The province of Quebec, Canada, is the largest of the country. It’s roughly the same size as the whole country of Mexico. It’s wide open. And its two main cities, Montreal and Quebec, welcome a lot of tourists. However the rest of the province, the countryside, is not as well known. The Eastern Townships, Gaspésie, Saguenay and the North Coast all have wonderful hidden treasures.

Here’s a quick guide to what lays outside of the cities.



Fall Colours from Owl's Head - Kevstan/Wikicommons



Fall Colours from Owl’s Head – Kevstan/Wikicommons

The countryside of Quebec

Eastern Townships

The Eastern Townships spread from east of Montreal all the way to the border with the United States of America. Its main city, Sherbrooke, isn’t very exciting, save for a couple of restaurants. Here, the countryside offers beautiful landscapes.

Tourists will be happy to discover quaint ski resorts during the winter and beautiful golf courses during the summer. The towns of North Hatley, Eastman, Lac Brome and Sutton all offer different and equally interesting restaurants and attractions.

Wine, maple syrup and pig products are everywhere.

It’s a beautiful place for a Sunday car ride, a long bike ride or for a walk in the forest. In the Eastern Townships, the colours of autumn – the reds, yellows, greens and oranges in the trees – are truly some of the most amazing in the world.

Suggested places to:
Eat: O Chevreuil, 62, rue Wellington Nord, Sherbrooke, QC, J1H 5B7 – 819-346-4440
Drink: Pilsen Pub, 55 rue Principale, North Hatley, QC J0B 2C0 – 819-842-2971
Sleep: Auberge Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley, 2, rue Grand’Rue, Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley, QC, J0B 1W0 – 819-868-1212

 



Rocher Perce - Delphine Ménard



Rocher Perce – Delphine Ménard

Gaspésie

Here, the spaces are so wide that it’s difficult to see the whole region in a week. It’s a motorcycle rider’s paradise: stunning landscapes, views of the St-Lawrence from high hills and cliffs, the saline air whipping across the riders’ faces… it’s a special place to visit. And the towns of Gaspé and Percé are tourism meccas during the summer.

Seafood and game are in abundance in the region. The mackerel is some of the best in the world.

After days of riding, coming from Rivière-du-Loup, Maine USA or New-Brunswick, seeing the Rocher Percé shine in the middle of the ocean from the small town of Percé with a cold beverage on a terrace is truly satisfying.

Suggested places to:
Eat: Maison William Wakeham, 186, rue de la Reine, Gaspé, QC, G4X 1T6 – 418-368-5537
Drink: La Fabrique, 360 ave St-Jérôme, Matane, G4W 3B1 – 418-566-4020
Sleep: Manoir des Sapins, 180 boul Perron, Sainte-Felicite, G0J 2K0 – 1-877-733-8182

 



Saguenay River - Delphine Ménard



Saguenay River – Delphine Ménard

Saguenay

Beer holds a very special place in the heart of all Québécois, including the Saguenéens. With their colourful accent, colourful ways and colourful beers, the whole region is chock full of surprising treats and surprises.

While walking the many trekking trails of the Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park, don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel like you’re in northern Scandinavia, as this part of the world truly has one of the lushest, greenest, most resilient landscapes on the planet. The numerous beaches on the coast of the St-Jean Lake, one of the largest in the province, are great when visiting during the summer.

Saguenay is rugged, and so are its people. After a day of trekking or mountain biking, try one of their masterful craft breweries, some of the best in North America, and work your way through the astonishing array of beers.

Suggested places to:
Eat: La Voie Maltée, 777 boul Talbot, Chicoutimi, QC, G7H 4B3 – 418-549-4141
Drink: La Micro du Lac, 120 rue de la Plage, St-Gédéon, QC, G0W 2P0 – 418-345-8758
Sleep: Hôtel Chicoutimi, 460 rue Racine Est, Chicoutimi, QC, G7H 1T7 – 418-549-7111

 



Whale watching in Tadoussac - Terror Dwarf



Whale watching in Tadoussac – Terror Dwarf

Côte-Nord

The North Coast (Côte-Nord in French) of Quebec spreads an astonishing 300,000 km2 (or 250,000 sq mi) from Tadoussac all the way to Schefferville, a wild 800 km (500 miles) apart from each other. And what’s even more astonishing is the fact that there are no roads between the two towns. Actually, there are no roads on most of the territory of the Côte-Nord, making it one of the wildest and most undiscovered places on the planet. There’s nothing like the feeling of conquering uncharted territories, however unless you have a small plane license, there’s not much of a chance for any tourist to explore the parts of the province that have no roads.

Thankfully, the towns of Tadoussac, Sept-Îles and Natashquan, and the island of Anticosti all have absolutely stunning landscapes and truly exotic – in the disorienting meaning of the word – landscapes and attitudes.

Tadoussac is a beautiful, quaint holiday town with great hotels and a vibrant tourist community. Sept-Îles is the only city of the whole region, and it’s where the mining industry workers go to relax; go there to get some of the best seafood you’ve ever had. And along the way between Sept-Îles and Natashquan, don’t forget to stop at Havre Saint-Pierre, a coastal town where the meal portions are not what you’d expect. The Rivière Manitou waterfalls are some of the most spectacular on the planet and are not on the guided tours’ maps. Baie-Johan-Beetz is one of the most picturesque villages on the East Coast of America. Natashquan, the last city on the highway, is one of the stops of the Relais Nordik, a ferry that carries tourists, locals and goods alike to where roads don’t go. Finally, the Anticosti Island is truly a hunter and fisherman’s paradise, where overabundant deer run free and where humans are a rarity.

Suggested places to:
Eat: Chez Julie, 1023 rue Dulcinee, Havre St. Pierre, QC, G0G 1P0 – 418-538-3070
Drink: Edgar Café Bar, 490 rue Arnaud, Sept-Îles, QC, G4R 3B4 – 418-968-6789
Sleep: Hotel Tadoussac, 165 rue du Bord de l’Eau, Tadoussac, QC, G0T 2A0 – 418-235-4421

This article was first published on the Flight Network’s blog, Let’s Roll. Click here to read it!

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