Day 1: Arrival in Montreal
Welcome to the largest city in the province of Quebec!
Nestled between the majestic St. Lawrence River and the triple peaked hill “Mont Royal” Montreal, Canada’s most cosmopolitan city, is waiting to greet you. From the amazing underground city centre to the top of the Olympic tower, the excitement is everywhere.
Explore lively Sainte-Catherine Street, or historic Old Montreal with the well-known Basilique Notre-Dame du Montréal.
Day 2: Montreal – Saint-Sauveur/Saint-Hippolyte (ca. 80 km)
The Laurentian Mountains are “Montreal’s Playground”for outdoor sport and feature activities and dining in a superb forest setting. You may wish to walk, hike, rent a bicycle or just enjoy the many hills, forests and lakes that nature has to offer.
Day 3: Saint-Sauveur – La Mauricie National Park (ca. 180 km)
Follow the shore of the St. Lawrence River through charming Quebecois communities or take the direct route through the region the Montréalais call “up north”, past lakeside cabins and resorts. A jewel of this region is La Mauricie National Park with its splendid forest trails and canoeing opportunities.
Day 4: La Mauricie National Park
A day of exploration in La Mauricie, a national park which preserves the best of the Laurentian hills. Canoeing and hiking are good ways to enjoy the park, as are visiting the scenic viewpoints, or relaxing on a lake shore.
Day 5: La Mauricie National Park – Quebec City (ca.150 km)
Today, Canada’s most classical and historical city is welcoming you – Quebec City – the first in North America to be named a UNESCO world heritage site. Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, the city provides visitors with a wonderful blend of past and present.
Day 6: Quebec City
Quebec City’s cobblestone streets make an ideal setting for a walking tour to discover its beauty. Discover this charming city and walk alongside the majestic St. Lawrence River, one of Canada’s most important waterways. Explore the narrow streets of Old Quebec, the Upper and Lower towns, the Plains of Abraham, the National Assembly as well as the Parliament Building.
Day 7: Quebec City – La Baie/Chicoutimi (ca. 220 km)
Leave Quebec City and drive through the well-known Charlevoix area with its rolling terrain, headlands and bays. Today’s destination is the Saguenay Fjord which has a very high-flow rate and is partially bordered by steep cliffs associated with the Saguenay Graben. Tidal water flows upriver as far as Chicoutimi/La Baie and many Beluga whales breed in the cold waters at its mouth.
Day 8: La Baie/Chicoutimi
A highlight of your trip awaits you today: the unique Lac Saint Jean Region. Lac Saint-Jean is a large, relatively shallow lake in the Laurentian Highlands; it covers an area of about 1,003km2 and is 63 metres at its deepest point.
The area is known as the most impressive part of the Saguenay Region and a variety of outdoor activities are offered around the circular lake.
Day 9: La Baie/Chicoutimi – Tadoussac (ca. 150 km)
Today, you may follow either shore of the Saguenay Fjord south to Tadoussac. Scenic viewpoints overlook the river mouth and the surrounding Charlevoix Mountains.
Situated at the confluence of the majestic Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence River, the village of Tadoussac is very popular for whale watching excursions.
Day 10: Tadoussac Area
Visit a replica of this post, the Saguenay Marine Park, or join an exciting whale watching tour in one of the world’s most beautiful bays (optional).
Day 11: Tadoussac – Baie Comeau/Matane (ca. 210 km)
Today follow the coast which gradually becomes more rugged as the St. Lawrence River valley enters the Gulf.
The route provides a dramatic view of the St. Lawrence River wilderness. Observe whales from the shore while a variety of seals and marine birds join in the show. The “Garden of the Glaciers” offers a unique multi-sensory experience that focuses on phenomena associated with the last ice age, climate change and the migration of the first peoples.
Depending on the ferry schedule overnight will be either in Baie Comeau or Matane.
Day 12: Baie-Comeau/Matane –Gaspé (ca. 300 km)
The Chic-Choc Mountains (hills which “rise up like a wall at the edge of the world”), have an ecology much like Canada’s North with moose and caribou. Forillon National Park preserves wild coastal landscapes and quiet fishing villages. In the afternoon you arrive at “land’s end” where you find the giant Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island, home to great seabird colonies.
Day 13: Gaspé
Further explore Forillon National Park, with its quaint fishing villages, hiking and cycling trails, and splendid views. Or visit Percé, with its famous pierced rock lying offshore, and Bonaventure Island, a famous nesting site for Gannets. An optional 1½ hour cruise takes you to the island.
Day 14: Percé/Gaspé – Bonaventure (ca. 200 km)
Your trip continues around the Gaspé Peninsula and you will have time to enjoy beautiful surroundings with magnificent sea and mountain scenery. Take the time to relax on a beach or to go for a short hike in the area.
Day 15: Bonaventure – Caraquet (ca. 240 km)
Drive along the north shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, one of the most beautiful bays in the world. You may also want to visit Miguasha Provincial Park which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1999 in recognition of its wealth of fossils. On leaving the Gaspé Peninsula, another French experience is just around the corner: l’Acadie and the Acadian coastline.
Day 16: Caraquet
Take a day to explore the picturesque town that is unofficially called Acadia’s capital by its residents. Caraquet hosts the annual Acadian Festival which takes place in the month of August. You may also want to visit the Village Historique Acadien, a historical reconstruction which portrays the way of life of Acadians in the 18th and 19th century.
Day 17: Caraquet – Miramichi (ca. 145 km)
Follow the Miramichi – Canada’s most famous Atlantic salmon river. This modern road tracks an old lumberjack route through the forested heart of New Brunswick – explore the old wood covered bridges that cross the river.
Day 18: Miramichi – Saint-Jacques (ca. 310 km)
Today you will cross Northern New Brunswick to make your way back close to the border of Quebec. Pass by the agro-industrial town of Grand Falls (French: Grand- Sault) which was named after the largest waterfall east of Niagara Falls, dropping from a height of 23 meters.
Day 19: Saint-Jacques – Chaudière-Appalaches (ca. 230 km)
Continue eastbound to the district of Chaudière-Appalaches, a gentle land of rolling woodlands and old farms in the river valleys. In the spring and fall, huge flocks of migrating snow geese visit the coast; while inland you can visit a “sugar shack” where original Canadian maple syrup is made.
Day 20: Chaudière-Appalaches – Montreal (ca. 350 km)
After breakfast, journey back to Montreal,the second largest French speaking city in the world.
Enjoy a final night in the captivating metropolis and savour the French-Canadian flair which you will never forget!
Day 21: Departure
Today you journey to Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport for your departure.