Post-symposium excursion to Charlevoix region (Registration is complete)

Québec – Isle-aux-Coudres – Tadoussac – Baie-Saint-Paul – Québec
(26th – 30th August 2016)

  Credit: Journal Le Charlevoisien  

General information

Our post-symposium excursion will allow you to discover the spectacular Charlevoix region, located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. This dramatic landscape is composed of rolling hills, fjords, headlands and bays and was designated the World Biosphere Reserve of Charlevoix by UNESCO in 1989.

Price includes:

  • Four nights at hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • One supper at Isle-aux-Coudres (excluding beverages and alcohol)
  • Two suppers and one lunch at Tadoussac (excluding beverages and alcohol)
  • One whale watching cruise (3 hours)
  • Entry fees to all parks
  • All transportation (air conditioned luxury coach)




Program Overview in PDF

Program Details in PDF

Charlevoix tourism map

1st day – Friday, August 26th: Québec – Isle-aux-Coudres


The first day, we will start in the afternoon and follow the St. Lawrence River and take the ferry to the island of Isle-aux-Coudres. Discovered in 1535 by French explorer Jacques Cartier, this magnificent island occupies an area of 30 km2. Its name originates from the many nut-bearing trees on the island, coudrier in French (Corylus cornuta), for hazel tree. The first family settled on Isle-aux-Coudres around 1720. At that time, the islanders lived in completely autarky (self-sufficiency); today there are 1279 residents on the island.


  Charlevoix   Charlevoix  
  Credit: Société du réseau ÉCONOMUSÉE®   Credit: Tourisme Isle-aux-Coudres  

Lodging: Hôtel La Roche Pleureuse (including supper and breakfast)

That charming and unique hotel was built in 1930 on Isle-aux-Coudres and is named after a legend (that you will discover on the island). The decoration brings back the memory of French Canadian ancestors’ customs and habits. Visitors will have access to the salt water pool. Bicycles can also be rented at the hotel to discover the island on your own.

2nd day – Saturday, August 27th: Isle-aux-Coudres – Tadoussac

Visit of the cider-company and orchards Cidrerie et Vergers Pedneault on Isle-aux-Coudres

It is in 1918, when the Pedneault family planted the first 300 apple and fruit trees on its ancestral land of the island. Today, this family enterprise owns more than 1200 fruit trees in its orchards and offers a large selection of prize-winning ciders and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic products processed from their own fruits.

Visit of the art studio Les Ateliers DeBlois

Back on the mainland, on our travel to Tadoussac, we will make a halt in the picturesque village of Saint-Irénée to visit the art studio Les Ateliers DeBlois. This well-known art studio features since 1985 the exclusive work of Joan DeBlois and Stéphane Bouchard, including everything from functional pottery to Raku (a Japanese style of firing).


At the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence rivers, Tadoussac was a favourite meeting point among First Nations from the North and South. It was a place of barter where northern fur would be traded for southern products such as tobacco, corn, tools and adornments. The Montagnais (native peoples) would call it Totouskak, because of the granite mounds that rolled on the west side of the village. It was at that very spot that New France was born, when Pierre de Chauvin founded the first French trading post in 1600. To this day, Tadoussac remains a major jewel among Québec heritage sites. It is still a place of global convergence for visitors who want to get in sync with the St. Lawrence’s tide and eavesdrop on the echoes of moaning whales.

  Credit: Journal Montreal Gazette (Hôtel Tadoussac)  

Lodging: Hôtel Tadoussac (for two nights, including two breakfasts, two suppers and one lunch)

Overlooking the majestic Tadoussac Bay and the St. Lawrence River, the hotel officially opened its doors to the visitors in 1865, marking the beginning of vacationing in the region. With its whitewashed walls, red roof, maritime colours, dormer windows and cupola, the hotel calls to mind an earlier era.

3rd day – Sunday, August 28th: around Tadoussac

Whale Watching Cruise

For thousands of years whales (e.g. blue whales, humpbacks, fin whales, mink whales, and belugas) have come to the St. Lawrence River in the Tadoussac area. They spend the summer diving to the bottom of the river to feed on the rich marine life before migrating to the Atlantic Ocean in the fall. In the morning, we will participate on a 3 hour whale watching cruise on the St. Lawrence River.

  Credit: Jean-Pierre Sylvestre (Le Québec Maritime)  

Visit of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park

After a lunch break at Hôtel Tadoussac, we will visit the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in the afternoon, with its Interpretation Centre of marine mammals and the Archeological Centre of the human occupancy of the North Shore.

  Credit: Baleines en direct  

4th day – Monday, August 29th: Tadoussac – Baie-Saint-Paul

On our way from Tadoussac to Baie-Saint-Paul, we will make a side trip to the Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-rivière-Malbaie.

Visit of the Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-rivière-Malbaie (National Park)

The name Hautes-Gorges of this national park refers to the valleys that are deeply entrenched and surrounded by high mountains (formerly fjords following deglaciation). This site is amongst the highest peaks to the east of the Rocky Mountains. The significance of the slopes, the scenic beauty and peculiarities of the Malbaie river make this site an enchanting environment. This park has the privilege to be one of the main areas of the Biosphere Reserve of Charlevoix. Visitors will have access to hiking paths, canoe, kayak or bike rental, or pay for a memorable boat cruise on the Malbaie river.

  Credit: Hélène Lapointe (  


Baie-Saint-Paul was first colonized in 1678. Three century old mansard-roof houses can be seen on rue Saint-Joseph. But the modern-day heart of the village beats on rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste, in the variegated colors of the twentieth century dwellings. A thriving cluster of art galleries, shops and artist workshops bear witness to the vitality of this quaint Québec town.

  Credit: Linda Fasteson (Notable Travels)  

5th (last) day – Tuesday, August 30th: Baie-Saint-Paul – Québec

Visit of the Montmorency Waterfalls

On our way back to Québec City, we will visit one of the most spectacular sites of the Province of Québec, the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. With a height of 83 m, i.e. 30 m higher than the Niagara Falls, this impressive waterfall dominates the scenery.

  Parc de la Chute-Montmorency  
  Credit: José Silva  

Roundtrip of Île d’Orléans

This island in the St. Lawrence River is the cradle of French civilization in North America. Three hundred founding families established roots on Île d’Orléans. The island has been described as the "microcosm of traditional Québec and as the birthplace of francophones in North America". Inhabited since time immemorial, Île d’Orléans offers gorgeous scenery stretching along the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

  Île d’Orléans  
  Credit: Excursions Maritimes Québec  

Return to Québec City around 16h00.