Why Visit PEI?
Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province, but still 400 kilometers from end to end, with lots of history and charm to explore. The coasts feature red cliffs, dunes, and sandy beaches. There are two ways to get to this idyllic island: a ferry from Nova Scotia or a bridge from New Brunswick.
The Trans-Canada Highway in PEI (highway #1) loops across the southern mid-section of the island, though with PEI’s size and leisurely pace, don’t expect a four-lane divided highway! The 12 kilometre bridge crossing from New Brunswick takes half an hour, and you only pay a toll when you leave the Island.
The PEI stretch of the Trans-Canada highway begins at the northern end of the new Confederation Bridge (at Borden-Carleton).
Highway 1 then snakes northeast toward the city of Charlottetown, meeting the sea again at Cherry Valley on beautiful Pownal Bay.
After crossing the bridge, the highway curves around Orwell Bay, heading south through several small towns, and ends at Wood Islands at the ferry dock.
To really enjoy the island, you have to leave the Trans-Canada and take to the narrow side roads that hug the coastline, winding through seaside resorts and villages, or meander through the countryside past extensive farmlands that grow the famous PEI potatoes.
From the bridge, you can take Highway 2 north to the Malpeque Bay area, through the pretty seaside town of Summerside, and then the North Cape peninsula.
You can take highway 2 all the way back, as it winds over 250 km through Charlottetown and to Souris and East Cape on the opposite end of the island. From Souris, you can catch a 134 km ferry to Iles des la Madelleines (Madgelan Islands), part of Quebec in the middle of the Gulf of St Lawrence.
TIP: The bridge toll is only paid on the way OFF the Island, so if you go east to west, you pay ferry + bridge toll, but if you travel west to east through PEI, you only pay the ferry toll.