The Québec maritime Blog
The Chaleur Bay area, in Gaspésie, surrounds the bay of the same name, which is one of the most beautiful in the world. Offering long beaches protected from the wind, temperate waters, spectacular scenery and picturesque villages reflecting a rich cultural mosaic, this part of the Gaspé Peninsula has been attracting vacationers for decades. Here are five good reasons to visit the Chaleur Bay area.
1. Discover one of the last battles of the Seven Years’ War
The last naval battle between France and Great Britain for possession of the North American continent took place in Chaleur Bay in 1760. Learn about this historic event at the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site in Pointe-à-la-Croix. Enjoy an extraordinary journey as you discover the vestiges of the Machault, a French frigate that is exceptionally well preserved, given it spent 200 years underwater!
2. Step back 380 million years in time
Parc national de Miguasha, in Nouvelle, invites you to discover plant and animal fossils dating back to the Devonian period, when certain species transitioned from water to land. Come and admire the specimens found on this site, which is included on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. Enjoy a guided tour of the fossil-rich site, visit a fascinating paleontology exhibit and discover the only fully intact specimen of Elpistostege watsoni ever found in the world! The latter is of paramount importance in evolutionary biology because it is a close relative of the tetrapods, vertebrates with legs. Intriguing, right?
3. Understand the history of Acadians in Québec
Did you know that three million Québécois have at least one Acadian ancestor? To immerse yourself in the moving history of this people and find out more about their presence in Québec, visit the Musée Acadien du Québec in Bonaventure. The museum houses several exhibits and offers various activities including guided tours and a GPS treasure hunt. Don’t miss Living Portraits, an exhibit focused on the history of Gaspésie that features historic characters who move from one painting to the next! This exhibit continues in four other museums in the region…
4. Relive the heyday of cod fishing in Gaspésie
The cod fishery is an integral part of the history of Gaspésie. Relive the fascinating adventures of the two largest Jersey fishing companies of the 18th and 19th centuries at the Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac Historic Site. In addition to visiting period buildings (including the largest wooden structure in North America), you can also watch traditional shipbuilding, net-mending, blacksmithing and barrel-making demonstrations. A visit to this site offers a true immersion into the past! And if you want a bite to eat, treat yourself to delicious fish and seafood at the L’Ancre restaurant, on site.
5. Have fun on the water
The Chaleur Bay area is also a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Test your sea legs with Pêche Sportive Baie-des-Chaleurs or Excursions L’Ormilou as you enjoy fishing for striped bass or participate in hauling lobster traps. The Bonaventure River, one of the clearest in North America, is also a great place to have fun on the water. Explore the river’s estuary during a pontoon excursion with a guide at the Bioparc de la Gaspésie (after encountering caribou, beavers, cougars, wolves and other animals in this wildlife park), then head over to Cime Aventures for a canoeing, kayaking or rafting adventure!
How many of these activities will you add to your bucket list as you plan your next vacation in the Chaleur Bay area? This segment of the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour has many surprises in store for you!