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7 Good Reasons to Visit Percé
  • Percé Rock
    Laurent Silvani/Ville de Percé

7 Good Reasons to Visit Percé

A very popular vacation destination for over a century, highly appreciated by artists and boasting a rich and fascinating history, Percé is a must-see in Gaspésie. Here are seven good reasons to visit this area and marvel at the beautiful scenery.

1. Admire Percé Rock

A landmark for early explorers and sailors as well as a long-time source of inspiration for artists and an iconic symbol of the whole region, Percé Rock has fascinated people for centuries. Whether you’re at sea, in the village of Percé, at the top of Mt. Sainte-Anne or on Bonaventure Island, take the time to soak in this colossus anchored in the sea and let yourself be awed for a few moments by the images it evokes.

2. Take photos of the world’s most accessible northern gannet colony

Where can you find the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world? On Bonaventure Island, off Percé! Visit the island to encounter these birds or go on a cruise to observe them in flight and nesting in the island’s high cliffs. Whether you’re on land or at sea, don’t forget your camera so you can take advantage of being so close to these majestic birds to take amazing pictures!

3. Find unique souvenirs in studios and art galleries

Percé is home to a very lively community of painters, sculptors, jewellers and other artists and artisans. This is why so many studios and art galleries, including those of well-known artists such as Mylène Henry, Wazo and Marie-Josée Tommi, line Route 132, which runs through the village. Take the time to visit a few of them to appreciate the talent of these creators and bring home a collector’s piece that will forever remind you of your stay in Percé.

4. Enjoy a whale-watching cruise

Fin whales, minke whales, humpbacks, blue whales, common porpoises, white-sided dolphins as well several species of seals live in the waters off Percé. Embark on a cruise with Croisières Julien Cloutier to see these impressive marine mammals up close and learn more about their habitat, migratory patterns and behaviours from the interpretive guides who will accompany you on this adventure.

5. Savour a seafood meal while admiring a view of Percé Bay

Fishing remains an important activity in the Percé area. The La Maison du Pêcheur restaurant, located near the Percé wharf, offers an exceptional and authentic dining experience featuring seafood and other local ingredients, along with a spectacular view of Percé Bay. Enjoy front-row seats to a colourful sunset over the sea as you savour an exquisite meal.

6. Go sea kayaking

Head out to sea with Le Nordet! This outdoor company offers various sea kayaking excursions in the exceptional environment of the Percé area. Guided outings ranging in length from 2 hours to 3 days will give you plenty of opportunities to observe seabirds, admire aquatic plants and contemplate the surrounding scenery, including the shoreline, a rock formation known as Indian Head Rock, Plate Island, Pointe Saint-Pierre and majestic Percé Rock. If you catch the kayaking bug, you can also take advantage of your stay to take kayaking courses and acquire certification.

7. Climb a mountain to see the area from another angle

Although the Percé area is coastal, you’ll also find great hiking trails in the surrounding mountains. The Percé UNESCO Global Geopark gives you access to a network of 18 km (11 mi.) of trails, which will allow you to discover 23 geosites, including the crevasse, a 60-metre (200-foot) deep crack in the rock located near the top of Mt. Blanc. From there, look north: on a clear day, you’ll see the mountains of Forillon on the horizon. Be sure to admire the views from the lookouts along the various trails and don’t miss this opportunity to venture out onto a glass platform suspended 200 metres (660 feet) above the ground. The view of Percé and the sea is incredible!

Will you visit these attractions during your road trip along the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour? Be sure to book your accommodations in the Percé area in advance and enjoy your stay!

Author Jean-Pascal Côté

A certified translator and avid outdoorsman, Jean-Pascal Côté works as a freelance writer and translator in Bas-Saint-Laurent, the region where he was born. He regularly escapes his daily life by going road biking, cycle touring or cyclocross racing, skiing in the mountains of Bas-Saint-Laurent or Western Canada, or sea kayaking on the St. Lawrence River. He is constantly dreaming up new travel plans. He also blogs (on an admittedly irregular basis) about his cycle touring adventures.

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