Challenging
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)

Canada, Québec: Saguenay & Charlevoix Bike

Seven nights. Seven days of challenging bike touring, phenomenal hiking, and optional sea kayaking, in 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?

  • Challenging cycling with majestic scenery, on 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”.
  • L’Anse Saint-Jean is a beautiful cove on the fjord, with good food available!
  • Charlevoix is a giant meteorite impact crater, and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The most challenging trips, these include longer distances, bigger hills, long hikes, exposed paddling, and full days of activity. We recommend a higher degree of fitness and training to make the most of the experience.


This is a challenging ride, on paved roads, with long distances and hilly terrain.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: independent exploration
  • DAY 2: 45 km
  • DAY 3: 55 km
  • DAY 4: 109 km
  • DAY 5: 73 km
  • DAY 6: 97 km
  • DAY 7: Hiking ~8 km + options
  • DAY 8: 12 km & farewell


Start: Québec City,  Hotel Chateau Laurier, day one. You will meet your guide here or another pre-determined location at 09:00 on the morning of day two. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

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

1

Arrival and 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 de Québec (North America’s largest fort). Dining options abound; check out:  https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurants-Quebec_City  for inspiration.

Hôtel Château Laurier, Québec City

2

Québec City to Isle-aux-Coudres and Baie-Saint-Paul. 45km

Meet in Quebec City this morning for a 90-minute transfer to Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive, and the 11:30 ferry to Isle-aux-Coudres. This quiet island boasts 23km of cycling paradise. You can visit a windmill museum, or an award-winning orchard to taste their rare ice cider. Have lunch at the bistro, then take the 15-minute ferry back to Saint- Joseph, and ride the 20km to Baie-Saint-Paul and its charms. D (Meal inclusions shown for guided trips)

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

3

Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie. 55 km

450 million years ago, an asteroid 2km in diameter crashed into earth, leaving concentric rings as an impact structure here. Although it is shallow and barely discernible today without looking at topo maps, your ride does take you along and through the central crater to the seaside town of 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! BLD

Auberge des Falaises, La Malbaie

4

La Malbaie to the Saguenay Fjord. 109km

A nice long ride today takes you along the coast, first through Cap-a-l’Aigle – one of the prettiest villages in Quebec, then along the coast as far as Saint Simeon before turning inland for a ride through delightfully rural Quebec and along the Petite Saguenay River to the real one in the Saguenay Fjord.

Auberge la Fjordelaise, L’Anse-Saint-Jean

5

L’Anse-Saint-Jean to La Baie. 73km

Your first stop today will be at the Saguenay Fjord National park, where picnic tables on the water make a pleasant viewpoint over the fjord from beneath its walls. The ride continues to your inn, also looking over the fjord near the town of Saguenay. BLD

Auberge des Battures, Saguenay

6

Saguenay to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, continue cycling to Tadoussac, 97km

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. BL

Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac

7

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 (14km) to see the amazing riverside Sand Dunes of Tadoussac, or just to linger in the village. B

Same lodging

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.

SCHEDULED DATES

2023 Guided:

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

2024 Guided:

  • Jun 15-22
  • Jul 6-13
  • Jul 20-27
  • Aug 3-10
  • Aug 17-24

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


 

PRICING

Guided: C 3995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, ferry La Baie to St. Rose du Nord, van and guide support, luggage handling, maps, route instructions, 15% sales tax.

Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Self-Guided: C 3695 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, all ground transportation as outlined, emergency on call support, maps, route instructions, 15% sales tax.

Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Single Occupancy: 1025


Bike Rentals:

Hybrid: 165

Flat bars. Trek fx3 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag

Gravel: 295

Drop bars. Trek Domane AL5 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag

Racing: 455

Drop bars. Trek Madone or similar, full carbon, no rear rack

Electric: 465

Flat bars. Trek Verve+2 or similar, with rear rack/trunk bag


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


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.’