The Quebec Province will be the vacation destination for many Quebecers this summer! Here are my recommendations for enjoying Quebec this summer.
The year 2020 will have surprised many. Vacation planning is starting all over again for many of us. Certainly, we must mourn the loss of a project in which countless hours were invested and which animated us for several weeks, even months and perhaps even years.
Given the situation that continues in 2021, a large proportion of people will opt for summer vacations in Quebec. I wanted to write this article on the activities available here, to remind us all that Quebec is not a consolation prize, but a first-class vacation destination.
It’s all in the way you think of the journey.
Quebec is full of activities to satisfy even the most discerning and crazy! If you think about the summer of 2021 as you would a trip abroad, you open yourself up to all that our beautiful province has to offer.
The big question is: What usually motivates your travels?
- … or would you rather laze by the sea?
Quebec has the answer to your needs! Here we go!
Quebec for the adventurous
A former open pit mine converted to a recreation center, Morrison Quarry offers the opportunity to check out old mine structures and a variety of intentionally sunken wrecks in turquoise water.
Whether in Les Escoumins or in Havre-St-Pierre, several diving sites and companies offer you to observe a particularly diversified northern underwater fauna and flora, including feathery anemones.
A unique experience awaits divers who want to swim and play with seals at the Club Nautique de Percé. A half-day introductory activity is also offered for those who do not have their diving certificate.
A rock wall course combining a multitude of skills halfway between hiking and climbing. With 13 sites accessible in Quebec (Batiscan, Rawdon Tremblant, Saguenay, Charlevoix, Outaouais, Quebec, Laurentians), you can easily include one of the courses during your vacation, wherever it is.
For more information, visit the Via Ferrata Québec website.
Hang gliding & Paragliding
The company Vue du ciel offers introductory hang gliding and tandem paragliding flights departing from Mont St-Pierre, at an altitude of 430 meters, offering a breathtaking view of the majestic St-Lawrence River and the surrounding glacial valley.
Quebec for food lovers
Combining gastronomy and culture, several agrotourism sites in the Islands offer an economuseum or a guided tour to help you understand the products you taste.
This is the case with the Fumoir d’Antan, which tells the story of smoked herring in the region, and the Pied-de-vent cheese factory, which gives tours of their facilities and explains how the typicality of their land influences their cheeses.
Start the day with a stop at the Niemand Bakery for a breakfast pastry. Then, stop at the Mouton Blanc cheese factory to taste the famous “tomme du Kamouraska”. Third stop is at the Maison de la prune to taste jams and alcohol.
In the afternoon, stop at Jardins de la mer, which offers a range of edible products harvested by hand on the flats of the St. Lawrence. Then, head to the Pêcheries Ouellette’s artisanal smokehouse to taste smoked herring and sturgeon.
Quebec for the active
Little known only a few years ago, the craze for paddleboarding is now confirmed.
Dozens of companies now offer SUP (Stand up Paddle) rentals in almost every region of Quebec. In the Laurentians, the very dynamic Echo Aloha offers to deliver paddle boards wherever you are on the Laurentian territory.
In the Magdalen Islands, Cindy Hook offers paddleboard rentals, excursions and yoga on a board.
Stable boats in single or double, kayaking is a perfect activity for solitary or family outings.
It’s also available throughout Quebec, with a special mention for the outing organized by the Gros Cap Park in the Magdalen Islands, which explores the caves. Also for those who use the Saguenay Fjord site from the national park.
Closer to the major centres, the Cap-Rouge Marina water park in Quebec City offers a variety of multi-leisure activities that will please the whole family.
Kayaks, pedal boats, canoes, beach with swimming, fishing, hiking and a nice restaurant featuring local flavours.
Anticosti Island is still a little explored territory by Quebecers, but oh so grandiose.
Hikers will be spoiled for choice, but the best known and most popular trail is the Chute Vauréal. To reach the waterfall, which is 76 metres high, the route requires walking through a canyon with walls 90 metres high and 3 km long.
For experienced walkers, the Archipelago offers a signposted “Compostelle” trail, called “entre Vents et Marées” (between winds and tides), which runs around the main island as well as the Entrée Island for 230 km.
The idea is the same as the mythical path, where you have to stop at different checkpoints to get your walking passport stamped; here, it’s called the Louvoyeur’s passport, and certifies that you have indeed walked the Way.
The Véloroute des bleuets is 256 km long and passes through fifteen villages and a national park.
It is a major challenge for a bicycle touring trip. It is also possible to ride shorter segments according to your desires and physical condition.
The Beaulac-Garthby velorails offer a different kind of cycling experience. As the name suggests, the bikes are on rails and therefore offer 10 and 18 km routes bordered by a beautiful lake. A must-see!
The Diable vert offers the flying bike, a pioneer in the field of suspended bikes in Canada. This activity allows you to cross ravines, waterfalls and admire the Vermont mountains in the distance while pedaling suspended from century-old maple trees.
An unusual activity to try!
Quebec for contemplatives
Lac Faillon beach is a large stretch of white sand bordered by superior water quality. The mythical sunset depicted on the health insurance card was captured at this very spot.
Pointe-Taillon beach, in the Sépaq national park, offers 15 km of sandy shoreline to cool off on. Swimming is supervised in some places.
The beach at Carleton-sur-Mer is an open secret and for good reason: a calm and warm sea to relax in.
Bassin Beach may not be the prettiest beach in the Islands, but it is still unique because of its magnetic sand. To make children laugh, drag a (cow) magnet to collect magnetic sand, which will be attracted to the magnet as it passes. A simple activity for the little ones… while the parents relax.
You don’t have to go to Provence to admire the lavender fields: the season is in full swing from July to mid-August in Quebec, like at Bleu Lavande in Standstead.
Maison Lavande in St-Eustache suggests bringing your own picnic in the fields, so be sure to save room for the famous lavender frozen yogurt.
The Vieux Black Lake Lookout is an old mine with a quarry that fills with clear, turquoise water. This is one of the 12 stops on the mining circuit that traces the mining history of the Thetford region.
The Bonaventure River boasts some of the most crystal clear water in Quebec. The company Cime Aventure operates the site and offers self-guided or accompanied canoe, kayak and paddleboard excursions from a few hours to a few days.
The experience is worth it! The water is so clear that the boats seem to float in the air.
As the only non-Quebec activity listed, you shouldn’t miss out on the most impressive turquoise waters in Canada, just because they’re in Ontario.
The Bruce Peninsula, a Parks Canada territory 8 hours from Montreal, offers spectacular cliffs overlooking the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay. A paradise for hikers, non-motorized water sports enthusiasts and lovers of fascinating landscapes, this place can undoubtedly rival the cards of southern Portugal.
Luxurious lazing around
In Paspébiac, on the Gaspé coast, is the Auberge du Parc, a thalassotherapy center that offers body treatments based on sea products, promoting health, relaxation and escape.
A haven of peace, only 75 minutes from the Percé rock. You can go there by train to discover the route without hassle.
At the Auberge festive le Sea Shack, the focus shifts from campfire parties to outdoor documentaries, guest speakers with environmental topics and artists in residence.
A different and very interesting program.
Quebec for culture lovers
The old prison in Trois-Rivières offers an immersive experience in the life of prisoners of the time by featuring former inmates as guides. Forget Alcatraz, it’s in Trois-Rivières!
The visit to the historical monument can also be combined with a visit to the Pop Museum. The latter is currently showing Attache ta tuque, an incursion into Quebec popular culture, as well as Autour d’une broue, on the importance of beer in Quebec society.
The Mi-carême Museum, a tradition little known to younger generations, continues in the village of Fatima.
This festival combines costumes, music and joie de vivre. The visit allows you to immerse yourself in the festive spirit of Halloween with a religious foundation!
The Isle-aux-Grues museum exhibits the life of the islanders from yesterday to today. A large place is dedicated to the ice canoe, which was for a long time the only means of transport to reach the continent.
A section of the museum is also dedicated to the islander by adoption, Jean-Paul Riopelle, with a retrospective of his life.