The Québec maritime Blog
The Route du Rocher-Percé is a scenic drive in Gaspésie that runs through the towns of Port-Daniel–Gascons, Chandler, Grande-Rivière, Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé and Percé, which is home to world-famous Percé Rock. An iconic natural landmark, this awe-inspiring rock formation is one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world—seeing it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your road trip in this region!
When to go
To discover this unique area at your leisure, plan a visit in June. Given how far you’ll have to travel to get there and how many attractions there are to see, you’ll want to spend more than a day or two in this area to make the most of your visit.
What to see and do
Offering both natural and cultural attractions, the Route du Rocher-Percé will delight you with over 100 activities (in French only).
For outdoor enthusiasts
- Réserve faunique de Port-Daniel: Boasting abundant wildlife and amazing natural beauty, this wildlife reserve in Port-Daniel–Gascons offers you an unforgettable experience. Commune with nature by going for a hike in the mountains or along the river. You may spot several species of wildlife up close in this reserve, including moose, white-tailed deer, beavers, black bears and otters. And if you want to prolong your adventure, there are several lodging options to choose from. You can relax in a comfortable cabin (which includes a kayak and canoe) or enjoy an authentic glamping or camping experience, with access to modern facilities to make your stay more comfortable.
- Parc du Bourg de Pabos: Located in Chandler, this natural site offers a multitude of attractions and amenities in harmony with the environment, including hiking trails, a bike path, beaches, picnic areas, a restaurant and an interpretation centre showcasing artefacts that were unearthed during archaeological digs. You can also enjoy two unique immersive multimedia experiences on site: Nova Lumina and Ura.
- Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé: Discover the world’s most accessible northern gannet colony by visiting this national park in Percé! On Bonaventure Island, go on a guided tour to learn more about the local wildlife and plants you’ll see in the park. You can also explore 15 km (9 mi.) of hiking trails on your own and soak up breathtaking views of Percé’s famous cliffs and the surrounding sea. If you’re lucky, you’ll see seals and whales during your sea excursion to the island!
- Percé UNESCO Global Geopark: This geopark invites you to explore 500 million years of Earth’s history. To learn more about the geological features of this area, go on a hike to discover fascinating geosites, enjoy the immersive Tektonik multimedia experience and venture out onto a glass platform suspended 200 metres (660 feet) above sea level!
- Activities for everyone: Many other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the area between Port-Daniel–Gascons and Percé, including sea kayaking and hiking on 135 km (85 mi.) of trails. The sector also offers 14 beaches, which are great places to go for long walks. Some of these beaches are sandy while others are rocky and dotted with agates. Three are supervised and a few are completely deserted. The choice is yours!
For culture and history buffs
- Distilleries and microbreweries: Enjoy local spirits and craft beers by visiting distilleries and microbreweries in the area. If you’re a hops fan, you’ll want to try the unique beers made by the Brett & Sauvage nanobrewery, which are brewed using wild native yeasts or spontaneous fermentation.
- Artisans’ shops and studios: All along the Route du Rocher-Percé, you’ll find shops and studios offering locally made handicrafts including jewellery, decorative objects, clothing and sculptures. Meet the artisans to learn more about their work and their passion for their craft!
- Cod fishing history: Cod fishing is at the heart of the history of Gaspésie and remains an integral part of the region’s cultural identity. Learn more about the fascinating history of this fishery at Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé and Parc du Bourg de Pabos, both of which offer instructive guided tours.
Where to stay
The five towns in this sector (Port-Daniel–Gascons, Chandler, Grande-Rivière, Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé and Percé) all offer lodging options that will let you escape the pressures of everyday life while immersing you in the natural beauty of this area. Whether you’d like to admire a breathtaking view of Percé Rock every morning or sleep deeply at the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula, there’s something for everyone in the Rocher-Percé sector. Camping enthusiasts can stay in Chandler, at Parc du Bourg de Pabos, which offers tent and RV sites as well as a glamping experience in one of their five trailers. If you’re looking for a affordable room in a practical location, opt for Hôtel-Motel Fleur de Lys, which is in the centre of Percé, within walking distance of the village’s many attractions. Nearby, you can also camp in the wooded areas of the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark in a tent, trailer or RV. For added comfort and convenience, the geopark also offers glamping units. Whatever you choose, be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Where to eat
The fishing season is in full swing in Gaspésie in June, making this a great time of year to savour an abundance of local seafood. This region is known for its lobster and crab, both of which have tender flesh and a delicate flavour. The area’s fine restaurants also feature fresh and locally processed fish and other types of seafood (including oysters, scallops and mussels) on their menus. If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll definitely want to eat at La Maison du Pêcheur in Percé!
How to get there and get around
To get to this amazing sector by car, just head east along Route 132. Be sure to follow the road signs towards Amqui when you reach Sainte-Flavie or Mont-Joli. Port-Daniel–Gascons is 900 km (560 mi.) from Montréal or 675 km (420 mi.) from Québec City and marks the beginning of your exploration of this sector’s sea and mountain landscapes. This road trip is sure to be a memorable one!
Start planning your trip along the Route du Rocher-Percé today!