The French Riviera is a popular hotspot in France, but it is often crowded and full on. You can still experience French culture by the water, but on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The Canadian province of Quebec is primarily French speaking and this French culture is evident as you uncover the natural beauty of this majestic region. Explore the Eastern coast of Canada on this Quebec Coastal Road trip from Auto Europe.
Montreal is a unique fusion of both European and North American culture and is filled with stone-walled taverns, candlelit drinking establishments, lively festivals and a cutting-edge arts scene. Visit the Old Town with quaint cobblestone streets, fashion boutiques and gourmet restaurants. The Musee des Beaux-Arts, or Museum of Fine Art, is located in the Golden Square Mile District and is home to the works of many fine artists. The Notre-Dame Basilica is Montreal's oldest Catholic Church and is known for its intricately designed interior, with a stained glass window history of the city. Montreal is named after Mount Royal, which is a small mountain located immediately west of downtown. Experience a stunning view of the city and surrounds from the top.
Proceed south west, following the St. Lawrence River, to the city of Trois-Rivieres, a city with a misleading name. In French the name translates to three rivers, but there are actually only two rivers, and the namesake three refers to the three branches of the St Maurice River at its mouth. Step back in time at the En Prison to relive the harsh realities of lock-up. The prison is connected to the Musee Quebecois de Culture Populair which is renowned for its regional folk-art collection and quirky pop-culture exhibitions. Church enthusiasts should head towards the Cathedrale de l'Assomption which soars above the skyline with its neo-Gothic architecture.
Quebec City is the capital of the province, located approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes from Montreal and an hour and 30 minutes approx. from Trois-Rivieres. The historic city is one of the oldest cities in North America and the large Vieux-Quebec or Old Quebec is surrounded by fortified walls, one of the only cities in North America to have these. Meander around the old city with its dated buildings, green parks and remarkable churches. The Chateau Frontenac is a grand hotel which towers above the surrounding buildings. The hotel is known as one of the most photographed hotels in the world thanks to its striking position in the Quebec City skyline.
Continue following the St. Lawrence River and you will arrive at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. This small town is known for Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, a major Roman Catholic place of pilgrimage. The shrine is dedicated to Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus Christ. Located in the town is the Cyclorama of Jerusalem, a cyclorama featuring a circular painting of the Crucifixion of Jesus, and historians claim it portrays an accurate description of Jerusalem at the time.
The petite town of Baie St Paul was once home to Cirque du Soleil, today the town has a tamer environment. The town features 30 galleries and studios along with historic houses which are now home to superb restaurants. Another 30 minutes along the river, you will arrive at La Malbaie, the perfect base to explore the local alpine region. Enjoy a whale watching cruise, ski on the snow covered slopes of Mont Grand-Fonds or enjoy a meal at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.
As we near the end of our Quebec Costal Road Trip, drive further north for approximately 1 hour, crossing on the ferry to Tadoussac, a natural paradise home to sea kayaking, exploring the fjord by boat or wandering the dunes and headlands. But what really draws visitors here is the whales, belugas and minkes can be glimpsed from the shore or take a Zodiac and zip in and out of the waves in search of these beauties. It is a picture perfect end to your Quebecois Coastal Road Trip.
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