Featured itinerary: From Old Quebec to whale country
Note: Only Parks Canada-administered sites will be offering free admission in 2017. Visitors must pay entrance fees in sites managed by third parties.
7 days - Québec City and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, via Grosse Île
Start off by exploring the historic district of Old Québec! Wander through the Old Town and walk along the original fortifications. Relive a fascinating history as you walk along the Fortifications of Québec ramparts with a Parks Canada guide. Discover the lesser known streetscapes and heritage of the Old Town only accessible on this guided tour. In the afternoon, explore the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux. Take in the history of a site where decisions that affected all of North America were made and experience life in a château. Enjoy the river view as you cross Dufferin Terrace. Don’t forget to take a family photo near a cannon with famous Château Frontenac in the background!
Quebec to Berthier-sur-Mer, 70 km
Head to Berthier-sur-Mer! Take a boat ride to explore Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial. Follow in the footsteps of four million immigrants who made the long voyage across the Atlantic and live their arrival experience with Nurse Sarah Wade’s Medical Examination. As you continue your journey, you will arrive at Rivière-du-Loup by day’s end. Follow the road along the river and discover some of the most charming villages in Quebec. There are many places of interest for tourists, including some serving excellent local cuisine.
Rivière-du-Loup, 144 km
Ferry from Rivière-du-Loup to Saint-Siméon (1.5 hours) then to Baie-Sainte-Catherine, 34 km
All aboard! You are crossing the majestic St. Lawrence River. Be on the lookout for beluga whales and other marine mammals. Welcome to the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park! Your first stop is Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre. It’s ideal for a picnic and for observing beluga whales in the Saguenay Fjord. In the afternoon, visit the exhibit and take part in a geocaching activity.
Slip on your windbreaker and come aboard for a whale-watching cruise. You are gazing at the horizon when you hear a loud splash! A whale! The excitement is at its height. You will never forget the wonder in the eyes of those by your side. Spend the afternoon strolling through the village or playing on the beach.
Immerse yourself in the heart of the St. Lawrence as you make your way to the Marine Environment Discovery Centre. A range of activities is presented throughout the week: Live from Beneath the St. Lawrence River, Estuary Punch, The Sharks of the St. Lawrence. Which one will you choose? Follow The Whale Route and go hiking in Sainte-Marguerite Bay. Equipped with your backpacks or your bicycles, a 3-km hike will lead you to the lookout. Be patient, you might see some beluga whales.
Play low-tide hide-and-seek at Cap de Bon-Désir. In the company of an interpretive guide, look for crustaceans, molluscs and algae with intriguing bubbles. Enjoy the 30 Feet into Neptune’s World activity, where you can touch the rough skin of a starfish and see a real live crab up close.
Tadoussac to Québec, 215 km
Go back to Québec City via the highway running along our majestic St. Lawrence River and enjoy one of the most scenic drives in Quebec. Enjoy magnificent seascapes, mountain scenery and views of steep cliffs, riverside coves, imposing country houses and pretty villages along this winding highway, and watch for the many lookout points with breathtaking views. As you cross through our beautiful Charlevoix Region, stop for a bit in the picturesque village of Baie-Saint-Paul.