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Horse drawn carriage tour

Québec's whales, wine and wilderness self-drive tour

17 days from $4,720pp

Horse drawn carriage tour
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Tour highlights

  • Savor the farm-fresh flavors of Québec with wine tastings, cheese museums and a fine food tour.

  • Breathe the fresh air of forested mountains and lakes on hiking trails and by boat.

  • Search for black bears and moose, and take a whale-watching trip into the St Lawrence River.

  • Relax in cedar saunas and wood-fired hot tubs at some of your unique accommodations.

Price includes:

  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • Vehicle rental
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Private customized tour. Ask us about booking your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • Board your flight bound for Montréal today. On arrival, make your own way to your downtown hotel. The journey typically takes about half an hour, depending on traffic. Once you’ve settled into your hotel, spend the afternoon exploring the city’s blend of French, British, and Canadian cultures.

  • This morning, make your way to Place d’Armes opposite the Notre Dame Basilica to join a small group walking tour of Old Montréal with a local guide. Begin by skipping the line for entry to the basilica to see the ornate interior before venturing into the elegant streets of the old city. Stop at several historical and architectural gems along the way and visit some of the less-visited spots of the city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own leisure, perhaps using recommendations from your guide.

  • Make your way to the downtown car hire depot to collect your car this morning. All necessary insurance and an additional driver are included. Make your way out of the city following the St Lawrence River before turning inland to the lush forests of the Mauricie Region. Your destination is the tiny town of Mandeville and the journey is only about two hours. Settle into your off-the-grid personal mini-home for the evening.

  • A relaxing day in the wilderness awaits today as you have the full day to independently explore. Just a short drive away lies the Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve and Maurice National Park, both offering a range of outdoor activities. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, moose and beavers along the trails and take a moment for bird spotting at the observation tower on the Six Chutes trail. This afternoon, breathe the fresh air and soak your muscles in the hot pools, sauna and steam room at Natur’eau spa, all while overlooking the surrounding forests.

  • Leaving the small towns of Mauricie behind, you drive north today to Lac Saint-Jean, journeying on one of Canada’s most scenic highways — Highway 55. While settlements are few and far between on this route, there are vistas around every corner. The road follows the broad Maurice River, flanked on either side by colorful forested mountains. While the journey takes about four and a half hours, there are several rest stops on the way that make excellent picnic spots overlooking the river.

  • This morning, travel north the short drive to Saint-Félicien where you’ll find the wildlife park. You have admission included here, along with the train journey along the nature trail to see black bears, moose, wolves and bison up close while learning more about the region’s history and indigenous influence. The wildlife park boasts a stunning location on the banks of a rushing river in the boreal forest and only houses animals native to the climate. We recommend about four hours here, and you have the rest of the day to explore Lac Saint-Jean. We suggest a stop at Fromagerie Perron to taste the cheese and hear the history of the area’s dairy farming on your way back.

  • Leave the lake behind today as you travel along the Saguenay Fjord to Tadoussac. After about an hour, detour to Jonquière, where you’ll find a family-run winery and distillery, with all products made using local berries and grapes. You have a tasting included here, and we recommend taking a bottle or two and some of the food with you. Continue along the north side of Saguenay Fjord, winding between cliffs and along rivers to reach the shores of the St Lawrence River and the small town of Tadoussac.

    Stay at Auberge Maison Gagné   
  • Tadoussac sits on the confluence of the St Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord, and a multitude of whales have made their homes here, coming to feed, including beluga, fin, minke, humpback and blue. You have a guided three-hour boat trip onto the St Lawrence in search of these creatures. Listen for gentle sprays as they come up for air, and search for the glimpses of white that signal a beluga whale. The rest of the day is yours to explore. We recommend a walk around Islet Point for some of the best views over the rivers.

    Stay at Auberge Maison Gagné   
  • You leave the Saguenay Fjord behind but remain by the water as you journey down to the Charlevoix region. Your day begins with a ten-minute crossing of the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. You then continue along the coastal road, winding its way along the shores of the St Lawrence and passing through small towns and farm country. You’re staying between Baie St Paul and La Malbaie in a unique collection of accommodation units. This evening, make use of the secluded spa here in the middle of the forest, and take in the views from the rooftop terrace.

  • The Charlevoix region is known for its fresh food from the surrounding farms and is home to the ‘Route de Saveur’ or ‘Flavour Trail’. To awaken your taste buds we’ve included a wine tasting at a honey-wine and spirit producer in the center of Baie St Paul. This can be done at any time during the day and as you taste the wines you learn about how the different beehive locations influence the flavor notes in the wines. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure, and we recommend a walk down to the peaceful Boisé du Quai on the waterfront.

  • Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park is your focus today. This magnificent river gorge is about an hour's drive north of Baie-Saint-Paul in the heart of Charlevoix's forested mountain interior. On arrival, we’ve included 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 scenery from one of the many hiking trails.

  • You leave the Charlevoix region behind and make the short 90-minute journey to Québec City today. On the journey, there are several stops we recommend, including Saint Anne du Beaupre Basilica to see the beautiful stained-glass windows, elaborate mosaic work and towering white turrets, and Montmorency Falls, standing taller than Niagara, where you can take a cable car to walk a suspension bridge over the top. Lastly, for a touch of culture, we recommend visiting Wendake, where you’ll find the First Nations museum and a recreation of a traditional settlement.

  • You have most of the day at leisure in Québec City to explore. We recommend a visit to the oft-photographed Petit-Champlain for a spot of shopping in the boutiques housed in colorful, traditional buildings. We also suggest a walk along Dufferin Terrace in front of the Fairmont’s turrets to see the Saint Lawrence River. This afternoon, you have a guided five-course food walking tour to indulge in the city’s best gastronomy while learning more about the city’s history and culture.

  • You leave the French culture and history of Québec City behind today and drive about two hours south to Magog in the Eastern Townships, just over the border from the USA where many loyalists moved. Their historical influence is evident here in the manor houses and today, the region is where many of the rich and famous have holiday homes. The townships are full of charming towns, calm lakes, forested mountains, spas and a multitude of artisanal producers.

  • You’re staying in the heart of Magog, one of the larger townships and a central point for all the activities in the area. You have the full day to explore independently. We recommend a visit to Mont Orford National Park, just a ten-minute drive away. Here you will find plenty of well-maintained hiking and biking trails around the mountain, past lakes and ponds with beaver dams, and through the peaceful woods. In the evening, we suggest a walk along the shores of Lake Memphrémagog to see the sun set behind the mountains and reflect in the calm waters of the lake.

  • You have another full day to explore the eastern townships at your leisure. We recommend a visit to Coaticook Gorge to cross the suspension bridges and indulge in a delicious fresh ice cream at the creamery afterwards. We then suggest heading to Saint Benoit du Lac Abbey to pick up some of the cheese made by the monks there. If you want to see some of the other charming towns, our top picks are North Hatley and Knowleton on Lac-Brome.

  • As your trip comes to a close, this area provides an excellent opportunity to pick up some souvenirs given the plentiful boutiques and artisan stores nearby. Enjoy a leisurely morning strolling the streets of Magog before making the journey to Montréal Airport for your onward flight.

Accommodation options

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

Contact a Canada specialist

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

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Place Daily max temperature (°F) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Québec City

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