Canada: Québec

Bas-Saint-Laurent Bike Tour

Six nights; five days of cycling on quiet roads and bike paths along the Navigator’s Route - the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Includes several of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Québec,” and is gastronomically superb.




Itinerary



Start: Québec City, Hôtel le Concorde, day one. You will meet your guides here or another pre-determined location at 09:30 on the morning of day two. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.


Finish: Québec City ~14:00, day seven. To avoid the four-hour transfer to Quebec City on day seven, consider flying out from Mont-Joli (YYY). The small airport is about 25 minutes' drive from your inn, and operates daily flights to Montreal (Air Canada) and Quebec City (Pascan Airlines).


Day 1

Arrival and independent exploration of Québec City

Arrive at Québec City at your leisure. Your pre-arranged room awaits, and your guide(s) will meet you early tomorrow morning to begin cycling. You can enjoy the art shops, galleries, historical quarters, and cafes of Old Québec. Other highlights include the Musée de la Civilisation, Le Château Frontenac and La Citadelle (North America’s largest fort). Dining options abound; check out foodiequebec.com for inspiration and current local favorites.
Hôtel le Concorde, Quebec City

“We loved getting away from so much civilization seeing the countryside. Having grown up in south Louisiana with the Creole French, I saw many similarities, in the architecture especially - the steep roofs, deep porches, and bright clapboard." ”– Pam B.

Day 2

Berthier-sur-Mer to Saint-Jean-Port-Joli 51.9km +239m/-221m

Meet your guides this morning after breakfast. You will begin with a 45 minute transfer from the Capitale Nationale to the pastoral tranquility of the Saint Lawrence’s southern bank. From Berthier-sur-Mer, the paved country roads of the Route Verte lead you between the Appalachians and the Saint Lawrence River, toward the seaside town of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Woodcarvers and musicians frequently gather here to display their art. BLD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Auberge La Belle Epoque, Saint-Jean-Port-Joli

Day 3

Saint-Jean-Port-Joli to Kamouraska 66km +336m/-346m

Your ride through Saint-Jean-Port-Joli begins along a riverside road past artisans and sculptors galleries and museums toward La Pocatière. You will ride through St Pacôme, the first of several of Québec’s “25 Most Beautiful Villages” in store for you through this week. You will finish today in Kamouraska, famous for its medieval festival and the archipelago off its shores. The water retreats so far at low tide that some of the islands can be reached on foot. Try not to get caught by the rising tide, or you’ll spend the night alone! BLD
La Grand Voile, or
Auberge de Kamouraska, Kamouraska

Day 4

Kamouraska Loop 47km +282m/-282m

By now you have will have noticed the conical granite peeking out incongruously from the farmland. Today’s ride meanders between these ‘ monadnocks’, which inspire some adventurers to leave the saddle and scramble up for a view. Your route returns you to Kamouraska, where a waterfall hike and optional sea kayaking might assure that you appreciate the comforts of this village by day’s end. BL
Same lodging

Day 5

Trois-Pistoles to Le Bic 55km +562m/-584m

Start with a morning transfer to Trois-Pistoles, marked by the tall steeple of the enormous church of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. Stop at the fromagerie, and at the government wharf to take in the view of Île aux Basques where fishermen rendered whale fat long before Jacques Cartier arrived. The ride from Trois-Pistoles to Le Bic takes you through the Basque Highlands, where you can stop to stock up on local specialties such as maple-based drinks. Enjoy the spectacular look off outside Saint-Fabien, home to the wild falcons frequently seen flying from the cliffs, then cycle to the village of Bic via the trails of Le Bic Provincial Park. BLD
Auberge du Mange Grenouille, Le Bic

Day 6

Le Bic to Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens and Métis-sur-Mer 59km +269/-264 or 73km +344m/-363m

Ride along the waterfront through Rimouski, stopping at the lighthouse and Pointe-au-Père maritime museum to learn about the RMS’ Empress of Ireland’s fate – Canada’s biggest peacetime disaster, on the scale of the Titanic’s, two years earlier. Continue through Sainte-Luce-sur-Mer toward another real and perhaps more peaceful highlight of the day: Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens. The gardens are truly spectacular, fusing traditional garden serenity with unusual and contemporary artistic themes. You can choose to finish you cycling at the gardens or continue another 15km beyond to your Auberge. BLD
Auberge du Grand Fleuve, Métis-sur-Mer

“Lunches the guides prepared were by far my favourite dining experiences! The coffee Luke made with a French press was the icing on the cake!”– Beth S.


Day 7

Transfer and farewells

The return transfer to Québec City takes approximately 4 hours. It departs after breakfast and will arrive in Québec City in the early afternoon. If you prefer not to transfer by van, consider flying from Mont-Joli (YYY) to either Québec City or Montreal. The small airport at Mont-Joli is about 25 minutes from your inn and operates daily flights to Montreal (Air Canada) and Quebec City (Pascan Airlines). B



Description



Note about the route:

This is designed to be a gentle ride, on a mix of paved and unpaved roads and bicycle pathways. While most of the route follows the shore of the St. Lawrence River, there are some hills and van support will be abundant. Expect to ride on hard pack gravel and dirt roads in some places, well suited for hybrid bicycles.




This adventure follows easy cycling terrain through a viscerally French, historic area known as the Navigator’s Route. Most of the roads are now paved and well-signposted as part of La Route Verte for cyclsts, but you will follow the same path as the first explorers, Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain. The gently rolling, quiet country roads on the southern shore of the mighty Saint Lawrence River take you to quaint Québécois villages, including five of the ‘25 Most Beautiful Villages in the Province’, and a progression of gastronomic pleasures. As you ride your bike along the St. Lawrence River’s banks, observing the shorebirds and wildlife, admiring the waterfront homes reminiscent of turn-of-the-century seaside resorts, and marvelling at the traditional eel nets reaching out to sea, you might even catch a glimpse of passing whales. In the evening, you can enjoy the sun setting over the Charlevoix Mountains north of the river - rated by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. This tour includes a visit to the spectacular Les Jardins des Métis/Reford Gardens, an amazing experience even for non-gardeners!


Trip History

Freewheeling directors Cathy and Philip are involved with a bicycle advocacy board, whose mission leads it to follow the excellent example made by Quebec’s bicycle network - la Route Verte. Studying la Route Verte led to the discovery of some wonderful routes, perfectly suited to Freewheeling’s week-long holidays. Some of our past guides came from Quebec and helped us discover the little things that make a trip outstanding. We now frequently travel to Quebec for biking and skiing, and having become familiar with some fine inns and cuisine in rural Quebec, have developed five unique itineraries in superbly scenic and fascinating regions.



Map & Elevations





Click here for the elevation profile

Day # Daily distance
1
Independent exploration
2
~60km
3
~66km
4
~47km
5
~55km
6
~Up to 73km
7
Farewell




Learn more



For another full week of Québecois bike touring join the Saguenay and Charlevoix Bike Adventure which also starts and finishes in Québec City or head to the beautiful Gaspe Peninsula for a more challenging ride.

Québec City is a fantastic destination and certainly worth an extra night or two before or after your bike tour.


Mid-August Wednesday and Saturday evenings are great for pyromaniacs, as the sky over the Plains of Abraham is lit up with musical firework celebrations!

Craig & Sharon say: "Each inn was unique... the innkeeper and room at Saint-Jean-Port-Jolie were charming, the balcony at Kamouraska was amazing, and the experience at Le Mange Grnouille was priceless. We appreciated that the agenda started with a short, easy day so we could get oriented, then rides were progressively longer and more challenging. The variety in scenery and ability to drift through small villages and take time to hike to the waterfall were appreciated."



Costs



US 2665 C 3195 (tax included)

(7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, full-time guide and van support, maps, route instructions, taxes)

US 2325 C 2795 (tax included)

(7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, essential transfers as outlined in the itinerary, maps, route instructions, on-call emergency support, taxes)

Single
Occupancy

US 665 C 795 (tax included)


Bicycle
Rental

Hybrid: US 135 C 155
Electric-assist: US 395 C 455
Racing bikes not recommended
(tax included)




All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. Sales tax included.