A Complete Guide to Fogo Island: 7 Amazing Facts

Fogo Island

Fogo Island, Newfoundland is undoubtedly among the most beautiful islands along a coast home to many others. Wild Fogo Island is a fantastic destination because it has stunning scenery, excellent hiking, icebergs, a surprising quantity of wildlife in the lap of nature (both on land and in the water), and some of the oddest claims of fame in all of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Guide to Fogo Island

Fogo island
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Fogo Island, which is approximately 25 km by 14 km in size, can be categorized as either fairly large or quite small when compared to the hundreds of rocky islets that are dispersed along the Newfoundland coast. Even though Fogo Island has only about 2,000 permanent residents

Additionally, Fogo is home to one of the “Flat Earth’s” four corners, in case you are still not entirely convinced by the whole solar system nonsense, which makes it reasonably significant.

It’s unclear how the Portuguese word “Fogo,” which means “fire,” select here. They don’t have any volcanoes, it doesn’t get very hot, and their fireplace business seems typical of a small, isolated island (i.e., basic). Most likely, sailors who noticed the resemblance to Fogo Island, Cape Verde, gave it that name. Or perhaps the term was just given to it because of an early fire gone awry.

Regardless of how it earned its name, Fogo Island is a hotbed of historical sites because it is the location of some of the country’s earliest European settlements. The island was first inhabited by native tribes, then fishermen, and finally by organized fisheries.

Over time, the island’s primary sources of food have changed from the cod fishing industry to crab & lobster. However, the nearby fish packing facility remains a vital employment source. Fogo Island has more recently developed into a hub for the arts, luring artists from around the globe who come for inspiration as well as the chance to work in stunning, remote studios. Read more to know additional information about Fogo island.

1. What Makes Fogo Island Unique?

Fogo Island is among the best spots in Canada to see icebergs, whales, and community hosts. It also has a rich Irish past among the first communities in North America, is quickly establishing itself as a well-known art destination, and is home to one of Canada’s most opulent hotels.

People from all around the world come here to enjoy themselves with their partners and families. The morning scenes make your day. It also happens to be Newfoundland’s largest secondary island, boasts stunning natural landscapes, and has a resident caribou population.

2. The Fogo Island’s Major Towns

Glass house at Fogo Island
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Around 750 people live in the town of Fogo, the island’s principal community hosts, by the standards of Fogo Island, nearly a metropolis. As early as the late 17th century, there was evidence of a fishery in the town, and by the 1720s, it had become a permanent settlement.

The activities on Fogo island were simply exploring the lovely harbour and taking one of the many pleasant treks that are located nearby (more on that later). But many of the town’s original structures are still standing today, so you may visit them to find out more about the region’s intriguing past. There are various historic buildings on Fogo island.

While the 1816 Bleak House Museum allows visitors to step inside the mansion of a wealthy local businessman named John Slade, Experience Fogo is filled with displays depicting daily life among early European settlers. There are various kinds of ads shot here.

The tenacious locals constructed a new Methodist Church after the first one was burned by the Huge Fire of Fogo in 1875. The Fogo island’s United Church then merged with the Newfoundland Methodist and United churches in 1925, changing its name.

The United Church Cultural Centre has now been reopened as a fascinating museum & art gallery after being eventually closed down in the 1990s.

One of the first wireless communication centers in Canada is honourably remembered by the 2007 Marconi Wireless Interpretation Centre. For many years, the area’s fisheries relied on the classic Marconi wireless station, which was built in 1911.

1. Seldom

Seldom and Little Seldom, a neighbouring smaller settlement, are just off the major road that connects Stag Harbour Ferry Terminal & the remainder of the island’s sea. Together, they are home to less than 500 people. The history of this place is very interesting. With beautiful harbours and stunning ocean vistas, they are equally attractive locations for a quick stroll.

2. Tilting

Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada
source: Erick Mclean on Pexels

Small, atmospheric Tilting, with a relevant population of 250, has been named both a National Cultural District and a National Historic Site of Canada. This 18th-century Irish town, hidden on the extreme eastern side of Fogo Island, nonetheless firmly maintains its culture, traditions, and architectural style.

The Tilting Designated Heritage District, one of the first to be established in Newfoundland and Labrador, includes Tilting Harbour & Pigeon Island. While exploring Tilting’s calm alleys, traditional garden walks, and beautiful docks, you can also take a look at a broad array of historic structures.

Don’t forget to see Sandy Cove Beach, Old Irish Cemetery, Lane House Museum, and Dwyer Premises on Fogo island.

3. Joe Batt’s Arm

Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
source: By Shhewitt – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The somewhat surprise Joe Batt’s Arm, the other major settlement on the island, is about the same size as Fogo. The main concern, though, was whether there was any relationship between this picturesque small Newfoundland community and Jose Bautista’s eponymous “Joey Batt’s arm” moniker as a renowned Blue Jay. Most likely not; however, it might call for more research. It is a very short walk from the island.

Most guests arrive at Joe Batt’s Arm with the intention of hiking to the Great Auk monument, staying at the extravagant Fogo Island Inn, exploring the surrounding area to view Tower Studio, or visiting the distinctively English Brett House Museum.

3. Activities to do at Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island Inn
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Having gained a general understanding of the island’s towns, here are some additional suggestions for activities to do while visiting Fogo Island.

1. Visit the Special Art Studios

For a wide range of creative pursuits, the island offers an artist residency program for everyone from painters & sculptors to authors & directors to musicians & designers. Four distinctive wood studios were constructed in reasonably remote areas by Fogo Island Arts (FIA) in accordance with traditional island architecture styles.

They are accessible to candidates through the organization’s overseas residency program and are built to have the least amount of environmental impact possible using solar power, composting toilets, and wood stoves.

You are welcome to view the studios from the outside, even though they are private & not accessible to the general public, as long as you are careful not to go off the path. Among the sensitive natural surroundings and keep the frequency of window-gazing to that of a comparatively inept stalker.

Each of the 4 studios is situated in a stunning natural setting:

A. Studio Tower

Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Its quirky architecture and scenic setting in the midst of a marshy location just off Shoal Bay make it our personal favourite. From a little parking lot off the highway, it is a short, straightforward 5–10-minute stroll down a straightforward boardwalk.

B. Crossing Studio

This location, which is remote and overlooks a tiny lake, is about ten minute’s walk uphill from Deep Bay. It is simple to see how you can find inspiration there. It is simple to combine with a quick trip to the magnificent Deep Bay Lookout.

C. Studio Squish

Squish Studio
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Squish Studio has the coolest name and offers some pretty incredible beach views. It is situated just up the hill below Lane House Museum in Tilting.

It gets quite windy because there is nothing between it &, oh, possibly Iceland, but it is the studio that is closest to the relative comfort of town and gets the most wind.

D. Studio Long

The aptly called Long Studio, with its commanding location over Joe Batt’s Arm, is undoubtedly the largest of the four, though perhaps the least appealing. However, it adds another fascinating highlight to the hike to Joe Batt’s Arm.

2. View Whales and Icebergs

Whales and Icebergs
by Errin Casano on Pexels

The icebergs that travel south in the spring (probably to the Caribbean beaches) and the whale migration that passes by the entire coastline of Newfoundland & Labrador during the summer (perhaps to the major summer festivals of Labrador) are both famous. Additionally, Fogo Island, which protrudes significantly from the rest of Newfoundland and is a part of Iceberg Alley, is bound to get its fair share of sightings. You found all these at Fogo island inn.

The arrival of the icebergs typically begins in late April, but as it happened, we were fortunate to see a nice one just minutes after arriving on Fogo Island, right offshore in Island Harbour.

3. Notre Dame Bay


This is also situated on Fogo island. You may see the surroundings of Fogo island from Notre dame bay. Additionally, you can go to the Fogo Island Marine Observation Centre, which houses the Funk Island Great Auk Exhibit, the Cod Liver Oil Factory, and the Fishermen’s Union Trading Co. Museum from Notre dame bay. This multi-purpose building not only has one of the largest historical displays on Fogo Island, but it also provides a craft shop, picnic spots, wifi, public showers, and even acts as a dock for private yachts.

4. Take a Hike

Brimson head hike
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

There are a surprisingly large number of excellent treks on Fogo Island for such a small area. It is simple to get out with flat seaside hikes, short, steep climbs, expansive lookouts, and longer forest walks and start engaging on Fogo.

A. Brimstone Head Hike:

Distance- 1 km; 15 minutes; 50 meters of ascent

85m, 4 km, and 1.5 hours (continuing down along the coast)

Brimstone Head Hike

Very brief and somewhat steep, but the views from the top are just breathtaking. At the bottom, there is a sizable park with a campground and picnic area, as well as a long route that skirts the bay and passes via the deserted town of Simms Beach.

According to the prestigious Flat Earth Society, the rocky hill is also among the four “corners” of the flat earth, so be careful where you walk.

B. Hike to Fogo Head:

Distance- 4 km; 1.5 hours; 150 m

A pleasant, simple hike with magnificent sights.

Fogo Head Trail

Although it is somewhat exposed and can occasionally be windy, the views from the many viewing platforms are definitely worth it. There are three possible routes from the trailhead, which is close to Brimstone Head. You can trek up to the best vantage points and then return along the rocky path’s modest incline. Alternatively, you can begin or end along the road if you wish to make it a loop.

You will experience a more gentle rise and a wooden staircase descent if you hike the circle in the opposite direction. This is presumably the simplest approach. However, if you wish to skip the challenging part of the hike or have knee problems and prefer a more leisurely descent, You can begin along the road & complete the loop in the opposite direction.

C. Hike to Lion’s Den

Distance- 7 kilometres in 2 hours and 215 meters

Hike to Lion's Den

The Lion’s Den loop, which begins at the Marconi Radio Interpretation Centre, has the most variety and harsh landscape. It passes multiple ponds, the deserted settlements of Eastern Tickle & Lion’s Den, as well as hills, forests, and marshes.

There are many wonderful viewpoint locations with platforms that offer a variety of views, in addition to information panels that provide background as you go. Hike to Joe Batt’s Point

Distance- 5.5 kilometres, 1.5 hours, and 45 minutes

A traditional coastal stroll that begins at one of Newfoundland’s most picturesque ball diamonds. From there, you may enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean, Joe Batt’s Arm, & even the Fogo Island Inn across the water. Soon after passing Long Studio’s odd, elongated shape, a gorgeous bay with an apparent no-name green cottage, and finally arriving at the sculpture of the extinct Great Auk.

Thereafter, it appears as though you can go on to a lighthouse. It is probably about a kilometre away, and there is a sign indicating where the trail leads.

D. The Courting Trail

Distance- 1.5 kilometres; 30 minutes; 50 metres;

This easy hike up a rocky pathway and wooden stairs led to an overlook over Deep Bay, formerly known as the Deep Bay Footpath.

4. Accommodations on Fogo Island

Fogo Island Inn
Image by Erik Mclean from Pexels

The Fogo Island Inn is, without a doubt, the best spot to stay while you are there. The 29 guestrooms and suites at the Inn have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the ocean. Good furniture, shiny doors, big rooms, and wonderful services.

The rooms range in size from tiny rooms to large rooms; some include stoves that burn wood. The room provides a pleasant bed and breakfast ambiance with upscale facilities due to handmade comforters and wooden furnishings. All of these factors generate audience insights.

Experience is gained when staying at the Inn room. The costs include many excursions, a half-day Islands orientation with a local host, and all meals for two people. From June to September, a minimum stay of three nights is required. 15% of the lodging charge is donated to the Shore fast Organization to be used for investment in the local area.

5. Food Places on Fogo Island

Fogo Island’s cuisine reflects the regional customs of modern times. Islanders have to catch, hunt, farm, or forage for sustenance for hundreds of years. Naturally, there will be fish & seafood on the menu and some berries you might not be familiar with.

The jam produced from partridgeberries resembling cranberries or lingonberries and local ingredients is everyone’s favourite. Another well-liked local product is bakeapple, an orange berry similar to raspberries and not like an apple.

Go to the Fogo Island Inn for lunch if you have the chance for a unique local dining experience. If you make a reservation online well in advance, visitors who are not hotel guests are welcome to dine there. The fish and chips at Fogo Island eatery. Beaches Bar and Grill in Fogo Town and the Cod Jigger Restaurant on Highway 333 in the island’s center are both good options.

Bangbelly, a brand-new eatery, has received excellent reviews. The Town of Fogo Island is located at 41–42 Main Street. You should also check out Scoff Restaurant, which is well-regarded for its creative interpretation of regional food. It is located at 159 Main Road at Joe Batt’s Arm, close to the Fogo Island Inn.

6. The Best Time to go to Fogo Island

The summer, from roughly mid-June to mid-September, is the best time to visit Fogo Island. Even though the weather on Fogo Island can change quickly—from fog to sunshine on the same day—summer is the best time.

The ideal period to see icebergs is from mid-May to early June. If your chance is good, you could be able to witness both, perhaps as early as mid-June, since the whales often arrive at the end of June.

How to get around little Fogo Island

The majority of visitors rent automobiles and ride the ferry, as there are no public buses, taxis, or car rental agencies on Fogo Island. If you’re visiting Newfoundland and Labrador in the summer, Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism suggests Booking a rental car in advance is advised. Fogo Island Bus Tours also offers half-day and full-day tours, and they will pick you up from the ferry.

7. Seek out Wildlife on Fogo island

wildlife on fogo

As we previously indicated, the island is regularly visited by whales from June to October. You can view them from the shore or up close via the Fogo Island Boat Tours. Fogo Island has birds all year round, but from April to November, it transforms into a real twitcher’s paradise of migrating species, including puffins. There is also a big caribou population on Fogo Island, which is occasionally visible.

Final Note

Fogo Island is a stunning and unique location. It is the largest island in Newfoundland (apart from the main one, of course). Fogo is an outstanding destination on any Newfoundland itinerary thanks to its remarkably unspoiled natural areas, abundant flora & fauna, surprise art scene, ferry ride, and living history sites spread around the island. It’s better for you to come in early august. Fogo is famous for its regenerative tourism.

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