Charlevoix, Quebec

  • 01 of 08

    Charlevoix, Quebec

    View of Baie-Saint-Paul in Charlevoix, Quebec, about an hour and a half east of Quebec City.
    ••• View of Baie-Saint-Paul in Charlevoix, Quebec, about an hour and a half east of Quebec City. Scott McLean

    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.

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  • 02 of 08

    Where is Charlevoix

    Google Map of Charlevoix
    ••• The region of Charlevoix is in the province of Quebec, east of Quebec City. It runs along and inland of the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. Image of Charlevoix location © Google Maps
    The 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.
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  • 03 of 08

    Charlevoix Attractions & Highlights

    double-spired cathedrals dot the Charlevoix countryside
    ••• Many double-spired cathedrals dot the Charlevoix countryside, including the one at Baie-Saint-Paul. Scott McLean

    Charlevoix attracts outdoors lovers, foodies and those with an interest in history and architecture amongst others.

    Two of the region's biggest attractions are Le Massif de Charlevoix ski resort and the Manoir Richelieu, a stunning, historic Fairmont hotel.

    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.

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  • 04 of 08

    Getting to Charlevoix

    ••• Get to Charlevoix by car, bus, plane, train or ferry. Map © Tourisme 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.

    The small Charlevoix Airport is near Malbaie. The closest international airport is in Quebec City (compare flights). From Quebec City, you can rent a car, take a bus or fly.

    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.

    See more about Charlevoix transportation options

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  • 05 of 08

    Charlevoix - Fast Facts

    Le Massif de Charlevoix
    ••• Le Massif de Charlevoix is a ski resort east of Quebec City that boasts glorious views of the St. Lawrence. Le Massif / François Piché
    • 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
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  • 06 of 08

    St. Lawrence Route, Charlevoix

    ••• The St. Lawrence Riverside Route runs along the St. Lawrence River between Baie-Saint-Paul and Malbaie in Quebec. Map © Tourisme 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.

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  • 07 of 08

    Manoir Richelieu Hotel, La Malbaie, Charlevoix

    The Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu at Dawn, Charlevoix Region, La Malbaie, Quebec
    ••• Yves Marcoux / Getty Images

    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 Rates

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  • 08 of 08

    Whale Watching in Baie-Sainte-Catherine - Tadoussac, Quebec

    Whale watching
    ••• Scott McLean

    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).