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.


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

Phare de l'île Verte © Claude Bouchard

Île Verte Lighthouse
© Claude Bouchard

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!



Pourvoirie du Lac Geneviève

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

Phare de Pointe-du-Nord © PLGA

Pointe-du-Nord Lighthouse © PLGA

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 Lighthouse station is located in the heart of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, which is famous for its mysterious limestone monoliths. The opportunity to spend the night at the lighthouse is brand new. Since the summer of 2012, workers have restored the site where the archipelago’s first lighthouse was built in 1888. Once the restoration is completed, visitors will have the chance to stay in the lightkeeper’s house.

Restauration du phare de l'île aux Perroquets dans l'archipel de Mingan © Audrey Beauchemin/CÎP

Île aux Perroquets Lighthouse in the Mingan Archipelago
© Audrey Beauchemin/CÎP

At this point, it’s not possible to confirm the lodging offer for 2013, even if Parks Canada and the Corporation de l’île aux Perroquets aim for that goal. In the meantime, you can send your contact details to the Corporation and they’ll let you know when they’ll be ready to take reservations for their new product.

And if you just can’t wait, you’ll be happy to know that it’s still possible to visit Île aux Perroquets where you’ll learn about the lighthouse and its history through various interpretive activities.

Besides those lodging options, the Cap-Chat and Pointe-des-Monts lighthouses also give you the opportunity to spend the night in their lightkeeper’s houses. Visit the Corporation’s website (French only) for more information.

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 live to fully enjoy a well-deserved rest! Are you ready for such an experience?

Author Tanya Paquet

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