The Québec maritime Blog

3 Good Reasons to Visit the Maritime Regions of Québec in the Winter
  • Havre-aux-Maisons, Îles de la Madeleine
    Mathieu Dupuis/Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine

3 Good Reasons to Visit the Maritime Regions of Québec in the Winter

Every year in late November or early December, the first snow falls on our regions… Gradually, as temperatures drop, frost covers the windows, icicles form along rooflines, trees are covered in pristine snow, and landscapes are blanketed in a thick layer of white. In other words, winter sets in for the long haul! Here are three good reasons to visit our regions during this magical season!

1. To play in the snow!

The first snowfall brings out the kid in all of us, regardless of age. In the maritime regions of Québec, we’re not intimidated by the cold since we know that winter offers many opportunities for outdoor activities. Follow our lead: dress warmly and head outside to play in the snow!

One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of winter in Québec is snowmobiling, a sport that gives you the opportunity to discover the landscape from a different perspective. In the maritime regions of Québec, you can explore 6000 km (3700 mi.) of marked and well-groomed trails

If you’re looking for a unique snowmobile experience, cross the St. Lawrence with your sled aboard the MV F.-A.-Gauthier ferry from Matane (Gaspésie) to Baie-Comeau or Godbout (Côte-Nord) or vice-versa. This 2.5-hour mini cruise among the ice floes of the St. Lawrence will add a special touch to your adventure, in addition to allowing you to explore more than one region in a single trip.

The snowy landscapes of our regions, particularly in national parks, are a perfect natural playground for outdoor lovers who enjoy snowshoeing, skiing or other winter sports. If you want to do something a little different, try dogsledding or ice fishing… These activities are often available in resorts, such as the Ferme 5 Étoiles holiday resort in Côte-Nord, which also offer many lodging options for a hassle-free vacation. Inquire about their packages and equipment rentals.

2. To observe wildlife species in their natural habitat

While some wildlife species overwinter in our regions and others hibernate, many can be observed during outdoor excursions. For example, Bas-Saint-Laurent is home to several deer wintering areas, while the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs in Gaspésie is a great place to see moose. As you enjoy outdoor activities in a national park, you’re also likely to see wildlife, including small mammals such as weasels and foxes or various species of birds.

Another place to encounter a variety of animals is at the Ferme 5 Étoiles holiday resort in Côte-Nord, which is particularly suited to family vacations. Here you can see moose, wolves, bison, deer and more!

In late February or early March, you can also participate in a unique winter activity in the Îles de la Madeleine: seal watching. Take advantage of the package offered by Château Madelinot, which includes a helicopter excursion to the ice surrounding the archipelago. This is a truly moving and unforgettable experience!

3. To enjoy cozy moments indoors…

After a long day of fresh air, there’s nothing more rewarding that coming in from the cold, enjoying a delicious meal and getting cozy for the night. Our regions offer a multitude of good restaurants featuring local products on their menus, including game meat, smoked fish, cheeses, beers, spirits and other alcoholic beverages made with berries or maple sap. Once your belly is full, you can settle in for the night in one of our many lodging establishments. Some of them also offer a fireplace, indoor pool or spa… Be sure to inquire about the packages available.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you’ll want to try out our unusual winter accommodations: winter camping, huts, yurts and more! You can find these options in national parks, resorts and other sites throughout our regions.

Are you looking forward to the joys of winter in Québec? It’s time to start planning your trip now!

Author Anne-Josée Pineau

Born in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Anne-Josée Pineau loves this region and is delighted to introduce others to it. Never far from the sea, she’s fascinated by lighthouses and could live on seafood alone! On this blog, she likes to write about our regions’ unusual attractions, make your mouth water by describing local delicacies, and pique your interest by revealing some of the hidden beauty found in Québec by the Sea. In other words, she wants to provide you with lots of ideas for an unforgettable vacation!

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