Canada: Québec

Saguenay and Charlevoix Bike Tour


Seven nights; seven days of moderately easy bike touring, phenomenal hiking and optional sea kayaking while you explore the bike paths and trails of Lac-Saint-Jean, Charlevoix, and the majestic Saguenay Fjord. The terrain is not too hilly, making the longer distances more leisurely and enjoyable.

“The bike path was fantastic. Very pleasing to whizz down the highway to Tadoussac so quickly on a slight downhill.” - Jean O.








Itinerary


Start: Québec City, Auberge Saint Antoine, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location, if necessary,


Finish: Québec City Airport, 11:30, or Auberge Saint-Antoine, 12:00, day seven.


Day 1:

Quebec City to Val Jalbert 26km

Meet in Quebec City this morning for an immediate transfer about 2 ½ hours north to Metabetchouan/Desbiens where the biking begins. Load up on snacks near the rebuilt Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the Métabetchouan Archeological Centre. A short bike ride today allows time for optional excursions, like a refreshing swim in the lake, or cycling a steep, beautiful road to explore the Fairies Hole cave - a spectacular set of hiking trails and stairs through a ravine past waterfalls. Descend from there to ride along the gorgeous lakeshore to Val-Jalbert, where you will feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, lodging in a beautifully reconstructed period home. LD (Meal inclusions shown for guided trips)
Village Historique Val Jalbert, Chambord

Day 2:

Val Jalbert to Saint-Félicien 45 km or Dolbeau-Mistassini 98km

Spend the day biking flat terrain with many optional diversions. The ride will take you along the lakeshore to Saint-Félicien, first passing the Mashteuiatsh Native Museum where you can learn about the culture and heritage of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh people – natives of this area for more than 6000 years. At Saint-Féliecien you may choose to sidetrack to the exceptional Zoo Sauvage, where you are caged on a train and the animals run free. The bilingual interpretation on this ride is exceptional, and this experience receives consistently rave reviews (plan on at least two hours for a stop here). Those choosing the short ride will finish at the zoo, while the long distance riders will continue by bike to Dolbeau-Mistassini and the “top” of Lac-Saint-Jean where you can visit La Magie du Sous-Bois to learn more about Lac-Saint-Jean’s famous blueberries. BLD
Hotel Chute des Peres, Dolbeau-Mistassini

Day 3:

Dolbeau-Mistassini to Alma via Point Taillon 69km

Starting from the bank of the Rivière Mistassibi your morning warm up ride to Saint-Monique will lead you to a highlight of the tour - the bicycle ferry to traffic-free trails around the shore of Pointe-Taillon Park, an immense delta formed by the Peribonka River at the end of the last ice age. There are beautiful beaches and swimming opportunities. Finish the day biking, swimming and playing in the park before a short ride to you inn on the outskirt of Alma. BLD
Gite aux Pignons, or

Rose & Basilic; Alma

Day 4:

Alma to Saint-Fulgence 45km; up to 135km cycling available

Complete your circumnavigation of Lac-St.-Jean finishing at Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix. From here you can be transferred about 90 minutes to your inn or you can extend your bike ride following the Route Verte past lakes and through forests toward Jonquiere and on to your lodging overlooking the Saguenay fjord. BLD
Auberge La Tourelle du Fjord, Saint-Fulgence
La Pourvoirie du Cap au Leste
, St. Rose du Nord

Day 5:

Cap à l’Est to Tadoussac 75km or 100km

Ride on a rolling road with wide shoulders to Tadoussac at the far end of the Saguenay Marine reserve. If the group concurs, we sometimes replace this ride with a strenuous hike to the lip of the fjord for astounding views. BLD
Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac

Day 6:

Hiking (8km), or optional sea kayaking or whale watching

Guided groups will be led on the intermediate 8km hike from Tadoussac up a steady climb to the Adéla-Lessard mountain lookout and back. The broad sloping rock slabs are wonderful spot to rest and take in the view of the mouth of the fjord. Energetic hikers can continue from the lookout a further 9km on the hilly trail to Cap de la Boule (a transfer will be arranged for your return to Tadoussac). An earlier return to Tadoussac will allow time for optional activities like sea kayaking, whale watching, zodiac excursions, or just lingering around the village. B
Same lodging

Day 7:

La Malbaie to St-Joseph-de-la-Rive 56km

Start the day with a transfer to La Malbaie, known as “the first vacation spot in Canada”. You will bike around the interior of a 54km diameter meteor crater formed 350 million years ago. Enjoy true Quebecois hospitality at a café in Notre-Dame-des-Monts and take in a panoramic view of the Saint Lawrence as you approach your inn at the centre of the crater. Don’t worry, meteors rarely strike twice in the same place! This afternoon you can take a 15 minute ferry ride to l’Île-aux-Coudres and explore its blissful solitude by bicycle (23 km). You can also visit a windmill museum or an award-winning orchard to taste their rare ice cider. BLD
La Maison sous les Pins, St-Joseph-de-la-Rive; or

Maison de Campagne Le Nichouette, Les Éboulements

Day 8:

Return to Quebec City & Farewell!

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Quebec City, arriving by noon in time for an afternoon of exploring the Old City, or afternoon flights home. B





Description




Note about the route:

This is an easy to moderate tour, predominantly on paved roads and pathways with a few un-surfaced (fine crushed stone) sections. The hiking on day six is moderate to challenging; bring stout footwear and lots of energy. The optional kayaking will take you at a leisurely pace through usually calm waters - no previous experience is required.






This bike tour takes you through two of Quebec’s most beautiful regions. The Saguenay & Lac-Saint-Jean region is so vast that for generations people have called it “the Kingdom”. A unique sanctuary of culture and breathtaking beauty, it is rich with discoveries and warm, welcoming people, and is ideal for bicycle touring. Starting with the gentle landscapes around Lac St-Jean, you will pedal the shores of the freshwater lake that feeds the Saguenay River. With views of Mont Valin to the north and the Laurentians to the south, this tour provides surprising panoramas. Following the Saguenay’s flow as it leaves the lake you will follow the fjord, one of the world’s longest, to where its fresh waters blend with those of the tidal Saint Lawrence River. This confluence is rich in nutrients, and is the summer hangout for numerous species of whales. Most notable are the pure white belugas that make whale watching, hiking, and sea-kayaking here a fantastic experience.


Next, you will visit Charlevoix, sandwiched between craggy Laurentian Mountains and the Saint Lawrence River. It encompasses a relatively smooth and flat meteorite impact crater that accommodates dairy farming and great bicycling! The wildlife and exceptional richness of its flora have warranted its classification as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, comprising agricultural, tidal marshland, and even mountain tundra ecosystems.


We invite you to come and enjoy the natural beauty, unique culture, and regional cuisine with us. Whether you are a nature lover, a whale watcher, a music fan, a history buff or an adventurer, you are promised memorable moments in this most fascinating region of ‘la belle province.'






Maps & Elevations






Learn more

Québec City is a World Heritage Site and you'll enjoy an extra night or two before or after your trip.

For more cycling, consider exploring the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River on the Bas-St-Laurent Bike adventure.

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 park is lit up with musical firework celebrations!





Costs

Start:
Québec City, Auberge Saint Antoine, 10:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location.


Finish:
Québec City Airport, 12:00, or Auberge Saint-Antoine, 13:00, day seven.



Guided Cost

US 2625 C 3095

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide, van support, maps and route notes)

Self-Guided Cost

US 2465 C 2895

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner (Val Jalbert), inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route notes, ground transportation as outlined in the itinerary, on-call emergency support)

Single Occupancy

US 825 C 975


Bicycle Rental

Hybrid: US 125 C 145
Racing: US 225 C 265
Full Carbon Racing: US 335 C 395
Electric-assist: US 335 C 395


*Contact us about savings when groups of four or more book self-guided tours.*



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.