Quebec:

Eastern Townships Bike
Six nights; six days of cycling through L’Estrie – Quebec’s lovely south, with nice lodging, outstanding cuisine, and pretty towns, farms, and forests.

Explore now

“Great job. Freewheeling pays close attention to all the details. This was our first fully guided trip and given the very short time frame we had to arrange the holiday it was nice not having to research everything” - Miriam B. & Peter F.


Why this trip?



  • Fabulous, hilly cycling easily accessible from Montreal, on bike paths and paved roads.
  • Haskell Opera House straddles the Canada-USA border.
  • Québécois tradition with Anglophone culture.
  • Vineyard region near Dunham.
  • Pedal on an aerial bikeway through the trees near Sutton.
  • Cider and cheesemaking at L’Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac.
  • Excellent cuisine, including sweet maple syrup, delicious ice wine, great beer, fantastic cheese, aromatic bakeries, and generally wholesome meals.



Is it for me?




A challenging ride with hilly sections mixed with easier bike paths. There are some traffic-free bike trails, some paved and others with loose stone surfaces, as well as paved roads - most with very light traffic. Relaxed riders may require van support over some of the hilly sections, or are advised to rent e-bikes. Advanced riders will enjoy these long rides and the opportunity to spin.

The best time to enjoy this tour is mid-June to mid-October.

- Spring daytimes warm up to 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F) by mid June. Note that seasonal businesses may still be closed, or on off-season hours, until late June.

- Summer, mid June to mid September, is normally 20 to 25 °C (70 to 80 °F). Freshwater and saltwater swimming is encouraged.

- Autumn, mid September to mid October, daytimes 10 to 20 °C range (50 to 70 °F). Nights can be chilly, but rarely down to freezing. Mid-October is the best time to see spectacularly colorful fall foliage.





Itinerary



Day 1

±57km. Artria Cultural Loop

Meet your guides in Montréal for a one-hour transfer to Bromont or Granby, unless you are driving there yourself. You will be cycling today, so please be prepared when we pick you up for the transfer. Today’s ride is almost entirely traffic-free, on the Artria route, also partly known as L’Estriade. It is an attractive 50km loop with optional extras, boasting a series of permanent art installations, the beautiful Yamaska Park, and the charming towns of Granby and Waterloo. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)

Auberge Le Madrigal, or Manoir Maplewood, Waterloo


Day 2

40km; Bromont to Sutton – a Townships Traverse

Ride along Le Villageois Trail, the Vineland Route, past Lac Brome, and along an old coach road to Sutton. The rolling landscape becomes hilly, and almost traffic free. Be prepared for some unpaved roads, and a quiet pastoral ride with Sutton mountain views until you get close to Sutton. Lac Brome duck is a culinary specialty, and the rest of the cuisine is fabulous, too. With just 5km left to ride today, you might like to stop at Domaine Breese – a pretty vineyard in Sutton Junction.

Le Pleasant Hotel, or Auberge Sutton Brouërie, Sutton


Day 3

up to 90km. Loop ride through wine country from Sutton

A nice long ride through beautiful vineyards and several quiet towns, this will take you on La Doyenne des Vins – the Wineland Route. You will ride through Dunham where you can stop at the brasserie, or at the sculpture garden of Domaine des Cotes d’Ardoise. You can detour to see a covered bridge, and will ride along beautiful tree-lined roads near Pigeon Hill. This is the famous Chemin St-Armand, and it will take you all the way to the beautiful village of Frelighsburg for a visit to the bakery. After that, ride the scenic route along the Canada-US border to Abercorn and back to Sutton for a well-deserved dinner at your choice of fabulous options. B

Same Lodging


Day 4

70km. Sutton to Magog via the abbey

Touch the US border again, as you ride through beautiful Glen Sutton, where you can stop to ride aerial bikes along a tramway through the trees - and along the Missisquoi River. In Bolton Centre you can cool your feet in a pleasant river before continuing to the Abbey of St-Benoît-du-Lac (www.st-benoit-du-lac.com) where for lunch you can sample and buy cider and cheese made by the monks. Continue riding north around Lake Memphremagog, perhaps stopping at the labyrinth in Magog before finding your comfortable inn. BLD

Manoir de la Rue Merry, or
La Belle Victorienne Auberge & Spa, Magog


Day 5

81km Magog To Ayer’s Cliff or North Hatley

Ride through Georgeville and Fitch Bay enroute to Beebe Plain and Stanstead. Visit the Haskell Opera House and the Colby Curtis Museum, then ride toward the treasure trove of Ayer’s Cliff, where you can coast down a long hill to the top of Lac Massawippi in North Hatley – Quebec’s most beautiful village. The Pilsen Pub serves its own excellent draught (www.pilsen.ca). This afternoon, you have the choice of riding hilly paved roads or the gentle, unpaved Tomifobia forest trail. B

Ripplecove Hotel & Spa, or Manoir Hovey, North Hatley


Day 6

46 or 58km

Ride the unpaved bike path past Mont Hatley toward the village of Compton, stopping for the Capelton copper mine tour if you like, and explore the Louis St. National Historic Site to learn about Canada’s 17th Prime Minister, Louis Stephen St. Laurent. Follow quiet back roads to Ayer’s Cliff, and return to the comfort of your lake front lodge either by road or by “Le Wippi” – a cyclist and pedestrian-only ferry. BLD

Same lodging


Day 7

Morning transfer 90 minutes back to Montreal. B


Dates



Self-guided available on any dates except the following:


2021 Guided dates

  • June 13-19
  • July 11-17
  • August 1-7
  • August 15-21
  • September 5-11
  • October 3-9
  • 2022 Guided dates

  • Jun 12-18
  • Jul 10-16
  • Jul 31-Aug 6
  • Aug 14-20
  • Sep 4-10
  • Oct 2-8


  • Prices



    US 3595 C 3995 (per person, double occupancy)

    Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, maps, route instructions, van and full-time guide support, sales taxes

    US 3095 C 3495 (per person, double occupancy)

    Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner (Day 1), inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route instructions, essential transfers, on-call emergency support, sales taxes

    Single room
    surcharge

    US 745 C 855


    Bicycle
    Rental

    Hybrid: US 135 C 155
    Road: US 255 C 295
    Full Carbon Road: US 395 C 455
    Electric-assist: US 395 C 455




    1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, as shown on our webpage. You can also check our growing group page to see where groups are already forming.

    2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

    PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. Please ask us for a no-obligation quote from our insurance providers: Century Insurance, or CSA Travel Protection.


    All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.



    Get to the start



    Meeting Point: Auberge du Vieux Port, Montreal, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location.



    If you fly:

    We suggest you plan to spend one or two nights in Montreal before or after your Freewheeling Adventure.

    If you are arriving by air, we recommend you fly in to Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport YUL www.admtl.com/Passengers/Home.aspx. We can arrange to pick you up at most Montreal hotels. The standard meeting place is Auberge du Vieux-Port | 1-888-660-7678| www.aubergeduvieuxport.com This elegant 19th-century hotel is set on the Saint Lawrence River in Old Montreal. It offers 45 refined rooms with original stone walls that date back to when the building operated as a warehouse a century and a half ago. 97 rue de la Commune Est.

    If you drive: Meet either in Montreal, where your inn can help arrange parking for the week, or in Granby, where we begin cycling. We can help you find appropriate parking. You can arrive at your convenience, and your room will be waiting. Your guides will meet you the morning of day two. It is 800km from New York, and 800km from Toronto. You can arrange parking at the inn for the week.



    Finish



    Finish point: Auberge du Vieux Port, 11:00, day seven.

    We will return you to your car in Granby or to the airport or any hotel you choose in Montreal, on the morning of day seven.



    Before and After



    If you have one day:

    Montréal is a city of contrasts, yet a well- tempered personality. Its Old-World charm and New World effervescence are unquestionably woven into the fibre of the metropolis, but it’s the wondrous amalgam of cultures that gives Montréal its unique cachet. The largest bilingual city in North America, and the second largest city in Canada (after Toronto), Montréal draws upon the combined strengths of its French and British roots to attract newcomers from around the world. Enjoy the many facets of the city ranging from the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal to the sleek glass towers of the business district. For more information about Montreal, check out www.mtl.org

    Definitely try a Smoked Meat Sandwich in Montreal. Don’t call it pastrami. Montreal’s sandwich of choice bears some similarities to the New York deli specialty, but there are key differences, too, in the process and spices used to cure the beef brisket and in the resulting flavour. Montrealers also swear by their bagels, which are smaller and denser than their famous New York cousins. The Montreal-style bagel is wood-fired, and many of the city’s bagel joints do their baking within view of the seating area.

    If you have several days:

    Extend your trip without leaving Quebec. You can link this tour with other tours we operate in Quebec.