its unique character. "The Rock," as it is aptly nicknamed, is a rocky island whose landscape, often very rugged, is so splendid that you can't help but stand back and marvel.

The west part of the island of Newfoundland is shaped by the ancient Long Range Mountains, the tail end of the Appalachians. Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers visitors a remarkable chance to explore these mountains, which in many places plunge straight into the limpid waters of deep fiords.

Farther north, toward L'Anse aux Meadows, the former site of a Viking camp, the road runs along flat and strikingly desolate coastal landscapes. Elsewhere, lofty cliffs, pebble beaches and tiny fishing villages, known as outports, punctuate the shore, providing scenes of picturesque enchantment.

The capital of the province, St. John's, lies in a magnificent natural setting on the shores of a long harbour rimmed with high, rocky hills.

In addition to the island of Newfoundland, the province also includes Labrador covered with subarctic forests and tundra. Labrador, sparsely populated with just over 29,000 inhabitants, covers nearly 300,000km². Both the island of Newfoundland and Labrador, far off the beaten tourist track, offer outdoor enthusiasts countless opportunities to explore a rich wilderness. Without much difficulty, visitors can observe caribou and moose, colonies of puffins and gannets, and, from the coast, whales swimming about and icebergs slowly drifting by.

The official name of the province has recently been changed from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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