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7 Good Reasons to Visit Sept-Îles
  • Sept-Îles, Côte-Nord
    Mathieu Dupuis/Tourisme Côte-Nord

7 Good Reasons to Visit Sept-Îles

Are you considering Côte-Nord as your next vacation destination, but you still need some convincing? Here are seven good reasons to visit the beautiful city of Sept-Îles in this region!

1. Go bird watching in Sept-Îles Bay

The Sept Îles Archipelago is home to several important nesting sites for about a dozen seabird species, including razorbills, black guillemots and murres. In fact, the migratory bird sanctuary on Corossol, one of the islands in this archipelago, is one of the best bird-watching areas in Côte-Nord in terms of species diversity and abundance. In addition, black ducks, common eiders and white-winged scoters as well as falcons, buzzards, ospreys, gulls and terns are all regularly observed in the various coastal habitats along Sept-Îles Bay.

2. Go paddling on Lac des Rapides

Located on the outskirts of the city, the Lac des Rapides outdoor recreation centre is one of the most beautiful places in the area to explore the boreal forest in complete tranquility. Rent a watercraft (canoe, kayak, pedal boat or stand-up paddle board) on site and set off on the lake to soak up all the natural beauty around you.

3. Explore Grande Basque Island

The only island in the Sept Îles Archipelago to offer hiking trails, with a 12-km (7.5-mi.) network, Grande Basque is a true haven of peace. Enjoy front-row seats to an extraordinary natural show, where the colours of the sea and sky blend to form a unique backdrop. You can also extend your stay by pitching your tent in one of the island’s rustic campsites, which will give you the opportunity to admire a stunning sunset in the evening and then wake up to the sounds of seabirds.

4. Savour fresh seafood

Seafood is plentiful in the region, so this is your opportunity to savour fresh scallops, lobster, snow crab, northern shrimp, razor clams and delicious Stimpson’s surf clams! The restaurants and fish markets throughout the city know how to showcase these products, which will delight you, if you’re a seafood enthusiast. This is your chance to indulge yourself!

5. Immerse yourself in Innu culture

Did you know that the Innu First Nation, whose communities are almost exclusively found in Côte-Nord, is one of the largest in Québec? Learn more about the rich and vibrant culture of the Innu in the Sept-Îles area by participating in their cultural events. Awaken all your senses by sharing in their customs and way of life. One way you can do this is by visiting the Atikuss maskisin economuseum. Go on a guided or self-guided tour to learn about Innu know-how and visit the workshop and boutique to meet the artisans who create handcrafted moccasins and other traditional accessories on site. You’re sure to want to pick up a souvenir or two while you’re there!

6. Discover the city’s historical and industrial heritage

Explore the rich and fascinating history of Sept-Îles by visiting the area’s museums and interpretation sites, which will take you back through time from the early history of the First Nations people to the modern age. First, visit the Old Trading Post, which depicts daily life in a 19th-century fur-trading post and offers a surprising experience based on encounters between the Innu and Euro-Canadian cultures over time. Next, head to the Clarke City interpretation centre, which recounts the industrial origins of the area as well as the daily lives of local residents. You can also discover what makes Sept-Îles a major industrial centre still today by touring Aluminerie Alouette, the largest primary aluminum smelter in the Americas, and the Port of Sept-Îles, the number 1 mineral port in North America.

7. Join in the festive atmosphere at Parc du Vieux-Quai

Located along Sept-Îles Bay, Parc du Vieux-Quai, a park along the wharf, is a great place to go for a stroll along a 1-km (0.6-mi.) boardwalk, watch anglers and pleasure boaters or browse the covered kiosks where local artisans display their creations. But above all, come and watch local and invited artists perform under the big tent. Shows take place in the evenings, from Thursday to Sunday, all summer long.

So which of these attractions and activities will you add to your itinerary as you explore the Whale Route? You’ll also find many accommodation options in the area. Enjoy your stay in Sept-Îles!

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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