Bas-Saint-Laurent, photo credit Michel Julien
Tour Distance: 530 km (329 mi.)
Duration: 3 to 4 days.
Greetings to our visitors from the Maritime Provinces! When you cross into Québec on Route 185, you’ll go straight to Québec City and Montréal to discover some of the greatest attractions in the province and magnificent landscapes along the way. If you are looking for more detailed itineraries, you can also consult Gaspésie Tour and the Navigators’ Route, which present many attractions well worth a stop!
A. Entering Québec. If you are coming from the Maritimes via the New Brunswick-Québec border, you can take Route 185 north to the Dégelis infotourist centre. This is a good place to finish planning the last details of your trip to Québec or learn more about the latest activities happening in the area during your stay.
B. On to Rivière-du-Loup. When you get to Dégelis, you will be in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. As you wind down Route 185, you can admire the landscapes of forests, rivers and lakes, particular to this region. At the end of the road, you’ll meet up with the St. Lawrence River and the city of Rivière-du-Loup. Breathe in the pure, salty air and discover the city’s remarkably rich history, as well as its welcoming natural setting, unique attractions and festivals that are unmistakably Québécois.
From Rivière-du-Loup, you have two options: Route 132, where you will discover some of Québec’s most handsome villages, or Autoroute 20 towards Québec City to reach the province’s capital in less than two hours. Either way, you’ll drive through the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches regions, following the mighty St. Lawrence River.
Place Royale, photo credit Claudel Huot
C. Nearing the Capital. You are getting close to Québec City and it’s time for a stop! We bet you’ll love this: cross the river aboard the Lévis ferry to get directly to Old Québec, and as a bonus you’ll get an unrestricted view of Cap Diamant. Once on the Québec City shore, make the most of your time and explore the Lower Town district and attractions you won’t want to overlook, like Place Royale and Quartier Petit Champlain.
It’s time to get back on the road and we suggest you take Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, beginning in Old Québec. This exceptional panoramic route will take you to Pierre-Laporte Bridge and back to Autoroute 20 or Route 132 to explore the Route des Navigateurs (Navigators’ Route).
Montréal Botanical Garden, photo credit Michel Julien
D. The Metropolis. You have nearly reached your final destination: Montréal! To cross over into the city, take the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel; it will lead you to the eastern part of the city to the Olympic Park and Montréal Botanical Garden, located in the Space for Life museum complex along with many other attractions. Finish up your trip by driving downtown to explore Old Montréal and its fabulous architecture.