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Quebec: A Bike Tour of Saguenay and Charlevoix, Canada

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Quebec  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2495 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2595 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

This trip takes you through two of Quebec’s most beautiful regions. The Saguenay and Lac-Saint-Jean region is so vast that for generations, people have called it “the Kingdom”. A unique sanctuary of culture and breathtaking beauty, it is rich with discoveries and warm, welcoming people. Starting with the gentle landscapes around Lac St-Jean, you will pedal the shores of the freshwater lake that feeds the Saguenay River. With views of Mont Valin to the north and the Laurentians to the south, this route provides surprising panoramas. Following the Saguenay’s flow as it leaves the lake, you will follow the fjord, one of the world’s longest, to where its fresh waters blend with those of the tidal Saint Lawrence River. This confluence is rich in nutrients, and is the summer hangout for numerous species of whales. Most notable are the pure white belugas that make whale watching, hiking, and sea-kayaking here a fantastic experience.

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’.

Day 1: Quebec City to Val Jalbert 33 km / 20 miles.
Meet in Quebec City this morning for an immediate transfer about 2 ½ hours north to Metabetchouan where the biking begins. Load up on snacks near the rebuilt Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the Métabetchouan Archeological Centre. A short bike ride today allows time for optional excursions, like a refreshing swim in the lake, or journey up a steep path to explore the Fairies Hole cave before biking along the gorgeous lakeshore to Val-Jalbert where you will feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, lodging in a beautifully reconstructed period home. Includes: (D). (Meal inclusions shown for guided trips). Village Historique Val Jalbert, Chambord.

Day 2: Val Jalbert to Saint-Félicien 35 or 70 km / 22 or 44 miles.
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. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Same lodging.

Day 3: Saint-Felicien to Dolbeau-Mistassini 52 km / 32 miles.
Start the day with a short transfer 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. You will bike along the Véloroute des Bleuets to Dolbeau-Mitassini. Suitable lodging options near Dolbeau-Mistassini are limited and if our first choice is unavailable you will be transferred about 60 minutes to Alma where a B&B and an engaging host await. Includes: (B), (L). Gite Jardins des Quatre Saisons, Dolbeau-Mistassini or Gite L'Almatoit, Alma.

Day 4: Alma to Pointe-Taillon National Park ~60 km/40 miles and transfer to Tadoussac.
Today’s highlight is the bike 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. At Sainte-Monique you will cross the footbridge and the wooden promenade to bike along the delightful coastal trails in the park. Spend the day biking, swimming and playing in the park before an end-of-day transfer approximately 2 ¾ hours to Tadoussac, at the far end of the Saguenay Marine reserve. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac.

Day 5: Hiking 15 km/9.5 miles or optional sea kayaking (~$75 pp).
Spend a full day hiking along breathtaking cliffs and steep slopes with the Saguenay River 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. Sea kayaking and shorter hikes are optional activities for those who prefer not to hike all day. Paddling alongside capes, sheer cliffs and beaches, you may spot grey seals and white beluga whales, one of six resident species of migratory whales!Includes: (B), (L). Same lodging.

Day 6: La Malbaie to St-Joseph-de-la-Rive 60 km/37 miles.
Start the day with a transfer to La Malbaie, known as “the first vacation spot in Canada”. You will bike around the interior of a 54 km diameter meteor crater formed 350 million years ago. Enjoy true 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 blissful solitude by bicycle (23 km). You can also visit a windmill museum or an award-winning orchard to taste their rare ice cider. Includes: (B), (D). La Maison sous les Pins, St-Joseph-de-la-Rive or Maison de Campagne Le Nichouette, Les Éboulements .

Day 7: Return to Quebec City & Farewell!
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Quebec City, arriving by noon in time for an afternoon of exploring the Old City, or afternoon flights home. Includes: (B).

Supplemental Tour Information:
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.

- Start: Auberge Saint Antoine, 8 Rue Saint-Antoine, Québec City 10:00, day one.
- Finish: Québec City Airport, 12:00, or Auberge Saint-Antoine, 13:00, day seven.

"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).

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Guided Cost: $2595 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide, van support, maps and route notes)
- Self-guided Cost: $2495 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, emergency support)
- Single Occupancy: $775
- Bicycle Rental: Hybrid: $145; Electric-assist: $345. Racing bikes are not recommended.

All details are subject to change without notice. 5% sales tax applies, but 50% refund will be applied for non-Canadians.