Start in Québec City, the only fortified city in North America. The St. Lawrence River route occupies a good part of this journey and the forest, mountain and sea coast wilderness of the Gaspésie Peninsula provides an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Observe up-close an incredible variety of animal, bird and marine life in their own habitat – beaver, seal, cormorant, osprey, whale, even the possibility of getting close to bears. You’ll be charmed by Québec’s French heritage, outstanding food and the warmth of its people. Bienvenue to this province which is blessed with so many charms!
Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
July and August is warm and often humid during the day – can reach the 80s, although nights by the water or at higher altitudes are cooler. June and September are more comfortable or fresh during the day and sometimes cold at night. September is the best month for the foliage.
Arrive Quebec City and transfer to your hotel. Having prospered as a fur trade outpost in the early 1600’s, Quebec City now has a dynamic port, a thriving research and technology sector and is home to the Provincial Parliament. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner. CLARENDON HOTEL. (D)
Spend the morning walking in the old town, designated a UNESCO heritage site since 1985, and learning about Quebec history. Then, travel downstream along the St. Lawrence River toward the Charlevoix region, and stop in Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area for a visit of the interpretive center. Reach Baie-St-Paul, a small village that hosts artist galleries inspired from the beauty of Charlevoix landscape. Your home is a well-known Charlevoix landmark, a century-old Victorian dwelling in the heart of Baie-Saint-Paul. AUBERGE DE LA MUSE. (B)
Travel east to Saguenay and the small town of Tadoussac and cross by ferry the Saguenay Fjord for a first glimpse of the cliff. After lunch, board a Zodiac for a 3-hour whale watching cruise on the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord, an exceptional place to look for fin, blue, humpback and minke whales and seals. A small group of beluga whales also stays in this area year round. Check into your charming hotel sporting whitewashed walls, a red roof, maritime colors, supreme location and long history since 1864. HOTEL TADOUSSAC. (B,D)
Transfer to Cap de Bon-Désir Interpretive Center for a lecture by a marine biologist on the St. Lawrence marine wildlife – seals, whales, marine birds, and a diversity of underwater flora and fauna. The mix of salt and fresh water found here makes the St. Lawrence estuary one of the richest ecosystems on earth. It is also a great place to see whales and marine life from the shore: humpback and fin whales, grey and harbor seals and cormorant. After a picnic lunch, enjoy a private whale watching zodiac ride. HOTEL TADOUSSAC. (B,L,D)
Board a ferry and cross the St. Lawrence River to reach the south shore. During the next two days, participate in short hikes and look for wildlife and birds. Observe Québec’s three great members of the deer family, sharing the Lodge’s territory: moose, caribou and white-tailed deer. From Mount Jacques-Cartier, view different types of vegetation, from dense forest to tundra on mountain summits, and look for caribou and moose. Different types of birds of prey can be seen: eagles, buzzards, and falcons. Settle in at the heart of the park at a charming 4-star hotel, renowned for its hospitality, fine cuisine featuring regional delicacies, and unique scenery. GÎTE DU MONT ALBERT. (B,L; B,L,D)
Transfer along scenic bays and lighthouses on a panoramic route to Percé. Along the way, visit the marine museum of Exploramer, a scientific center that contributes to the quality and preservation of the St. Lawrence Gulf. Arrive Percé in time for a first glimpse of Roche Percé in the sunset. Ask any Quebecois what comes to mind when questioned about the Gaspé seacoast, and the reply will undoubtedly be: “Le Rocher Percé et l’île Bonaventure!” These are two wonderful places on the list tomorrow. Settle into the charming seaside hotel, offering spectacular views of Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island. HOTEL LE MIRAGE. (B,L,D)
Today take a short boat ride to Bonaventure Island, stopping along the way to circle the Roche Percé, the rock formation with its characteristic archway eroded by the sea. Once on the island, walk and visit the many different viewpoints, discovering the impressive numbers and varieties of sea birds nesting and living on this sanctuary, including a 200,000 Gannet colony. Spend most of the day on the island with a picnic lunch. Return to Percé by boat in the afternoon and explore the village of Bonaventure with its boutiques and local craft shops. HOTEL LE MIRAGE. (B,L)
The first national park in Quebec, Forillon is uniquely located where the remarkable Appalachian mountain chain, originating in the southern U.S., finally gives way to the Atlantic Ocean. For thousands of years the sea and wind have formed the huge cliffs and eroded the spectacular rocky bays and promontories which marked the first North American landfall for early seafarers from France. The park is a sanctuary to a variety of forest and mountain animals as well as coast-dwelling gannets, auks, cormorants and ospreys. Take part on an optional whale watching cruise to search for up to seven different types of whales and marine species who migrate to this area: blue, fin, humpback, minke and pilot whales, white-sided dolphin, and harbor porpoise. In the afternoon, an easy walk in the park provides you with more bird-watching… marine birds (Double-crested Cormorant, Kittiwake, and Guillemots) and forest birds (sparrows, warblers, jays, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel.) Also search for mammals such as black bears and foxes. HOTEL LE MIRAGE. (B,L,D)
Bid a sad farewell as you depart Gaspe for home. (B)
Transfer along the Baie des Chaleurs for a visit to the Historical Site of Banc-de-Peche-de-Paspeblac with lunch in Bonaventure. Enjoy a guided tour of Migusha National Park before transferring to Matapedia at the end of the day in time for dinner and boarding your overnight train to Montreal. Rise and shine for breakfast. Slowly you will see the country side changing into urban scenery as you roll into Montreal for two nights. Your guide will take you on a city discovery tour on foot. Check Montreal from up high by a nature walk on the Mont Royal, see Old Montreal, the Chinese district and downtown. Delectable French cuisine, beautiful sites and numerous activities make this an extension you must do!
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
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