Rugged beauty on Fogo Island, Newfoundland

Fogo island 4

Last summer I island hopped off the coast of Newfoundland.  Islands in Newfoundland?  a common reaction…..but, yes, there are quite a few of them, and they are stunningly beautiful, each one different than the last.

Fogo harbour

After flying into Gander, a short ferry ride from Farewell took us to  Fogo island, where the transition felt immediate.  Gorgeous rocky shorelines with slabs of granite meet the tumultuous  North Atlantic.


The island felt immediately secluded with rough beauty, incredible views, and like nowhere I had ever been before.  There were only a few shops and the ones that were there boasted fabulous coastal views.


Views and experiences on Fogo were made more dramatic by relentless heavy rain, and chilling temperatures  leaving me chilled to the bone . Did I mention I visited in July?

Studio across the marsh

walkway to art studio

Art studios are dotted around the coast, all part of  an arts initiative by local millionaire Zita Cobb, who returned to Fogo Island to invigorate the local economy.  Cobb’s vision for Fogo  was shaped by her travels through Africa.   When she  realized that her home island was suffering greatly with the decline of the fishing industry, she created the Shorefast Foundation, named after the lines that fix cod traps to the shore.

Studio on the rocks

One of the four new artist’s studios on Fogo Island is called Squish, meaning off-kilter. Built to host artists from Canada , the artists-in-residence programs are a major factor in the goals of the Shorefast Foundation. Zita knew that contemporary art was a part of the equation of connecting the community internationally.

Fogo island 3

Fogo IslandBrightly painted salt box homes and fishermen’s sheds are sprinkled throughout making any walk a colorful one, any questions filled in quickly with delightful stories by the friendly locals.

Fogo Island is a very special place , as is Newfoundland.  I can’t wait to return, for much longer next time.

If you go: Fly to Gander, rent a car and drive about 90 minutes to catch the ferry in Farewell, which takes about an hour to Fogo Island.  Local time can be confusing as the time difference is in ½ hour segments

Where to stay:  Quintals Guest House:  delightful, beautifully decorated, and cozy,

Make sure to eat at: Nicole’s Cafe, Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo, for locally inspired and scrumptious cuisine

More information, visit:, 1-888-489-2366


For more information on the art studios, and artist in residency program, Shorefast Foundation,; information on the Inn:

photos by Jeff Thomason



About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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