How to Experience the Timeless Beauty of Québec by the Sea

Immerse yourself in the coastal communities of Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, and Îles de la Madeleine to enjoy active outings and spot wildlife on this journey.

Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata

Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata

Photo by Marc Loiselle/Le Québec maritime

Welcome to Eastern Québec, an area of extraordinary landscapes and vibrant culture. Nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers will find plenty of pursuits like hiking, biking, and encounters on the water, including opportunities to spot whales, kayak, and go canyoning, all followed by stays in distinctive accommodations nestled within the natural environment. In Québec by the Sea, as the area is also known, you’ll travel through Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord, and the Îles de la Madeleine as you enjoy outdoor experiences. Here, every thrilling activity is underpinned by a Quality-Safety certification to make sure your adventures are memorable and as safe as possible.


Trip Highlight

Natural Wonders

Climb 300-steps down to the Rimouski River and see a 65-foot high waterfall and the highest suspension footbridge in Québec at Hell’s Gate Canyon, in Bas-Saint-Laurent. For views without the hike, explore the forest and mountain trails on a Quad/ATV excursion at Ferme 5 Étoiles, in Côte-Nord.

Trip Designer

Bonjour Québec

Bonjour Québec’s mission is to promote the destination’s magnificent land, creative culture, and authentic experiences, and to encourage people from near or far to discover Québec as never before. It’s a place you will fall in love with at first sight and want to come back to again and again.
Terfa - Canyon des Portes de l'Enfer

Terfa - Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer

Photo by Sébastien St-Jean/Le Québec maritime

Day 1Bike, Hike, and Discover Waterfalls in Bas-Saint-Laurent

Begin at SEBKA, a campground overlooking the St. Lawrence in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, where you can choose among campsites or eco huts. Here you can also climb the Saint-André cliffs or explore more of the river by hiking or sea kayaking.

Head to the Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, a park in the Notre-Dame Mountains’ natural region that covers an area of 70 square miles. Follow the bike paths that join the expansive 75-mile Petit-Témis Interprovincial Linear Park. Or hike the Sutherland trail for a glimpse of the majestic Sutherland Falls. You can also spend your day on Lake Témiscouata or the Touladi lakes with an excursion by canoe, kayak, pedal boat, or stand-up paddleboard.

Then drive 50 minutes to Terfa - Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer, which translates to the Hell’s Gate Canyon. Marvel at the 65-foot high Grand Sault waterfall before taking your pick from 12 miles of hiking trails and the highest suspension footbridge in Québec at 295 feet high. Test yourself on the 300-step staircase down to the Rimouski River, known as the Descent into Hell.
Snorkeling at Nature Aventure

Snorkeling at Nature Aventure

Courtesy of Le Québec maritime

Day 2 Welcome to the Gaspésie Region

Spend today at Nature Aventure in La Matapédia where you can snorkel, hike, or go canoeing. Inns, lodges, and even the option to stay in an Old Church Cottage are available as your lodging for the night.
Canyoning with Auberge Griffon Aventure

Canyoning with Auberge Griffon Aventure

Courtesy of Québec Aventure Outdoor

Day 3Gaspé

Head to Gaspé, a scenic 4.5-hour coastal drive away, for a great place to get a true sense of place by taking to the Gulf of St. Lawrence aboard a whale-watching expedition with Croisières Baie de Gaspé. Six different whale species populate the waters here including the blue whale and humpback.

After your excursion, head to Auberge Griffon Aventure in the Forillon National Park. You can stay here in fully equipped cottages or prospector tents, and take part in canyoning, sea cruising, or fishing. If you choose to go canyoning you’ll experience a wet and wild adventure complete with natural waterslides, pools, and waterfalls. Once you’re back on dry land again, head to the onsite bistro for a delicious bite.
Parc national de la Gaspésie

Parc national de la Gaspésie

Photo by Mathieu Dupuis/Le Québec maritime

Day 4Parc national de la Gaspésie

Continue your adventures the next day in Parc national de la Gaspésie. This national park has 25 mountains surpassing 3,300 feet in height and is home to the only caribou herd south of the St. Lawrence, a thriving moose population, and awe-inspiring scenery in every direction, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Avid hikers will be spoiled for choice with trails featuring dense forests, rugged peaks, and abundant wildlife ranging from leisurely strolls to week-long outback adventures. Along the famous International Appalachian Trail that cuts through the park, you’ll spot the iconic summits of Mt. Albert and Mt. Jacques-Cartier.

On the St Lawrence River, a 30-minute drive away, you’ll find Eskamer Aventure, which offers rustic camping so you can rest before another day of adventures. You can also try canyoning here in alpine lakes or go sea kayaking to observe marine mammals and birds. For an otherworldly experience, wait until nightfall and discover the bioluminescence of the phytoplankton by kayaking in the dark. Just over an hour from Eskamer Aventure dine at Cargo, a restaurant at the Riôtel Matane hotel, for generous surf-and-turf dishes to share with river views.

Attitude Nordique

Attitude Nordique

Courtesy of Attitude Nordique

Day 5Take the Ferry to Côte-Nord

This morning you’ll take the Matane ferry crossing to travel to Baie-Comeau in the Côte-Nord region. The journey takes about two hours which you can enjoy over a meal at the onboard restaurant.

Then drive to Attitude Nordique. Take your pick from a range of thrilling outdoor activities including rock climbing, sea kayaking, or traditional rabaska canoeing. All activities are as thrilling as they are safe thanks to certified instructors. There are also plenty of hiking trails to explore and mountain biking, as well as a range of lodging options, including a loft on the beach, prospector tents, and camping spots.

For a longer expedition on the water, book a sea kayaking adventure lasting between 1–4 days along the Mingan Archipelago with Noryak Aventures, about 250 miles east of Baie-Comeau. Or choose a six-day rafting trip on the Magpie River, which includes a dramatic entrance via hydroplane transport before you explore the wilds of the Boreal Forest.
Mer et Monde Ecotours

Mer et Monde écotours

Courtesy of Québec Adventure Outdoor

Day 6See the Fjord

The next day head to Ferme 5 Étoiles, a 2.5-hour drive from Attitude Nordique, to experience the Fjord-du-Saguenay from a different perspective. Led by a qualified instructor and guide, quad/ATV tours go along trails that sweep through forest and mountain passes for rarely seen views of the fjord. In the evening, enjoy live music and entertainment, followed by a rest in your choice of a range of accommodations including yurts, holiday cottages (some are even close to the fjord), or for something a little more unusual, try the trappers’ camps and micro cabins.

Alternatively, you could spend the night at Mer et Monde Écotours where they offer guided sea kayaking on the St. Lawrence River and rustic accommodations, including campsites on sand or wood platforms, canvas tents, and cabins, all with picnic tables. Listen for the sound of the whales as you camp.
Îles de la Madeleine

Îles de la Madeleine

Photo by Mathieu Dupuis/Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine

Day 7Extend Your Trip in the Îles de la Madeleine

The Îles de la Madeleine archipelago is part of Québec but is closer to Prince Edward Island (PEI) and accessible from Souris, PEI on a ferry journey that takes about five hours. You can also fly to the islands, which sit in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Twelve islands make up the archipelago, but only six are inhabited. It’s a picture-postcard destination known for stunning natural beauty, a rugged coastline, and charming fishing villages rich with Acadian culture and heritage.

Opportunities abound to be active with sea kayaking, kitesurfing, cycling, and hiking on offer. Treat yourself to the islands’ seafood delicacies, including lobster, oysters, and mussels. The ideal retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Îles de la Madeleine are a rewarding way to make your Québec visit even more special.
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