Whale watching in Canada - Gaspe self drive tours
Fancy a bit of whale watching in Canada? then why not get up close and personal with the wildlife and sea life during your 13 nights of self drive heaven. Visit Forillon National Park, home to many of Canada's friendly wildlife before enjoying a 3 hour unique whale watching cruise getting up close and personal to the 6 different species of whales in the Canadian waters. Pick up your keys and hit the open road as you soak up the charming atmosphere and amazing architecture that this Gaspe adventure has to offer.
Upon arrival in Montreal, make your way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this lively city. Attractions of interest include Vieux Montreal, the Basilique de Notre-Dame and the Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours. Montreal plays host to fantastic shopping, spectacular architecture, culinary delights and a great nightlife.
Today you will trace the St. Lawrence River as you head north to Quebec City. The slower route 138 takes you off the mundane highways in order to experience rural Quebec and the remaining farms from the seigneurial regime. Along the way, pass through Trois-Rivieres, one of the first European settlements dating back to 1634 and the point from which French explorers embarked on their North American discovery.
Experience the old world charm of Vieux Quebec with its cobblestone streets, fortified city wall (one of a kind in North America), and seventeenth century architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is complimented by artisan shops, Parisian cafes, landscaped parks, and numerous monuments. Take a stroll on the Plains of Abraham and visit the historic Chateau Frontenac.
Following the scenic path of the St. Lawrence River, today you are bound for the Riviere-du-Loup, the gateway to the Gaspe Peninsula. Kamouraska with its quaint architecture offers a pretty place to stop for lunch. Within the beautiful villages of Kamouraska and Notre-Dame-du-Portage, spot the Kamouraska roof, a distinctive design borrowed from the shipyards. Upon arrival in Riviere-du-Loup make your way by boat (included) to Pot a l’Eau de Vie lighthouse for a unique stay.
Upon your return to Riviere du Loup, continue today towards Matane. Drive past beautiful Cacouna village before reaching the Parc Bic, a magical spot for sea excursions, hiking, cycling and harbour seal spotting. Further along the town of Rimouski is home to the Musee de la Mer, a maritime museum presenting the history of the Empress of Ireland and its sinking. Climb the 128 steps to the top of Canada’s second tallest lighthouse.
Bound for Gaspésie National Park, soak in the splendors of the Chic-Choc and McGerrigle mountains and keep an eye out for interesting wildlife. The Park contains the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains in Quebec; the only caribou herd south of the St. Lawrence, a large moose population, arctic-alpine flora and 150 kinds of birds.
Enjoy a day at your leisure.
Enroute to Gaspe, explore the Forillon National Park and discover magnificent views of the sea and mountains. Observe abundant wildlife including black bears, porcupines, beavers, black-legged kittiwakes, cormorants, guillemots, seals and whales.
Drive to Perce and its famous “Rocher Perce”. Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock National Park are home to the largest migratory bird refuge in North America with a colony of 110,000 northern gannets. Enjoy a boat trip to Ile Bonaventure (included).
Today proceed along Baie des Chaleurs through numerous picturesque fishing villages to Matapedia. At Bonaventure visit the Gospel Chapel, the arts and craft shops and the Acadian Museum. Time permits to visit the Parc de Miguasha, a UNESCO world heritage site renowned for fossils from the Devonian Period.
In Rimouski board a high speed catamaran for the 55-minute crossing to Forestville (included). Upon arrival in Forestville proceed along the North shore of the Lawrence River to Tadoussac, gateway to the Kingdom of the Saguenay and an immensely popular area for whale watching.
Today enjoy a 3-hour whale watching cruise (included). Five or six species, including the humpback whale (15 m), the fin whale (20 m), and the blue whale—the world’s largest mammal (30 m and 140 tons!)—come inland as far as the Charlevoix coastal area for feeding. Catch the 10 minute free ferry ride across to Baie Ste Catherine and proceed to la Malbaie where you will spend the night.
Depart la Malbaie and drive south through the Charlevoix Region to Quebec City. Enjoy the incredible scenery, the beauty of which has inspired generations of artists. Along the way, you may stop to visit picturesque Baie St. Paul and take a stroll along its many narrow streets lined with charming boutiques, art galleries and great restaurants. You may also wish to stop at Sainte Anne de Beaupre’s shrine and Montmorency Falls before reaching your final destination, Montreal.
Return your rental vehicle and depart Montreal.