Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Gaspésie © Le Québec maritime/M. Loiselle

Québec maritime

Le Québec maritime comprises four tourism regions in eastern Québec: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord (Manicouagan and Duplessis) and Îles de la Madeleine. Discover this region, with its 10 national parks, the immense St. Lawrence River and its proud and welcoming people.

Location

Located in the easternmost part of Québec, the tourist regions comprising Québec maritime abut the shores of the St. Lawrence River. From Québec City, take Highway 40, followed by routes 138 and 389 to explore the Côte-Nord region (Manicouagan and Duplessis), and take Highway 20, then Route 132 to discover Bas‑Saint‑Laurent and Gaspésie. Ferries are also available to cross from one shore to the other. The Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine region, for its part, is accessible by plane, by boat or by car if you reserve a spot on the CTMA ferry that takes you from Souris, Prince Edward Island to Cap‑aux‑Meules.

Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, Côte-Nord © Le Québec maritime/J.-P. Sylvestre
Îles de la Madeleine © Le Québec maritime/É. Marchand
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Côte-Nord © Le Québec maritime/S. Deschênes
Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie Lighthouse, Bas-Saint-Laurent © Le Québec maritime/P. Canali
Route 132, Gaspésie © Le Québec maritime/M. Loiselle

A route for everyone

The roads that criss-cross the maritime regions of Québec offer breathtaking panoramic views of sea, mountains, lakes and forest. In addition, a number of ferries link the two shores of the St. Lawrence River, allowing you to easily multiply your road trip possibilities without having to retrace your steps.

Do the legendary Bas-Saint-Laurent - Gaspésie tour, follow the Route des Baleines (Whale Route) or explore the Îles de la Madeleine. Wherever you go, you will be amazed by the range of attractions and activities that await you. And that’s not counting our river cruises!

Looking for a way to explore the region that strays a bit from the straight and narrow? How about crafting a theme-based itinerary: lighthouse tour, bird watching, local flavours, artists and artisans…

No fewer than four ferries link the two shores of the St. Lawrence in the maritime regions of Québec, allowing you to visit multiple areas without retracing your steps. Another activity that will simultaneously enable you to appreciate the landscape from vastly different vantage points.

Wildlife observation

The maritime regions of Québec are home to a wide variety of large marine and terrestrial species and is a paradise for observing such animals as: whales and seals; thousands of birds, including 116,000 Northern gannets on Île Bonaventure as well as the iconic Atlantic puffin; a huge population of white‑tailed deer, including 166,000 on Île d’Anticosti; the only herd of caribou south of the St. Lawrence, an exceptional concentration of moose, and many black bears, to name but a few.

Take advantage of a trip to this region to go visit them in their natural habitat, for instance, in our many national parks, during a free activity or on a guided tour with a naturalist.

No fewer than 13 whale species roam the waters of the maritime regions of Québec, including the fragile beluga and the impressive blue whale—the largest animal on Earth. Observe them while on a boat excursion or directly from shore!

Lighthouses and the maritime heritage

Over 40 lighthouses dot the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the maritime regions of Québec. All located on remarkably beautiful sites, and proud testimonials of the region’s history, several of these lighthouses have been granted a second life by being transformed into interpretation centres, inns or cottages. Visit them by taking the Route des Phares (Lighthouse Trail), and be sure to spend the night in at least one for an experience you’ll never forget!

You can also learn about our regions’ maritime heritage through various historic sites and authentic attractions that tell the story of the fishing industry, trade and navigation, as well as of the daily lives of those who built our communities over the past few centuries.

Looking for an experience that’s out of the ordinary? Spend the night in a lighthouse or in the lightkeeper’s house, let the waves rock you to sleep, and soak up the thorough change of scenery!

Snowmobile expedition

With its 6,000 km (3,730 mi.) of trails, ocean and mountain vistas and the legendary hospitality of its people, the maritime regions of Québec are a true snowmobiling paradise. Well marked and properly maintained, our snowmobiling trails boast numerous rest areas and are located close to gas stations and accommodations.

An expedition in this region will allow you to skirt the majestic Chic-Choc Mountains, see the famous Percé rock up close, traverse the Rivière Manicouagan on North America’s longest snowmobile bridge and access country you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to see! A top-of the-list destination for snowmobile enthusiasts!

Enjoy an unforgettable experience on-board the NM F.-A.-Gauthier, which will take you from Gaspésie to the Côte-Nord—on your snowmobile! In addition to giving you a unique view of the St. Lawrence, peppered with ice floes, it will allow you to visit both shores on the same trip!