Québec: nature or culture?

Mont Royal Skyline – Montreal © mbruxelle – stock.adobe.com

Going to Quebec to enjoy the outdoors? It’s a safe bet Montreal’s festivals will hold you back for a bit. Are you following in the footsteps of New France? Migrating birds or whales will certainly catch your eye. Quebec has everything to please…everyone! Whether it’s more natural or decidedly cultural, here are some good reasons to visit our cousins ​​across the Atlantic. Because Quebec is also a country to live passionately, to meet its inhabitants!

Also read our archive Best of Quebec

Quebec, for lovers of culture and history

Quebec, for lovers of culture and history

Quartier des Spectacles – Montreal © Stéphan Poulin – Tourisme Montréal

The two cultural centers of the Beautiful Province are none other than Montreal Y quebecrich in a multitude of museums exploring in particular the art and history of Quebec, Canada and the world beyond.

Among the great museums to absolutely discover, let us mention the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the museum of civilization of Quebec or the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec.

To Montreal, cultural life is more than dynamic: it is bubbly. Some have even referred to it as the “cultural capital of Canada.” On the menu : theater, dance, music, monologues and festivals All types (snow party, Montreal in the lightjazz, just to laugh, circus, cinema, song, etc.), often with free concerts, especially frequent in summer. And if the French scene is dominant, it is not the only one, English-speakers have their own productions.

Fort Chambly © michelaubryphoto – stock.adobe.com

Quebec, ” for us, the (damn) French”, is also, of course, following in the footsteps of New France. In historic centers of montreal (a bit of quebec (a lot!) and in the villages born from the old trading posts – reconstituted or preserved, as in Tadoussac Y Sept-Ilesbut also strong william Y Fort Temiskaming against Ontario. At the gates of Montreal, the strong chamberly (1711) is one of the rare witnesses of these bastions raised to fight the English and their Iroquois allies.

The rural life of yesteryear comes to life in the villages on the banks of the San Lorenzo, connected by the King’s road (left margin) or that browsers (right bank). We note that the ranges in the past, these long agricultural plots with access to the river still exist! The Quebec of yesteryear also includes many museums of popular arts and traditionsold wind or water mills (as inCoudres Island and to Saint-Roch-des-Aunaies) and reconstituted historic towns where artisans in period costume are often busy. in particular to Val Jalbert close to Lac Saint-Jean (we love it).

The industrial and craft heritage not without interest: Boréalis Center in Trois-Rivières, paper mill eco-museum in Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive and pulp mill in Chicoutimi (all on the same theme), old forge carpentry in La Malbaie, maritime museums in Charlevoix and the Water Cars Île aux Coudres, Drave Museum in Charlevoix, Pioneer Mill in Saint-Félicien, etc.

Wendake Museum Village © Nicolas – stock.adobe.com

Another topic: how get acquainted with the native american cultures ? Several nations have their museums and cultural centers. the ferrets in Wendake Museum Village, at the gates of Quebec. The Montagnais in Mashteuiash (Pointe-Bleue) and on the North Coast, in particular in the House for the Transmission of Innu Culture from Sept-Iles. the screams in Ouje-Bougoumou (near Chibougamau), in its splendid cultural center of sustainable construction, awarded by UNESCO.

and for him acadian culturebesides New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, we go to the Magdalena Islands or at the end of the Côte-Nord, towards Havre-Saint-Pierre.

Quebec, for lovers of hiking and nature

Quebec, for lovers of hiking and nature

Jacques-Cartier Park © mehdi33300 – stock.adobe.com

With 54% of the forests and 97% of the population concentrated in just a fifth of its territory, Quebec is more than many other a country of nature and wide open spaces.

There are many national parks and wildlife reserveswhich mostly encompasses large areas of forests, wild rivers and lakes.

Let us quote those of Mont-Tremblant, Papineau-Labelle, La Verendrye, essentials Laurentians Y Jacques Cartier Park, Mauricio, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière Malbaie, large gardens, Valin Mountains, Tip Taillon, etc. It’s not easy to spot wildlife there in the dense cover, but late September to early October is Indian summer, a great time to come to Quebec and go hiking. Blood maples, golden birches, the deciduous forests ignite!

the Fjord-Saguenay Park it is different with its towering and impressive cliffs. Like Forillon Park, in the Gaspe. the bicycle, combines rugged terrain, promontories and coves with the first glimpses of the sea. Even more oceanic, there is the Rocher Percé and Bonaventure Island Park (the largest colony of gannets in the world) and, at the end of the Côte-Nord, the strange rock mushrooms of theMingan Archipelago. For parrot islandthe adorable puffins can be seen during the nesting period (May-August).

For more information: see the Bonjour Québec National Parks and Wildlife Reserves page and the SEPAQ website.

Orleans Island © Kristina – stock.adobe.com

In national parks, everything is preserved. In the reserves, we hunt and fish, according to fairly strict quotas. For salmon, it is on the side of the Saguenay and of the North Coast that is happening

The islands of San Lorenzo are charming, bucolic, timeless. Of the’Isle of Orleansat the gates of Quebec, more typical of a drive (looking for apples to pick at the end of summer, for example), of a night at the lighthouse of thePot-au-Phare Island (deserted), the options are many. We walk in theHare Island. We explore theGreen Island. we turn theCoudres Island by car or bicycle, etc.

Snow Geese – Montmagny © Claude Laprise – stock.adobe.com

The river is not an axis only for men: migratory birds follow it too. Thus, twice a year, the Quebec sky is covered with birds. Snow geese descend by the thousands or tens of thousands on the flats of the St. Lawrence and the marshes, particularly in the Reserve Cap Tourmente and to Montmagny

Of course, Quebec is also the Whales. Lots and lots of whales, many species, which can be seen from boats, zodiacs or even kayaks, especially from the side of Santa Catalina Bay Y Tadoussacthen beyond scoumin. This is where you have the best chance of seeing the pretty white beluga whales and giant blue whales, and maybe even a sperm whale. In addition, the interpretation centers allow you to learn everything there is to know about these giants.

Outside of the more populated areas, in summer, you can often take part in observation trips. black bears (Mauritius National Park, Saguenay, North Coastetc.).

Not sure you want to explore all of Quebec to see its wildlife? Anger mahikan wolf park or to Wild Zoo of Saint-Félicien (where all species were collected), near Lake Saint-Jean.

Those who visit the Magdalena Islands in late winter (late February-early March) you will have the opportunity to observe white coats (seal pups) on the ice floe. They are no longer hunted for their fur, as in the old days; only the grown-ups still end up on the menu at local junkyards. the Seal Interpretation Center It will teach you to distinguish the different species.

Experience Quebec with Quebecers

Experience Quebec with Quebecers

Skiing at Mont-Tremblant © Maridav – stock.adobe.com

Quebecers are particularly active. In summer, spring and fall weekends, they hike, canoe, paddle, pitch tents, mountain bike or saddle hop. In winter, they ski (especially in Mont-Tremblant), go for snowshoe rides, snowmobile rides (well, it pollutes and makes noise…), especially on the side of the lake saint john, are dedicated to ice fishing in frozen rivers and lakes, frozen in front of the hole or sheltered in their shed towed on the ice. Versus The Bayin Saguenay, almost 2,000 of these shelters appear in winter!

Maple syrup in the snow © mbruxelle – stock.adobe.com

But hey, it’s not just about sports. Quebecers like to eat. Montreal has been one of the top foodie destinations in North America for years. Montreal cuisine is a melting pot of influences from the city’s diverse communities (see Multicultural Montreal), beyond the Quebec mainstays of putinthe meatloaf where he chinese pate, local specialties to taste. So are the tarts, the tarts (blueberry, yum!), and the maple syrup.

Do you think we caricature? So go to a maple grove in March or April, when the thaw allows maple sap to be collected and the liquid, boiled, is spread on fresh snow in drawn. Maple forests, there are many and everywhere in the south. Specially in Chaudiere-Appalaches and in stretch. A great time in Quebec life!

Text : Claude Hervé-Bazin

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