Immerse yourself in the history of Quebec and explore magnificent whale country in one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
Day 1 - Explore the historic district of Old Quebec
Day 2 - Visit Canada’s original immigrant quarantine station at Grosse Île
Day 3 - Spot belugas and minke whales in the St.Lawrence Marine Park
Day 4 - Go on a whale watching cruise in Tadoussac
Day 5 - Dive into an underwater oasis in Les Escoumins
Day 6 - Play low-tide hide-and-seek at Cap de Bon-Désir
Day 7 - Head home via the majestic St. Lawrence
545 km round trip from Quebec
Day 1 - Fortifications of Québec and Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux
Explore the jewel of this provincial capital! Start off by exploring the historic district of Old Quebec. Hear fascinating tales as you walk along the Fortifications of Québec ramparts with a Parks Canada guide, who will help you discover lesser known streetscapes and heritage of the Old Town. This destination is a reminder of the richness of the city's military past and takes us back to the French and British regimes when Quebec played a deciding role in the defence of the colony.
In the afternoon, explore the remains of Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux located below the Dufferin Terrace. Head down the stairs under the Lorne Kiosk and discover the rich history of this archaeological crypt. Marvel at more than 120 artifacts dating back to the time of Samuel de Champlain. Retrace more than 200 years of diplomatic history with the First Nations through relations with the Huron-Wendat Nation, learn more about the governors and Huron-Wendat diplomats, and find out about the alliances between these nations at the very place where decisions that left their mark on North America were made. Enjoy the river view as you cross Dufferin Terrace and don’t forget to take a family photo with a cannon and the famous Château Frontenac in the background!
Day 2 - Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site
Head to Berthier-sur-Mer and take a boat ride to explore Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial. Located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, Grosse Île was once the main gateway into Canada and served as a quarantine station for the port of Quebec. Follow in the footsteps of four million immigrants who made the long voyage across the Atlantic and reenact their arrival experience with Nurse Sarah Wade’s Medical Examination.
Explore the island’s rich Irish heritage, dive into the lives of villagers, workers, and immigrants, and discover the island’s history of scientific and medical advances as you surround yourself with moving stories and beautiful landscapes.
As you continue your journey, arrive at Rivière-du-Loup by day’s end. Follow the road along the river and discover some of Quebec’s most charming towns and make sure to grab a bite of some excellent local cuisine.
Day 3 - Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park
All aboard! Cross the majestic St. Lawrence River on the ferry from Rivière-du-Loup to Saint-Siméon. Begin your whale watching adventure at the Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre in Baie-Sainte-Catherine. Pack a picnic and spend the morning observing beluga whales and minke whales at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. Known for its natural passageway for beluga whales, this site has been integral in the research that contributed to the creation of Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and the protection of the endangered St. Lawrence beluga whale.
Day 4 - Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, Tadoussac
Slip on your windbreaker and hop aboard a whale watching cruise. Picture this: you’re gazing at the horizon when you hear a loud splash. A whale! You watch in awe as a whale breaches the surface, sending waves crashing all around.
In the afternoon, go for a relaxing stroll through Tadoussac, play on the beach, or find the perfect place to chill out as you explore the Pointe-de-l'Islet Trail. Make sure to keep an eye out for marine life and seabirds. Not tired yet? Explore the Fjord and go hiking in the tranquil Sainte-Marguerite Bay. Equipped with your backpacks or your bicycles, a 3-km trek will lead you to a panoramic lookout. Be patient, you might be lucky enough to spot some beluga whales.
Day 5 - Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, Les Escoumins
Make your way to the Marine Environment Discovery Centre where plenty of activities are presented throughout the week. Looking for an adventure? Head down to the dive base and explore the cold waters and the cool species that live in the St. Lawrence River. After listening to the safety instructions, slip into your wetsuit, flippers and snorkel. Get ready to submerge yourself and keep your eyes wide-open. Prefer scuba diving? Dive into an underwater oasis with an experienced guide. Considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in North America, the Escoumins sector will blow your mind!
Day 6 - Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, Les Bergeronnes
Play low-tide hide-and-seek at the Cap de Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre. In the company of an interpretive guide, look for crustaceans, molluscs and algae, feel the rough skin of a starfish and see a real live crab up close.
Head to the rocks at Cap de Bon-Désir, and see if you can observe all 14 species of whales, including the endangered St. Lawrence beluga or the blue whale, the largest marine mammal that has ever existed on the planet! Enjoy unforgettable moments and guaranteed thrills at this Marine Park!
Day 7 - Scenic drive to Quebec City
Head home via the riverside highway and cruise along the majestic St Lawrence, one of the most scenic drives in Quebec. Enjoy magnificent seascapes, mountain scenery and views of steep cliffs, riverside coves, country houses and quaint villages along this winding route.
Keep an eye out for the many lookout points with breathtaking views. As you cross through the beautiful Charlevoix Region, you'll want to make a pit stop to enjoy the picturesque town of Baie-Saint-Paul.
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