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Horse drawn carriage tour

Charms of Charlevoix: Québec self-drive tour

11 days from £2,995pp

Horse drawn carriage tour
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Tour highlights

  • Delve into the fascinating history of Québec with a three night stay in the old city.

  • Enjoy the quiet charm of Baie-Saint-Paul, one of the region's first tourist destinations.

  • Explore lovely Lac Saint-Jean, its historic villages and nearby wilderness areas.

  • Go whale watching on the mighty St. Lawrence River.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Québec City. On arrival in Québec City make your own way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax.

  • Begin your day with a small group guided food tour of Québec City, visiting some of the city's major landmarks and sampling Québec's gastronomic highlights. You'll have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring the city's winding cobbled streets and scenic viewpoints.

  • Enjoy a full day at leisure in Québec City; we recommend taking a scenic cruise along the St. Lawrence River, learning more about Québec's history at the Plains of Abraham, or visiting the impressive Musée National des Beaux-Arts.

  • Make your way to Québec City Airport, where your hire car will be ready and waiting for you. Your car hire package includes all insurance and an additional driver. Departing the city, pass the mighty Montmorency Falls as you follow the ever-widening St. Lawrence River toward welcoming Baie-Saint-Paul, in the heart of Québec's picturesque Charlevoix region. You may wish to stop and admire the magnificent Basilica at Sainte Anne de Beaupré en route.

  • Explore Baie-Saint-Paul on a small group guided e-bike tour, visiting a local art gallery, cidrerie and lavender farm before enjoying a picnic on the town's picturesque beach. You'll have the rest of the day at leisure to explore Charlevoix's famed 'Flavour Trail': a network of local artists and artisan food producers that dot the surrounding countryside.

  • Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park is your focus today. This magnificent river gorge is an hour's drive north of Baie-Saint-Paul in the heart of Charlevoix's forested mountain interior. On arrival, we suggest a guided river cruise through the gorge with a park ranger, during which you can learn more about the park's history and geology. You'll then have the rest of the afternoon at leisure in the park to explore and admire its majestic scenery.

  • Today you drive north to the pretty waterside village of Tadoussac, which is nestled on the northern shoreline of the Saguenay Fjord right on the edge where it meets the St Lawrence River. Once there, enjoy a cruise on the river to try your luck at spotting beluga and humpback whales.

    Stay at Auberge Maison Gagné   
  • Make the short drive west from Tadoussac to Saguenay Fjords National Park and spend your morning exploring the park at leisure. You might want to go all the way to Saguenay and then loop around the bottom of the fjord. Many consider this to be the most scenic section of the vast 100 km (63 mile) long fjord, where the towering cliffs soar above the Saguenay River below. You can then catch the small ferry from Baie St Catherine back to Tadoussac.

  • Today you travel west, leaving the river and fjord behind and travelling to the source of the Saguenay River — the vast Lac Saint-Jean. En route, you may visit the Site de la Nouvelle France, where Samuel de Champlain first landed in 1509. Your destination is Chambord, a little village that lies on the shores of Lac Saint-Jean. Tonight you will stay at Val Jalbert — a historic pulp and paper town restored to its former 1920s glory. You'll have some time to explore Val Jalbert and learn more about its history, before enjoying a delicious dinner at its fine dining restaurant.

  • Today, drive through the large expanse of the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve, keeping a lookout for moose, black bears and white-tailed deer. This route takes you past the beautiful Jacques Cartier National Park which is a great place to break your journey back to Québec City. Drop off your hire car at the airport prior to boarding your onward flight.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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The specialist who designs your trip to Canada will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Québec City

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