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The Mingan Archipelago covers 40 islands and is home to a rich variety of biodiversity and marine mammals including blue whale who migrate through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence from mid June to mid September.

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a highly productive feeding ground that supports many whale species, including minke, humpback, fin and blue. Many other smaller marine mammals are seen in large numbers throughout the region such as harp and grey seals, harbour porpoises, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins. During the summer, a large puffin colony nests on Île aux Perroquets, just a few miles off shore. Plenty of gannets, guillemots, petrels, razorbills, and eider ducks can be seen throughout the islands as well.

Starting at about 199 kilometres along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River (Le Fleuve), the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada spreads about 175 kilometres eastward as it dots the coastline with over 2,000 islands and islets. Quebec City lies around nine to ten hours to the southwest, whilst to the south, across a 19 kilometres channel, is Anticosti Island, 40 kilometres below Anticost is the eastern tip of the Gaspe Peninsula. To the east is a roadless coastline all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador. To the north are tundra, lakes, bog and rock. In late June it is still Spring. Politically, most of the islands lie in the town of Havre-Saint-Pierre, but the westernmost of the chain lie in the municipality of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: blue whale, minke whale, fin whale, beluga whale, humpback whale
  • Where: Québec, Canada