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Up and Down the River

By July 24 2015All stories

La belle province has so much to offer, you should consider a little North Eastern trip for your next summertime adventures. Here’s a great itinerary you could do that can take between 5 to 14 days, depending on how long you stop. I highly suggest driving up the south shore on route 132  which will take you to the furthest point East in Gaspésie, where breath taking scenery awaits the eye. To maximize the trip, we decided to hop on a ferry and cruise down the north shore to explore more of what Québec has to offer. We were not disappointed I can guarantee that you won’t be either.

We left Montreal and drove 4 hours East until Isle-Verte. You need to book the ferry if you want to go on the island, there’s only 12 spots for cars and 50 places for humans! We obviously did not book it but in the morning we hopped on a small fisherman boat to reach the island. You can easily spend the night in the ferry’s parking lot and enjoy a beautiful sunset. If you’re lucky enough to catch our delightful fisherman, you can hitch a ride to the island for as low as 5$ per person on your own personal fish boat!

Isle Verte is approximately 13 Km all around and offers a peaceful countryside atmosphere. You can take a long walk, have access to bike rentals or even hitchhike to take the grand tour. If you’re lucky enough, you might see whales hanging out near the lighthouse.

We met Matt, traveling with his Westfalia named Berry, along with his 4 year old daughter Maya! We continued on the rest of the afternoon riding across the island together.

Driving towards Matane, you’ll see a lot of agriculture offering highly colourful landscape views. The field of electric yellow hues really paid off for the lack of sun that day.

If you continue your drive 3 hours East on route 132, you’ll be in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts which is 1 hour passed Matane in Gaspésie. You’ll find endless beaches and beautiful scenery at every corner. If you feel like partying, you should park your van at the Sea Shack, where live shows perform weekly, and you’ll enjoy a bonfire by the sea!

The next day you can explore the Parc de la Gaspésie, about 1 hour South of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. You’ll have several options for great hikes! An easy and interesting one is the Ernest-Laforce trek, where we were lucky enough to come across a few moose.

You’ll enjoy a great view of the Mont-Albert up there!

There’s a brand new ferry that crosses the river from Matane to Baie-Comeau (Côte-Nord), it takes about 2 hours and cost about 45$ for the vehicle and 20$ per person. We thought it would be fun to come back to Montreal down the other side of the St-Lawrence river. Be sure to try the infamous Matane shrimp roll before heading back on the road!

Two hours West, you’ll find the small town of les Escoumins, where you can sleep at the Paradis-Marin camping for as low as 33$ per van. If you like to see whales without going on the typical commercial whale cruises, which to many may be disturbing for wildlife, this camping site offers whale views alongside your morning coffee. We guarantee they come around close by every morning for a swim.

You’ll see different kinds of whales and other mammals who have adopted this area as their main summer hangout.

On the way back, you should stop in La Malbaie or Baie St-Paul, to explore the beautiful Charlevoix region. Pssst…They make mouth watering cheeses you can enjoy on the long roads back home!