The Quebéc Maritime Region was the second area we visited on our recent trip and it includes four regions in Eastern Quebéc: Côte-Nord, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, and îles de la Madeleine. Famous for their stunning nature as well as some of the best places in the world for whale watching, these regions are popular vacation destinations for both Canadians and people from all around the world.
During the non-winter months, Quebéc Maritime Region hiking tours and other outdoor activities provide a great opportunity to admire the region’s wildlife, including white-tailed deer, caribou, and moose.
A sea kayak excursion is a unique opportunity to enjoy views of the sunset from the water. We were visiting in late September and during this time of the year, the temperature of the water is only 4 degrees Celsius, so you need to wear warm clothes.
We booked our sea kayaking ahead of time with Mer et Monde Ecotours. The sea kayaking excursion starts from Les Bergeronnes and lasts about 3 hours 30 minutes. Les Bergeronnes is the great ecotourism destination that offers a range of outdoor activities, from sea kayaking expeditions and whale-watching excursions to hiking, wild berries picking and camping alongside the St. Lawrence.
Well…we didn’t have the luck on this trip to the Quebéc Maritime Region because even though the rain had stopped, the wind was too brisk for sea kayaking to be safe, so it was cancelled. Just another reason to make a trip back!
I am wearing Merrell MQM Flex hiking shoes, which were perfect for this (on and off rainy day) hike because they were waterproof. Mine are in a new colour (available soon) but these are similar MQM Flex Mid Waterproof in Hyperblack.
The Saguenay – Saint-Laurent Marine Park
We absolutely loved our trip to the Saguenay Fjord National Park. The park is located in the Quebéc Maritime Region where the Saguenay River meets the St. Lawrence River. In this unique nature spot, we learned a lot about whales, seals, and seabirds as we enjoyed watching them from the shoreline.
There are many activities you can enjoy here, from hiking and biking to thrilling nautical activities. Or you can simply admire belugas at the Halte du Béluga. A lot of belugas come close to the shore, attracted by a rich food supply here. You may even get to see a magnificent blue whale if you’re lucky enough!
While there, we didn’t have the best weather conditions, but we saw about 10 to 15 whales, however they were quite far off in the distance that day. The park staff are there at busy times helping tourists see the whales (they are sometimes hard to see if you don’t know what to look for). If you see the park staff I would definitely go and chat with them because they can tell you what type of whale they are and share information about them, making it a great learning experience.
While in the area, head to Tadoussac to walk around. There are so many cute buildings and the water front is great. Ross and I spent some time chilling in the sand and walking along the water here.
A very special thanks to Ross Radcliffe for joining me on this trip…and for the photos and video, too.
We stayed for our next two nights at the Hotel Tadoussac. Hôtel Tadoussac is at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. For over 70 years, guests have come to experience the old-fashioned elegance and unique architecture of this famous landmark Québec hotel. The whole village of Tadoussac is so adorable with everything walking distance from the hotel.
Don’t miss the ferry ride while at the Saguenay Fjord National Park. The free ferry crosses the entrance of the Saguenay Fjord between Baie-Sainte-Catherine and Tadoussac Tadoussac – Baie-Sainte-Catherine. It offers a year-round service with a Fjord Crossing time at around 10 minutes.
The beauty of nature at the Saguenay – Saint-Laurent Marine Park is really breathtaking. There is also a wide variety of the outdoors activities offered, from sailing on the waters to hiking and fishing.
Some other great things to do and see in the Quebéc Maritime Region include exploration of other national parks (there are ten of them in the region!) to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, forest, and seaside scenery (which is a favourite of mine) of this part of Canada.
Furthermore, check out the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) and discover the world of the whales. You’ll have the opportunity to see the skeleton of a sperm whale over 13 m (40 ft) long. I am totally kicking myself that I didn’t get a photo of this…that is what happens when you are rushing around trying to do as much as you can between rainstorms. ?
As with any trip, when there you make a list of must-see locations for your next trip. I would like to visit Côte-Nord and îles de la Madeleine for a unique opportunity to observe the Atlantic puffin. This seabird is also known as “sea parrot” or “clown of the sea” and easy to spot because of their broad and triangular parrot-like beaks with orange, yellow, and gray markings. I think they are so cute and would love to see them.
I also heard that during the summer months, snorkeling with Atlantic salmon in the Gaspésie Region is a truly unique experience…so I am adding this to the list for next visit, too.
Thanks for following along with my travels! I hope you get to visit Quebec one day.