Quebec is so vast (over five times the size of Texas) that it is difficult to know where to begin to suggest the best things to go and visit and to see. There are amazing geological phenomena alongside enchanting towns and beautiful scenery. There is also nearly every outdoor pursuit you can dream of and fantastic events and festivals. Quebec reaches almost right up to the Arctic Circle in the north, then touches Vermont and New York in the south whilst it snuggles up to Hudson’s Bay in the west. The two main cities are Quebec and Montreal whilst elsewhere there are vastly different landscapes to explore.
Farallon National Park
To visit this wild and rugged place you will have to travel up to the Gaspe Peninsula, which runs along the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River which is east of the Matapedia Valley. Gaspe means to end and it signifies the end of land before the sea. The Forillion National Park is a wild and desolate place that throws up such an abundance of dramatic scenery that it is a must-see for any traveler in Quebec. Many twitchers and whale watchers make their way to Forillion to take the opportunity to see the wildlife in its great natural habitat.
Old Montreal is picture postcard perfect, it is a concentration of old 17th century buildings near the Old Port of Montreal. It is the oldest part of this modern cosmopolitan city and has remains that date back to New France and to the First Nations. High on your tourist agenda of Old Montreal should be Notre-Dame Basilica, then move on to one of the top critically acclaimed restaurants for lunch. Then enjoy the museums and galleries before catching a theater production.
Visiting Quebec City, the Chateau Frontenac is just something you cannot ignore, as it stands high and proud above all else. Perched up on a hill the Chateau was once the location of a fort (Fort St. Louis) guarding the St. Lawrence River. Chateau Frontenac was built as a hotel in 1894 by the Pacific Railway Company and ever since its doors have been open to guests from around the world. Its grandeur makes this building one of the most iconic in Quebec City.
Iles de la Madeleine
Situated in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is the Iles de la Madeleine, an archipelago that offers stunning beaches and sand dunes. There are a dozen separate islands that make up this most fantastic archipelago and six of them are connected by a series of beaches, dunes and even roads. Many tourists just come to laze on the golden sands of the beaches, perhaps enjoy water sports and fishing. There is a diverse bird population for twitchers and in the right season whales can be spotted.
We leave part one of our blog at Iles de la Madeline, and in part two we discover even more stupendous places and things to do in marvelous Quebec. Our second journey will take us to Mont Tremblant, Mount Royal Park and Bonaventure Island.