Île d’Orléans, photo credit Brigitte Ostiguy
Distance : 67 km
Région : Québec et environs
A few kilometres from Québec City’s old districts, sitting in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, an island rich in history, agritourism and architectural and cultural delights awaits you! Orléans Island is a peaceful and beautiful oasis that warmly welcomes visitors. From the lovely Montmorency Falls, you are just a few minutes from unique, must-see attractions!
A. Before crossing the bridge to Orléans Island, stop for an outing at Chute-Montmorency National Park, a must-see tourist site both for the unrestricted view of the St. Lawrence River and Orléans Island, and the park’s history. The falls, 83 metres (272 feet) high, never fail to amaze!
B. To begin your tour of this friendly island, cross the bridge to Orléans Island and take Chemin Royal for the whole circuit. Your first stop will be to discover the Forge à Pique Assaut Blacksmithing ECONOMUSEUM® in the village of Saint-Laurent. The sound of the hammer hitting the anvil will call you to happily look on as artisans make original pieces using modern and traditional techniques.
C. Continue along towards St. Lawrence Maritime Park, where you can discover the remnants of a St. Lawrence River shipyard and the Chalouperie Godbout, recognized as a historic monument. You will get preferential access to the river and a magnificent view of marine landscapes.
Picking strawberries at Île d'Orléans, photo credit Charles H. Leclerc
You are now invited to tour a magnificent historic manor, built in 1734, and its New France garden at the Mauvide-Genest Estate. The guided tour is a great way to discover this New France treasure. map
D. Your next stop is Saint-François! This village is home to the Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans, an exceptional site of colourful gardens. Some of the attractions are a garden of fruit, an Amerindian garden and an immense field of 75,000 lavender plants.
The Maison de nos Aïeux and the Maison Drouin are found in Sainte-Famille. During this historical portion of the circuit, you can tour the former parish presbytery and the Ancêtres-de-l’Île-d’Orléans Park. You can also visit Maison Drouin, which was one of the first residences established in the 18th century.
E. You have now almost come full circle back to your point of departure. In Saint-Pierre, tribute is paid to the great Québec poet Félix Leclerc, who spent the last 30 years of his life on the island. Espace Félix-Leclerc is a place of remembrance, education and distribution to honour the poet’s work, with a café, terrace, boutique and entertainment room. Hikers can walk along the Sentier d’un flâneur that leads to the river.
Drop by Cassis Monna & Filles, part of the ÉCONOMUSEUM® network, to learn about the world of the liquorist, traditional crafts and the origins of the black currant. End your visit with a trip to the boutique where you can purchase unique black currant products and delicacies.