The Québec maritime Blog

Road Trips in Eastern Québec: A New York Times Recommendation Plus Other Exceptional Sites
  • Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Côte-Nord
    Yvon à l'aventure/Tourisme Côte-Nord

Road Trips in Eastern Québec: A New York Times Recommendation Plus Other Exceptional Sites

Located in Côte-Nord, the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve received a major honour this year when it was selected as one of “52 Places to Go in 2024” by the prestigious New York Times. The archipelago ranks alongside many exceptional places around the world and, along with Whitehorse in the Yukon, is one of only two Canadian destinations on the list. And what better way to discover this jewel of our regions than on a road trip? Here then are some road trip ideas to explore Eastern Québec.

The Whale Route

Since the Mingan Archipelago is over 650 km (400 mi.) east of Tadoussac, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to discover the region of Côte-Nord on your way there! Just follow the blue “Route des Baleines” (Whale Route) signs along Route 138 and be sure to visit the coastal villages along the way to discover the attractions of this destination.

From Tadoussac, which is the place to go whale watching, all the way to the tiny village of Kegaska, which marks the end of Route 138, a road trip along the Whale Route is a great way to discover the astonishing and spectacular scenery along the north shore of the St. Lawrence, whether you’re admiring the sea on one side of the road or the forest on the other.

The important thing is to plan your itinerary carefully, so you don’t miss out on anything this region has to offer, which includes whale-watching excursions, observing black bears in the forest, walks in a nature park that’s home to nine distinct ecosystems, a variety of outdoor activities that will allow you to commune with nature, local flavours, opportunities to immerse yourself in Innu culture and, of course, a stay in the must-see Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve!

For more information and to help you plan your road trip, consult our Whale Route itinerary.

The Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour

Lauded by both National Geographic and the Michelin Green Guide, the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour is also worthy of great recognition.

Looping around the Gaspé Peninsula, this scenic drive will give you the opportunity to discover seven national parks located along the sea, in the mountains and in the forest. All these sites are great place to enjoy your favourite outdoor activities, including hiking, sea kayaking, wildlife observation, canoeing and more.

Along the way, you’ll be charmed by the many lighthouses that dot the coastline as well as the historic and interpretation sites that invite you to learn more about the natural heritage, history and culture of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie. At the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, you’ll be awed by the region’s most iconic landmark, Percé Rock, which dominates the landscape.

For more information and to help you plan your road trip, consult our Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour itinerary.

The Îles de la Madeleine

Offering you a complete change of pace and scenery, the Îles de la Madeleine archipelago has also gained recognition as a unique tourism destination—for example, Grande Échouerie (Old Harry) Beach has been ranked as one of the most beautiful in the world! To get to the Islands, which are located in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you can fly (from Montréal, Saint-Hubert or Québec City) or drive there, which includes taking a ferry from Souris (Prince Edward Island) to Cap-aux-Meules. Once you’re in the region, you can pick a home base and then explore the archipelago from island to island.

Once you’ve settled into your accommodations, you can organize your days so you don’t miss anything you want to see. The Islands are home to many talented artists and artisans who are strongly inspired by the surrounding landscape, including the sea. To learn more about the Islanders’ know-how, you can visit a herring smokehouse, cheese factories and more. Be sure to stock up for your meals and picnics—and don’t forget to take home some local creations as gifts or souvenirs!

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll have lots of activities to choose from on the Islands, including wind sports of all kinds, sea and recreational kayaking, caving in a wetsuit, hiking, lobster fishing and more. And if you’re a history buff, you’ll want to visit the museums and interpretation sites that recount important moments in the history of the archipelago from yesterday to today.

For more information and to help you plan your road trip, consult our Îles de la Madeleine itinerary.

Post a comment

(0) comment