Phoque du Groenland et son bébé © Le Québec maritime/J.-P.Sylvestre

Îles-de-la-Madeleine

This Gulf of St. Lawrence archipelago’s elongated forms are garbed in sandy, wave-kissed beaches. Pale dunes, rolling green hills, ochre cliffs and brightly coloured houses stand out against the backdrop of the deep blue sea. This idyllic seaside setting is perfect for a holiday in the open air.

Location and access

The islands are located 215 km southeast of the Gaspé peninsula. You can fly there from Québec City or take the ferry from Souris on Prince Edward Island, which links to mainland New Brunswick by way of the Confederation Bridge. Cruise ships to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine also depart from Montréal.

© Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine/M.-C.Leblanc
© Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine/Imaginair
Seal pup watching © Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Walking along Dune du Sud beach, Havre-aux-Maisons © Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Île du Havre-aux-Maisons © Tourisme Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Winter is the perfect season for getting to know the Madelinots and their traditional hospitality. The scenic beauty of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine is yours to enjoy: towering red sandstone cliffs, enormous immaculate ice fields, and snow-covered hills and valleys are sure to amaze you during your stay and your travels.

Seal watching is the main winter attraction on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. At the beginning of March, hundreds of thousands of harp seals give birth to their pups, called whitecoats, on the ice floes in the Gulf. The sight of this immense herd spread out over the endless fields of ice and snow surrounding the Islands is truly awe-inspiring. Come and embrace the peacefulness of the ice canopy, the quiet of winter broken by the barks of seals and their pups all around you. You’ll never experience anything like it!

The Îles-de-la-Madeleine is the only place in the world where you can observe seal pups on the surrounding ice canopy. This marvel of nature is of such rare beauty that you should experience it at least once in your life!

The culture of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine is fascinating. A trip to the Islands does indeed reveal a wonderfully unique landscape, but it also offers an unexpected encounter with their singular maritime culture, the pride and joy of the region’s 13,000 inhabitants.

The Îles-de-la-Madeleine are part of Québec, but their roots lie deep in Acadia, in a history strongly influenced by shipwrecks and by the courage of its people, who have struggled for more than 200 years to build a vital community in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This Acadian legacy is everywhere—architecture, fishing, music and traditions, as well as the local dialect’s musical accents, which delight visitors’ ears the first time they’re heard. The Islands are another world entirely!

Grosse-Île and Entry Island are inhabited by English-speaking Madelinots. They have a rich culture and history, and their roots are strongly embedded in the fishing industry.

The Îles-de-la-Madeleine region boasts an exceptional variety of superb-quality local products. To discover the culinary know-how of the Madelinots is an inspiring experience in itself. In fact, the archipelago is renowned for its cuisine, a highlight of which is its delectable fish and seafood.

On the archipelago, dining out is a celebratory experience. It’s a wonderful way to round out a day of outdoor activities or relaxation. What’s more, the local chefs have dreamt up culinary creations based on the Islands’ products that you’ll find simply irresistible!

Island products are easily recognizable. Search for the label “Le Bon Goût Frais des Îles-de-la-Madeleine” during your stay to discover the archipelago’s products from both the land and the sea.

The Îles-de-la-Madeleine's 300 km (186 mi.) of beaches are sure to delight you! They are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and taking long, invigorating walks. Be adventurous and discover by foot, bike, horseback, diving, sea kayak or boat just what makes the Islands so special.

The archipelago is prized by outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, the Îles-de-la-Madeleines are on numerous lists of top-10 worldwide destinations for sliding and wind sports. The variety of sites and wind speeds offers something to please all who partake in these sports, regardless of their skill level.

More than 300 km (186 mi.) of beaches surround the Islands. Most of the sand comes from the erosion of red sandstone cliffs. When the sandstone is swept away by the salt water, it loses its thin film of iron oxide. Once dry, it appears white.

Online booking
at our partner establishments
Online booking
at our partner establishments
Go to bonjourquebec.com