Largely French-speaking Québec is Canada's largest province and consists of hilly agricultural land along the banks of the St Lawrence and vast tracts of barren mountains in the north: a breathtaking panorama of towering rock faces, 13,323km (8279 miles) of coastline, looming canyons and craggy fjords.The province's three national parks, 23 provincial parks and 15 wildlife reserves beckon outdoor enthusiasts. More than 100,000 lakes and numerous rivers offer excellent fishing. In the tundra of Québec's Far North, caribou and other game roam the land. What distinguishes Québec from other Canadian provinces is its French heritage, sustained for over 400 years. Québec's official language is French and Montréal (the province's largest city) is the largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Both it and provincial capital Québec City have lively old sections of cobblestoned streets where the atmosphere is overwhelmingly French.
Air Canada (AC) (www.aircanada.com) and other international carriers fly into Montréal and Québec City. Commuter services between Montréal and Toronto, Québec City and New York also exist. Local air services operate between the cities in the south and float planes serve the lakes and parkland of the north.
Québec City and Montréal are two of the five most important Canadian ports on the St Lawrence Seaway, which link the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and the industrial heartland of Canada and the USA. Several international cruise ships sail to both Montréal and Québec City (some vessels are too big to go up the river to Montréal). Most of the province's lakes and rivers (notably the Ottawa, known in French as the Outaouais, the Richelieu and the Saguenay) are served by local ferries, some of which are able to take heavy lorries.
VIA Rail (tel: 1 888 842 7245; www.viarail.ca) connects Montréal and Québec City to Toronto and Ottawa with fast, regular services. It also offers services to Halifax from Montréal and Québec City. Links to the USA are with Amtrak (tel: 1 800 872 7245, in the USA; www.amtrak.com). Amtrak operates one daily train to New York City, with connections to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC. VIA Rail services connect the major cities in the south of the province, with frequent daily services from Montréal to Québec.
The majority of the population lives in the south of the province, where all the large cities offer an extensive choice of hotel accommodation. Some of the best hotels in the country are in Montréal and Québec City, with small boutique hotels one of the fastest-growing sectors. Outside the cities, accommodation takes on a more rural flavour; lakeside lodges and cabins are very popular. Accommodation is often possible in private homes. There are also many resort properties, including several luxury casino resorts - and you can even stay in the famous Ice Hotel, just outside Québec City, in winter.
Visitors to Old Québec soon see why UNESCO designated it a world heritage treasure! You'll love Château Frontenac (the world's most photographed hotel), the centuries-old architecture, and the historic sites.The friendly atmosphere and affable locals add to the European charm. You'll find horse-drawn carriages, street entertainers, singers, and artists, particularly at Old Québec's own open-air art gallery, Rue du Trésor. High atop Cape Diamond, stroll along the Dufferin Terrace overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area. Or come watch the ice making its way down the river in winter.
Québec is the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico, with close to 4.6 km of walls and imposing gates to explore.Discover beautiful cityscapes and see how Québec's defenses developed under the French and English regimes.Cannons, loopholes, a star-shaped Citadel, Artillery Park, and fortresses are all part of this outstanding tour
As you wander past period buildings along cobblestone streets, enjoy the area's boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. There's magic in the air, particularly over the Christmas holiday season.The oldest neighborhood in North America is also home to Musée de la civilisation, a bridge between the past and future with its modern design and fascinating exhibitions.
The St. Lawrence River—a massive presence cutting clean across the Québec area—cannot be overlooked. Gateway to America, it has been a part of the city’s economic landscape for over 400 years. Harbour and trade activities and the ever-growing number of cruise ships docking in the Vieux-Port de Québec testify to its importance. A public market, park, bike path and shows also bring the Vieux Port to life and help make this river-washed place truly idyllic.
Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine has been a “place of miracles” for the past 350 years. It's well worth a visit, whatever your beliefs. The shrine, North America's oldest pilgrimage site, attracts some one million visitors a year. Marvel at the fabulous neo-Roman style basilica with its golden statue of Saint Anne.
This natural phenomenon is definitely not to be missed! At 83 m high (30 m higher than Niagara Falls) Montmorency Falls can be seen from all the way across the St. Lawrence River in Lévis! But the best views are from Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, where you can feel the full force—and spray—of the falls for yourself. Take a gondola ride or walk the trails to the very top of the falls. In winter the spray freezes at the foot of the falls to form a huge “sugar loaf,” another intriguing Québec City attraction.
The province's Parliament Hill has never been so popular! Québec's National Assembly convenes here in the Parliament Building, a marvelous architectural treasure.
Fall under the spell of Québec City’s charming areas and picturesque neighbourhoods. Wherever your curiosity takes you, you’ll go from one find to the next as you explore boutiques, art galleries as well as specialty and gourmet food shops.
North America’s oldest shopping district will win you over with its colourful decorative art shops and sophisticated designer and artisanal boutiques. From its cobblestone pedestrian streets, you’ll admire the inviting windows of historic homes in a romantic environment. In the winter, Petit Champlain turns into a magical fairyland decked out in snow, with holiday decorations and twinkling lights.
You’ll fall in love with rue Saint-Jean’s European vibe! Outside the fortifications, you’ll find delightful original shops, artisanal boutiques, and specialty food shops. Inside the ramparts, you’ll discover clothing and souvenir shops galore. It’s the perfect place to enjoy yourself while you hunt for unique finds.
The narrow streets and architecture of the Old Port are steeped in history. In this enchanting setting and on rue Saint-Paul, you’ll find antique stores, artisanal boutiques, and art galleries. Experience the charm of this relaxing, pedestrian-friendly district.
Stroll down avenue Cartier in the heart of the Montcalm district and you’ll pass a hundred or so places of business. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, gourmet food shops, and fashionable and specialty boutiques of this less-touristy area.
The more contemporary setting of the new Saint-Roch district is worth a visit, with its hip designer boutiques on rue Saint-Joseph. Nouvo Saint-Roch features unique, modern, and avant-garde stores. Here you’ll find the famous Benjo—the only toy store of its kind in the province of Québec—plus luxury boutiques, cooking items, and stores for gourmet food lovers.
A little bit off the main tourist route, only a few minutes from Old Québec, avenue Maguire has some pleasant surprises in store for you. It’s home to artisan food shops, jewelry stores, and other distinctive merchants. You’ll be amazed by the wealth of products you can find here. So step off the beaten path and soak up the local atmosphere.
Auberge Saint-Antoine 8 rue Saint Antoine | Québec City
Old-Port with Image Mill and Farmer’s Market &nb
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Best time to visit in Quebac city Dece