Peggy’s Cove and the beautiful Nova Scotia shoreline

The day after we got an overload of colors at Lunenburg, we continued our sightseeing along the shores of Nova Scotia.  Our plan was to visit Peggy’s Cove, which is famous for its picturesque lighthouse.  Fortunately, we were tipped off to go there after 5:00pm, as busloads of tourists teem over the cove and lighthouse during the day.  So, instead we explored several towns and harbors along the southern and eastern shores of Nova Scotia.  Our drive to the southern shore took us through Mahoney Bay, where three beautiful churches – Anglican, Lutheran and United – caught our attention.

These three elegant churches can all be seen together along Mahoney Bay harbor.

Three Churches, Mahoney Bay
Three churches on Mahoney Bay.

While driving along we stumbled upon the two Swissair Flight 111 memorials.  Fifteen years ago, on Sept. 2, 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 229 on board.  Two memorials were established – one to the west of the crash site at Bayswater, where the remains of the crew and passengers are buried, and the other to the east at Whalesback, near Peggy’s Cove.  These locations were chosen for their proximity to the crash site, which is roughly equidistant off the shores of Whalesback and Bayswater, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s best beaches are located on the eastern shore.  We spent some time at one, Lawrencetown Beach.  We noted it was quite a hub of activity with surfers, swimmers and just gawkers like us.

Just one of the many beautiful harbors along the eastern shore.
Just one of many beautiful harbors along the eastern shore.

As the sun began to dip, we headed out to Peggy’s Cove.  When we heard the name of this place we imagined a large cove, but when we arrived we discovered that it’s a tiny (I mean really tiny) seaside town with a population of about fifty.  But because of its celebrated lighthouse and the quaint fishing village, it has become a popular tourist attraction.  The town and lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove are one of the most photographed locations in Canada.  As we walked around the village we saw hundreds of lobster traps, and boats with their fishing gear littering the docks.

Peggy's Cove Fishing Village
Peggy’s Cove fishing village

The rugged beauty of Peggy’s Cove is peppered with huge boulders called “erratics”, remnants left 10,000 years ago by receding glaciers.  Although this unique environment has been designated a preservation area, it is still an active fishing community.  It’s located about 30 minutes south of Halifax.

Peggy's Cove

The most famous resident in town was William deGarthe, a Finnish artist who carved a memorial, “A lasting monument to Nova Scotian fishermen.”  The 100 ft. granite outcrop depicts St. Michael and 32 fishermen with their wives and children, enveloped by the wings of St. Elmo, the patron saint of sailors – as well as the legendary Peggy.  deGarthe began the sculpture at age 70 and took 6 years to complete it.

William deGarthe
Granite outcrop chiseled as a memorial.
William deGarthe
How to interpret the sculpture above

But the centerpiece of Peggy’s Cove is the iconic white and red beacon lighthouse perched atop the rugged granite rocks.  It is located on a rocky headland at the end of Peggy’s Point Road.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse

This well-known lighthouse, officially known as Peggy’s Point Light, was built in 1914 and is 44 ft. tall.  The octagonal concrete structure overlooks the mouth of St. Margaret’s Bay.  Between 1975 and 2009, the ground floor of this lighthouse operated as a post office where visitors could mail their postcards in the summer months – the only lighthouse post office in North America at the time.  While the post office is no longer there, the image of this famous lighthouse on top of the giant rocks with the crashing sea waves is considered just as beautiful as it has been for almost a century.

Peggy's Point Light
Iconic red and white Peggy’s Point Light.
Granite Rocks at Peggy's Cove
The lighthouse sits on these granite rocks.

Since many visitors aren’t sensible enough to move away from the lighthouse at sunset so the dozens of photographers can get a good shot, I tried to work around them to get a decent shot as the sun hid behind the horizon.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Visitor’s group picture at the lighthouse.

Although there are many similar lighthouses in eastern Canada, this is a genuine star, picturesque and simply beautiful!

Peggy's Cove
Peggy’s Cove at dusk, with St. Margaret Bay in the foreground and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.




  1. I think those annoying visitor’s silhouettes look quite nice in your sunset shot – gives it perspective! Waiting until after 5 pm was still a good ploy. The evening light looks lovely in your photos.

  2. I agree…I hardly even sae the visitors…the lighthouse and sunset stole the show! You have a gift for capturing beautiful photos! We never made it to Peggy’s Cove. Thank you for sharing your photos. I do think the many harbors that are located in the Maritimes are beautiful…

    • Thank you Gay, you are so right about beautiful harbors here, cant stop snapping pictures. There were many photographers there jockeying for a good shot but that group really hang out there for a long time.

  3. Love the lighting in the fishing village photo….looks like a postcard. Glad to see you were still running around in shorts. Fall is in the air in the Rockies. Our southern migration isn’t far off. Welcome back to the states. I’m looking forward to some northeast fall colors.

  4. What a smart idea to wait til later in the day! Not only were the buses gone but you had a beautiful sunset. So glad you had nice weather. It was windy and cool the day we went. Not a fun place in the wind. You certainly did capture some wonderful shots!

  5. Lovely lovely photos and I agree with other commenters, those tourists huddling around the lighthouse did not detract at all from the stunning scene.

    • Hi Marcy, thank you for the nice comments. ML works long hours creating the posts but she seems to love it. I only have to edit them and add some spice to the story and I don’t mind, it keeps the memories fresh. Keep in touch! ~Steve

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