Top 10 Quebec Favourites

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

Quintessential Québec – Here are some of my aha! Moments from my travels in Canada’s largest Province…

Québec Old City: I have to start here, where European history in Canada really began. That sense of history permeates the streets of Old Québec, still vibrant after 400 years. UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only walled city in North America, Québec is simply wonderful.

Montreal: If Québec Old City was the birthplace of modern Quebec, Montreal is modern Quebec! I visit the city frequently and every trip I fall a little more under its spell. From the views over the city on Mont Royal, to the monuments, to the lively markets to the joie de vivre of Montrealers – it’s all terrific.

Eastern Townships: This land doesn’t merely flow with milk and honey: it also gushes with wine, cider, cheese, chocolate, roses and more! Happy days spent sampling all kinds of tasty, visual and scented treats: the local wines and ice cider; rose jellies, jams, perfumes and soaps; chocolates and creamy cheeses; and fields of sweet-smelling lavender.

Mont Tremblant: The highest peak in the Laurentians receives over 12 feet of snow each year and is where my boys learned to ski and board. Its 95 trails and 3 snow parks offer spectacular views and thrilling runs. The pedestrian-only village at the base of the mountain is cosy and colourful..

La Grosse Ile: In the middle of the St. Lawrence River, Grosse Ile was a quarantine station for the Port of Québec from 1832 to 1937, the main point of entry for immigrants coming to Canada. To visit is to relive the troubling experience of immigrants who set sail in hopes of a better future, and of those who cared for them upon arrival. A moving experience.

Saguenay Fjord: The sheer immensity of Quebec’s largest fjord is amazing as it cuts its way north from the St. Lawrence to the Canadian Shield. Whales abound in the frigid waters, waterfalls cascade from lofty cliffs whose tops are lost in cloud and there is a sense of magical mystery about this natural wonder.

Charlevoix: This region on the north shore of the St. Lawrence is a magnificent mix of mountains and sea. Fashioned by a 350 million year old meteorite impact, the countryside is rich with produce and the landscape skips from breath-taking to bucolic. La Malbaie hosts one on my favourite Canadian hotels: Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.

La Mauricie National Park: This gem of a National Park is midway between Quebec's two largest cities and 50 km. north of the St. Lawrence River. It’s over 500 square kilometres of the most pristine Quebec Laurentians - a vast rolling plateau broken by numerous lakes and rounded hills and etched by waterfalls, streams and narrow valleys.

Ile de l’Orleans: Just five kilometres down-river from Quebec City, this verdantly green island is cradled by the St.Lawrence between the Canadian Shield and the Appalachian Mountains. The rich farmland is patterned after the island's seigneurial past. It’s a haven of rural tranquility so close to the provincial capital.

Nunavik: The largest region of our largest Province, this great sweeping land comprises the northern third of the Province. My visits to the small communities of Kuujjuaq, Kangiqsualujjuaq and the delightfully named Quaqtaq were like stepping into a very different and exquisitely beautiful destination on the very edge of the world.