Canada: Québec

Bas-Saint-Laurent Bike Tour


Six nights; six days of moderately easy cycling on quiet paved roads and bike paths, along the “Navigator’s Route’’ - the south shore of the fleuve Saint-Laurent. Includes several of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Québec,” and is gastronomically superb.

“Inns were better than expected. Liked them for different reasons, but all were warm, welcoming, comfortable. Each day, a pleasant surprise awaited us: what would our inn be like?”– Sam & Marcy








Itinerary


Start: Québec City, Hôtel le Concorde, day one. You will meet your guides here or another pre-determined location at 08:30 on the morning of day two. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.


Finish: Québec City ~14:00, day seven. To avoid the four-hour transfer to Quebec City on day seven, consider flying out from Mont-Joli (YYY). The small airport is about 25 minutes' drive from your inn, and operates daily flights to Montreal (Air Canada) and Quebec City (Pascan Airlines).


Day 1:

Independent exploration of Québec City

Arrive at Québec City at your leisure. Your pre-arranged room awaits, and your guide(s) will meet you early tomorrow morning to begin cycling. You can enjoy the art shops, galleries, historical quarters, and cafes of Old Québec. Other highlights include the Musée de la Civilisation, Le Château Frontenac and La Citadelle (North America’s largest fort). Dining options abound; check out https://foodiequebec.com/ for inspiration and current local favorites.
Hôtel le Concorde, Quebec City

Day 2:

Québec City to Saint-Jean-Port-Joli 58km

Meet your guides this morning at about 08:30. Following an introduction to your bikes and each other, you will embark on a gentle ride through the Old City before crossing the St. Lawrence River by ferry to Lévis. From Lévis you will cycle along the riverbank to Beaumont, then take a 30 minute transfer east to Montmagny and the gateway of the Bas-Saint-Laurent to resume cycling. Paved country roads lead you between the Appalachian hills – an extension of the Green Mountains that are further south - and the Saint Lawrence River, toward the seaside town of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Woodcarvers and musicians frequently gather here to display their art. BLD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Auberge La Belle Epoque, Saint-Jean-Port-Joli

Day 3:

Saint-Jean-Port-Joli to Kamouraska 66km or 90km

Ride through Saint-Jean-Port-Joli along a scenic riverside road populated with many artisans, sculptures, galleries and museums toward La Pocatière. Cycle quiet country roads to St Pacôme, the first of several of Québec’s “25 Most Beautiful Villages” you will tour through this week. Follow the banks of the St. Lawrence to Kamouraska, famous for its medieval festival and the archipelago off its shores. The water retreats so far at low tide that some of the islands can be reached on foot. Try not to get caught by the rising tide, or you’ll spend the night alone! BL
La Grand Voile, Kamouraska

Day 4:

Kamouraska to Notre Dame du Portage 52 or 76km

Leave Kamouraska for some coastal and rural biking to St André. Stop for lunch at ‘les Battures Ecologiques’ and enjoy a spectacular view of the Laurentian Mountains. Follow the flow of the river to Notre Dame-du-Portage, another of ‘the Most Beautiful Villages in Québec’, and the end of the historic canoe portage between the St. Lawrence River and Acadia - the Maritime Provinces. BLD
Auberge du Portage, or

Auberge Sur Mer; Notre Dame du Portage

Day 5:

Trois Pistoles to Le Bic 57 km plus 15km on paved trails in Parc Le Bic

Start with a morning transfer to Trois Pistoles where you’ll begin cycling. From a gorgeous waterfall, ride on a woodland trail and across a footbridge into the town of Trois-Pistoles, marked by the tall steeple of the enormous church of Notre Dame-des-Neiges. Stop at the fromagerie, and at the government wharf to take in the view of Ile aux Basques where fishermen rendered whale fat long before Jacques Cartier arrived. The ride from Trois Pistoles to Le Bic takes you through the Basque Highlands, where you can stop to stock up on local specialties such as maple-based drinks. Enjoy the spectacular look off on your way to Saint Fabien, home to the wild falcons frequently seen flying from the cliffs, then cycle to the village of Bic with time enough to enjoy the paved trails of Le Bic Provincial Park. BLD
Auberge du Mange Grenouille, Le Bic

Day 6:

Le Bic to Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens and Métis-sur-Mer 73km

Ride along the waterfront through Rimouski, stopping at the lighthouse and Pointe-au-Père maritime museum to learn about the RMS Empress of Ireland disaster - the most fatal shipwreck of the 20th century since the Titanic. Continue through Sainte-Luce-sur-Mer toward the real highlight of the day: Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens. The gardens are truly spectacular, fusing traditional garden serenity with unusual and contemporary artistic themes. You can choose to finish you cycling at the gardens or continue another 15km beyond to your Auberge. BLD
Auberge du Grand Fleuve, Métis-sur-Mer

Day 7:

Transfer and farewells

The return transfer to Québec City takes about 4 hours. It leaves after breakfast, and arrives in Québec City in the early afternoon. If you prefer not to transfer by van, consider flying from Mont-Joli (YYY) to either Québec City or Montreal. The small airport at Mont-Joli is about 25 minutes from your inn, and operates daily flights to Montreal (Air Canada) and Quebec City (Pascan Airlines). B

“Lunches the guides prepared were by far my favourite dining experiences! The coffee Luke made with a French press was the icing on the cake!”– Beth S.





Description




Note about the route:

This is an easier trip than most, on a mix of paved and unpaved roads and bicycle pathways. While most of the route follows the shore of the St. Lawrence River, there are some hills and van support will be abundant. Expect to ride on hard pack gravel and dirt roads in some places, well suited for hybrid bicycles. This tour now includes a visit to the spectacular Les Jardins des Métis/Reford Gardens, an amazing experience even for non-gardeners!






This adventure follows easy cycling terrain through a viscerally French, historic area known as the Navigator’s Route. Most of the roads are now paved and well-signposted, but you will follow the same path as the first explorers: Jacques Cartier, and founder of Québec City, Samuel de Champlain. The gently rolling, quiet country roads on the southern shore of the mighty Saint Lawrence River takes you to quaint Québeçois villages including five of the ‘25 Most Beautiful Villages in the Province’, and a progression of gastronomic pleasures. As you ride your bike along the St. Lawrence River’s banks, observing the shorebirds and wildlife, admiring the waterfront homes reminiscent of turn-of-the-century seaside resorts, and marvelling at the traditional eel nets reaching out to sea, you might even catch a glimpse of passing whales. In the evening, you can enjoy the sun setting over the Charlevoix Mountains north of the river - rated by the National Geographic as one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. This tour now includes a visit to the spectacular Les Jardins des Métis/Reford Gardens, an amazing experience even for non-gardeners!


Trip History Freewheeling directors Cathy and Philip are involved with a bicycle advocacy board, whose mission leads it to follow the excellent example made by Quebec’s bicycle network - la Route Verte. Studying la Route Verte led to the discovery of some wonderful routes, perfectly suited to Freewheeling’s week-long holidays. Some of our past guides came from Quebec and helped us discover the little things that make a trip outstanding. We now frequently travel to Quebec for biking and skiing, and having become familiar with some fine inns and cuisine in rural Quebec, have developed five unique itineraries in superbly scenic and fascinating regions.





Maps & Elevations





Learn more

For another full week of Québecois bike touring join the Saguenay and Charlevoix Bike Adventure which also starts and finishes in Québec City or head to the beautiful Gaspe Peninsula for a more challenging ride.

Québec City is a fantastic destination and certainly worth an extra night or two before or after your bike tour.

If you're staying in Quebec, our hotel recommendation is the Auberge Le Vincent. A fascinating way to learn about downtown history is to take a guided Ghost Walk. There are also guided walks around the citadelle.

Mid-August Wednesday and Saturday evenings are great for pyromaniacs, as the sky over the Plains of Abraham is lit up with musical firework celebrations!





Costs

Start:

Québec City, Hôtel le Concorde, day one. You will meet your guides here or another pre-determined location at 08:30 on the morning of day two. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

Finish:

Québec City,14:00, day seven. To avoid the four-hour transfer to Quebec City on day seven, consider flying out from Mont-Joli (YYY). The small airport is about 25 minutes' drive from your inn, and operates daily flights to Montreal (Air Canada) and Quebec City (Pascan Airlines).



Guided Cost

US 2285 C 2695

(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide, van support, maps and route notes).

Self-Guided Cost

US 2195 C 2595

(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner (night 6), luggage transfers, essential transfers as outlined in the itinerary, maps and route notes, emergency support).

Single Occupancy

US 545 C 645


Bicycle Rental

Hybrid: US 125 C 145
Electric Assist: US 335 C 395

Racing bikes not recommended.


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 5% sales tax applies. 50% tax refund for non-Canadians.


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Custom or Private Tours

Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!



Here are some terms:

Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked. If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group. Ask for changes to the itinerary.

We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.