The Charlevoix region has a lot to offer: Vast national parks, picturesque villages, a strong agrotourism, scenic drives and unique whale watching marine parks.
For this gateway, we choose the city of La Malbaie as our base camp. If you’re a camper like us, you will probably enjoy staying in a central location in the area without having to move your equipment too frequently.
Our choice of campground stopped at Camping Chutes Fraser. For more information on this little gem of camping, go read my full article on the subject.
For those who like backcountry camping, the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park offers several undefended sites and 7 serviced RV lots.
The city is famous for its casino and its large selection of restaurants run by renowned chefs.
In the hinterland is the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park . The “Acropole des draveurs” trail is very popular hike with trekking enthusiasts. The view at the top is sublime but the climb is demanding.
Have you herd of the history of the meteorite crater in Charlevoix? Learn about the origin of known meteorites and craters on our globe and how to counter them at the Astronomical Observatory of Charlevoix. Experience unforgettable moments under a starry sky during an evening of observation of the stars.
Westbound: From La Malbaie to Baie-Saint-Paul
From La Malbaie, head west along Scenic Route 362 towards Baie-Saint-Paul.
Check out the points of interest of the La Route des Saveurs , which offers a long list of agro-industries and restaurants open to visitors in the region. We stopped at some places and like a treasure hunt we concocted a small picnic that we enjoyed in one of the many rest area along the river road.
Make a stop in Éboulements and Saint-Irénée, two small villages with beautiful landscapes and places to rest.
If time permits, the Maritime Museum of Charlevoix in Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive is very interesting. Located on a former shipyard, climb aboard the schooners, the wooden boats that once navigated the St. Lawrence River.
Terminez votre journée à Baie-Saint-Paul. Aux abords du fleuve, la ville offre une grande variété de boutiques, de nombreuses galeries d’art et abrite plusieurs artistes.
Eastbound: From La Malbaie to Baie-Sainte-Catherine
En route to Baie-Sainte-Catherine, off Highway 138, is Port-au-Persil, my ultimate favorite of the region. Walk on the beach to the small Anglican chapel or swim in the Persil River waterfall. The panorama is strikingly beautiful. You will quickly understand why this place is one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec.
The village of Saint-Simeon is an interesting stop and perhaps a starting point for a whale-watching cruise. We chose to stroll the municipal beach and watch the whales from the wharf and the beluga whales were at the rendezvous.
A few kilometers east of Saint-Siméon, still on the 138, stop at the Baie-des-Rochers municipal park and go for a hike. After 1.9 km you will find a very beautiful beach with breathtaking scenery. The place is ideal for picnicking and swimming.
Final destination: Baie-Sainte-Catherine. Stop at the Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Center, facing the Saguenay Fjord. You will have a breathtaking view of the Saguenay River and Tadoussac. Baie-Sainte-Catherine is also a favorite destination for tourists who come to watch whales and sail in the vast Saguenay Fjord.
Beyond Baie-Sainte-Catherine, if you take the ferry to Tadoussac, is the wonderful Côte-Nord. A region as beautiful as Charlevoix. I will probably cover it in a future article. Visiting the Côte-Nord can be easily combined with a getaway in Charlevoix. If you have the luxury of time, discover it too!
For more information on the region, visit Tourisme Charlevoix’s website.