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Hiking and wildlife watching on this driving tour through the province of Quebec


Travel the scenic back roads of Quebec as you drive through some of the most beautiful regions of these seldom visited parts of the province. 

Quebec, a province where its unique history mixes the Old World with the New, is filled with beautiful parks, mountains, and wilderness.  This trek will transport you to magnificent open spaces offering exceptional landscapes of ridges, valleys, glaciers, fjords, rivers, lakes and boreal forests. 

The Charlevoix region, where majestic massifs dip into the St Lawrence River, will astound you with its unique vegetation. The Grands Jardins Park is covered with taiga forests, trees that are normally only found in the Quebecois Great North.  Perhaps we’ll even be able to spot black bears and moose who call this wooded wilderness home.  We’ll explore the Jacques-Cartier Valley, winding through the Charlevoix Mountains and the Monts-Valins massif, visiting the Saguenay Fjord.  In Tadoussac, the fresh watered fjords collide with the salted estuaries, creating a krill rich environment and an ideal place to go whale watching.  It’s possible to see a variety of wildlife in this region including 12 different species of whales, like belugas, blue whales, and humpbacks.  The forests and lakes also offer home to beavers, bears and black bears. 

Your journey then continues with stops along the way at charming and picturesque villages, famous for their art galleries, spectacular views, or ancient history as a former trading post.  The adventure would not be complete without visiting Montreal and Quebec City!  Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the only fortified city in North America.

This excursion is a fabulous journey in the heart of the Quebec wilderness, and a chance to be welcomed by the famously warm and friendly Quebecois!

STARTING AT
$2600.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Bus & Van Tours
SEASON

August to September

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
12
GUIDE INFORMATION

A fluent bilingual (French & English) guide who knows the area well will accompany you on this trip. Please note that participants are expected to help when possible with some of the daily chores such as preparation of the picnics, loading and unloading of the minibus and participation in suggested activities. 

Activities included in the tour package include guided hikes, wildlife observation and a whale watching tour. Optional activities such as sea kayaking can be added to the package for an additional cost.

RESTRICTIONS

No hard-sided luggage and try to limit your luggage to one bag. 

On the hikes expect to walk 1-4 hours per day with an average 300 to 500 m elevation gain. Hikes are mostly on mountain trails with some walks along lakes and rivers. Participants should be in average to good physical shape.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Your main luggage should be a duffel bag or similar soft-sided bag. Bring a smaller daypack for the hikes.

TRANSPORTATION

Tours begin and end in Montreal and you meet your guides on the morning of Day 1. You will need to arrive in Montreal the day before. Accommodations, meals and airport transfers are not included in the package price on your arrival day. The tour ends on Day 10 in Montreal at 3 pm (or you can end the tour on Day 10 in Quebec City after breakfast).

All transportation during the tour is in a 15 passenger mini bus. Luggage will be transported inside the mini bus or inside an enclosed cargo trailer depending on the group size.

WEATHER

Summer is usually warm during the day although nights by the water or at higher altitudes can be cooler. In September it is a bit cooler during the day and fresh at night. Temperatures are normally in the mid 20's celsius and can reach into the 30's. You will often hear talk of the humidex factor and the humidity can indeed be suprisingly high in the summer although the river and coastal breeze should temper this to some extent.

REGION
Southern Quebec & Gaspe
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

15 passenger mini bus and bilingual driver (French & English), entry fees to parks.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Rain gear, warm jacket, hat, gloves, wool socks, wool or fleece tops, wool or fleece pants, shorts, t-shirts, light weight hiking boots, swim suit, evening wear, comfortable shoes. 

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Duffel bag or soft-sided luggage (no hard luggage), camera, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle, first aid kit, insect repellent.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations on this trip are varied and authentic to give you the real Quebecois experience. Accommodations include two nights in a standard hotel, 3 nights in condos and 4 nights in authentic chalets.

 

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

9 breakfasts, 7 picnic lunches and 7 dinners are included. Meals in the chalets and condos are all included and these will be prepared by your guide and help is always welcome. Lunches will mostly be picnic style. Breakfasts are buffet style and dinners are all hot 3 course meals. 

Meals while in Montreal and Quebec City are not included.

10 day tour, available August - September
$2600.00 / per person - CAD
2018 departure dates: August 8, August 12, September 9. Based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $380 CAD
PAYMENT INFORMATION


A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Deposit is non-refundable. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure and non-refundable at this time.

10 day tour, available August - September

Day 1

Montréal 
Arrive in Montreal. Check into the hotel and RDV with the guide, depending on flight times. Dinner and trip presentation. Night at the hotel.

 

Day 2

Montréal – Jacques Cartier National Park

This morning we leave vibrant Montreal for the Quebecois wilderness. Our first stop will be Jacques Cartier National Park, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the province. Picnic along the river, then begin our first hike. Introduction on the local fauna and flora on the Coulées Trail. Also possible to do other short hikes. Check into the hotel/condo at the end of the day in Stoneham. B, L, D

HIKE
Les Coulées Trail: 10.4km (loop), 180m elevation, 3.5hrs, intermediate
TRANSPORT
330 km, 3h30

Day 3

Cap Tourmente – Grands Jardins National Park

We continue our journey towards the beautiful Charlevoix region. We stop in Cap Tourmente, a favourite location for migratory birds like the Canadian Bernache or the White Goose. Many other species live in the forested park year round. Walk along the river on boardwalks, climbing higher before reaching the gazebo overlooking the river and its islands. Continue across the region to charming Baie-Saint-Paul. Visit its many galleries displaying artists inspired by the Charlevoix region, stopping in local shops and boutiques. Transfer to our chalets where we will spend the next two nights, tucked away deep within the boreal forests. B, L, D

HIKE
Cap Tourmente, 6 km, 150m elevation, 2hrs
TRANSPORT
180 km, 2h30

Day 4

Grands Jardins National Park

Short transfer to our first hike of the day. Today we trek in the heart of Charlevoix, a mountainous region with taiga covered peaks, vegetation normally only found in far northern Quebec. Hike to the top of Mont du Lac des Cygnes, where black bears may be seen roaming about the mountainous terrain. Possible to lengthen the hike by completing a loop via the Le Pioui trail. Afternoon to relax at the chalet or on the lake. B, L, D

HIKE
Mont du Lac des Cygnes trail: 8,4 km (round trip), 500m elevation, 4hrs / Lac Pioui trail/Mont du Lac des Cygnes : 11,4 km (loop option), 500m elevation, 5hrs
TRANSPORT
30 km, 30 min

Day 5

Grands Jardins National Park – Monts-Valin National Park

Today we leave the Grands Jardins for the Saguenay region. Hike the Pinède or the Boreal trail(s). Explore the taiga covered landscapes keeping your eyes open for bear sightings. We then continue to Lac St-Jean, an enormous inland sea in the heart of Quebec. Short visit of Saguenay village and some shopping before continuing to our next destination – Monts-Valin National Park. Check into our chalets on a lake, where we spend the next two nights. There are canoes available to use, or take some time to relax. B, L, D

HIKE
Le Boréal trail: 2 km (loop), 1h, easy / La Pinède trail : 6,7 km (loop), 2h30, easy
TRANSPORT
140 km, 2h30

Day 6

Monts-Valin Park

Looming at 984 metres high, the Monts-Valin National Park dominates the landscape in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Hike the Sommets trail and see the massifs covered in taiga and shrubs. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Saguenay fjord. Another possible hike is on Pic Dubuc trail, reaching the highest points of the park. Return to the chalets in the afternoon. B, L, D

HIKE
Les Sommets trail: 5 km (loop), 50m elevation, 2hrs / Pic Dubuc trail: 12 km (return), 130m elevation, 4hrs

Day 7

Saguenay Fjord National Park – Tadoussac

This morning we head back down the Mont-Valin massifs as we make our way towards Tadoussac. Stop along the way to visit the charming Saint-Rose-du-Nord village to hike from the Saguenay Fjords to the Baie-Saint-Marguerite. Possible sightings of beluga so keep a lookout! Arrive in Tadoussac in the afternoon and visit this ancient trading post, a small village flanked by mountains, the Fjord, and the Saint Lawrence River. Possible to hike from Tadoussac to the fjord’s mouth. At the end of the day we check into the condo-apartments in Sacré-Coeur and visit the adjacent farm. B, L, D

HIKE
Baie Sainte Marguerite: 6.4km (round trip), little elevation, 1h30 / Le Fjord: 3 to 8km, 100 to 300m elevation, 1 to 4hrs
TRANSPORT
110 km, 1h30 de route

Day 8

Tadoussac – Whale watching

We drive back to Quebec City for a full day of discovery. Perched high above Cap Today we visit the fauna and flora Interpretation Center of the Saint Lawrence before embarking on our Zodiac Whale Watching excursion this afternoon. Whale sightings could include belugas, blue whales, porpoises, and humpback whales (2-3hrs depending on the season). Enjoy some free time in Tadoussac before returning to Sacré-Coeur. B, L, D

HIKE
Zodiac whale watching: 2-3hrs
TRANSPORT
60 km, 1h

Day 9

Québec

Drive to Quebec City for a full day of exploration. Perched high above Cap Diamant overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City is a pillar in North American history. The Old Town, named a UNESCO historic site in 1985, is the only fortified city in North America. Its famous monuments include the Château Frontenac, the Abraham Plains, the Petit Champlain neighborhood, and more! Enjoy some free time in Quebec and meet up with the group in time for our final dinner. B
TRANSPORT
170 km, 2h30

Day 10

Québec – Montréal
We transfer back to Montreal. Depending on time of arrival, we will take you on a short city tour of the area. The Mount Royal and it’s spectacular view of the city, Old Montreal, Ste-Hélène Island and some free time for shopping. Tour ends at 15h00. B


Note: B= breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
TRANSPORT
250 km, 2h30