Growing up in Montreal, Highway 20 was a route we often took, mostly to get to Quebec city and sometimes further east. We would always see the signs that read, “Route Des Navigateurs”, which refer to the first explorers that traveled up the river on their sailboats. The 500 kilometer route takes you through the tourism regions of the Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches, and Bas-Saint-Laurent.

We recently decided to hit the road and explore the route from Nicolet to Pointe-aux-Pères. You can see our journey on the map below!

For some reason I had never taken the old route along the southern shore of the St-Lawrence, which has some of the most picturesque towns and beautiful sunsets in the province. After deciding to explore this stretch of the route, I invited my friend Zach Rose, an adventure photographer who is constantly looking for new places to explore. Originally from Toronto, he has traveled all over the world but somehow, has never seen Quebec! I got him a sweet rig so we could hit the road and caravan for a few days. Here are the highlights from our journey.

1. Parc maritime de l’Anse du Port: A wooden boardwalk through woods and marshes, and the home of a rich array of wildlife in the banks on the Lac-Saint-Pierre.

2. Domaine du Clos / Hémérocalles de l’Isle: Wine tasting surrounded by colorful flowers is a unique experience.

3. Îles-Aux-Grues: A peaceful island with a rich history. Make sure to taste Gilles famous smoked sturgeon and watch the sunset at Le Bateau-Ivre.

4. Parc du BIC: You’ll find plenty of beautiful campgrounds and great hikes here. Don’t forget to take a kayak tour to see sea lions.

5. Pointe-Aux-Pères: In addition to the Onondaga submarine you can visit, it’s also a great spot to meet other vanlifers as you can park overnight on the wharf.

In short, the Route des Navigateurs is filled with panoramic views, surprising experiences, and is easy to travel with your adventure mobile. Each town has its own enticement!

Here are the main locations and their timecodes from the video:
0:03 Parc maritime de l’Anse du Port
1:55 Domaine du Clos
2:02 Marina of Lévis
2:26 Isle-Aux-Grues
2:35 Maison du Grand-Héron
3:07 Auberge-des-Dunes (Bateau Ivre)
3:10 Saint-Jean-Port-Joli
3:28 Sculptures by artist Michel Saunier
3:42 Bisons Chouinard
3:50 Camping de la Demi-Lieue
4:00 Sebka
4:17 Le BIC
4:24 Kayak with Aventures Archipel
4:46 Site historique maritime Pointe-Aux-Pères
5:04 Kamouraska

Story made possible by:
Québec Original
Québec Maritime
Centre-du-Québec
Chaudière-Appalaches
Bas-Saint-Laurent

All photos by Zach Rose.