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5 Surprising Facts about Sept-Îles
  • Sept-Îles, Côte-Nord
    Mathieu Dupuis/Tourisme Côte-Nord

5 Surprising Facts about Sept-Îles

Located along the St. Lawrence in Côte-Nord near the halfway point of the Whale Route, Sept-Îles offers the ultimate fusion of land and sea in a single destination. With a rich Innu heritage, remarkable history and breathtaking natural landscapes, this fascinating city has no shortage of attractions. Here are five facts about Sept-Îles that may surprise you and will hopefully inspire you to plan a getaway to this destination!

1. You can relive the 19th-century fur trade period

The Old Trading Post is a historical interpretation site that bears witness to the fur trade period. Visit this site to immerse yourself in daily life in a 19th-century fur-trading post through exhibitions and re-enactments, an experience that will offer you an in-depth look at the region’s history. Highlighting the commercial exchanges, cultural interactions and challenges of this crucial era, the site offers a rich perspective on relations between the Europeans and the Innu. Featuring a trading counter, interactive exhibition, Innu encampment and thematic exhibition as well as offering a variety of special historical, artistic and social activities, the Old Trading Post will transport you back in time to better understand this pivotal period in Canadian history.

2. You can discover traditional Innu artisanship

Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Innu at Atikuss, a maskisin economuseum, workshop and boutique dedicated to preserving and promoting traditional Innu artisanship. This unique space celebrates the meticulous work of passionate Innu craftswomen. Recreating ancestral techniques as faithfully as possible while adapting them to today’s fashions, these artisans create handcrafted moccasins, mukluks and accessories with a focus on reuse, not wasting anything and giving back to the community. By acquiring these unique items, you can not only appreciate their beauty, but also forge ties with the Innu community and contribute to its economic and cultural development.

3. You can go hiking and admire panoramic views of the area

The only island in the Sept Îles Archipelago to offer hiking trails, Grande Basque boasts 12 km (7.5 mi.) of marked trails leading to breathtaking vantage points of the surrounding area. Accessible by boat from Sept-Îles in 10 minutes, this island offers a diversity of landscapes to discover, from bare peaks overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the rest of the archipelago to fascinating geological formations at the southern end of the island. The loop trail around Grande Basque is a must for hikers who want to explore picturesque coastal scenery and swim in small coves. Follow this 10-km (6-mi.) intermediate trail through the forest and along sandy coves to reach capes and breathtaking views of the archipelago.

4. You can observe a wide variety of seabirds

Whether on a hike or during a sea excursion, the Sept Îles Archipelago offers incredible wildlife-watching opportunities. These islands are home to large colonies of seabirds, including razorbills, northern gannets, common murres and cormorants, as well as many other marine species. While Corossol Island is a bird sanctuary, whales and seals also frequent the waters of this exceptional protected area. On Grande Basque Island, you can even participate in interpretive activities with naturalist guides that focus on the marine environment.

5. You can enjoy long sandy beaches

Explore three beautiful coastal areas near Sept-Îles for unforgettable days of relaxation! Just a few minutes from the downtown area, discover four beaches (Monaghan, Ferguson, Routhier and Lévesque) that offer about 12 km (7.5 mi.) of fine sand to enjoy. Just 30 minutes west of Sept-Îles, the Val-Marguerite – Clarke City beach area is nearly 10 km (6 mi.) wide. Finally, just 15 minutes from downtown Sept-Îles, you can enjoy family activities at the Lac des Rapides outdoor recreation centre, which offers swimming and watercraft rentals. All three areas are accessible for free, making this a great getaway destination for beach lovers!

Did these five facts about Sept-Îles pique your interest? Which one surprised you the most? Embark on an adventure and start planning your vacation to this corner of the world now!

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Author Nathalie Katinakis

A foodie traveller based in the Montréal region, Nathalie Katinakis regularly writes about her adventures in North America and Europe on her blog, Une Porte Sur Deux Continents. A fan of slow travel, she loves discovering new spots to recommend to others and revisiting old favourites on both sides of the Atlantic. The maritime regions of Québec are high on her list: she never tires of visiting them to admire their beauty!

Blog: (in French only)

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