Moderate
Difficulty level
Hiking/Walking
Activity (Hike)
5 Night, 6 Day
Duration

Canada, Québec: Saguenay & Charlevoix Hike

Five nights. Six days of trail hikes with views overlooking the Saguenay fjord and the Saint Lawrence River.


“Always a pleasure traveling with Freewheeling. You’ve managed to hold on to the company ideals throughout the years. Well done.” – Candace B.

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • Spectacular hikes in “The Kingdom” of the fjord and hilly Charlevoix, with views over the water, and walks right beside it.
  • Whale-watching in the world’s southernmost habitat of white beluga whales.
  • Birch copses curiously flourishing in sand dunes near Tadoussac.
  • Artisanal chocolates in Les Eboulements.
  • Peruse art galleries in Baie-Saint-Paul.
  • Unique, friendly Quebecois French culture.
  • One of the world’s longest fjords. White beluga whales gather at its confluence with the Saint Lawrence River. You can visit them and their minke friends by kayak or Zodiac, and can often see them from the shore.
  • Charlevoix is a giant meteorite impact crater, and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, thanks to its diversity, and richness of fauna and flora.

 

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.


Moderate daily distances. A mix of easy walks and some steep and challenging sections along coastal, marshland, forest, and mountain trails. Waterproof hiking footwear is recommended.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: Variable
  • DAY 2: 11 km
  • DAY 3: Up to 15 km
  • DAY 4: 4 km + options
  • DAY 5: Up to 13 km
  • DAY 6: 7 km

Elevation Profile:

 


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

Finish: Québec City, 16:00, day six. .

Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

1

Québec City rendezvous, Montmorency Falls, and Cap Tourmente Wildlife Reserve.

Start in Québec City, where you will be collected and transferred to the nearby waterfalls at Montmorency – Quebec’s tallest waterfall. Downriver, hike through the marshes, plains and forests of Cap Tourmente – a National Wildlife Area established to protect the American Bulrush marshes that serve as the primary habitat of the Greater Snow Goose during migration periods. You will have several opportunities for wildlife viewing, as well as great views over the St. Lawrence River. A short transfer then takes you to the artist-haven town of Baie-St-Paul, and your warm lodge. LD (Meal inclusions shown for guided trips)

Auberge La Muse , Baie-Saint-Paul

2

Parc National des Grand Jardins; hike up to 11 km, drive up to 2 hours.

Today you will explore Parc National des Grand Jardins, home of a unique species of forest dwelling caribou and rare lichens seldom found at latitudes this far south. You will hike alongside steep mountains with bald summits, and enjoy spellbinding views of the Charlevoix crater. On clear days, from atop Mont-du-Lac-des-Cygnes, you will see all the way to the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, and the seven villages scattered through this magnificent Charlevoix region. BL

Same lodging

3

Sentier Le Paysan & Sentier Louis-Charles Audet: Hike up to 15 km, drive up to 2 hours.

A 30-minute transfer takes you to Les Éboulements, named after the violent rock slides caused by a massive earthquake in 1663. Gourmet delicacies are available at La Ferme Éboulmontaise, to nourish you during two hikes, each of which provide many sweeping vistas of Charlevoix and the St. Lawrence River. You can also visit a windmill museum, and can taste rare ice cider at an award-winning orchard. Continue to La Malbaie – an historic resort village that has attracted the elite of North America’s high society for more than a century. America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, referred to the area as “intoxicating as champagne, yet without the hangover.” BLD

Auberge des Falaises, La Malbaie

4

Tadoussac. One-hour transfer, 4km hike, and optional afternoon activities, including whale watching, sea kayaking, and dune sliding.

Tadoussac is where the Saguenay fjord meets the Saint Lawrence – a confluence which produces nutrient rich waters and corresponding ecological richness. Whales love it here, and white belugas are almost always present during the summer months. You will have 4km of coastal hiking at Baie des Rochers, and will visit the Fromagerie at Saint Fidèle. There are many activities to enjoy on a Tadoussac afternoon: visit the Centre d’interprétation des Mammifères Marins, where you’ll learn about the whales of the St. Lawrence River and their protected environment; visit the dunes outside of town, curiously perched far from the river; take a whale cruise, sea kayak to see the whales, or simply repose at your historic lodging. BL

Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac

5

Saguenay Fjord; hike up 13 km

A full day of hiking on the fjord trail, with spectacular views over the Saguenay River. This hike includes challenging, steep sections. During the summer season, the St. Lawrence Beluga whale population regularly comes to the Baie-Saint-Marguerite area, where the opportunity to witness Beluga behaviour seldom seen elsewhere has established it as a critically important habitat for the fascinating Beluga population. BLD

Same lodging

6

Transfer to Québec City; hike 7 km

Today’s transfer back to Québec City, ‘where the river narrows’ will be enhanced with a hike on Cap Rouge trail to a perch high above the Saint-Lawrence near Saint-Tite-des-Caps. You will be back in Québec City in late afternoon. BL

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST OF YOUR TRIP?

Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!

Guided: C 3195 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners, full time guide support, ground transportation, park entry fees, luggage handling, sales tax

Does not include single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and guide(s) gratuities.


Self-Guided: C 2995 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 6 days, 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, ground transportation, park entry fees, luggage handling, sales tax

Does not include single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and support driver gratuities.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


2022 Guided dates:

  • Jun 26-Jul 1
  • Jul 17-22
  • Aug 14-19
  • Sep 18-23

2023 Guided dates:

  • Jun 25-30
  • Jul 16-21
  • Aug 13-18
  • Sep 17-22

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. Please ask us for a no-obligation quote from our insurance providers: Century Insurance, or CSA Travel Protection.

More Reading:


Charlevoix is sandwiched between craggy Laurentian Mountains and the Saint Lawrence River. It encompasses a meteorite impact crater that accommodates dairy farming and great walking! 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.

At the mouth of the Saguenay River, Belugas and Minke whales congregate in the mix of fresh water from the Saguenay and the tidal flow of the Saint Lawrence. 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’.