Moderate
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)
7 Night, 8 Day
Duration

Canada, Québec: Saguenay & Charlevoix Bike

Seven nights. Seven days of moderate bike touring, phenomenal hiking, and optional sea kayaking, on the gentle bike paths and trails of Lac-Saint-Jean, the hills of Charlevoix, and along the majestic Saguenay Fjord.


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

 

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • Easy cycling on bike paths around Lac-Saint-Jean – la Veloroute des Bleuets – The Blueberry Route, also part of Quebec’s Route Verte.
  • Some paved road riding with a fantastic descent into Tadoussac at the mouth of the fjord. Take a day off biking to explore around Tadoussac.
  • One of the world’s longest fjords. White beluga whales gather at its confluence with the Saint Lawrence River. You can visit them by kayak or see them from shore.
  • Locals call this entire area “The Kingdom”.
  • Charlevoix is a giant meteorite impact crater, and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
  • Stay in a reconstructed historical village at Val Jalbert.
  • Take a train through the Zoo Sauvage, where you are in cages and the animals run free.
  • Ride the trails and take the bike ferry at Pointe Taillon Park.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.


This is a moderately easy tour, on paved bikeways and roads, with a few unpaved (fine crushed stone) sections. The terrain starts very gently, and is not too hilly throughout, making even the longer distances more leisurely and enjoyable. The optional hike on day six is challenging; bring stout footwear and lots of energy. The optional kayaking requires less energy and is often reasonably calm; no previous experience is required.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: 26 km
  • DAY 2: 45 km or 98 km
  • DAY 3: 69 km
  • DAY 4: 45 km
  • DAY 5: 75 km or 100 km
  • DAY 6: Variable
  • DAY 7: 56 km
  • DAY 8: Transfer & Farewell

QC: Saguenay & Charlevoix Bike – Elevation Profile

 


Start: Québec City,  Hotel le Concorde, 09:00, day one.

Finish: Québec City, 14:00, day eight. .

Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

1

Québec City to Val-Jalbert, 26km

Meet in Quebec City this morning for an immediate transfer about 2 ½ hours north to La Plage Rigolet in Métabetchouan 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 journey up a steep path to explore the Fairies Hole cave before biking 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 de Val-Jalbert, Chambord

2

Val Jalbert to Saint-Félicien, 57km

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. An early afternoon arrival at Saint-Félicien will provide ample time to experience the exceptional Zoo Sauvage, where you are caged on a train and the animals run free. The bilingual interpretation on this excursion is exceptional, and this experience receives consistently rave reviews (plan on at least two hours for a stop here). BLD

Hotel de la Boréalie, or ;Hotel du Jardin, Saint-Félicien

3

Saint-Félicien or Dolbeau-Mistassini to Alma via Pointe-Taillon, 77km or 137km

Start with a 30-minute transfer to Dolbeau-Mistassini and the banks of the Mistassini River at the “top” of Lac-Saint-Jean. 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 your inn on the outskirts of Alma. Long-distance riders may choose to forego the morning transfer and begin cycling in Saint-Félicien. BLD

La Maison du Matelot, or; Gîte Almatoit, Alma

4

Alma to Saguenay 45km or up to 150km

Complete your circumnavigation of Lac-St.-Jean, finishing at Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, from where you can choose to transfer about 60 minutes to your inn, or continue cycling past lakes, rivers, and forest to Jonquière and your lodging overlooking the Saguenay River. BL

Auberge des Battures, Saguenay

5

Saguenay to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, continue cycling to Tadoussac, 76km

A leisurely start this morning – a short ride to the ferry that will take you across the fjord to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, giving you some great views of the steep mountains on either side. There is a steep climb out of Sainte-Rose, but it’s rewarded by a picnic lunch and a long, gently-rolling road, predominantly downhill, to Tadoussac, where your exceptional hotel awaits. BLD

Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac

6

Hiking 8km; with optional afternoon activities available

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 a 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, a short ride (12km) to see the amazing riverside Sand Dunes of Tadoussac, or just to linger in the village. B

Same lodging

7

La Malbaie to Baie-Saint-Paul, 56km


Start your day with a transfer to La Malbaie, known as “the first vacation spot in Canada”, from where you will bike around the interior of a 54 km 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

Domaine Belle Plage, Baie-Saint-Paul; or, La Maison sous les Pins, St-Joseph-de-la-Rive

8

Return to Quebec City, 12km

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Boischatel, where you can walk the suspension bridge, take a cable car, a zipline, or a via ferrata to view the Montmorency Falls. There are 487 steps on the staircase to the top, where the views of the 270-foot falls are amazing. Have lunch at one of the bistros there, then cycle the last 12km into the heart of Old Quebec City where your adventure concludes mid-afternoon. B

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Guided: C 3995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, entrance to Zoo Sauvage, luggage handling, full-time guide, van support, maps, route instructions, 15% sales tax


Self-Guided: C 3595 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner (Val Jalbert), inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route instructions, ground transportation as outlined in the itinerary, on-call emergency support, 15% sales tax


Single Occupancy: 895


Bike Rentals:

Hybrid-Fitness: 155

Aluminum Racing: 295

Carbon Racing: 455

Electric-Assist: 455


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


2022 Guided dates:

  • Jun 18-25
  • Jul 9-16
  • Jul 23-30 full
  • Aug 6-13
  • Aug 20-27

2023 Guided dates:

  • Jun 17-24
  • Jul 8-15
  • Jul 22-29
  • Aug 5-12
  • Aug 19-26

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.

Interested in custom or private departures?


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a 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. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

More Reading:


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.’