Itinerary help for 18 days in Quebec
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jun 23, 2012 6:15 PM Last Post By: Erick_L
Jun 16, 2012 12:47 PM
Itinerary help for 18 days in QuebecHello all,
We are 2 active people planning a trip to Quebec this August. The options seem overwhelming, so any help would be greatly appreciated! Essentially, we are looking to spend the bulk of our time hiking, camping and whale watching. We'd also like a 1-2 night stay in Quebec City.
As of now, we are planning to pick up a rental car in Ottawa and head towards Quebec City. We are thinking of stopping for a few days of hiking/camping in La Mauricie or Hautes Gorges, then moving onto Quebec City. Following Quebec City, we plan to head up to Saguenay for some time around Tadoussac and Bergeronnes. And if time permits, we'd like to continue onto Parc de la Gaspésie and maybe even Forillon National Park.
Do you think all of this is feasible within our time frame?
If so, is there a different recommended route for returning to Ottawa? Just wondering if there is a scenic way to cover new ground.
If this is not feasible, is our time better spent in the Charlevoix area or on Gaspé peninsula?
We've never camped in Canada before! How much time should we allot to each park to maximize our time in beautiful surroundings and time spent outdoors?
And how far in advance do campsite reservations need to be made?
As for a rental car, any cheap suggestions in the Ottawa area?
And will we be charged significantly if we choose to return the car in Toronto vs. Ottawa?
Lastly, any recommendations for cheap accommodation in Quebec City are welcome!
All advice is helpful. Thanks!
Jun 16, 2012 3:29 PM
1I am in a hurry at the moment, but just to start:
- Hautes-Gorges way before Mauricie for hiking. Hautes-Gorges is east of Québec City so coming from Ottawa, you will be in HG after QCity
- re: cheap accomodation in QCity: how cheap? cheap B&B? hostel? for how many people?
Well, what IS your time frame? You did not say!!
Jun 16, 2012 4:39 PM
2For renting a car I would look into renting a car on the Quebec side to get a much higher mileage allowance. For example Enterprise allows unlimited km within the province of rental but only 200 km/day in other provinces. If you rented the car in Gatineau you would have unlimited km in Quebec.
Yes likely. If you need to get to Toronto take the train/bus.
It's in bold in the title ! 18 days
Jun 19, 2012 7:11 AM
3Does this 18 days include spending time in Ottawa/Toronto? If you are not spending time in Ontario, but just driving, why don't you start your trip in Montreal or Quebec? That would allow you to spend more time in parks.
The Gaspé region is amazing, but it's a bit far. I think you are better to concentrate your time on the Quebec/Saguenay/Charlevoix region and save yourself that much driving. And you'll have plenty of things to do there. You'll have whale watching, you can camp in Grands-Jardins or Hautes-Gorges (I haven't been to either, so I can't comment on them), you can visit St-Irénée, La Malbaie, Tadoussac.
The camping spots can get filled very fast, especially if you plan to camp on a weekend.
You will find everything you need to know about national parks here:
Jun 23, 2012 6:15 PM
4I'd try hard to make it to Gaspésie. That's where you'll find the best hiking and wildlife viewing in Quebec.
In parc de la Gaspésie:
- Mont Albert hike is a must. Do the whole loop.
- Mont Xalibu is great. Relatively easy for a mountain hike and spectacular scenery. Best done in the afternoon to be back down to Lac aux Américains in the evening.
- Mont Jacques-Cartier is the highest point in southeast Canada, although it doesn't feel much higher than the surrounding rounded peaks. The hike itself is nothing compared to the previous two, but it's the best place to spot cariboos. I susggest you take the shuttle from the visitor center to save some driving on gravel. Sit in front and once you're out, sign the register and hike up. You have more chance to see cariboos if you're first at the top.
- Mont Olivine trail is not great but the view on Mont Albert in the morning is spectacular.
- Mont Ernest-Laforce is extremely easy with a 360° view. You can walk this at sunrise (best time to see moose) and hike Mont Xalibu in the afternoon.
Forillon is very small and has some of the most diverse wildlife I've seen in a park. Avian, marine, terrestrial, it's all there. Stay on the trails on the outside of the park. The longer inland trails aren't very interesting. You can visit the lighthouse, tallest in Canada.
Between Forillon and Gaspé, there's a nice salmon fishing hole called "Les Falls" on Darmouth river. Before crossing the river on highway 132, take the street that follows it. It turns into a dirt road and you'll find a small parking lot. The trail is steep. You can see salmon in the clear water and sometimes, you can see them jumping over the little falls. Be careful walking on the rocks. ;-)
In Percé, a boat tour to Bonaventure island is a must. There are a few interesting trails around Percé. Before Percé, there's "Rivière du Portage" (or "aux Émeraudes"). You can walk along the river or drive to a few swimming hole in crystal clear water.
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