Charlevoix is sandwiched between craggy Laurentian Mountains and the Saint Lawrence River. It encompasses a relatively smooth and flat meteorite impact crater that accommodates dairy farming and great cycling! The wildlife and exceptional richness of its flora have warranted its classification as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, comprising agricultural, tidal marshland, and even mountain tundra ecosystems.
We invite you to come and enjoy the natural beauty, unique culture, and regional cuisine with us. Whether you are a nature lover, a whale watcher, a music fan, a history buff or an adventurer, you are promised memorable moments in this most fascinating region of ‘la belle province’.
Route Notes: This is an easier trip than most, predominantly on paved roads and pathways and fairly level terrain. The distances are not short, but van support will be abundant. The hike and the final day of cycling are challenging.
Day 1: Quebec City to Val Jalbert 33km/20miles
10:00 pick up in Québec City. Transfer (3 hrs.) to Metabetchouan. Load up on snacks near the rebuilt Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the Métabetchouan Archeological Centre. Perhaps you'll take a refreshing swim in the lake, or follow the steep path to explore the Fairy’s Hole cave, before riding your bike along the gorgeous lakeshore to Val-Jalbert, where you will step back in time, lodging in a beautifully reconstructed period home. You will have time to explore the village and dine in the Old Mill. D (Meal inclusions shown for guided trips).
Village Historique Val Jalbert, Chambord
Day 2: Val Jalbert to Saint-Félicien 35 or 70km/22 or 44miles
Today you can visit the Mashteuiatsh Native Museum and learn about the culture and heritage of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh people – natives of this area for more than 6000 years. The ride takes you along the lakeshore to Saint-Felicien, from where you can choose to return by bike or by van. BLD
Day 3: Saint-Felicien to Péribonka 78km/49miles
Start the day with a short transfer back to Saint-Felicien, and a visit to our wild friends at the exceptional Zoo Sauvage, where you are caged on a train and the animals run free. The bilingual interpretation on this ride is exceptional; this experience receives consistently rave reviews. Afterwards, ride from Saint-Felicien to the “top” of Lac Saint-Jean. Visit La Magie du Sous-Bois to learn more about Lac Saint-Jean’s famous blueberries, and then visit the 42 acres of beautifully manicured gardens at Les Grands Jardins de Normandin. You will follow the Véloroute des Bleuets through Dolbeau-Mitassini to your resort on shore of the Péribonka River. BLD
Auberge Île du Repos, Péribonka
Day 4: Péribonka to Pointe-Taillon National Park ~50km/31miles and transfer to Tadoussac
Today’s highlight is the ride around the lakeshore perimeter of Pointe-Taillon Park, an immense delta formed by the Peribonka River at the end of the last ice age. The park is home to beavers and moose. In Sainte-Monique, just outside the park, see the Sainte-Monique Footbridge and the Wooden Promenade, then explore the delightful coastal trails in the park. End-of-day transfer approximately 2¾ hours to Tadoussac, at the far end of the Saguenay Marine reserve. BLD
Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac
Day 5: Hiking 15km/9.5miles, or optional sea kayaking (~$75 pp) in the Saguenay fjord
Spend a full day hiking along breathtaking cliffs and steep slopes, with the Saguenay National Park on one side and the Zec Chauvin Forest on the other. Finish in Tadoussac, where the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord meets the St. Lawrence River, and marine mammals congregate to feed and mate each summer. If you prefer not to hike, you can spend the morning kayaking in the Saguenay fjord near Tadoussac, where the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers meet. Here you will paddle alongside capes, sheer cliffs and beaches, and you may spot grey seals and white beluga whales, one of six resident species of migratory whales! Later in the afternoon, a 10km (6 mi.) bike ride will take you to some fantastic sand dunes on the shore. BL
Day 6: La Malbaie to St-Joseph-de-la-Rive 60km/37miles, optional island ride +23km/14miles, transfer to La Malbaie
Transfer to La Malbaie, known as “the first vacation spot in Canada”. You will ride around the interior of a 54km diameter meteor crater formed 350 million years ago. Enjoy Quebecois hospitality at a café in Notre-Dame-des-Monts and take in a panoramic view of the Saint Lawrence as you approach your inn at the centre of the crater. Don’t worry; meteors rarely strike twice in the same place! This afternoon you can take a 15-minute ferry ride to l’Île-aux-Coudres and explore its solitude by bicycle (23km). You can also visit a windmill museum or an award-winning orchard to taste their rare ice cider. BD
La Maison sous les Pins, St-Joseph-de-la-Rive; or
Maison de Campagne Le Nichouette, Les Éboulements
Day 7: Return to Quebec City, visiting Montmorency Falls
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Québec City, arriving by noon in time for an afternoon of exploring the Old City, or afternoon flights home. On the way, stop at the spectacular Montmorency Falls, or in Baie-St-Paul to taste chocolate, visit galleries, and see one of Canada’s top and tastiest cheeses being created. B
"There is a very deep river with a strong current that is the river and the road to the Saguenay Kingdom and lands, as was said by our two men of the country. This river is between high mountains of bare stone, where there is little soil, where a large number of trees grow in spite of this, and several species, that grow on the said bare stone as if on good soil"
(Jacques Cartier 1535)
Start: Auberge Saint Antoine, 8 Rue Saint-Antoine, Québec City 10:00.
Also see tour packages in:
Canada Quebec Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Multi-activity
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