Take a road trip through Québec by the Sea this fall
Québec by the Sea offers a warm welcome in French and English.
While the spectacular colours that paint the landscape of Québec by the Sea in a blaze of red, orange and yellow each fall are reason enough to visit, the milder weather, quieter roads and harvest flavours are why it truly is the best season to discover this unforgettable eastern region of the province.
Encompassing the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and Îles de la Madeleine, Québec by the Sea offers a warm welcome in French and English to visitors who seek maritime culture, outdoor adventures, culinary discoveries and some of the most postcard-worthy views anywhere.
Follow an unforgettable seaside road in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie
With its stunning sea and mountain scenery, the drive through Bas-Saint-Laurent and around the vast Gaspé Peninsula is truly one of the country's legendary road trips. National Geographic Traveler included it in its list of Canada's 50 Places of a Lifetime and the renowned Michelin Green Guide gave it three stars.
Bordered on the north by the St. Lawrence River and with the Appalachian Mountains running across it, Bas-Saint-Laurent is a region of impossible natural beauty.
Outdoor lovers who come here will be spoiled for choice. Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata and Parc national du Bic are just a few of the places where you can marvel at the fall colours while observing birds, white-tailed deers and other local wildlife. Lighthouse fans won't want to miss the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site, one of the most beautiful of the region's many light stations.
The bounty of the region's local flavours is also plentiful this time of year so enjoy the offerings of places like Domaine Acer or the Distillerie du St. Laurent or check out one of the region's many annual food festivals like the forest mushroom festival in Kamouraska.
In the Gaspésie, get outdoors to admire the scenery in places like Forillon National Park and Parc national de la Gaspésie or head to the must-visit Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé to see the iconic Percé Rock and nearby Bonaventure Island which is home to the largest migratory bird refuge in North America. For something more relaxing, stop by the historic Reford Gardens to appreciate the last of season's blossoms.
Follow the whales along the Côte-Nord
The drive along Route 138 between Tadoussac and Kegaska on Québec's Côte-Nord is the greatest road trip you've never heard of. This spectacular 900-kilometre stretch of road by the sea is even more memorable in the fall when the trees are alive with colour.
This region has also been designated as the Whale Route and is one of the best places in the world to see these magnificent sea mammals. There are 13 different species found in these waters, including the world's largest, the blue whale.
Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or canoeing, the area around Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles offer a wealth of opportunities to get outdoors. Be sure to stop by the region's many beaches, especially the ones in Pointe-aux-Outardes and Natashquan, to admire their beauty in the warm autumn light.
For an adventure like no other, book passage on the Relais Nordik cruise to visit the many welcoming communities found along the Lower North Shore.
Discover the magical Îles de la Madeleine
In the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you'll find the Îles de la Madeleine, a windswept archipelago of seven inhabited islands that is especially wonderful in the fall when life slows down to a normal pace after the summer tourists have gone and it almost seems that you have the islands to yourself.
It's a magical place for anyone who loves the outdoors and the chance to savour local flavours, like the island's famous cheeses. One of the finest ways to explore these unique islands is on foot along one of the 13 sections of the Sentiers entre Vents et Marées which stretches from one end of the archipelago to the other. Not only will you get to appreciate the islands' landscape of green hills and red cliffs while passing sites like the Borgot Lighthouse and the La Grave heritage site, but it will also bring you through charming villages where you will meet some of the friendliest people anywhere.
Ready to discover the best of Québec by the Sea this fall? Visit here to find out how.
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