Wildlife and Wilderness of Quebec

from £1279
excluding flights *
13 nights Jun-Sep

Overview

Combine historic Montreal and Quebec City with an exploration of the beautiful wilderness of the Gaspe Peninsula. Enjoy spectacular scenery, abundant bird life and the chance to see beluga and other whales on this unforgettable self-drive along the shores of the St Lawrence River.

Highlights

  • Spend a night in a lighthouse in the middle of the St Lawrence River
  • Search for beluga, humpback and blue whales and visit North America's largest migratory bird refuge on included boat excursions
  • Uncover the fascinating maritime history of French Canada

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 1 night in lighthouse accommodation
  • 1 dinner, 1 brunch & 1 breakfast
  • Car rental throughout
  • Boat excursion to Bonaventure Island and Rock Percé
  • Whalewatching cruise at Tadoussac
  • Catamaran crossing from Rimouski to Forestville

Full description

Departing from and returning to the vibrant city of Montreal, this independent itinerary offers the chance to explore the spectacular and little-visited Gaspe Peninsula, home to rugged coastlines, breathtaking mountains and a wealth of wildlife. Following the shores of the iconic St Lawrence River, you will uncover the early European history of this long-populated region and see how these influences remain strong today.

Learn of maritime triumphs and disasters as you travel alongside the St Lawrence, once the main trading and immigration route between Europe and Canada. Spend time exploring the architectural highlights of historic Montreal and Quebec City, enjoy boat excursions in search of the numerous species of whales and birdlife that inhabit the St Lawrence Seaway and visit picturesque coastal villages. Your journey will include the unique opportunity to stay at the Pot a l'Eau de Vie lighthouse, surrounded on all sides by this mighty river.

During your 2-week adventure you may see whales – belugas, fin, humpbacks and more, a variety of seabirds including Atlantic puffins and northern gannets in their thousands, and land mammals including caribou, moose and black bears. Take a walk on the wild side and discover the unexpected highlights of French Canada!

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worldwide team erin glennie bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £550 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire

Departure Duration Accommodation Car Category* Twin price (pp)
04 - 21 Jun 2019 13 nights Standard Intermediate £1,377
22 Jun - 28 Aug 2019 13 nights Standard Intermediate £1,484
29 Aug - 07 Sep 2019 13 nights Standard Intermediate £1,402
04 - 14 Jun 2019 13 nights Superior Intermediate £1,279
15 - 26 Jun 2019 13 nights Superior Intermediate £1,352
27 Jun - 28 Aug 2019 13 nights Superior Intermediate £1,442
29 Aug - 07 Sep 2019 13 nights Superior Intermediate £1,343

*Add on GPS from £50

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 1 night in lighthouse accommodation
  • 1 dinner, 1 lunch & 1 breakfast
  • Car rental throughout
  • Unlimited kilometres, Loss Damage Waiver, all taxes, Liability Insurance
  • 1 additional driver, airport fees
  • Boat excursion to Bonaventure Island and Rock Percé
  • Whalewatching cruise at Tadoussac
  • Catamaran crossing from Rimouski to Forestville
  • Return ferry from Riviere-du-Loup to Pot a l'Eau de Vie Island
  • Travel documentation including detailed itinerary and vouchers
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Montreal

Upon arrival in Montreal, make your way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this lively city. Points of interest include Vieux Montreal, the Basilique de Notre-Dame and the Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours.

Day 2: Montreal - Quebec City (263 km)

Today you will follow the shores of the St Lawrence River as you head north to Quebec City. Perhaps stop at Trois-Rivieres, one of the first European settlements dating back to 1634 and the point from which French explorers embarked on their North American discovery.

Day 3: Quebec City

Experience the old world charm of Vieux Quebec with its cobblestone streets, fortified city wall (one of a kind in North America), and seventeenth century architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec City's old town area features artisan shops, Parisian-style cafes, landscaped parks and numerous monuments. Take a stroll on the Plains of Abraham and visit the historic Chateau Frontenac.

Day 4: Quebec City - Riviere-du-Loup (189 km)

Following the scenic path of the St. Lawrence, today you are bound for Riviere-du-Loup, the gateway to the Gaspe Peninsula. Kamouraska with its quaint architecture offers a picturesque lunch spot. Upon arrival in Riviere-du-Loup make your way by boat (included) to Pot a l'Eau de Vie lighthouse for a unique overnight stay.

Day 5: Riviere-du-Loup - Matane (208 km)

After brunch at the lighthouse, take the boat back to the mainland and continue by road to Matane. Drive past beautiful Cacouna village before reaching the Parc Bic, a magical spot for sea excursions, hiking, cycling and harbour seal spotting. Further along the town of Rimouski is home to the Musee de la Mer, a fascinating maritime museum exhibits the tragic tale of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. Climb the 128 steps to the top of Canada's second tallest lighthouse.

Day 6: Matane - Parc de la Gaspesie (110 km)

Bound for Gaspesie National Park, take in spectacular views of the Chic-Choc and McGerrigle mountains and keep an eye out for wildlife.

Day 7: Parc de la Gaspesie

Enjoy a day at your leisure. The Gaspesie contains the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains in Quebec, the only caribou herd south of the St Lawrence, a large moose population, arctic-alpine flora and 150 different species of birds.

Day 8: Parc de la Gaspesie - Gaspe (200 km)

Explore the Forillon National Park and discover magnificent views of the sea and mountains. Observe abundant wildlife including black bears, porcupines, beavers, black-legged kittiwakes, cormorants, guillemots, seals and whales.

Day 9: Gaspe - Perce (78 km)

Drive to Perce where you will find the famous rock of the same name, the 'Rocher Perce'. Bonaventure Island and Perce Rock National Park are home to the largest migratory bird refuge in North America with a colony of 110,000 northern gannets. This afternoon enjoy a boat trip to Ile Bonaventure (included).

Day 10: Perce - Matapedia (265 km)

Today proceed along Baie des Chaleurs through numerous picturesque fishing villages to Matapedia. At Bonaventure you may wish to stop to visit the Gospel Chapel, the arts and craft shops and the Acadian Museum. The Parc de Miguasha is also worth stopping at, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its fossils dating back to the Devonian Period.

Day 11: Matapedia - Tadoussac (270 km)

At Rimouski board a high speed catamaran for the 55-minute crossing to Forestville (included). Upon arrival in Forestville proceed along the North shore of the St Lawrence River to Tadoussac, gateway to the Saguenay Fjord and an immensely popular area for whale watching.

Day 12: Tadoussac - La Malbaie (78 km)

Today enjoy a 3-hour whale watching cruise (included). Five or six species, including humpbacks, fin, and a resident pod of beluga whales can be found here. You may even be lucky enough to spot a visiting blue whale! Later catch the 10 minute free ferry ride across to Baie Ste Catherine to continue your journey to la Malbaie.

Day 13: La Malbaie - Montreal (400 km)

Depart la Malbaie and drive south through the beautiful scenery of the Charlevoix Region. Along the way you may stop to visit picturesque Baie St. Paul and take a stroll along its many narrow streets lined with charming boutiques, art galleries and great restaurants. You may also wish to stop at Sainte Anne de Beaupre's shrine and Montmorency Falls before reaching your final destination, Montreal.

Day 14: Montreal

Return your rental vehicle and depart Montreal.

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