Exploring Quebec's St. Lawrence River & Quebec City

  • St. Lawrence River
  • Jacques Cartier National Park
  • Île aux Coudres
  • Île St. Louis
  • Route des Saveurs
  • Baie-Saint-Paul
  • Saguenay Fjord
  • Montmorency Falls
  • Île d'Orléans
  • Château Frontenac


July 22 - 28, 2024


  • Multi-night stays in lovely inns, delicious farm-to-table food and drink, and warm hospitality
  • Quaint, evocative historic sites: village churches, an ancient stone windmill, and atmospheric villages for wandering
  • Quebec City’s lovely patrimony and unique culture
  • The perfect blend of nature, culture, and elevated lifestyle

Trip Description

It’s July, so that must mean that idyllic Quebec is calling our names. What a stunning place! That’s why we return to one of our favorite Quebec itineraries. Beginning and ending in Quebec City – famously European in form and heritage – we’ll drive downriver on the bucolic north shore of the St. Lawrence River. Our route is marvelously squeezed between the mountainous outback of Jacques Cartier National Park and the river itself, leading us by farms producing fruits and berries, traditional villages-turned-artist colonies, rich fir forests, and the presence of the river. We’ll explore two of St. Lawrence’s islands: the Ile aux Coudres and the larger Ile St. Louis. Eventually, we’ll reach the Hudson’s Bay Company headquarters (think 1864 HQ), where the Saguenay River empties into the St. Lawrence—one of the world’s best whale-watching places. We’ll return to Quebec City, and enjoy city touring from the base of a beautiful lakeside hotel.



Day 1

Fly into Quebec City this afternoon, and enjoy the scenic drive north along the St. Lawrence River. We’ll make our way through Quebec’s enchanting Charlevoix region, a gateway to outdoors exploration, artist communities, heritage farms, and delicious local products. We’ll follow the tourism route called the Route des Saveurs (Route of Flavors) to the idyllic artist colony town of Baie-Saint-Paul.  Check into our charming inn, where we’ll spend two nights, and enjoy dinner at the hotel’s bistro.

Overnight, Baie-Saint-Paul.

Day 2

Depart our hotel, and take the ferry to the nearby Ile-Aux-Coudres, in the middle of the Saint Lawrence.  We’ll spend the morning exploring this lovely and bucolic island, known for its historic churches and rich farming culture.  We’ll visit one of Quebec’s great cider distillers, a lovely traditional stone windmill, and lunch in a local bakery-café.

In the afternoon, we’ll return to the mainland, where we can relax and enjoy our home base of Baie-Saint-Paul.  Enjoy the Victorian-era streetscapes: inns, cafés, and boutiques; visit the local galleries or the Museum of Contemporary Art; or enjoy a visit to a local lavender farm.

Day 3

Today, we’ll continue driving along the St. Lawrence River, passing through charming riverside towns and dramatic panoramic vistas en route.  We’ll ferry across the confluence of the deep Saguenay Fjord and the Saint Lawrence River, where we’ll find our new lodging for the next two nights: the Hotel Tadoussac, an iconic Victorian-era hotel, established in 1864 by the Hudson’s Bay Company.  Enjoy exploring the lovely town of Tadoussac, home to local artisans, charming streets, and rich regional history.  Soak in the serenity, and watch the wind wave the evergreen trees over the rocky shoreline.

Day 4

This morning, we’ll venture out onto the water for a whale-watching adventure.  It’s the perfect time of year to take to the water, as multiple species of whale feed and rest in the deep waters of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers. We’ll depart by comfortable boat for our marine adventure, and spend three hours out on the water.  After our excursion, enjoy lunch in Tadoussac (included).  This afternoon, enjoy relaxing in town, take a scenic drive, or hiking options around the cliff-lined Saguenay Fjord.

Day 5

Today, we’ll drive back up to the vicinity of Quebec City, and relocate to our new lodging on a natural lake at the threshold of the Jacques-Cartier National Park, set on a lovely lake just north of the city. Along the way, we’ll stop and see the stunning Montmorency Falls, which eclipse even Niagara Falls in height.  We’ll also make a visit to the Île d’Orléans – a rural wonderland, and an important link in some of Quebec’s earliest colonial history.

This afternoon, enjoy relaxing at our lovely lodging with a waterfront view.

Day 6 & 7

Today, we’ll visit beautiful Quebec City and its charming old town.  Enjoy a guided walking tour this morning, see the imposing and iconic Château Frontenac, wander the cobbled streets of the atmospheric Petit Champlain district, soak in lively street scenes, and enjoy a delightful Québécois lunch in town (included).  We’ll also have free time to enjoy the city this afternoon, before returning to our lovely lodging.

After one last breakfast, we’ll bid au revoir to Quebec this morning, and depart for home.  If you wish to continue your adventure and explore Montreal on your own, it’s an easy train ride away and we will be happy to make recommendations for you!

Featured Experiences

Hotel Tadoussac

This historic property dates to the 19th century, and enjoys an ideal location perched above the beautiful Tadoussac Bay and the historic village of Tadoussac. Neighbouring a pristine natural ecosystem and whale-watching site that ranks among the most treasured in Canada, the Hotel Tadoussac offers the warm hospitality of a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of nature.

What's Included

  • Comfortable van transportation
  • Accommodation for 6 nights with breakfast in outstanding local inns
  • 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$4,063 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $705)

What's Not Included

Price does not include airfare, other meals, alcohol, or trip insurance (recommended).

I highly recommend Explore Up Close. Not only did we enjoy some beautiful cities and landscapes, we learned so much history. They are memory makers!
If you want first-class service within a small group of traveling companions that you can really get to know, then definitely consider Explore Up Close.

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