After having criss-crossed the island of Montreal and discovered its most beautiful urban spaces, there’s nothing like taking the road to the parks to get to know more about the province’s natural riches. Here are a few tips for an adventure-filled trip!
Tempted to visit the lush, nordic forests of Quebec?
Book your direct flight to Montreal from Europe, including Amsterdam and London
Road trips from Montreal… without a car!
For those who prefer to avoid renting a car, Navette Nature – NaNa to its friends – also offers day tours of Montreal by bus. You can also camp or rent a cottage in most parks to extend the pleasure.
When planning for the ultimate road trips from Montreal during your vacation in Quebec, head straight to Mont-Tremblant National Park. A skier’s paradise in winter, Mont-Tremblant attracts hikers and mountain bikers in summer. In June, especially, it’s best to bring along a good mosquito repellent! With its many restaurants and hotels, the pedestrian village of Mont-Tremblant is the place to be while waiting for the next adventure. Entertainment, shows and even cruises… There’s no shortage of activities. The more adventurous will also be spoiled for choice among the many things to do in Mont-Tremblant, such as zip lines, aerial adventure courses and other via ferrata in the area.
For a more authentic getaway rooted in the region’s history, the village of Saint-Jovite is the place to go to discover bakeries, craft stores and panoramic views dotted with lakes.
Gourmet travelers can count on stops along the Chemin du Terroir, which includes maple groves, cider mills, cheese dairies, honey factories and enticing gardens.
For the contemplative, the route des Belles-Histoires, a 284 km circuit from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier that tells the story of the region’s most memorable chapters, is ideal. A mobile application and a podcast can be downloaded to better understand what surrounds us.
How to choose between lakes, mountains, cheese tours, wines and good restaurants for your excursion from Montreal? One thing is certain, the Eastern Townships are as much a delight for epicureans as they are for sports enthusiasts.
Among the great spaces of the region, let’s mention the Mont-Mégantic National Park, in the heart of the first international dark sky reserve and where it’s great to camp with an expert at the ASTROLab. Children will love it! The region is also home to the Route des Sommets, which passes through 15 picturesque villages and some of the highest peaks in southern Quebec, providing easy access to hiking trails and majestic landscapes that open onto the American mountains, which are only a few kilometers away. Without a doubt one of the most spectacular attractions near Montreal.
Closer to Montreal, Mont Orford National Park offers beginner hikes and activities for the whole family. Not far from there, in Sutton, Huttopia Village is the ideal compromise between a hotel and a campground; it even has tents equipped with showers and toilets. The village, which is absolutely charming, also has a refreshment bar, a microbrewery and a few stores where you can chat with the owners.
For a unique 360-degree view in a lesser-known place, seasoned hikers will find plenty to do at the Mont-Ham regional park. It is even possible to spend the night at the summit!
The Eastern Townships also boast some of the most beautiful spas in the province, including the superb Balnea and Spa Eastman, which offers retreats and all-inclusive packages. Above all, take the time to stop in the Townships Trail villages to immerse yourself in the history of the region, where Loyalist settlers settled after American independence. The village of North Hatley, on the north shore of beautiful Lake Massawippi, is a good example. If you’re looking for an exceptional resort, luxury and history go hand in hand at Manoir Hovey, a superb five-star property that is part of the Relais & Châteaux network. Tested and approved by Bill and Hilary Clinton!
Finally, who would have thought that Quebec would become a wine destination? A few vineyards stand out for their production of natural wine that is definitely interesting. It is possible to follow the Wine Route by car or by bike or simply plan a tasting at these fine, all-natural wineries: the Maison Joy Hill, Les Pervenches or the Domaine du Nival.
In the western part of the province, the Outaouais region has a lot of green space, away from the tourist masses. For a short stay, staying at the Moulin Wakefield Hotel & Spa, a former flour mill transformed into a 4-star establishment, makes it easy to explore the area. To take full advantage of this road trips from Montreal to the heart of Quebec’s lush forests, the hotel is also close to the Parc Nature Éco-Odyssée, a labyrinth of water to be explored by paddleboard, kayak, canoe or pedal boat. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some beavers!
A few kilometers away, the village of Chelsea is a must-see. In addition to the stores and restaurants of Old Chelsea, the Nordik Spa-Nature, one of the largest spas in North America, is the place to unwind for a few hours.
In the heart of the Gatineau Park, a gigantic green lung of the Outaouais that shelters a rich and unique biodiversity, the various trails have all their charms. However, one of the most surprising is the one that leads to Pink Lake, a meromictic lake – whose surface and deep waters do not mix. An algae gives it a bright turquoise color under the sun.
To immerse yourself in nature on a peaceful lake, another good option is to head to the Val-des-Monts area, where HOM Mini Chalets are located.
Other destinations for road trips from Montreal:
- The largest park in Montreal, the Cap-Saint-Jacques nature park is a fabulous playground in summer and winter. Very popular, its beach is without a doubt one of the most beautiful in the region, on the shores of the Lac Deux-Montagnes.
- The Lanaudière region also has several parks and high-end establishments as well as cottages and ready-to-camp. This is notably the case at the Auberge du Lac Taureau, where there are Coolbox and cabins in addition to the hotel section.
- To fully experience the cliché of the Canadian log-cabin, head to the Sacacomie Hotel for an authentic stay in the middle of a wildlife reserve. Fishing aboard a rabaska, discovery of the fauna with a zoological guide (including the famous black bear!) and even a hike under the theme of the coureur des bois await the visitors curious to know the ancestral traditions of the region. Definitely one of the most emblematic trips to Quebec and scenic road trips from Montreal.
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