- North America
- South America
- Food & Drink
- Travel Photos
- Shows & Festivals
- Travel Tips
- Visit Toronto
Driving towards the 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours office I was filled with excitement. Being my second time in a helicopter I was not very nervous but I was thrilled to be going on a helicopter again only this time flying over 1000 Islands. I was confident this would be a memorable adventure.
The 1000 Islands has been one of my most anticipated destinations in Ontario. I’ve always wanted to learn about the history, as well as experiencing the beauty of the St. Lawrence River and its sheer number of wonderful vistas, which overlooks and beautifies neighbouring landscapes.
Ewelina from the 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours greeted me and my guests at the welcome lounge and instantly made any nerves disappear with her warmth and willingness to answer any questions we had about the flight. After a short briefing of the tour we were about to start we made our way out to the helipad.
In the helicopter, we were helped into our seats and handed a set of headphones so that we could communicate with each other and listen to the commentary from the pilot, and before I knew it we were climbing to fifteen hundred feet. I could feel the excitement and was instantly captivated by the beauty of the 1000 Islands that one can only appreciate from that altitude. I wanted to take it all in with my own set of eyes, but I also wanted to snap as many photos as possible. Believe me that even on a hazy day this helicopter tour is the perfect photographic occasion to capture the best panoramic views of the 1000 Islands.
We headed towards the most iconic landmark in the history of the 1000 Islands, Boldt Castle, all meanwhile listening to a personal narration of the region and the tragic love story behind the castle from our pilot.
Boldt Castle is one of the jewels of the 1000 Islands Region of New York State and a tragic love story. Like many of the mansions of “Millionaires Row,” the castle sits alone on its private island in the St. Lawrence Seaway overlooking Alexandria Bay, NY. Turn of the century hotelier George Boldt needed to build a monument to express the deep love he had for his wife Louise. He purchased Hart Island in New York’s 1000 Islands Region, re-named it “Heart Island,” altered the shoreline to resemble a heart, and started construction of a 100+ room castle estate to present to his wife on Valentine’s Day (also Louise’s birthday). Alas, it was not meant to be. Louise suddenly died and never received the gift; George abandoned the project, and never returned to Heart Island.
Today Boldt Castle is a tourist attraction in the 100 Islands region and is accessible by ferry, private boat or by tour boat and most of the grounds and buildings can be explored by the public for a fee. But to me there is no better thrill than to be up in the air and at the same time have an incredible view of this enchanting property beneath me. Every spare second I had I spent taking photos as we flew over hundreds of charming cottages, some of them with their own lighthouse, beach area, and acres of delightful landscapes.
The flight also took us past The Thousand Islands Bridge, which looked stunning from the sky.
Seeing the 1000 Islands from the sky was a fantastic experience. Everyone felt safe the entire time knowing that we were in the capable hands of our very knowledgeable pilot.
With prices from $99 – $450 per person, a helicopter tour of 1000 Islands isn’t the cheapest way to go sightseeing but it’s definitely the most exciting way to see all the region’s landmarks in one go and get a bird’s eye view of this beautiful destination.
If the tour you wish to do isn’t on the list above that’s not a problem. 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours is confident that “If you can dream it we can build it“.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours. However, a positive review was not requested and all opinions and photos are my own.