In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour
In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

14 days

CanoesPath Through the ForestRiver Beautiful ViewLaurentian LakeTadoussac River Bank

Discover the beauty of Quebec’s wilderness from Montreal to Saguenay

Spend two weeks exploring the great National Parks and wildlife reserves in southern Quebec. The In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour is a self-drive itinerary that allows you to travel at your own pace while enjoying the great outdoors.

This tour includes visits to two wildlife reserves, where you will be able to watch for animals and see how they live in their natural habitat. A highlight will be bear watching and looking for the playful beluga whale. You’ll spend your nights camping in comfortable, fully-equipped permanent tents or little cottages in the woods. By day, you’ll explore the many scenic trails, cycle the Blueberry Bikeway, go paddling in a traditional Algonquin canoe, and swim in refreshing lakes. The tour also makes a stop at a wilderness resort where you can take advantage of all their onsite activities. The In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour is the perfect self-drive journey for anyone looking to escape into nature and discover all that Quebec offers.

Highlights of the In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

Visit the Saguenay Fjords and take a hike to explore the soaring cliffs above the Eternity River.
Decide how you want to explore the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves by choosing your own hikes and daily activities.
Look for wildlife during your hikes and guided wildlife viewing trips in hopes of seeing deer, moose, bear, and whales.
Discover a new level of comfortable camping in permanent tents and eco-chalets that come fully-equipped for your time in the woods.

Prices

From $2,150USD
14 days
Difficulty
Partially Guided
Hotel and Camping
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
  • Save Money
  • Happiness Guaranteed
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In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Montreal

When you arrive in Montreal, you can pick up your car rental and settle into your hotel. The rest of today is yours to explore the sights and sounds of this lively city.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Montreal
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Journey to the Wildlife Reserve

There will be a big contrast in your day as you depart the busy city and take the quieter roads to Mauricie. Your accommodations at the Wildlife Reserve of Saint-Maurice can only be reached by boat, so you’ll be set up with a canoe, then paddle across the tranquil lake to your cottage.

Tonight, you’ll enjoy the silence of the beautiful Quebec Wilderness.
Overnight Location: Cottage in Saint-Maurice
Distance: 219km
Meals: None

Day 3 Enjoy Your Private Cottage

Wake up whenever you feel like it—you have the whole day to experience the joys of cottage life on the lake. Take the canoe out to explore the lake or relax at your private beach. Check out a nearby trail, where you can hike to a beautiful waterfall known as Fall of the Wind.

Tonight, you’ll fall asleep listening to the quiet sounds of the lake.
Overnight Location: Cottage in Saint-Maurice
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 4 Scenic Drive to Lake St. John

To continue your tour, you’ll canoe back to your car on the other side of the lake. Then, you’ll follow the scenic river route to Lake St. John. On the banks of the enormous Lake St. John, you’ll find Pointe-Taillon National Park and your cottage for the next two nights.
Overnight Location: Cottage in Pointe-Taillon
Distance: 280km
Meals: None

Day 5 Bike, Hike, Swim, or Paddle in Pointe-Taillon

There are almost too many ways for you to enjoy your time in Pointe-Taillon National Park. Visit the sandy beaches and take a swim or go for a paddle. You can explore the numerous trails on foot or go for a bike ride on the Blueberry Bikeway, which hugs the entire lakeside. You can also take a tour with a naturalist guide who will teach you about the local wildlife.

Head back to your cottage for the night.
Overnight Location: Cottage in Pointe-Taillon
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 6 Discover Saguenay Fjord National Park

Drive along the Saint-Lawrence River to reach the village of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord. From here, you’ll be able to explore the dramatic cliffs of the Saguenay Fjord. You’ll also find a lookout that offers a panoramic view of the fjord and a great vantage point to see if any beluga whales are playing in the water.

Tonight, you’ll camp in a permanent tent with nice amenities.
Overnight Location: Camp in Baie St Catherine
Distance: 175km
Meals: None

Day 7 Whale Watching and Hiking at the Malbaie River

Begin your day with a drive to Tadoussac, another great spot to look for wildlife. You can choose to book a boat or zodiac whale watching tour to look for humpback and beluga whales.

When you’re ready, continue across the river into the Charlevoix region and the Malbaie River High Gorge National Park. Spend some time hiking and exploring the scenic river valley or visit the viewpoints on either side of the gorge. Make your way to the National Park of the Great Gardens for the end of the day, where you’ll find your camping accommodations for the next two nights.
Overnight Location: Camp in Grands Jardins
Distance: 216km
Meals: None

Day 8 Visit the Charlevoix Crater

You have the whole day to hike through the tundra and forests of the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve. Make sure one of your trails leads you to the Charlevoix crater, where you can see the ridges left by the impact of a meteor strike millions of years ago.
Overnight Location: Camp in Grands Jardins
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 9 Look for Bears in the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve

The road will bring you through Quebec City, so feel free to make a short stop to visit this historic gem. You’ll need to be at the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve in the early afternoon to meet your guide. In the reserve, you’ll hike into the forest to look for black bears from an observation platform. Over dinner, your guide will tell you about the wolves, bears, and other animals that live in the reserve.
Overnight Location: Cottage in Laurentian Wildlife Reserve
Distance: 178km
Meals: Dinner

Day 10 Explore the Reserve by Canoe

This morning, you’ll wake up in the reserve and go for a paddle in a traditional Algonquin canoe. Then, you’ll enjoy a lakeside picnic lunch.

You’ll have some time to spend at leisure in the park before you begin your drive to Sainte Catherine de la Jacque Cartier. You’ll visit the Duchesnay Resort, which is a natural oasis that offers various outdoor activities.
Overnight Location: Hostel in Sainte Catherine de la Jacques Cartier
Distance: 75km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 11 Play All Day at Duchesnay Resort

The entire Duchesnay Resort is at your disposal today. You can take advantage of all their equipment and activities on offer, including canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and stand-up paddleboards.

When you’re tired from watersports, you can relax at the beach and go for a dip in the lake or the indoor pool. There are also hiking trails, bike trails, volleyball courts, plus some indoor activities.
Overnight Location: Hostel in Sainte Catherine de la Jacques Cartier
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 12 Drive Through the Eastern Townships

Take a leisurely drive through the Eastern Townships and visit the charming villages along your route. Visit North Hatley and Ayer’s Cliff and take a stroll down their picturesque main streets to view the century buildings and scenic setting. Another great stop is Magog, where you can enjoy the many walking paths and Lake Memphremagog.

Your destination for the night is Mont-Orford National Park, where you’ll once again find yourself camping in the wilderness.
Overnight Location: Camp in Mont-Orford
Distance: 280km
Meals: None

Day 13 Hiking in Mont-Orford National Park

Spend the day exploring the many scenic hiking trails and enjoying the gorgeous views from Mont-Orford. If you hike quietly, you may encounter some of the deer and herons that live in the park. Don’t forget to leave some time to relax at one of the park’s beaches or take a swim in Lake Stukely’s crystal waters.
Overnight Location: Camp in Mont-Orford
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 14 Tour Concludes in Montreal

Take a quiet morning hike before you start the drive back to Montreal. You’ll drop your rental vehicle off at the airport and board your flight. You can also choose to extend your stay in Montreal if you want to see more of the city!
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: None

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In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour Price and Dates

This partially-guided tour in Quebec is run as a custom tour and the price per person depends on how many people are in your group.

The best time to travel to Quebec for this tour is during the summer (July and August) so you can enjoy pleasant, warm days.

Private Partially-Guided In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

Have your own private tour with just your group! Prices below are per person:

  • Groups of 2+: $2,150 USD per person
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Accommodation on the In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

This tour is based on a few accommodations, including hotels, cottages, wilderness cabins, and camping. You’ll spend your nights relaxing in natural environments in permanent campsites and cottages that are fully equipped to make your stay comfortable.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travellers
Rooms are double occupancy. If you are a solo traveller or you prefer a single room, please reach out to us for pricing.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Night 1

Hotel in Montreal

Stay in a standard 3-star hotel in a great location. Walk around downtown, Old Montreal, Mile End, and Plateau Mont-Royal to peek into city life in different areas.

Night 2-3

Cottage in the Wildlife Reserve of Saint-Maurice

Experience quintessential cottage life at this private cottage only accessible by canoe. Enjoy the tranquillity as you relax on your own beach.

Night 4-5

Cottage in Pointe-Taillon National Park

Consider this to be upgraded camping. You spend the night in a tiny eco-chalet that has all the basics you'll need to enjoy nature in comfort.

Night 6

Camping in Baie St Catherine

Sleep in the fresh air in a ready-to-camp permanent tent that has been outfitted with all the equipment you'll need for a night in the woods.

Night 7-8

Cottage in Grands Jardins National Park

Enjoy Quebec's new natural retreat, the EXP chalet. Built to blend into nature, these modern tiny cottages have electricity, hot water, and kitchens.

Night 9

Cottage in the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve

Spend the night in a cozy log cabin that is nestled in the forest, where a naturalist guide will host your wildlife adventure.

Hostel near the Duschesnay Resort in Ste Catherine de la Jacques Cartier

Duschesnay Station is all about enjoying the outdoors. Cozy rooms are paired with endless activities and equipment for both land and water sports.

Night 12-13

Camping in Mont-Orford National Park

Experience the joys of camping with added comforts in your permanent tent at this ready-to-camp site.

What’s Included in the In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour?

Meals

Your meals are provided at the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve, including 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner. Other meals are not included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 13 nights are included. Accommodations before and after the tour in Montreal are not included but can be added as a supplement.

Transportation during the Tour

This is a self-drive tour. You’ll be provided with a rental vehicle for the duration of the itinerary.

Also Included

  • Standard vehicle rental
  • Canadian taxes
  • 24/7 access to helpline
  • Canoe rental at Laurentian Wildlife Reserve
  • 4-hour bike rental at Pointe-Taillon National Park
  • Black bear observation tour with guide at Laurentides Wildlife Reserve
  • Activities passport at Duchesnay Station (for equipment use and activities)
  • Park entrance to the parks where you’ll stay the night

Not included

  • Flights
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks not previously mentioned
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Visas if required
  • Optional activities
  • Entrance fees to national parks
  • Gratuities for tour guides or other staff if desired
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Fuel

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy upgrades
  • Optional activities or excursions:
    • Zodiac whale-watching cruise in Tadoussac
    • Hike with naturalist park ranger at one of the national parks

Frequently Asked Questions about In the Heart of Quebec’s Parks Self-Drive Tour

In the two decades since Toundra Voyages Inc. was founded in 1998, the company has become North America’s go-to travel agency in customized independent and group tourism.

Tounda takes a flexible, responsive approach to developing adventure travel tours. By listening to the wants and wishes of travellers, they’ve been able to create memorable, affordable tours complemented by impeccable service.

Toundra’s mission is to create and organize tailor-made travel. They select, adapt, and personalize travel experiences in North America for each and every guest, ensuring your adventure is one you’ll never forget.

Meeting your expectations is just the beginning of what Toundra aims to accomplish. Exceeding them by providing exceptional experiences in beautiful North America is their standard, and their track record of knockout customer service and customized tour planning speaks for itself.

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 1 / 5. This tour has a flexible itinerary that allows you to choose the hikes and activities to tailor them to your fitness level.

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