Les Escoumins, photo credit Julie Gauthier
Distance : 794 km (493 mi.)
The Whale Route begins in lovely Tadoussac. The St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf provide a summer feast for 13 species of cetaceans. Several companies located in various villages along the Route offer whale-watching excursions by kayak, Zodiac or boat. Don’t miss whale watching from the shore and the many interpretation centres on whales.
A. Tadoussac is home to Canada’s first trading post and is an official member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club. The town’s fabulous panorama is at the heart of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.
Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park includes parts of the St. Lawrence Estuary and Saguenay Fjord. This marine park reveals its mysteries and immense natural bounty at interpretation sites and on sea cruises.
B. Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre is a magnificent natural heartland ideal for observing marine mammals. Keep your eyes open: you will be surprised by the diverse shapes and colours of these creatures ... which you can see from the shores. Strike up a conversation with the residents to learn about the history of the lighthouse, the people and much more...
C. Les Escoumins. Founded in 1846, this was the first official village in the regional county municipality of Haute-Côte-Nord. Discover the beauty of marine life in this sector, which is also one of Canada’s best diving destinations.
D. Pointe-aux-Outardes is known for its rural way of life and rich historical and natural heritage. There, you will be learn about to the St. Lawrence Estuary. Visit the nature park, a famous destination for bird-watching (over 200 bird species) that features an interpretation centre on the flora and fauna of Côte-Nord.
The Daniel-Johnson Dam and Manic-5 Generating Station is the largest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam in the world. Its unique design is a testament to Québec’s engineering genius.
E. Baie-Trinité offers a wide range of recreational activities. Visitors looking to learn about history will enjoy the Pointe-des-Monts Lighthouse for spooky adventures, as well as the Shipwreck Centre for information on some of the great maritime tragedies that have occurred since 1600.
F. The magic of Minganie. A string of villages with Acadian, Gaspesian and Innu origins will charm you with their coastal scenery and local cuisine. This is the gateway to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. Established in 1984, it showcases the natural resources found on some 40 limestone islands as well as hundreds of coastal islets spread out as far as the eye can see!
Parc national d’Anticosti Accessible by boat or by plane, this limestone island is renowned for the impressive Vauréal canyon and falls, its great wildlife and its history. The island was purchased in 1895 by a rich French chocolate maker, Henri Menier ...for $125,000.
G. Natashquan. This small village is famous today for its native son, the artist and poet Gilles Vigneault. With a population of 243, it was the first land of the Innu, who today live side by side with the Acadians.