QUEBEC RAINBOW GUIDE 2016-2017

The QUEBEC MARITIME: Incredible change of scenery

The maritime regions of Québec are four of the tourist regions in Eastern Québec: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and the Îles de la Madeleine. Although very different from each other, these regions are united by the sea and a maritime tradition. Whether you are an outdoor lover or foodie, are interested in historical or cultural heritage, or want to see whales, birds, moose or caribou in their natural habitat, the maritime regions have everything you need for a truly exceptional vacation. Welcoming and generous, the people of these regions look forward to sharing their culture and joie de vivre with you! The maritime regions cover an immense territory bathed by the sea along over 3000 kilometres (1900 miles) of coastline. Two mountain ranges extend across these regions, which are also home to vast forests and a multitude of lakes and rivers. Experience our rich heritage and authentic maritime culture at historic and cultural sites staffed by dedicated people, as well as through outdoor activities of all kinds.

CÔTE-NORD: A land of nature beyond measure!
From Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon and Baie-Comeau to Schefferville, Côte-Nord is a land of nature beyond measure. Visiting the Côte-Nord is a 1300 km voyage along the Whale Route. Branch off onto Route 172 to admire the fjord, and then onto Route 389 to discover the northern part of the region. Embarking on the Whale Route is an unforgettable experience that takes you through awe-inspiring landscapes, maritime vistas and thriving forests.

Minganie - ATR CÔTE-NORD

Manic 5 - SÉBASTIEN LARIVÉEThe 13 species of whales found in the St. Lawrence can be observed from the shore or during sea excursions, from the small harbour porpoise to the enormous blue whale, the largest mammal on the planet. This region is one of the five best whale-watching destinations in the world, in terms of both the number of observable species and the quality of the whale-watching experience. From one new discovery to another, you will be filled with wonder Recognized as one of the best places to see the whales of the St. Lawrence, Côte-Nord is also an extraordinary playground for outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts. Hiking, sea kayaking, wildlife observation, hunting and fishing are only some of the activities you can enjoy during a stay or road trip in this region.


BAS-SAINT-LAURENT: 
Fall under the spell
From Kamouraska to Sainte-Luce via the Témiscouata area, Bas-Saint-Laurent is a rich blend of coastal, rural and forest scenery. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, you can enjoy discovering the region's villages, islands, lighthouses, national parks and marine mammals as well as participate in many outdoor activities including hiking, cycling and sea kayaking. Bas-Saint-Laurent, which is also known as the Lower St. Lawrence, boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. This region islocated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence and is the western gateway to the Gaspésie Tour.

ATR BAS-SAINT-LAURENTDepending on where you are coming from, there are many ways to get here. While Saint-André is considered the mecca of sports climbing in Québec, Rivière-du-Loup offers exciting whale-watching excursions.Sea kayaking is possible almost everywhere along the coast, and several islands in the St. Lawrence are accessible for wildlife observation, visits to lighthouses and overnight stays. In the interior, cyclists and hikers can enjoy several days of their favourite activity in the Petit-Témis Interprovincial Linear Park, which consists of 134 km (83 miles) of gravel trails along an old railroad bed. Cyclists can also explore the many other trails in the region, including the Route Verte, which runs along the St. Lawrence.

PATRICE CAOUETTE


ÎLES DE LA MADELEINE: Eyes wide open
Located in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this green archipelago surrounded by white-sand beaches and red cliffs exerts a magnetic attraction on visitors. Renowned for their warm hospitality, the Islanders are also talented chefs, artists and artisans. During your stay, enjoy exquisite seafood, wind sports, sea excursions, visits to local art galleries and studios, hikes and more. Whether you visit to enjoy the water and wind or to explore the rich culture of an island people surrounded by the sea, you will leave with wonderful memories and only one thought in mind: to come back for another visit!

TOURISME ÎLE-DE-LA-MADELEINE  TOURISME ÎLES-DE-LA-MADELEINE

The Îles de la Madeleine are made up of seven inhabited islands, six of which are linked by the main road. The seventh, Entry Island, is only accessible by boat. The total population of the Islands is under 15,000, most of Acadian origin. About 5% are English-speaking, mainly of Scottish origin. The Islands are in the Atlantic Time Zone, which means they are an hour ahead of mainland Québec.Although the Îles de la Madeleine are famous for the baby seals born every March on the ice surrounding the Islands, most visitors enjoy this corner of paradise in the summer months when the water is ideal for swimming, with water temperatures reaching over 20ºC (68ºF) in mid-August. While the miles of fine-sand beaches are perfect for sunning or strolling, the rolling hills dotted with colourful houses will inspire you to go for a hike and admire sweeping panoramic views of the archipelago.


ÎLE VERTE: A lighthouse that tells the sea
ileverte-JEAN-FRANÇOIS RENAUDOn Île Verte, the story is all about the sea – the blue sea of summer, the turquoise sea of autumn, the icy sea of winter, the sea bathed in the light of the rising moon or the setting sun. Under sunny skies or veiled by sea mist, the beaches, rocky shores, tidal flats and the tides themselves have written a new story each time you discover and rediscover them. To visit the island, you can float, fly or walk. To float here, you'll come by boat on the water taxi or ferry; both operate during the sailing season, from spring to late fall. To fly here, you'll take the helicopter, which takes over service when crossing by boat is difficult or when the ice hinders boats but is not yet thick enough to walk on. To walk to the island, you can take the ice bridge that is marked out in winter or, once each summer, join in the Sentier de la Bouette and walk across at low tide. Once on the island, the best ways to get around are walking, biking or the shuttle.


GASPÉSIE: Picture-perfect scenery
PARC NATIONAL DE LA GASPÉSIE-ED HUOTRecognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of Canada's 50 Places of a Lifetime, Gaspésie gives you the opportunity to discover four national parks; famous Percé Rock; the world's most accessible northern gannet colony; a UNESCO World Heritage Site; moose; summits over 1000 metres (3300 feet); lighthouses; Chaleur Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world; remarkable historic sites and more. In the history of tourism in Québec, Gaspésie was one of the first widely known tourist destinations.

Percé Gaspésie

Beginning in the 19th century, Percé—including legendary Percé Rock—along with Carleton and Métis were the first resort areas to welcome middle-class vacationers who enjoyed salmon fishing and the seaside. Furthermore, Gaspé has been considered the Cradle of Canada since Jacques Cartier erected a cross here in 1534.

The Empress of Ireland ... DID YOU KNOW? 
Empress of IrelandIn 1914, two years after the Titanic went down and a few months before the First World War broke out, the Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence off the coast of Rimouski, claiming more than 1,000 victims. The Site historique maritime in Pointe-au-Père tells the story of this tragedy and displays the largest collection of artifacts from the ship. Visit www.shmp.ca




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Consult or dowload the 17th édition of Quebec Rainbow Guide (Guide arc-en-ciel)