The Québec maritime Blog

Living the Life of a Lightkeeper… Just for One Night
  • Pot-à-l'Eau-de-Vie Lighthouse
    Pietro Canali

Living the Life of a Lightkeeper… Just for One Night

The lighthouses along the coasts of the St. Lawrence River remind us of the rich maritime heritage found in the maritime regions of Québec. While several are still accessible (over 30!) and offer various interpretive activities, only a few give you the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience: spending the night in a lighthouse.

Bas-Saint-Laurent

Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie Island

Of the four lighthouses mentioned here, the Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie Lighthouse is the only one where you actually stay within the structure. This is because the lightkeeper’s house is integrated to the light tower. The site is also very much valued by birding enthusiasts because of the numerous North American bird species that can be seen in the area. In fact, Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie Island, Île aux Lièvres and the Les Pèlerins Archipelago are considered bird sanctuaries.

Solitude takes on its full meaning here: at the end of the day, when guests find themselves all alone on the island, they can enjoying the quiet of the site and a magnificent sunset. The inn offers an all-inclusive package, including lodging, meals and a guided excursion around the islands.

Maisons du Phare de l’Île Verte

Located in the island community of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, the Île Verte Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built in Québec, in 1809. Even though about 50 families still live on the island in the summer, it has a secluded character, outshined by the welcoming spirit of its people.

With the mountains of Charlevoix in the backdrop, the lighthouse mounts guard on the north side of the island. Here, guests do not stay in the lighthouse itself, but rather in the lightkeeper’s and assistant lightkeeper’s houses, located just steps away. In a B&B format, each house is equipped with a functional kitchen, where guests can cook their other meals, which can be a great way to meet new people during your trip!

Côte-Nord

Pourvoirie du Lac Geneviève

The Pointe-Nord (Cap-de-Rabast) Lighthouse, managed by Pourvoirie du Lac Geneviève, is located on magnificent Anticosti Island.

A very popular destination for hunting, Anticosti is also an ideal place for an epic vacation in the heart of a vast wilderness territory. You’ll have countless opportunities to see foxes, seals and deer on the island.

As we all know, lighthouses are usually found in prime locations and this lighthouse is no exception! Guests can stay in two former lightkeepers’ houses located right on the St. Lawrence—both offer spectacular views of sunsets and ships in the distance.

Both houses are fully equipped for your comfort. To avoid any hassle, Pourvoirie du Lac Geneviève offers an all-inclusive package, including air transportation to the island, lodging and a truck rental for the duration of your stay. All you need to do is to book!

Île aux Perroquets Lighthouse

The Île aux Perroquets (Parrot Island) Light Station is located at the heart of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, which is famous for its mysterious limestone monoliths. You can stay in either the lightkeeper’s or the assistant lightkeeper’s house. Decorated with care with locally made objects, embroideries and furniture, the rooms offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Enjoy a relaxing night in peaceful surroundings.

Although the island is small (350 metres long by 100 metres wide, or 1150 feet by 330 feet), there’s still much to do and see here: a permanent exhibit, a lighthouse, interpretive activities and birdwatching (including Atlantic puffins, also known as “sea parrots,” which the island was named after). Inquire about the various packages to stay in this enchanting setting!

You can also stay in the lightkeeper’s house at the Cap-Chat Lighthouse or the Pointe-des-Monts Lighthouse. For more information, please visit the Corporation’s website (in French only).

Spending the night in a lighthouse or lightkeeper’s house is an opportunity to stay in a building that’s usually over a century old and that witnessed many maritime tragedies; to be blessed with front-row seats to appreciate Mother Nature’s most spectacular displays; and, in many cases, to escape one’s busy life to fully enjoy a well-deserved rest! Are you ready for such an experience?

Author Tanya Paquet

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