When you think of Ontario, you don't think of water the colour of Barbados, do you?? I had seen photos of Tobermory on Instagram and Facebook from friends who had been and thought "Okayyyyy how long did it take to edit THOSE photos? A little Valencia here, a little LO-Fi there and voila, I made my trip look like a cruise-ship stop!" SO, i obviously needed to investigate myself-I mean, if this really was true, and the colours were this beautiful, why have I not been here?
I convinced my boyfriend and two friends to make the 4 hour trip in ONE day, was was a little overachieving but it was a busy summer and there were no rooms available to book so last minute! <Side note: if you want to book a campsite/hotel/motel in this area, you need to book well in advance, due to the popularity of the area!>
We stopped off at St. Jacobs market in Woolwich, near Kitchener, which was on the way and got ourselves fresh meat, cheese and bread for a picnic-at least we were somewhat prepared for this journey!
We arrived in Tobermory just before 11, and headed to the Blue Heron Cruises tourist office to book our trip over to Flowerpot Island. If you are blessed enough to have your own boat, you can cruise across yourself, but those of us less fortunate need to hitch a ride on one of the boat tours, which costs around $40 per person round trip. You have to pick your departure time at the time of booking. We budgeted 3 hours, which gave us time to swim, cliff jump, hike and explore!
The boat tour takes you over these ship wrecks, which is pretty cool considering the water is so clear, you can see everything! From the ship wrecks, you continue over to the island. The tall pillars are the "flower pots" and how the island gets its name. When you get here, you are able to snorkel, jump off the cliffs, hike along the coast, take a dip in the cool water and my fave-take photos! On a sunny day, you could tell your friends you jetted over to Bermuda and they just may believe you! There IS camping on this island, but you would have to book that well in advance due to the fact that it is so amazingly beautiful!
The water was a littttttttttle chilly in July, so I didn't fully submerge myself, but my boyfriend was having the time of his life going off the rocks into the water-brought him back to our days in Croatia!
We caught our boat a few hours later and spent about an hour wandering the Tobermory marina. There were cute shops <where I got some adorable moccasins!> I also indulged in some Beavertails and fish and chips! There are a few restaurants along the water where you can take in the view!
From there, we drove to Cypress Lake for some hiking and grotto chillin' <and by chillin' i mean it was CHILLLLLYYYY!!! Like, literally i turned into an icicle after jumping in!> The 2nd parking lot was about a 45 minute hike to the picturesque grotto/beach. To get to the main grotto, you need to hike down these rocks, which was harder then it looked. My friend and I were scared for our lives, but then saw some elderly people/children down there and thought we should suck it up!
This grotto was pretty cool though- the water was glowing an emerald green colour. We did some cliff jumping into the water, but it was getting late, so we didn't stay too long-you could definitely spend an entire day here. There were a lot of campsites with great lake views. Next year, we are planning to book a Yurt here-it looks like glamified camping- thats more my style!
We finished our day watching the sunset over the Big Tub lighthouse, enjoying the rest of our picnic.
Overall- LOVED it here, the photos haven't been heavily edited, it really IS this beautiful! Bottom line- book your accommodations well in advance so you can spend an entire weekend here!