Québec by the Sea
Bathed in the salty waters of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord and the Îles de la Madeleine make up Québec by the Sea, a travel destination steeped in sea breezes and a maritime way of life.
In addition to providing amazing panoramic views, the roads that crisscross this vast territory offer a multitude of road trip options, allowing you to visit several regions in a single trip. Here are four suggested travel itineraries for your next vacation in Eastern Québec!
The Bas-Saint-Laurent — Gaspésie Tour
A legendary scenic drive along the sea!
The Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour follows Route 132, looping around the huge Gaspé Peninsula, which is surrounded by the sea. By beginning your road trip in Bas-Saint-Laurent, you will have the opportunity to soak up a wide variety of landscapes, from the lowlands along the coast to the majestic mountains that overlook them.
This road trip invites you to discover seven national parks, where you can enjoy nature hikes, sea outings and discovery activities. Along the way, you can also see or visit islands, lighthouses, historic sites, museums, lively wharves, sandy beaches and rocky shorelines where you may find a multitude of treasures.
The Whale Route
A journey through exceptional natural beauty!
Côte-Nord is an immense, wild and fascinating region. This road trip takes you on Route 138 along the north shore of the St. Lawrence from Tadoussac all the way to Kegaska, where the road ends. From there, you can continue your journey east aboard an authentic supply ship that will take you from village to village along the Lower North Shore as well as to Anticosti Island, on a truly unique adventure!
The Whale Route is one of the best places in the world to observe marine mammals and offers plenty of opportunities to go out to sea. Along the way, you can also discover a majestic fjord, four national parks, mysterious archipelagoes, lighthouses that stand guard along the coast and sites that tell the stories of First Nations people and as well as those of pioneers with dreams as big as this corner of the world.
Îles de la Madeleine
A touch of the exotic!
Located in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Îles de la Madeleine archipelago is made up of adozen islands, six of which are linked by narrow sand dunes. To get there, you have two options: you can take the CTMA ferry from Prince Edward Island, a five-hour crossing, or you can fly, which is obviously much faster. Depending on the season, up to three airlines serve the Îles de la Madeleine, including PAL Airlines.
Since Route 199, which runs from one end of the archipelago to the other, is only 85 km (55 mi.) long, for this trip, it makes sense to pick a home base from which to explore the region. Gourmet delights, wind sports, sea outings, discoveries of local artists and excursions of all kinds will fill your days… and leave you with unforgettable memories!
The St. Lawrence Road Trips
In the maritime regions of Québec, ferries serve as extensions of the road network. Use them to travel from one shore of the St. Lawrence to the other and thus visit several regions in the same trip!
Four ferries link the north and south shores in Eastern Quebec, giving you lots of options, depending on how much time you have. Our suggested travel itineraries range in length from 3 to 7 days, covering distances of 110 km (70 mi.) to 525 km (325 mi.) between La Pocatière in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Tadoussac in Côte-Nord.
More than just means of transportation, ferries also offer a novel way to travel! Keep your eyes peeled and admire magnificent landscapes and numerous marine animals during crossings.