Québec offers perhaps the most complete mix of culture, scenery and wildlife of any of Canada’s provinces. As the largest French-speaking region outside France and Canada’s largest province, Québec offers a Gallic charm all of its own.
As the cradle of French Civilisation in North America and capital of the Province, Québec City shines for its incredible blend of old and new that, simply put, makes it a destination like no other. Located on the shores of the St Lawrence River, this city is best known for its Old Quarter – the cultural epicentre and heart of Canada. Head inside the UNESCO world-heritage city walls (Québec City is the only walled city north of Mexico) for a nose through its life-size history books.
Québec City boasts quaint narrow streets and beautiful architecture. There are countless monuments, parks, colonial architecture and main squares that draw on the last 400 years of frequent French, British and American battles. Replace the usual city skyscrapers with château spires, skip over the cobbled streets (ladies, beware those high heels) and sip cocktails overlooking St Lawrence’s River from your cliff top perch. In comparison, Montréal couldn’t be more different, it’s a thriving, sparkling and cosmopolitan city, with a foodie’s paradise of restaurants and fantastic nightlife. Whilst you can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides over the cobbles of Old Montréal and sites such as the Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica, downtown has a state-of-the-art underground city, a 28-mile network of shops and hotels. Other cities, such as Gatineau, Trois-Riviéres, Sagueney and Sherbrooke, each offer their own unique take on urban life.
You’ll find sandy beaches, rocky bays and towering cliffs along Québec’s coastline. Visit atmospheric coastal gems, such as Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspesie, Cote-Nord and the Iles de Madeleine. Traversing the south of Québec is the mighty St Lawrence River, which flows from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. South of the river, you’ll find tranquil lakes and gentle peaks, an area of intoxicating natural beauty that draws artists and nature-lovers from around the world. To the north is a paradise of crystal clear lakes, wildlife and, of course, the Laurentian Mountains.
With four distinct seasons, Québec is a year round destination, whether for a short shopping break, after all, it is only a 6.5 hour flight from the UK, or a longer holiday to explore and relax in stunning surroundings. In summer, the weather is hot and sunny with an abundance of outdoor festivals and activities on offer. Autumn sees the leaves change colour, creating breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of brilliant reds and golds. Winters are crisp and very cold with brilliant blue skies and heavy snowfalls, making it a great destination for skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, dog sledding and snowmobiling, and the perfect festive wonderland for a relaxing or action-packed Christmas break. Spring starts late but as nature reawakens, the trees and flowers begin to bloom and the air warms, restoring the colours to a beautifully scenic Québec.