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Charlevoix is a beautiful region of the province of Quebec in Canada. Famous for its idyllic topography of rolling hills and mountains adorning the St. Lawrence River, the landscape is actually the result of a massive meteorite that crashed down millions of years ago and created a deep crater nearly 60 km in diameter.
Charlevoix attracts visitors because of its agro-tourism and regional fare, arts & culture, and scenic driving routes that highlight the region's many attributes. In addition the small towns that dot the region are lovely places to stop and soak in Quebec's history via the architecture and regional charm.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Where is CharlevoixThe 6,000 km 2 region of Charlevoix, Quebec, begins an hour east of Quebec City and continues along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, ending in the town of Malbaie, just short of Tadoussac.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Charlevoix Attractions & Highlights
Charlevoix attracts outdoors lovers, foodies and those with an interest in history and architecture amongst others.
Isle aux Coudres is a romantic island in the St. Lawrence, a 20-min. ferry ride from the mainland. The island is known for its stone windmills, historic buildings and coastline view - lovely by bicycle.
Other Charlevoix attractions include the farms, breweries and local gourmet offerings of the Flavour Trail, the scenic drive along the St. Lawrence Route, the superb mountain scenery of the Mountain Circuit, whale watching, and beautiful provincial parks.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Getting to Charlevoix
Quebec City is a natural starting point for a trip to Charlevoix. From Quebec City, drive an hour and a half east on Hwy 138.
Ferry access to Charlevoix is between Baie-Sainte-Catherine – Tadoussac, Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive – Isle-aux-Coudres, and Traverse Rivière-du-Loup – Saint-Siméon.
Currently, no train goes to Charlevoix; however, Le Massif de Charlevoix Train is set to launch in summer 2011.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Charlevoix - Fast Facts
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- Area: Charlevoix covers 6,000 km2
- Distance from Quebec City: 93 km (an hour drive)
- Distance from NYC: 950 km (10 hr drive)
- Population: 13,000+
- Economy: Charlevoix' economy is based on agriculture, forestry and tourism.
- Major towns: Baie-Saint-Paul, Malbaie, Saint-Siméon, Saint-Hilarion, Saint-Irenee, Les Eboulements, Isle-aux-Coudres
06 of 08
St. Lawrence Route, Charlevoix
The St. Lawrence Route (Route du fleuve) runs through Charlevoix along the St. Lawrence River on Hwy 362 between Baie-Saint-Paul and Malbaie. The St. Lawrence Route is one of Canada's most scenic drives.
If you want to go whale watching, the St. Lawrence Route is the most direct route to whale-watching destinations Baie-Sainte-Catherine and Tadoussac, but if you want to see more of the region's local food producers, you may want to head north on Hwy 138 which loops down again to Hwy 362 at Malbaie.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Manoir Richelieu Hotel, La Malbaie, Charlevoix
As if the St. Lawrence Route drive isn't stunning enough, at the eastern end of it, you arrive in La Malbaie, which is home to the fantastic Fairmont Manoir Richelieu. The hotel is indulgent: the historic castle-like building itself with its lush interior and the manicured grounds set high above the St. Lawrence River make the Manoir Richelieu a unique hotel property.
Also on premise is a casino, pools, tennis courts, 27-hole golf course, observatory and much more.
Read our Manoir Richelieu review
Check Manoir Richelieu RatesContinue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Whale Watching in Baie-Sainte-Catherine - Tadoussac, Quebec
The region where Charlevoix meets the Saguenay Fjord is rich in marine life and one of Canada's most popular whale watching spots.
Remaining in Charlevoix, Baie-Sainte-Catherine has several whale watching operators that offer cruises, Zodiak or kayak outings.
More whale watching options are just across the Saguenay River in Tadoussac. To get to Tadoussac, you must take a 10-min ferry, which is free of charge, will accommodate your car and operates 24 hrs / day.
One advantage of staying in Baie-Sainte-Catherine to whale watch is that you don't have to bother with the ferry, however your extra-curricular activities, lodging and dining options are more limited than the more "bustling" Tadoussac (which still has a population less than 1,000).