If you have not visited Quebec, here are some reasons why you need to put it on your list:
- Did you know?
- that Montreal is one of 20 most bike friendly cities in the world with over 900 km of trails;
- that Montreal is famous for its bagels – they have an old tradition of boiling them in honey-infused water and baking them in wood-fired ovens. The bagels are crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth delicious on the inside. Be sure to put Fairmount Bagel on your list. It is the first bagel bakery in Montreal using the same recipe since 1919;
- and that the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal hosted the first-ever recorded organized indoor ice hockey match on March 3, 1875?
- Bota Bota is a floating spa, which you must experience especially the ‘Water Circuit.’ It consists of 10-15 minutes in a sauna, 15-60 seconds in a cold shower or in the river and finally 20-30 minutes in a hammock or a relaxation area. Feeling a little peckish? They also have a restaurant onsite too!
- Montreal has 15 markets scattered across the island. Atwater Market, is definitely worth considering. It’s a four-season market featuring seasonal produce and a variety of food vendors from fine meats to ripe cheeses to buttery croissants. You can also get food to go and enjoy it beside Lachine Canal. It’s close to bike paths too.
- Timeout – first in Canada – features a mix of 16 of the city’s top chefs and best restaurateurs, leading mixologists at two bars, a demonstration kitchen, a cooking academy, and a retail shop. Get the App in advance to be able to order in or book a reservation.
- Notable Events
- February - Montréal en Lumière is festival full of theatre, dance, luminous installations, and fine food.
- June – F1 Race and Jazz Festival
- Did you know?
- Not only is it the only walled in city in North America, but it is a UNESCO Heritage site with over 400 years of history.
- Quebec City is located at a very special part of the St. Lawrence where the freshwater portion of the river begins. Meaning it’s just far enough inland to avoid salt water, but still close enough to the ocean to be affected by its tides which is why it flows downstream for half the day and the other half of the day upstream.
- The streets of the Petit-Champlain district and Place Royale are like stepping back 400 years ago with cobble stone streets. It also houses the oldest stone church in North America - Notre-Dames des Victoires built in 1688.
- Whale watching – wanting to connect with nature? Go whale watching! Common species include humpback whales and beluga whales. July to October are the best times to see them and are most active in September and October.
- Ile d'Orleans - a fabulous island for exploring art, culture, history and delectable flavours to tease your taste buds. Local chefs are known to call this island the ‘Kitchen Garden’ because it is where they purchase and collaborate with farmers to create their dishes. - There are 6 villages on the island. Highlights include:
- Tasting wines while overlooking the St. Lawrence
- Indulging in jams, chocolate, cheese (FUN FACT – discover a little cheese shop that produced the first cheese in North America dating back to 1635 - Les Fromages de l'isle d'Orléans) craft vinegers, fresh bakeries, sugar shacks and the famous black current grower Cassis Monna & Filles.
- Hôtel de Glace - Built using 500 tons of ice and 40,000 tons of snow. It is the only ice hotel in North America. It has a chapel, an ice bar (be sure to order the skidoo crash) and more than 40 rooms and themed suites.
- Did you know?
- Charlevoix is only 90 minutes east of Quebec City along the St. Lawrence and truly is a jewel because it offers so much for everyone all year round. From skiing, to food trails, to hiking and biking.
- Imaging skiing down the mountain at La Massif while overlooking the St. Lawrence.
- Explore rugged trails through the forested mountains of La Massif on a summer dog sled.
- Try something new – Hautes Gorges (cycling and boating) and Grand Jardin (via ferrata). You may wonder what is via ferrata? Well it is a combination of hiking and rock climbing. The circuits are adapted to your level and you get to go at your own pace while discovering amazing aerial views and spectacular scenery!
- Flavour Trail (enough said:) )– it’s a self-guided agro-tour in partnership with chefs, producers and processors. Experience a variety of flavours from wine producers to cheese crafters to mushroom farms to bakers to chocolatiers to organic vegetables to cattle and the list goes on. Be sure to put the following on your places to stop: Omerto, a tomato wine producer, and Le Migneron de Charlevoix, a producer of fine quality sheep cheese both hard and soft as well they produce wine and spirits (recovered from the whey generated by the cheese dairy) and of course their cheese ice cream.
Now these are just a few things you can see and do in each of these regions. I would recommend that if you do visit, I would spend 2 days in Montreal, 3 days in Quebec City and a week in Charlevoix.
REMEMBER: If you are not working with a Travel Advisor, please be sure to do the following:
- review your OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) coverage so, you understand what is covered and what is not covered outside of the province of Ontario and research your top-up travel insurance options
- before booking anything fully understand the cancellation and rebooking policies
- and check out the Quebec tourism website for COVID related entry requirements.
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