Ideal for families, this tailor made trip idea allows you to self drive at your own pace while enjoying plenty of activities in the incredible natural environment of Quebec. Search for black bear, beluga whale, moose and caribou on a safe, comfortable and adventurous journey.
Explore Quebec’s wilderness at its best, experiencing the great outdoors and wildlife diversity, with plenty of activities for adults and children alike. Come up close to beluga whales while kayaking, get nose to nose with caribou as you hike in the Gaspésie, and observe black bears feasting at sunset from your safari vehicle. A new wildlife delight awaits at every corner.
Take a look at our blog page for a first-hand account of travelling in Quebec with a family.
Day1: Fly to Québec City
Fly from London to Quebec City via Toronto, arriving in the early evening. On arrival, collect your rental vehicle, then drive to your accommodation in the city.
Accommodation: Manoir Victoria, 2-nights
Day2: Explore Québec City
The day is free to explore Québec City. You may wish to take a walk around the historic old city this morning; attractions include the Chateau Frontenac – possibly the world's most photographed hotel – which dominates the skyline high above Cap Diamant, where you can stroll along Dufferin Terrace with stunning views of the lower city.
You can also explore La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centrepiece of the ramparts that surround the old city, or walk to the imposing National Assembly of Quebec. The friendly atmosphere adds to the European feel – you'll find horse-drawn carriages, street entertainers, singers, and artists, particularly at the open-air art gallery in Rue du Trésor.
Day3: Explore Québec City; drive to Parc National du Bic
The morning is again free to continue your exploration of Québec City – there really is a lot to see, so it’s good to spread it out over a day and a half.
After an early lunch drive southward out of Québec to Parc National du Bic. En route you may wish to stop in Kamouraska, a beautiful village by the river. On arrival at the park, settle into your accommodation and take an opportunity to explore and get your bearings.
This morning we recommend a visit to the interpretation centre to see what’s on, before setting off to explore the park and its bays, coves, islands and mountains. Seabirds nest in the park, there are many owls, seals are commonly seen and rare plants bloom in its rocky surroundings. A pleasant way to spend the afternoon is by taking a walk around the peninsula.
Day5: Drive to Réserve Faunique de Matane
This morning you can explore independently or – if you wish – take an optional sea kayaking trip to see wildlife from the water. We recommend an optional self-guided kayak excursion in Havre-du-Pic which operates from mid-May until the end of September.
In the afternoon continue to Réserve Faunique de Matane. After you have settled in, we recommend a visit to the Caribou Interpretation Centre (open from late June to late August).
During your stay at Matane, you can participate in short hikes with a local guide and look for wildlife and birds. You’ll see several different types of vegetation from dense forest to tundra on mountain summits, and have a chance to see three members of the deer family which share this territory: moose, caribou and white-tailed deer, as well as eagles, buzzards, falcons. In the late afternoon/early evening a guided black bear safari is included.
The next day, we recommend doing an optional self-guided excursion by kayak, allowing you to paddle in the two-kilometre-long lagoon. In the afternoon you can do a walk to pick wild raspberries (July/August). This evening another guided trip is included – this time a photo safari to see moose.
Accommodation: Cottage at Parc National de la Gaspésie, 2-nights
Day9: Explore Parc National de la Gaspésie
Enjoy an unguided walk along Mont Jacques Cartier Trail and half day guided caribou watching. The trail to Mont Jacques-Cartier reveals the habitat that is essential to the Gaspésie caribou – it is the best place to observe this large mammal.
Day10: Drive to Rimouski, ferry to Forestville & continue to Tadoussac
Retrace your route back along the south shore of the Saint-Laurent as far as Rimouski. We recommend you stop for lunch at the superb Jardins de Metis before catching the afternoon ferry to Forestville (the crossing takes just under an hour, with a chance to spot whales on the way), then drive another hour to Tadoussac.
This morning board a Zodiac for a whale watching trip on the Fleuve Saint-Laurent at the southern end of the Saguenay Fjord. Accompanied by a certified naturalist guide, you can experience an intimate and unique encounter with the whales. In the afternoon, you have some time to explore Tadoussac: walk along the shore, explore the beach.
The next day you head off for an exciting included excursion – kayaking with whales. This starts from Bergeronnes, approximately 20 minutes drive outside Tadoussac, where you’ll meet a guide for a half-day sea kayaking with a small group. The afternoon is free, but while you are in Bergeronnes, you can also visit Cap Bon Desir Interpretive Centre, where biologists organise talks and activities directly on the shore of the Saint Lawrence.
The following day is free for you to pick your favourite activity form another whale watching adventure, some scenic hikes. In the afternoon, if you don’t mind more driving you can head inland to visit the Beluga Whale Interpretative Centre and/or go for a walk in Saguenay National Park for beautiful views over Saguenay Fjord.
Day14: Drive to Québec City & depart
On your final morning there is still ample time to take in the International Centre for Marine Mammals, with its fascinating interpretative displays and wealth of information about cetaceans and other marine mammals (not included).
Then, after an early lunch, drive to Québec City, passing through the lovely Charlevoix region and the towns of La Malbaie and Baie-St-Paul, with their many art galleries and antique shops, on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence.
On arrival in Québec head directly to Jean Lesage International Airport to return your hire vehicle and check in for your flight back to the UK, via Toronto.
Day15: Arrive UK
You should note: The minimum age to join this itinerary (based on the activities involved) is nine years old, however we can tailor an alternative itinerary suitable for younger children if required - please contact us for more information.
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 15 daysfrom £3,145 pp: Child: from £1,695
Duration and price excluding international flights: 14 daysfrom £2,045 pp: Child: from £845
Single supplement: From £1,290
When to go: Jun-Sep
The Parc National de la Gaspésie is home to the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains in Québec, the only caribou herd south of the Saint Lawrence, a large moose population, arctic-alpine flora and spectacular scenery on every side! Over 150 species of bird are found in the park.
Ideal for viewing: great horned owl, moose, caribou, grey fox, striped skunk
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Wildlife for families, Self-drive, Walking with wildlife
The Parc National du Bic hosts nesting seabirds, as well as owls and grey seals. Half of the park is a coastal marine environment; the terrain is typical of the south shore of the Saint Lawrence, alternating low-flow rivers, salt, rocky hills with a very steep northern slope and a relatively gentle southern.
Ideal for viewing: grey seal, white-tailed deer, American beaver, harbour seal, North American porcupine
Excellent for: Walking safaris, Wildlife for families, Self-drive, Whale watching
Recognised first and foremost for its exceptionally rich wildlife, this wildlife reserve offers nearly 1,300 square kilometres of breathtaking panoramas, with mountains and deep valleys crisscrossed by numerous waterways. Over 150 species of birds can be seen in Réserve Faunique Matane.
Ideal for viewing: golden eagle, moose, American black bear, black-backed woodpecker, caribou
Excellent for: Wildlife for families, Self-drive, Bear watching, Birdwatching
This small town on the Saint Lawrence, beside its confluence with the Saguenay River, was once a major fur trapping centre. It lies inside Canada’s first marine national park, where the rich environment attracts numerous whales – including belugas – and is home to CIMM (the Centre of Marine Mammal Interpretation).
Ideal for viewing: beluga whale, blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, minke whale
Excellent for: Whale watching
This monument to North American history perches high above Cap Diamant overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. Having prospered as a fur trading post in the early 1600s, it is now a dynamic port and a thriving research centre. The Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Excellent for: City stopover, History & culture
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Huttopia offers family accommodation that’s all about simplicity, authenticity, nature and wide open spaces. Comfortable and ecologically designed tents made from canvas and wood are located in a tranquil natural setting with beautiful views, providing a chance to get back to nature.
The self-catering cabins at Réserve Faunique de Matane are located on either the edge of a lake or river, with all the amenities you need for a peaceful and comfortable stay. There is a variety of activities on offer, including wildlife observation and interpretation, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and boating.
Being the first hotel opening in Tadoussac and welcoming holiday makers almost two centuries ago (1864), Hotel Tadoussac hasn’t lost any of his authentic and atmospheric look while offering a high level of comfort. It is is now known as the most famous landmark in the bay and surroundings.