The St. Lawrence: maritime flavours and your best summer memories

Attractions to discover, August 22, 2022 2022-08-22
Parc National du Bic Parc National du Bic, Bas-Saint-Laurent © TQ/C. Savard

One of the longest rivers in the world, the St. Lawrence River stretches from west to east over nearly 2,000 kilometres, offering an ocean of opportunities to practise water sports. But its fame does not end there. All around the water are treasures waiting for you to explore. And what better way to do so than by driving the scenic roads along the river? So pack your bags, load up your car, and open your eyes!

Route des baleines
Côte-Nord © TQ/M. Loiselle

The Whale Route

You guessed it: the Whale Route, or Route 138, is one of the best vantage points in Quebec for seeing up to 13 species of whales. In Tadoussac, the route begins with boat excursions to meet them. Then, the route continues for 880 km, where countless observatories are set up to see them from the shore. Cruises, museums (such as the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre in Tadoussac), beaches, and places to practise various sports follow one another to entertain you while deepening your knowledge of these cetaceans until Havre-Saint-Pierre. It is impossible to miss the monoliths of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve and the île d’Anticosti, known for its marine landscapes, gorges, caves and white-tailed deer.

The St. Lawrence Route

Also known as The St. Lawrence Route, Route 132 stretches from Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie over 78 km. On your left are the breathtaking landscapes of Charlevoix, and the magnificent cities and villages of Baie-Saint-Paul, Les Éboulements, Saint-Irénée and Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive. On your right, the mighty St. Lawrence. And all around you'll come upon museums, mills, artworks (including the sculptures at the Domaine Forget International Festival), adventures and shows. If you feel like stretching your legs after hours on the road, take a bike tour of Isle-aux-Coudres. If you're more in the mood to relax, bask on the beach in Saint-Irénée, or wait until the very end of the tour to pamper yourself at Spa O’Quartz.

Route du Fleuve
Domaine Forget Le jardin harmonique des sculptures : Lucienne Cornet, Mémoire Vive, 1996 | Résonance infinie Allegretto – 2007 Charlevoix © TQ/D. Lafond
Route des Navigateurs
Passerelle Nicolet Centre-du-Québec © TQ/Z. Rose

The Navigators' Route

Winding its way along the shores of the Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches and Bas-Saint-Laurent regions over 470 km, the Navigators' Route celebrates the journeys of those who explored its waters over the past three centuries. History and biodiversity are central features of the entire route, from the parc écomaritime de l'Anse-du-Port - Passerelles de Nicolet, which offers trails and observation towers to admire the fauna and flora, to the parc national du Bic, a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. It's your turn to sail between art and culture, museums and microbreweries, experience and memories.

All these paths lead to the St. Lawrence River! Which one will you follow?

For more road trip ideas this summer, check out the Experience the St. Lawrence section of our website.

In partnership with Bonjour Québec

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