Montérégie

Montérégie, Getaways for every taste

Étienne Dutil
Commentaires

To the southeast of Montréal stretches a vast, bucolic and hilly territory that’s home to many vineyards, orchards and maple groves. Bordered by the St. Lawrence and bisected by the Richelieu, the Montérégie is an invitation to indulge in relaxation and gourmet discoveries. In the spring, the rising sap puts the local sugar shacks into full swing. Come fall, the humble apple in its many varieties reigns supreme, and city dwellers flock to U-pick farms in search of fresh air and a sense of freedom.

Two itineraries, the Countryman’s Tour and the Cider Route shine the spotlight on local products, as do the region’s renowned restaurants. Head off by bike to explore the Montérégie’s impressive 600 km network of cycle paths that link up to the Route Verte (green route). And to enhance your escape further still, there’s always golf, hiking, cross-country skiing and any number of delightful B&Bs. History is everywhere in the Montérégie. The Chambly Canal is a popular place for a stroll. Many of its locks are still operated by hand, to the delight of pleasure boaters! Neighbouring Fort Chambly, another national historic site, attests to the 18th- and 19th-century skirmishes between France, England and the United States. The Montérégie’s magnificent wide-open spaces are the perfect backdrop for outdoor pursuits. Hikers take to the trails of nearby Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno, while in the winter, skiers flock to its slopes and famous ski school. The Centre de la nature du Mont-Saint-Hilaire is home to some 185 bird species and numerous mammals and amphibians. A boat trip is a pleasant way to discover the fauna and flora of the Sorel islands, which are part of another splendid biosphere reserve.

From August 9 to 17, 2014

International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu T. 450-347-9555 www.montgolfieres.com

This festival, the biggest of its kind in Canada, brings together a rainbow of variously shaped hot air balloons from several countries. The program features two flights per day and a hundred shows on several stages.



From August 1 to 3, 2014

Couleurs urbaines de Granby

Centre-ville, rue Principale
Granby (Qc), Canada
J2G 2V1 T. 1 450 361-6081
www.couleursurbaines.org

In 2012, the Couleurs Urbaines event for visual arts will be celebrating its 15th edition. Many activities are scheduled. More than 65 visual artists will be on site to meet with visitors and share their art. A silent auction will be held; this is a great way to obtain an original piece at a good price. An indoor exhibition held at Boréart is another great way to discover on-site artists. There will also be musical entertainment outdoors and other surprises to delight all.

 


Attractions

Pointe-du-Buisson
Musée québécois d'archéologie

333, rue Émond, Melocheville, Québec, J0S 1J0
T. 450 429-7857 www.pointedubuisson.com

Discover a major archaeological site and museum, and journey through the 5,000-year history of Pointe-du-Buisson! The museum offers activities for all the family: diverse events, archaeological search, guided tours, laboratory.


Fort Chambly

T. 450 658-1585 , www.pc.gc.ca/fortchambly

Construit au pied des rapides de la rivière Richelieu en 1709, le fort Chambly est un imposant fort de pierre qui protégeait la route vers Montréal d'une attaque britannique. Authentique témoin de la présence française en Amérique, le fort Chambly a été restauré en 1983. Aujourd'hui, ses murs renferment des expositions qui rappellent les différents conflits armés des 17e et 18e siècles, les activités de la garnison française qui y logeait ainsi que le peuplement et le développement de la seigneurie de Chambly.

Built at the foot of the Richelieu River rapids in 1709, Fort Chambly is an impressive stone fort that protected the route towards Montréal against British attacks. Authentic witness of the French presence in America, Fort Chambly was restaured in 1983. Now, in these walls, we find exhibits that remind us of the different armed conflicts of the 17th and 18th centuries, the activities of the French garrison who lived there, as well as the human and physical development of the Seigneurie de Chambly.

Fort Lennox

T. 450 291-5700, www.pc.gc.ca/fortlennox

The role of Fort Lennox was to protect the colony against an eventual American invasion by way of the Richelieu River. It is located on an island bearing the charming name of "Île aux Noix." The fort is accessible only by boat, which gives visitors the feeling of going on an escapade into the past.



Lodging

Gîte Point de vue

135 ch. Bourget, Rigaud, Québec, Canada, J0P 1P0
T. 514 927-6468
lepointdevue.net

Perched on top of Mount Rigaud in Monteregie,nestled in a green paradise between the earth and the sky, the site will astound you with its spectacular view. The Bed and Breakfast offers you superior confort of a classy certified "4 suns" lodging with a hearty four courses breakfast served in a rustic and picturesque setting. Two rooms and three suites with private bathroom await you... "Le Point de Vue" is located halfway between Montreal and Ottawa. Come enjoy the warm atmosphere of this residence and relax in outstanding confort close to nature. 



Campground

Plein Bois

www.campingpleinbois.com T. 1 888-459-4646

At only 45 min. from Montreal, the campground Plein Bois (25th anniversary this year) offers 400 grounds, small rooms, trailers, two pools, terraces, bars, restaurant, a discotheque with DJ every Fridays, Saturdays and holydays. Also concert hall and sports' facilities.

 


Ciders

Cidrerie Michel Jodoin

1130, Petite Caroline,
Rougemont,?Québec
T. 450-469-2676
cidrerie-michel-jodoin.qc.ca

An apple never falls far from the tree and, indeed, Michel Jodoin is a fourth generation apple grower. Since 1988, he has also become a cider producer. Found in Rougemont, Quebec’s “apple capital”, Michel Jodoin’s cider mill offers 16 ciders of all sorts and even an apple brandy. It is in 1999 that Michel Jodoin receives his distiller’s permit, allowing him to produce three unique apple spirits. His cider mill thus became the first microdistillery in Canada and a must-see in Quebec. At first, Michel Jodoin hoped to sell a hundred bottles per month. In 2004, he was producing 100,000 bottles, proving that a passion can quickly become contagious. Year-round, the cider mill is open to visitors who wish to discover its boutique and taste its ciders. Visitors also have access to a hiking trail on Rougemont Mountain, to a terrace and to diverse gastronomical activities organized in spring and autumn. Michel Jodoin products are available at the cider mill, at the SAQ and at supermarkets.


Vergers Écologiques Philion

389, rte 202, Hemmingford, Québec, J0L 1H0
T. 450 247-3133
www.vergersphilion.com

Only 35 minutes from Montreal, near Hemmingford, the Vergers Écologiques Philion grow 15 varieties of apples, eight varieties of pears and one variety of plums, which visitors can come and pick up themselves from august to november. The Philion family makes, from these fruits, two quality products: an ice cider, the Friga, made with a blend of no less than 5 varieties of apples; an ice perry, the Gaia. The Friga and Gaia are available at the Marché des saveurs du Québec in Montreal.