Two Days on Fogo Island

Why Fogo?

Fogo Island is an island off an island and considered one of the four corners of the world by the Flat Earth Society. While I don’t believe the earth is flat, you certainly can feel at the end of the world here with nothing but the rugged and wild Atlantic Ocean in view. We thought this spit of land in the middle of the ocean seemed like quite the adventure and we were gifted with two days of adventure. Puffins, incredible coastline hiking, charming communities and shockingly delicious dining in this remote locale!

Fogo Island Inn

Fogo has become a bit more famous of late, thanks in part to the Fogo Island Inn. The Fogo Island Inn is the brainchild of Zita Cobb. She and her brothers founded Shorefast, a Canadian charity. Shorefast in partnership with the Canadian and provincial government built the inn and the operating surpluses go back into the community. She is an eighth generation Newfoundlander who had tremendous success as a tech CEO and the inn was a way to give back and help revitalize the struggling cod fishing communities with the increasing commercialization of the fishing industry. Now the inn can boast that it is among the best in luxury properties in the world with visitors from all over the globe. She also founded Fogo Island Arts. In this venture, artists can apply for an artist in residency program where they can live in one of four artist studios located throughout the island. We made it a bit of a mission to find them all and they are sculptural masterpieces that exist entirely off the grid. Their architecture is contemporary yet they blend into the wild landscape beautifully and are utterly spectacular.
The Fogo Island Inn costs starts at 2000 USD per night for the smallest room so that wasn’t quite in our budget. They do offer tours and you can dine here for lunch though if you are curious for a peek inside. We instead opted for The Old Salt Box Co. They have 8 locations and we chose to stay in the house named Aunt Glady’s, a two bedroom cottage situated directly on the ocean. It had everything we needed including a full kitchen, grill and an enormous picture window looking directly out over the ocean for a cost of around 200 USD. It was perfectly peaceful to eat dinner on the picnic table alone on the ocean with nothing but birds and the sunset of brilliant shades of yellow, pink and orange ahead.
Trip Travel Details

Fogo Island

After our 7 hour ferry from Newfoundland, we drove from Port Aux Basques to Elliston

Stay Duration in Fogo

8 Days and 2 Nights

Ferry Time

Approximately 1 Hour Each Way

How Big is Fogo?

Fogo is 16 miles long and 9 miles wide - perfect to drive around in a couple of days

How to Get to Fogo

To get to Fogo Island, you take a small ferry leaving from Farewell. This ferry is situated in central Newfoundland about 5 hours from either coast (Gros Morne or St. John’s). We were arriving from Twillingate which is about an hour away. The Farewell Ferry is affordable at around 25 CAD for the car and driver and around 8-10 CAD for the other passenger. It departs on a schedule which you can find here: You’ll buy your tickets as you drive aboard, there are no advanced sales. The downside of this is that you may not make it on the ferry depending on how crowded it is. It holds around 60 cars and they do jam pack them! We arrived 60 or so minutes prior to departure and made it on without a problem, but there were cars that did not and were stuck sitting in their car until the next ferry about 2 hours later and there did not seem to be much around the ferry terminal. The ferry crossing itself takes about 50 minutes. We only had two nights on Fogo and i do think it is possible to see the majority of the sites in two days. Waiting for the ferry and the crossing does take some time so be sure to factor that in.

The Great Auk and Joe Batt's Arm

Day 1, we introduced ourselves to Fogo with a few short hikes. Joe Batt’s Arm is an easy, relatively flat coastline trail which we did in about an hour. Newfoundland is known for icebergs and whales in the late spring/early summer and you can try to spot them as you hike. Along this hike, you’ll come across one of the four artist studios, Long Studio. It’s jet black sleek construction sits on stilts on the rocks in front of the ocean. What a spectacular place for inspiration if you were an artist coming to stay here for a residency. We turned around at the bronze sculpture, The Great Auk, a now extinct bird that used to live on these shores. Interestingly, there is another Auk sculpture in Iceland near the last breeding colony of auks that faces this sculpture across the ocean.


From there, we headed to Tilting, a registered historic site where many traditional fishing villages exist along with a dose of Irish culture. The Irish dialect is prevalent here. When our captain to Little Fogo Island called several times to change the time, I struggled a little to understand. We did another quick hike here around Oliver’s Cove, another relatively flat 2.5 mile loop along the coastline. The hiking on Fogo is beautiful. As New Englanders, we are used to hiking in miles in the trees before getting above treelike and to the summit for views. Here, there is a view every step of the way.  We snuck in a visit to Squish Studio, another artist studio, en route to the Fogo Head Trail where you will ascend up many, many stairs to a high platform overlooking the whole coast. This is a really quick hike but it’s a stair master for 30 minutes up. We capped off the end of night 1 with a homemade dinner at our saltbox rental watching the sunset.

Little Fogo Islands

Day 2, started off with another short hike called Lions Den (there is so much hiking for a 16 x 9 mile island!), another coastline stunner. Our big adventure of the day though was a visit to Little Fogo Islands. Little Fogo Islands can be reached by boat from Fogo (an island off an island off an island?). We used Fogo Island Boat Tours which took about an hour and the captain brought the boat close to the Fogo Island Inn and the Great Auk statue for a different perspective from the water before heading out to Little Fogo Islands. This was a fantastic tour though i will say that the organization pre tour was…casual. We messaged the captain on facebook and had a date but no method of payment or time was communicated. The captain fortunately called the night before with a a time. My guess is that they were waiting on the guests of the Little Fogo Inn to decide on a departure time as my husband and me were the only non Inn guests. We still hadn’t paid when we finished the tour. We then discovered that he only accepted cash and he just told us to bring it to him whenever was convenient for us. That likely wouldn’t fly in the US!

Little Fogo Islands are a must do. In the summer, puffins breed here by the THOUSANDS. It was puffin mania and so incredible to see them basically surrounding the boat in droves. If you’ve read our Newfoundland Travel Guide Article, I adore these stocky little colorful birds. Little Fogo Islands are home to an abandoned fishing community and we docked there are explored for a bit. Some Fogo farmers bring their sheep here for ‘summer vacation’ so they can graze for a few months. There is also St. Anne’s Church built in 1867 which is a tiny wooden church with a gorgeous blue interior. One of the crew owned a cabin out here and the few abandoned cabins may be rebuilt in the future for rentals. For now, you must visit to wander these perfect islands before people arrive!

We capped off our final afternoon tracking down the final two artist studios, Bridge and Tower and getting some ice cream at Growlers. They are known for partridgeberry ice cream so that’s what we tried and it was worthy of the hype. Later that night, our final dining on Fogo was at the Bangbelly Cafe. This cafe opened in 2018 and you have to dine here. It is amazingly good. They have a small menu that changes, craft cocktails and decadent desserts. For our final night, we hiked a bit over a mile up and down the Brimstone Head hiking trail. This is another collection of stairs that just go up and up but it’s incredibly worthwhile as the panoramic view at the top for sunset is beautiful. This is also one of the four corners of the world according to the Flat Earth society.
In two days, I think we covered many of the highlights but you could easily spend more time here. Even though the Fogo Inn is sparking tourism, the island still feels untouched. Go for the rugged coastline hikes, whales and puffins, delicious dining and welcoming atmosphere.

Open Rhode Insider Tips

  1. You cannot buy tickets on the Farewell Ferry in advance so arrive early to wait in line (there is also a Facebook group, Fogo Island Ferry Updates, which sometimes has posts on how busy it is).
  2. Fogo Island describes itself as having 7 seasons so bring layers to prepare for any weather. We mostly encountered some very windy hiking sections.
  3. Make a reservation at Bangbelly Cafe and definitely splurge on some ice cream at Growlers. 
  4. We fueled the car before getting on the ferry so we didn’t have to worry about it on the island.