Day 1: Québec City to Tadoussac
Behind the wheel of your hire car, drive northeast, following the north shore of the St Lawrence. There are several options for crossing to the South shore – in this idea, we suggest a stop is in the little town of Tadoussac for two nights, allowing a leisurely drive, and time to stop en route.
The Gulf of St Lawrence is famous for its whale watching, and a full day here allows time to take a trip out into the river. If you are lucky, you will spot several varieties of whales, including the resident large pod of white Belugas. You’ll need keen eyes to spot them – and beware, they are very easy to confuse with the white caps of the waves!
Tadoussac 2 nights
Day 3: Tadoussac to Matane
Drive the north shore of the river today taking one of three ferry routes across to the South shore. Overnight at Matane. En route, stop at the Reford Gardens at Metis sur Mer, just northeast of Mont-Joli.
One night Matane
Day 4: Chic Choc Mountains
This is your opportunity to head inland to the Chic Choc Mountains for a two night stay. Chic Choc literally means ‘The wall that cannot be crossed’, named by the M’kmaq many years ago. This is a hiking Mecca, not impassable at all and is home to herds of caribou, the last members of this species to be found south of the St Lawrence.
Two nights Chic Choc Lodge
Day 6: Percé
Return to the coast today, and continue to drive around to Percé for a two night stay. This is achievable in one day, but some may prefer to slot in another night at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.
A full day here to explore both the Parc National de l’Isle-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher- Percé and the Parc National du Forillion – two unique areas at the very tip of the Gaspésie Peninsula.
Two nights Percé
Day 8: Carleton
Continue on your circumnavigation of the Peninsula, to Carleton, for an overnight stay. This is the Baie des Chaleurs, with a good network of hiking trails, and views across the Bay to the New Brunswick coast, where the mountains literally drop into the sea!
One night Carleton
Day 9: Rivière du Loup
Returning across the neck of the Gaspé Peninsula to the south shore of the St Lawrence for an overnight stay in Rivière du Loup. If time permits, stop at the Parc National du Bic, a small but beautiful Park.
Optional opportunity to spend a night in a lighthouse here!
One night Rivière du Loup
Day 10: Québec City
Return to the city – either dropping the car and returning home or adding further exploration of this unique Province
This itinerary works equally well in reverse and can be added to either a more extensive Quebec itinerary, or to continue on to New Brunswick and the Atlantic Canada provinces.
All photographs © Ministère du Tourisme du Québec
Credit C Parent, P Hurteau
Credit Perry Mastrovito
Credit Sebastien Cloutier
Credit R Baronet