Quebec in winter : Charlevoix and Saguenay
How would you like to discover a part of Quebec in winter?
For one week in February 2020, I went to a perfect destination to live the “Winter Wonderland” experience. It’s been a while since I wanted to see Quebec in winter under the snow. And to make you discover the different spots of these two different regions: Charlevoix and Saguenay! What you need to know is that you will get a warm welcome from the people of Quebec when you go there! 🙂
Here is the link allowing you to have all the information you need to live a Quebec-style winter.
Quebec City and Montreal are not covered in this article. This will be the subject of a future trip! (We hope so!)
Discovering a culture :
The cultural heritage is important: beautiful churches, villages in the “far west” style under the snow. There is also the culture as well as the unique know-how of the indigenous populations. Then, they are very good at outdoor activities in winter despite the -20°C: skiing, sledding, ice fishing, ice-skating, ice-cycling (sporty!).
Various and varied activities:
You will also find relaxing activities: Nordic spa / Quebec gastronomy to warm up and special mention for the Coureur des bois, a whisky made with maple syrup!
Essential equipment for the stay:
But if you wish to go there very soon, you should plan to get some equipment for the cold.
- Indispensable heaters
- Photographic equipment: extreme conditions so lower battery life (so take extra battery in the field), tropicalized equipment recommended.
- Drone use: shorter flight time also (battery) but also disabling sensors that can give bad information due to extreme cold. I had a crash because of wrong information coming from the anti-collision sensors which gave a wrong estimation of distances .
The steps to follow according to the guide :
You will find below a few spots in Quebec under the snow!
First destination: Charlevoix
- Le Massif de Charlevoix
- Le Manoir de Richelieu
- Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park
Second destination : Saguenay
- Le Fjord
- Le Mont-Édouard
- St Félicien Animal Park
The itinerary is presented on the maps below and is divided into two parts. First with the first part with Charlevoix and the second with Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
Step 1: Charlevoix
Every winter, snow falls on Charlevoix. A place of predilection for all winter activities, with an abundance of powder snow, outdoor enthusiasts have a lot of fun. You can experience nordicity on the highest peaks, from a fun toboggan ride to total wonder in the heart of the Ice Valley.
After arriving in Charlevoix at 8:30 p.m., I went to Hôtel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix for one night. Nestled between the river and the mountains, Hôtel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix is the ideal address for a dream stay. Its refined design, country charm and local cuisine will make you live an authentic experience.
Baie-Saint-Paul is a cultural capital, where wonders and splendours throne between the river and the mountains. Throughout history, many people have found inspiration here that is greater than nature. In fact, there are many art galleries in the center where a few works are exhibited. It is an important stop on the Charlevoix coast.
Then you will stroll in the rue Saint Jean Baptiste which has recently become pedestrian. You will see small antique stores full of trinkets and other antiques, bazaars to no end! Between two stores, you’ll sit on the edge of a pub terrace, all accompanied by a beer and a well-deserved snack! 🙂
Church of Baie-de-Saint-Paul
The church is located in the center of the city and is the oldest religious parish in Charlevoix.
Le Massif de Charlevoix
Le Massif de Charlevoix is the highest elevation gain east of the Canadian Rockies, a spectacular panorama between river and mountain and plenty of crazy snow.
With close to 75 ski resorts located near major urban centers and a multitude of cross-country ski trails, skiers, snowboarders and cross-country skiers enjoy dreamy northern landscapes! With their hotels, chalets and restaurants at the foot of the slopes, the ski resorts are true resorts offering the most festive après-ski!
Le Manoir de Richelieu
Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu is located 90 kilometers from Quebec and is situated between sea and mountains. It offers luxurious suites and rooms and an incredible view of the St. Lawrence River.
Here the sunrise has given way to a flamboyant and soothing show. The orange colors warm the facade of the Manor, the clouds waltzing above the sky. The landscape is worthy of a postcard!
Sunrise on the St. Lawrence River
Another landscape of Malbaie by day, near the St. Lawrence River.
Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park
The Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie are among the highest walls since the East of the Rockies! The magnitude of the vertical drops, the beauty of the landscapes and the particular layout of the Malbaie River make this site an extraordinary and breathtaking place.
2nd step: Saguenay
Saguenay is a very popular destination for Quebecers, thanks in particular to the nearby Lac-Saint-Jean. Its main attraction is the Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay. You will be able to practice hiking which will give you a visibility on the trail of the Falls as well as that of the Montagne Blanche. They are not to be missed since they give access to the highest point of the park, the summit of the Montagne Blanche.
Le Lac Fjord in Quebec in winter
Surely you have already seen this landscape? Well it is here at the Fjord that these colorful houses are captured. Situated in a natural setting, the site is quite unique, mixing marine climate and mountain scenery.
For the little story, these are the fisheries that are called “ice fishing” that is to say, fishing under ice. They are small ephemeral huts, just for the winter time because they are built on the lake Fjord. In each heated cabin there is a hole a few meters deep, used for ice fishing.
To explore Mont-Édouard, located in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, you can put on your skis and snowshoes to discover it in its entirety. It gives way to exceptional landscapes! There are more than thirty trails to make you happy!
Saint Félicien Animal park
Observing the fauna of the Boréalie and the cold regions of the globe in the pedestrian part is an unforgettable experience! Nature trails aboard our screened train where the animals are in freedom and the visitor is in a cage.
Surrounded by vast and natural spaces, about 1000 animals of which 75 species live there. You will enjoy the fantastic landscapes at the rhythm of nature, in a grandiose setting of 485 hectares.
Feel free to have a look at my other articles on my blog. You will see other winter landscapes there! 🙂