The comfort and services offered by each establishment is rated on a scale of 3, 4 or 5, depending on the type of accommodations. The ratings are identified by suns for bed and breakfasts and stars for all other types of lodging, including campgrounds, which are rated by the Conseil de développement du camping au Québec (Québec camping development council). Note that the meaning of the star classification systems varies depending on the type of establishment.
For more information about the meaning of the classification systems, visit:
Keep an eye out for the "Reservation" button appearing in the profiles of the tourist accommodation establishments featured on our website. This button will direct you to an online reservation form, which will make planning your vacation in Québec maritime that much easier.
To contact establishments that are not part of the online reservation program, fill out and email them the availability request form, which can also be found in the tourist accommodation profiles featured on our website.
The hottest months of the year are in the summer, in July, August and September, when temperatures fluctuate between 20°C (68°F) and 28°C (82°F), sometimes reaching as high as 35°C (95°F). Summer officially begins at the summer solstice on June 21 or 22.
The coldest months of the year are January and February, with average temperatures fluctuating between -6°C (21°F) and -19°C (-2°F). Winter officially begins at the winter solstice on December 21 or 22, although it usually snows before this date.
The weather has a profound effect on life in Québec maritime. Strongly influenced by the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, temperatures are often cooler in the summer and milder in the winter than they are in the southwest of the province. In addition, there is often a significant difference between the air temperature at sea versus the temperature on land, along the coast versus in the interior, and at low altitudes versus high altitudes. In other words, make sure you pack a good windbreaker for outdoor activities!
Finally, keep in mind that Québec maritime is a vast territory: temperatures often vary significantly from one region to the next. For up-to-date weather information, please consult The Weather Network.
A multitude of activities abound in the summer:
Once fall arrives, you will be enchanted by the striking colours of the leaves. This is the ideal season for trekking. To take full advantage of this season, cycle along the Petit Témis bike trail, hike part of the International Appalachian Trail or try your hand at wind sports in the Îles de la Madeleine. And don't forget to breathe in the crisp, fresh fall air!
In the winter, snowmobile along our 6000 kilometres (3750 miles) of trails, ski in the Chic-Choc Mountains or observe the baby seals on the fast ice surrounding the Îles de la Madeleine.
In the summer, pack light clothes as well as a windbreaker, several pairs of pants and a couple of warm sweaters. These will keep you comfortable during cooler nights or when participating in activities at sea or at altitude. Sandals and comfortable shoes (for hiking) are also recommended. The following is a more specific list of items to pack in the summer:
What to pack in the summer
Winter in Québec maritime is usually dry and not very windy. We recommend you pack a warm coat or snowsuit, lined boots, mittens, a winter hat and a scarf. The following is a more specific list of items to pack in the winter:
What to pack in the winter
Fall and spring are transitional seasons during which it is difficult to predict the weather. The days may be warm, but evenings and nights are usually fairly cool. A layered approach is recommended. Bring along warm clothing such as pants and sweaters, but also pack a few lighter clothes. A raincoat or windbreaker is also a must.
Please note that the program that allowed foreign visitors (non-residents of Canada) to apply for a GST refund for most goods purchased and for short-term accommodations has been discontinued. For more information, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Mon, Tue and Wed: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thu: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fri: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Note that banks do not close at lunchtime and almost all of them operate on-site bank machines that are open at all times.
Most bank machines are linked to the Cirrus, Plus System or Interac networks. Withdrawals are possible at any time, seven days a week. Foreign debit cards are generally accepted in bank machines; however, we recommend you check this before your departure.
Major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in most businesses.
Traveller's cheques are accepted in some hotels, restaurants and stores. However, as they are decreasing in popularity, we recommend you cash them at foreign exchange bureaus or banks.
If you speak French, you can appreciate the variety of local accents, which change from region to region and even from one village to the next.
Here are a few French words and expressions:
Public telephones and telephone booths can be found throughout Québec maritime. A local call costs $0.25 for an unlimited length of time.
For long-distance calls, we recommend you purchase a prepaid phone card. Cards are available in convenience stores, pharmacies and grocery stores at various prices, depending on your needs.
To make a long-distance call, you must first dial 1, followed by the three-digit area code (450, 514, 418, 819 or 438) and then the 7-digit number. Don't forget that all 1 800, 1 888, 1 877 and 1 866 numbers are toll free.
To place a call outside Canada, you must dial 011 (or 01, if you are using a prepaid phone card), followed by the relevant country code, then the city or area code and then the local number. To consult a list of country codes, visit the Bell Canada website.
For directory assistance, call 411 at any time. To reverse the charges or speak to an operator, dial 0.
You will find red mailboxes on the sidewalk in which you can mail your postcards and letters, as long as you have affixed sufficient postage.
Canada Post offices are generally open on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Postal outlets usually follow the hours of the businesses in which they are located.
Postal rates (excluding taxes) effective April 2010
(1st class letters and postcards under 30 grams)
Note that the taxes (GST and QST) will be added to these amounts.
The amount to tip taxi drivers, hairdressers, porters and bartenders is at your discretion.
Each region of Québec maritime has its own specialties. In hotels, inns and restaurants, our chefs will creatively outdo themselves to serve you fine regional cuisine featuring delicious and authentic products.
Bas-Saint-Laurent produces high-quality lamb that is served in the best restaurants of the province. Sample alcoholic beverages made of maple sap, which are perfect as an aperitif or after-dinner drink, during your visit to Domaine Acer, a maple economuseum. Bas-Saint-Laurent also offers traditionally crafted cheeses, sweets, breads, smoked fish and more! Visit www.saveursbsl.com (in French only) to find out more about local delicacies from this region.
Take advantage of your stay in Gaspésie to feast on fish and seafood! Whether you are savouring Atlantic salmon, sea urchin mousse, smoked or dry salted fish, shellfish or crustaceans, Gaspésie will charm you with its fine regional cuisine. During your visit to the legendary Percé Rock, stop to eat at the Maison du Pêcheur, which serves meals featuring local seafood and other delicacies such as fresh lobster and delicious goat cheese from the Ferme Chimo in Gaspé. Visit www.gaspesiegourmande.com to learn about the organizations that promote locally made products.
Unique wild berries such as cloudberries (also known as bakeapples) and lingonberries grow in Côte-Nord – Manicouagan and Côte-Nord – Duplessis. They are made into sauces and jellies, and served with the main dish or dessert. Côte-Nord also means fresh produce from the sea and the land: Atlantic salmon, brook trout, crab, shrimp, scallops, sea urchins, Stimpson's surf clams, as well as partridge, caribou, white-tailed deer and hare. Visit the Duplessis and Manicouagan websites for more information about the gastronomy of Québec's north shore region.
In the Îles de la Madeleine, seafood and fish are also featured: snow crab, scallops, blue mussels, clams and fresh fish of the day are given pride of place on our tables. During your stay, don't miss the dishes that are typical of the region such as pot-en-pot (pot pie), bouillabaisse, whelk, smoked fish, crab mousse, cod fish cakes, aspics and scallop coral. Finally, be sure to taste Pied-de-vent, a raw milk cheese with a flavour of the Islands. Stop at the Table des Roy or the P'tit Café, on Cap-aux-Meules Island, to discover typical Island cuisine. Visit the Îles de la Madeleine website for more information on Îles de la Madeleine regional specialties.
Most restaurants in Québec maritime have their own wine lists, but in some cases you can bring your own wine.
For a vast selection of wines, spirits and beers from around the world, stop in one of the outlets of the Société des alcools du Québec (Québec liquor board), also known as SAQs. Most SAQs are open every day, except holidays, during business hours.
Grocery stores, convenience stores and other food stores also sell alcoholic beverages, but their selections are more limited. However, their opening hours are usually longer than those of SAQ outlets. The sale of alcoholic products is prohibited before 8:00 a.m. and after 11:00 p.m. throughout the province of Québec.
The legal drinking age in the province of Québec is 18.
There are many friendly local bars and nightclubs in Québec maritime. Several feature local singers or bands, and all offer a great opportunity to meet local residents and immerse yourself in the region's culture.
Note that alcoholic beverages are sold in bars between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. and in taverns between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. You must be at least 18 years old to be admitted into these establishments. You may be asked for ID before being admitted.
As of June 2006, smoking is prohibited in public areas in Québec including in restaurants, bars, terraces, conference centres, shopping centres and taxis.
Hotels are still be able to reserve up to 40% of their rooms for smokers.
Note that you must be at least 18 years old to smoke legally in the province of Québec.