Érablière Bois-Joli is a family-owned sugar shack that has been in operation since the late 19th century. Over the years, it has developed some kind of expertise in helping visitors discover how maple syrup is made and the wide range of maple-derived delicacies that can be produced. It's located in St-Aubert, just north of St-Jean-Port-Joli, and I must admit that we mostly stopped to rest up our legs since we were about halfway through our biking tour. However, we were so warmly greeted and we got to taste so many delicious products that it was impossible to leave the place empty-handed. So even though we chose to skip the 45-min guided tour, we did bring home some rather amazing maple caramel!
Even though we were mostly attracted by the biking opportunities present in the region, what attracts most people to St-Jean-Port-Joli is its reputation for producing remarkable arts and crafts, especially wood carvings and sculptures. This tradition came into existence thanks to the work of Médard Bourgault, a self-thought wood sculptor, and that of his brothers Jean-Julien and André. They expanded their workshop, which can still be visited today, into a makeshift wood-carving school at the beginning of the 20th century to pass on their skills to local artists The three brothers were nicknamed the 3 Bérets, and there's a sculpture park that's dedicated to them at the heart of the village (admission is free). If you like what you see, you can stop by one of the several souvenir shops to buy a piece to bring home with you (for the most unique pieces, I'd recommend the boutique located next to Les Anciens Canadiens museum on Road 132).
Once again, the idea for this trip came from our wish to explore the region by riding on our bicycles. We began by following the Route des Navigateurs (Road 132 or Green Road 1) along the St. Lawrence River from l'Islet-sur-Mer to St-Roch-des-Aulnaies, and looped around through the back country by following the "Véloroute Champêtre", which mostly follows RR #3. Both roads are well indicated and the few cars that passed us did so with lots of respect and didn't seem to mind sharing the road at all. Topography is rather flat, which makes for a very easy, very emjoyable ride. We mostly enjoyed having the opportunity to explore some of the smaller villages in the area and the beautiful landscapes we got to see all along the way. Cycling truly is the best way to appreciate the slower pace of this region!
When I asked the staff at the tourism office for a hiking spot in the St-Jean-Port-Joli region, St-Marcel was one of the spots they recommended. You need a car to get there since it's quite some distance (about 50 km) away from St-Jean-Port-Joli. The trails were inaugurated in 2012, so for the moment they still have that off-the-beaten-path feeling - we didn't meet anyone during our 2-hour hike, only a couple of forest frogs and a snake grass :o) We also saw many moose and deer hoof prints. However, the trails are well indicated by markers - the first and easiest one is a 2.8 km trail through the forest, connecting and offering views of the lakes Fontaine-Claire and Apic, It also gives access to the summit of Mont Apic after a short but rather steep climb, and wild mushrooms enthusiasts will surely love the variety of fungi found along the trail. The second trail is a slightly more challenging 3.2- km loop that leads to a belvedere overlooking lac d'Apic. Access to the trails and parking are free.
The Laurentians (Laurentides in French) are a mountain range in southern Quebec province, north of Montreal. They serve not only as a popular tourist attraction , particularly in winter, but are also enormously popular with locals as a weekend getaway. There are a large number of opportunities for outdoor fun-hiking, cycling, camping, kayaking in the warmer months. Skiing and other winter sports in the winter.
the big attraction is Mont Tremblant, but there are plenty of villages along the way that are much less crowded (and much less expensive as well)
They are easy to reach, from Montreal just take Autoroute 15.
If you are looking for a resort with casinos, lots of action at night, great restaurants etc.. look no further than Mont Tremblant. It is only 131 km (81 miles) northwest of Montreal and it seems like Montrealers love to come up to the Laurentian Mountains for the weekend.
Of course, in winter Mont Tremblant is a huge attraction for skiing and winter sports. The actual ski resort is 19 km away from the village.
For summertime activities there are lots: great hiking, cycling (which Quebecois are crazed about), golfing.
Substantially more expensive than the surrounding villages, but you pay for the resort thing. You might want to stay in one of the surrounding villages.
Anyone that has been to Quebec City in recent years has surely seen the lively murals near the Place Royale. Actually, this mural is only part of a series of murals commissioned by the Commision de la Capitale Nationale du Quebec. If you look at the artists websites you will see the huge difference before and after the murals were created.
Each of these murals shows a different aspect, blending history, culture, pride of place. I only got to see a couple of these, see if you can see a few more!
-BMO National Capital of Quebec- 1037 De La Chevrotière, Quebec- shows the parliament
-Fresco of the Wendat People- Place de la Nacion, near Boul. Bastien
-Fresco Desjardins de Beauport is at Rainville home, 580 Avenue Royale, Beauport- this shows a mural of what the inside of a house might look like.
-Fresco of Beaupré is located at 11005 boulevard Sainte-Anne, Beaupre.-inaugurated 2008
-Fresco of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré -9803, boulevard Sainte-Anne, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. -Themes from the history of the city and the shrine
-Fresque de la découverte du cap Rouge(discovery of Cap Rouge)- is located at 4165, chemin de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier, Sainte-Foy-Sillery-Cap-Rouge.
- Fresco library Winner-Vallière is located on River Road in Lévis .
Fresco Petit Champlain is located at 102 rue du Petit-Champlain., Quebec City. 2001
La Fresque des Québécois - the wall of the Soumande house Notre Dame, in the park of The Cetière, Quebec City. This is the famous mural that you will most likely run across in Quebec City. 1999
La Fresque du Centre Horizon corner of 4 th Street and the Boulevard des Capuchins, in the district La Cité-Limoilou.
Nous, le monde ordinaire (we the ordinary world) -1600 8 th Avenue in the district La Cité-Limoilou , Quebec City.
La Fresque de la bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy - is located on the back wall of the library overlooking King Street, in the borough of La Cité-Limoilou, Quebec City.
Les fresques des piliers-adjacent to the boulevard Charest Est, near the end of St Joseph in the Saint-Roch.
La Fresque de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec-corner of Charlevoix and Côte du Palais. It is painted on the exterior walls of the pavilion of the teaching of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec.
Quebec has a widespread and very large agricultural sector. In summer and autumn particularly, you can go to some farms that allow you to pick your own fruit for a price. There are apples and all kind of berries especially.
Here is a link that gives you the names and locations of some of the farms that do this.
Can be a great activity with kids, we have several of these in our area.
This is the group i went with. It is a hop on/hop off tour that goes to Montreal, Quebec City, Tadoussac and a few smaller places on the way. You can also get longer tours that include Ontario or the Maritimes.
Most of the people on the tour are going to be fairly younger, (early 20's-late 20's) . The buses are large enough that you can be comfortable. There are plenty of activities, though sometimes it seems like there is a bit too much.
You stay in hostels in HI hostels, price of a bunk is included, but you can get a private room at almost all the hostels.
The hop on/ hop off feature is great, especially if you want to spend a few extra days in Quebec City or Montreal. They will let you hop on or off at any of the stops they serve, EXCEPT at the end of the season. Make sure to ask when making a reservation.
Generally the company caters to backpackers, but it doesn't really matter. Its a lot of fun
Would I do it again, oh absolutement!
The Basilica honors Ste. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, hence grandmother of Jesus Christ. The Basilica is a place of pilgrimage. Especially during the Feast of St Anne, pilgrims come to pray. Near the entrance to the Basilica is a large collection of crutches and walkers that have been cast off by pilgrims. The story is that one of the designers of the Basilica, suffered to the extent that he was not able to walk on his own anymore. However, he worked on the basilica and he was able to walk again, free, without crutches or pain.
This is an easy daytrip from Quebec City.
If you would like to visit my St Anne de Beapre pages, please click here
Tadoussac is a small village on the St Lawrence, a few hours from Quebec City. This is one of the favorite places in Quebec to go whale watching. We did, and had a great time. If you have time you can hike on the Saguenay Fjord. This is a major hike though and considered one of the real good ones in a country that has more than its share of amazing hikes. I would have loved to do this!
Tadoussac has a long history, it was the first French settlement on the St Lawrence, set up to trade furs. It gradually became a place to come and relax for locals, the Tadoussac Hotel being quite famous.
Over time Tadoussac has also become well known for whale watching. You can see the whales from the shore from what people say. It was too overcast and turbulent when we were there so we weren't able to see whales from the shore, but we got out on the zodiac boats and saw a decent number of whales. It was definitely a lot of fun.
Please visit my Tadoussac pages by clicking here
As we approached Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, we saw a B&B and thought how great it would have been to spend the night there and keep going the next morning, which is exactly what we did on our following adventure. We packed an overnight bag and headed for the Quebec City bridge, heading east once we reached the south shore. This first took us through the city of Lévis, where we rode along the river and enjoyed a splendid view of Vieux Québec, and then to the Bellechasse region, where we rode through four lovely historic villages: Beaumont, St-Michel-de-Bellechasse, St-Vallier and Berthier-sur-Mer. Each one offered splendid views of the St. Lawrence River - this turned out to be my favourite trip of the summer!
To get to Bellechasse, we again rode on the shoulder of Road 132 East, which is part of the Route Verte network (Route 1). This part of Road 132 is called "Route des Navigateurs", and what I loved about it is how close we were to the river for almost the entire ride. There were a few hills but nothing major, and there were a bit more cars but once again, they were very respectful. On the way back, instead of crossing the bridge again, we took the ferry from Lévis to Quebec City. Tickets only cost $3.10 and there are plenty of bicylcle racks available.
Back in 1846, Pierre-Pierre-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière bought this beautiful piece of land nestled between the St. Lawrence River and the cliffs of Lotbinière. Five years later he built his manor, which was then named Maple House, and started working on the grounds. While some parts were left in their beautiful natural state, only adding walking trails to better enjoy them, other parts were transformed into lavish gardens, complete with a pond, reading nook, and a small gazebo called "lovers' nest". Several plant and tree species were also introduced by his son Henri-Pierre-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière who eventually inherited the domain. Visitors are given access to the entire grounds, from the forest to the gardens and the beach, and it's also possible to visit the family's manor. You can bring your own picnic or stop for lunch at the little cafe.
Sylvain and I so much enjoyed the weekend we spent in Bellechasse that we decided to repeat the experience, this time in the Lotbinière region. Again we rode our bikes across the Quebec City bridge, but his time we headed west once we reached the south shore. There was a bit more traffic at first, but once we reached the village of St-Nicolas, there were much fewer cars on the road. We very much enjoyed riding between the St. Lawrence River and the region's famous orchards and stopped for a while to explore the village of St-Antoine-de-Tilly on foot. One of our goals was to locate the grave of Sylvain's great grandfather in the cemetery, which we did, but we also enjoyed looking at the numerous historic buildings located at the heart of the village, several of which have now been turned into inns or restaurants.
The road then took us through the town of Ste-Croix, which isn't as attractive as the nearby villages so we kept on going until we reached my goal for the day, a visit to the Domaine Joly de Lotbinière (see my next tip). We ended up spending the night in Lotbinière before making our way back home the next day. As in Bellechasse, we road on the shoulder of "Route des Navigateurs" (although this time we weren't as close to the river) and it was a fun and easy ride, except maybe for the hill we had to climb after our visit to Domaine Joly de Lotbinière!
For our next ride, we decided to explore a section of Chemin du Roy. We parked the car near the church in the village of Cap-Santé, which is known to be one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec. In fact, the section of Chemin du Roy that runs through Cap-Santé (called Vieux-Chemin) has been chosen by the Globe and Mail as Canada's most beautiful street. Chemin du Roy is the oldest road in Canada. Built in the 1730s during the Nouvelle-France era, the 280 km long road runs along the St. Lawrence River, connecting Quebec City to Montreal. There are several nice towns and spectacular landscapes along the way. There is no bike path per say, but Chemin du Roy is part of the "Route Verte", a network of roads recommended for bicycle use. There isn't much traffic since Highway 40 runs nearby, and drivers are used to sharing the road with bikes. Topography is mostly flat, which is perfect for beginners like me!
We didn't really know how far we'd make it when we left Cap-Santé, but we ended up going all the way to the small town of Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade, only stopping to have lunch at Domaine Ste-Anne, an 18th century historic site that's open to visitors but decidedly off the beaten path. On the way back, we also took some time to explore the charming village of Deschambault-Grondines on foot. We enjoyed it so much, we've already made plans to go back next summer to explore the section of Chemin du Roy that stretches between Trois-Rivières and Repentigny :o)
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