The Québec maritime Blog

En Route to Percé
  • Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Gaspésie
    Jean-Christophe Lemay/Tourisme Gaspésie

En Route to Percé

An iconic destination in the region of Gaspésie, Percé is known worldwide as the home of legendary Percé Rock, which features an impressive stone arch that’s 15 metres (50 feet) high. This natural wonder is a popular attraction that’s sure to impress you: your first sight of this limestone behemoth as you drive into Percé is guaranteed to give you goosebumps! It’s also the perfect culmination to a road trip to this picturesque coastal area that welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

When to go

A must-see stop on a road trip around the Gaspé Peninsula, Percé is a very popular destination for vacationers during the summer months. To make the most of your visit, you may want to travel early or late in the season. In fact, the months of June and September are the best times to explore the area under optimal conditions. Note that, to really get a feel for Percé and have enough time to discover its many natural treasures, you’ll want to plan to stay for at least two days (and probably more) !

What to see and do

Whether you love the great outdoors or are interested in history and culture, Percé offer a wide range of activities of all kinds. Here are a few options…

For outdoor enthusiasts

  • Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé: Home to the world's most accessible northern gannet colony, this national park also offers 15 km (9 mi.) of hiking trails on Bonaventure Island, which you can reach by going on a sea excursion with Croisières Julien Cloutier or Les Bateliers de Percé.
  • Percé UNESCO Global Geopark: This geopark is a great place to learn more about the geological and cultural heritage of the area through a variety of activities: go on a hike to discover the geosites in the geopark; enjoy Tektonik, a fun and immersive multimedia activity; and admire a breathtaking view from a glass-bottom platform about 200 metres (660 feet) above sea level!
  • Parc municipal de la Rivière Émeraude: Located 12 km northwest of Percé, this natural site features a waterfall that flows into a beautiful emerald-green pool, which you can admire during a walk along the banks of the Portage River. This is a great place to relax or enjoy a picnic!
  • A wide variety of outdoor activities: Percé is an ideal location to observe whales in their natural habitat, as well as migratory birds in the Coin-du-Banc and Barachois areas. The Percé area also offers lots of opportunities for hiking, sea kayaking and cycling, notably at the Camp de Base in Coin-du-Banc.

For culture and history buffs

  • Artisans’ shops and studios: A variety of locally made items are available in Percé, including jewellery, clothing, sculptures and decorative objects made from local materials. Be sure to also meet and chat with artisans from the area!
  • Local culinary products: Smoked salmon, seafood, maple products, honey, microbrews and spirits are among the many delicious local products you can discover in Percé. Be sure to stock up before you leave!
  • Historical tour of Percé: To learn more about the history of this area, enjoy an audio-guided walking tour of Percé that will take you in the footsteps of the many fishers, villagers, merchants and artists who left their mark on this area. The tour is available from the App Store or you can pick up a paper copy at the Percé tourist office.
  • Cod fishing history: Cod fishing played an important role in the history of Percé and is still part of the area’s cultural identity. Discover this history with a park ranger at Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé (in French only).

Where to stay

Whether you want to wake up with a breathtaking view of Percé Rock or fall asleep surrounded by nature in the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula, Percé offers a multitude of lodging experiences that will allow you to recharge your batteries and breathe more easily. Located in the centre of the village, within walking distance of local attractions, Hôtel-Motel Fleur de Lys offers an ideal location, many amenities and affordable rates. If you’d rather camp, the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark has sites for tents, trailers and RVs in wooded areas. If that appeals but you’d rather something a little more comfortable, you can also opt to stay in one of the geopark’s glamping units. Whatever you choose, be sure to reserve your accommodation in advance.

Where to eat

Percé has much to offer in terms of regional products and restaurants. The area’s most famous local culinary specialty is lobster, which is renowned for its tender meat and subtle flavour. You can look forward to eating lots of fish (Atlantic salmon, mackerel, halibut, etc.) and seafood (oysters, scallops, mussels, etc.), either fresh or made into terrines, rillettes or cretons. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of these delicacies at La Maison du Pêcheur, a real institution in Percé.

How to get there and get around

The best way to get to Percé is to go on an epic road trip along Route 132, a legendary scenic drive around the Gaspé Peninsula that will lead you straight to the region’s most iconic attraction. If you’re leaving from Québec City, the trip to this unique destination is nearly 800 km (500 mi.) long, while from Montréal, it’s just over 1000 km (600 mi.). Wherever you begin your journey, this is an unforgettable road trip you must take at least once in your lifetime!

This year, why not plan a trip to Percé! Nestled at the edge of the world, this little corner of paradise will offer you extraordinary moments at the heart of spectacular landscapes where time seems to stand still.

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: uneportesurdeuxcontinents.com (in French only)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/uneportesurdeuxcontinents
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