The Gaspésie & Charlevoix Best for: Colo­nial and mar­itime his­tory, coast­line, lo­cal cul­ture, bird­watch­ing and food

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Canada / Trip Planner -

ROUTE: Québec City • Rivière-du-loup • Ri­mouski • Bon­aven­ture • Percé • Gaspé • Forestville • Saint Simeon • Baie-saint-paul

WHY GO? This fig­ure-eight drive along the pic­turesque Route 132 re­turns via the Ri­mouski– Forestville ferry (May–sep). Most of the jour­ney is within sight of the Saint Lawrence River and its gulf, with the Pointe-au-père Mar­itime His­toric Site, near Ri­mouski, pro­vid­ing con­text and a graphic por­trayal of ‘Canada’s Ti­tanic’ – the Em­press of Ire­land – lost in 1914.

Gar­den­ers should not miss Re­ford Gar­dens, near Grand-métis. It was be­gun in 1926 and now has over 3,000 species among its saintly grounds.

Along the coast, Scot­tish and French place names were given to the string of charm­ing fish­ing vil­lages be­side Chaleur Bay. Then, at the penin­sula’s largest fish­ing port, Gaspé, on the east­ern­most tip, most vis­i­tors take to the wa­ter to see the holed Percé Rock and the bird sanc­tu­ary on Bon­aven­ture Is­land.

Cross­ing to the north shore of the Saint Lawrence, Tadous­sac of­fers plenty of whale­watch­ing trips. And west of Saint-siméon, food­ies should leave the coastal road and take the Flavor Trail of Charlevoix, vis­it­ing its ar­ti­sanal food pro­duc­ers and eater­ies. Be­fore head­ing back to Québec City, make a final stop at the artis­tic cen­tre of L’isle-auxCoudres, near Baie-saint-paul, home to Canada’s only fully func­tion­ing

wa­ter- and wind­mill.

Pointe break Climb the light­house at Pointe-au-père for fine views of St Lawrence river; ( top) the cliffs of Bon­aven­ture Is­land are a vi­tal bird sanc­tu­ary

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