St. Lawrence Road Trips

| 3 to 7 days |110 km (70 mi.) to 525 km (325 mi.) | from La Pocatière to Tadoussac

In the maritime regions of Québec, ferries serve as an extension of the road network. In addition to allowing you to visit both shores of the St. Lawrence without retracing your steps, they are a novel way to travel and offer unique perspectives on the surrounding scenery and marine mammals.

Four ferries link the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence in Eastern Québec. These sea routes increase your travel options. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose from the Escapade, Getaway, Discovery or Explorer itinerary.

Note: All of these routes can be explored in either direction, clockwise or counterclockwise.

Travel Itinerary

110 km (70 mi.) + 65 min by ferryEscapade – 3 days

La Pocatière – Rivière-du-Loup – Saint-Siméon – Tadoussac

The Escapade is ideal if you have relatively little time to spend in our regions. Take advantage of your stay in Bas-Saint-Laurent to discover the talent hidden in the coastal villages in the Kamouraska area. You can also head inland to enjoy a host of outdoor activities in Pohénégamook or spend some time in the Témiscouata area.

On foot or by bike, explore the beautiful scenery that surrounds the Petit Témis Interprovincial Linear Park.

In Rivière-du-Loup, many islands beckon. You can also opt for a whale-watching cruise with Croisières AML.

During the ferry crossing from Rivière-du-Loup to Saint-Siméon, keep your eyes peeled and you may spot seals or belugas! Note that reservation is required for groups and buses.

Once in Saint-Siméon, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, it is worth your while to drive to Tadoussac, which is only 40 kilometres (25 miles) east. Every year, this prime Côte-Nord destination welcomes tourists from all over the world, who come to observe the whales, explore the Saguenay Fjord by boat and enjoy the festive atmosphere found in one of Québec’s most beautiful villages.

150 km (95 mi.) + 90 min by ferryGetaway – 4 days

La Pocatière – Trois-Pistoles – Les Escoumins – Tadoussac

In addition to the activities suggested in the Escapade itinerary, here are our further recommendations.

While heading towards the ferry in Trois-Pistoles (reservation recommended in high season), be sure to visit Île Verte (Green Island)—the rural charm of this area will remind you of a bygone era. The island is home to Québec’s oldest lighthouse, built in 1809. If you are interested in historic buildings, be sure to visit the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Church, in Trois-Pistoles, which dominates the landscape for miles. Its composite-style architecture and sumptuous interior make it well worth a visit.

The stretch between Les Escoumins and Tadoussac on the north shore is one of the best areas to observe whales, either during a sea excursion or from land. Visit the interpretation sites of the Saguenay – St. Lawrence Marine Park as well as the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) to learn more about the whales of the St. Lawrence.

Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park is a great place to visit for fun outdoor activities: hiking, sea kayaking, wildlife observation and more. While in Sacré-Coeur, which is 18 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tadoussac, stop in at the Ferme 5 Étoiles Family Vacation Site to discover its many activities or go on a sea kayaking excursion on the majestic Saguenay Fjord.

275 km (170 mi.) + 60 min by ferryDiscovery – 5 days

La Pocatière – Rimouski – Forestville – Tadoussac

In addition to the activities suggested in the Escapade and Getaway itineraries, here are our further recommendations.

On the way to Rimouski, be sure to visit Bic National Park, which boasts magnificent coastal scenery. The park offers a multitude of activities. You can spend a night in a yurt or Huttopia tent, two “ready-to-camp” options that will please even the most delicate adventure seekers!

The Rimouski sector also offers attractions for every taste, including the first submarine in Canada open to the public at the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site, Québec’s highest suspension bridge at the Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer (Hell’s Gate Canyon), an aerial park at Domaine Valga and more!

After spending a few days exploring the south shore, zip across the St. Lawrence to Forestville in only an hour on Québec’s fastest ferry (reservation required)!

On your way to Les Escoumins on the north shore, you will drive through the municipalities of Portneuf-sur-Mer and Longue-Rive, both of which are home to popular bird-watching sites.

525 km (325 mi.) + 2 h by ferryExplorer – 7 days

La Pocatière – Matane – Baie-Comeau/Godbout – Tadoussac

In addition to the activities suggested in the Escapade, Getaway and Discovery itineraries, here are our further recommendations.

Some 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Rimouski, visit the Reford Gardens, which hosts the International Garden Festival every year. The festival presents contemporary gardens created by architects from all over the world, alongside Elsie Reford’s historic gardens, which showcase some 3000 plant species and varieties.

Head next to Matane to take the ferry across the St. Lawrence (reservation recommended). Depending on where you want to go and when you need to leave, you have two options: you can head to either Baie-Comeau or Godbout.

In Baie-Comeau, visit the Jardin des Glaciers (Glacier Garden) to learn more about the last ice age and climate change.

On your way to Tadoussac, stop in Pointe-aux-Outardes, which is one of the areas with the warmest swimmable waters in Côte-Nord. This site is also a popular destination for bird watchers.

This itinerary is a great way to explore three of the maritime regions of Québec in one trip!

SIDE TRIP

From Baie-Comeau, head north on Route 389 to visit the gigantic Manic-2 and Manic-5 dams.