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Quebec Vacation and Travel Guide
Quebec is located in the northeast portion of North American and it is the largest province in Canada. It borders on the United States to the south and Ontario to the west. Over 90% of its territory is made up of the Canadian Shield. Most of its population lives in the area surrounding the St. Lawrence River in what is commonly called the St. Lawrence Lowlands. The Appalachian Mountains occupy the southern portion of Quebec.
Quebec welcomed millions of foreign tourists, most of them from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Japan. Quebec's French heritage sets the province apart from the most of Canada and the United States, as well as Mexico. The province has preserved its Francophone culture with a European feel in the midst of a strong Anglophone culture.
French is the mother tongue of 82% of Quebecers, and English is the mother tongue of 10% of the population. The remaining 8% is divided among some 30 languages such as, in order of importance, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Greek.
Quebecers enjoy dining and celebrating, which is clear from the many festivities that take place in Quebec. They also enjoy literature, the performing arts, and painting, sculpture and fine crafts. Quebec talent has made its mark on the world, such as Cirque du Soleil, Céline Dion, and Jacques Villeneuve.
Tourist Regions in Quebec
Quebec is made up of 21 Tourist Regions: Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Baie-James (James Bay), Bas-Saint-Laurent, Centre-du-Québec, Charlevoix, Chaudière-Appalaches, Duplessis, Eastern Townships, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Island), Lanaudière, Laurentides, Laval, Manicouagan, Mauricie, Montérégie, Montréal, Nunavik, Outaouais, Capitale-Nationale, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Major Cities in Quebec
The two largest cities in Quebec are Montreal and Quebec City
Montreal is the most populous municipality in the province of Quebec and the 2nd-most populous in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary," it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. It is in the southwest of the province of Quebec. The city covers most of the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. The port of Montreal lies at one end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
In 2006 Montreal was named a UNESCO City of Design, only one of three design capitals of the world (the others being Berlin and Buenos Aires).
There are many historic buildings in Old Montreal in their original form: Notre Dame of Montreal Basilica, Bonsecours Market, and the 19th‑century headquarters of all major Canadian banks on St. James Street (French: Rue Saint Jacques). Montreal's earliest buildings are characterized by their uniquely French influence and grey stone construction.
Saint Joseph's Oratory, completed in 1967, Ernest Cormier's Art Deco Université de Montréal main building, the landmark Place Ville Marie office tower, the controversial Olympic Stadium and surrounding structures, are but a few notable examples of the city's 20th-century architecture. Pavilions designed for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, popularly known as Expo 67, featured a wide range of architectural designs. Though most pavilions were temporary structures, several have become landmarks, including Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome U.S. Pavilion, now the Montreal Biosphere, and Moshe Safdie's striking Habitat 67 apartment complex.
The mountain is the site of Mount Royal Park, one of Montreal's largest greenspaces. The park, most of which is wooded, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York's Central Park, and was inaugurated in 1876.
The Montreal Metro has public artwork by some of the biggest names in Quebec culture.
The Underground City (officially RESO) is an important tourist attraction. It is the set of interconnected shopping complexes (both above and below ground). This impressive network connects pedestrian thoroughfares to universities, as well as hotels, restaurants, bistros, subway stations and more, in and around downtown with 20 miles of tunnels over 4.6 square miles of the most densely populated part of Montreal.
Montreal Top Touristic AttractionsAmong the main attractions of Montréal we can highlight: Casino de Montréal, Bell Centre, Montreal Biodome, Montreal Science Centre, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Bonsecours Market, Montreal Botanical Garden and Montreal Insectarium, Notre-Dame Basilica, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Olympic Park, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum, Atrium Le 1000 de La Gauchetière, Montreal Biosphère, McCord Museum, Maison Saint-Gabriel, Montreal Planetarium, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Centre d'histoire de Montréal, Château Ramezay, Stewart Museum.
Quebec City , officially Québec, is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec, It is Canada's seventh-largest metropolitan area and Quebec's second-largest city after Montreal. Quebec City is located in the Saint Lawrence River valley, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River near its meeting with the St. Charles River.
The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city's promontory, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.
The city's landmarks include the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline, and La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centrepiece of the ramparts surrounding the old city. The National Assembly of Quebec (provincial legislature), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québec.
Quebec city is home to over a hundred parks and gardens, which offer certain attractions like bird watching, hiking or canoeing for visitors.
One of the most notable is The Battlefields Park, which is home to 50 historical artillery pieces and the Plains of Abraham. The park offers views of the St. Lawrence River and has multiple historical structures and statues like the Joan of Arc on Horseback and the Martello Towers. Historically this was the site of an American revolutionary battle, the Battle of Quebec (1775) where the British were able to hold onto its last stronghold in the Northern extent of its North American territory.
Another notable park is the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, which is known for its gardens and bird watching, is the second largest urban park in Quebec City. The Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge also has historical influence being the site of gardens that were created by British and French royalty. Quebec City's largest park is the Parc Chauveau, which offers a range of outdoor activities from hiking, canoeing and skiing. Other notable areas are Beauport bay, Domaine de Maizerets, Marais du Nord and Parc Cartier-Roberval.
Four Touris Experiencies to Discover Quebec
Quebec offers four different tourist experiences, each with a wide range of activities:
Montreal has a rich architectural heritage, along with cultural activities, sports events and festivals. It is the only Francophone metropolis in North America; Montreal is also the second largest Francophone city after Paris in terms of population. This major centre of 4.1 million inhabitants is a tapestry of cultures from the world over with its many neighbourhoods, including Chinatown, the Latin Quarter, the Gay Village, Little Italy, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, the Quartier International and Old Montreal.
The capital, Quebec City, is the only fortified city in North America. The oldest Francophone city in North America, It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008.
- Terrace in la Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec
- Château Frontenac
- Clarendon Hotel
- Ice Hotel
- Mont Tremblant Resort: Located in the Laurentides region, Mont-Tremblant Resort is a four-season resort offering activities for the whole family.
The St. Lawrence River
The St. Lawrence River is one of the largest rivers in the world and historically was the means of access to the centre of North America. Its 1,120 mi. are lined with coastal villages, bird and marine mammal sanctuaries, lighthouses and verdant and rocky shores. The river is one of the largest navigable waterways in the world, and its estuary is known for its marine mammals, birds and fish.
Upstream from Montreal to the tip of Gaspésie, a road borders the shores of the St. Lawrence River, allowing drivers to explore a coastline that changes from mountainous to rural to wilderness. Visitors can explore the rich Saguenay Fjord.
The River transforms into a gulf that is more like an inland sea. The Gulf of St. Lawrence can be travelled by ferry, sailboat, kayak or cruise ship. Whale watching is popular in Quebec, particularly in Tadoussac.
There are also islands and archipelagos scattered along the river. The Île d'Anticosti and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine have legends from sailors and fishermen who continue to live there.
For those who enjoy the outdoors and adventure, Quebec’s wide open spaces allow outdoor sports, hunting and fishing:
- Aboriginal peoples: Visitors can discover the traditional way of life of the first inhabitants of the territory, the Aboriginals.
- Protected areas: Quebec has 27 protected national parks,
- Rail trails
- Ski areas and resorts
What to do in Quebec
Sports and outdoor activities in Quebec can be enjoyed summer and winter: Hunting and fishing, Golf. Snowmobiling, Wildlife observation, National parks, Water sports, ATV riding, Hiking, Skiing, Dogsledding, Cycling
Quebec Top Aattractions
- Casinos: Quebec has three casinos: Montreal, Charlevoix and Lac-Leamy.
- Cruises: Quebec offers cruises for whale watching, travelling the St. Lawrence River or touring the waterways.
- Gardens: the Montreal Botanical Garden, the Insectarium, Reford Gardens and the international garden festival in Gaspésie are among Quebec’s garden attractions.
- Museums: Quebec has over 400 museums.
- Theme Parks: La Ronde, the Old Port of Montreal and of Quebec City, the Village québécois d’Antan, Granby Zoo, etc.
- Religious Heritage: St. Joseph’s Oratory, the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Québec, etc.
- Historical Sites: the fortifications of Quebec City, Old Montreal, etc.
Tourism Routes in Quebec
- Cross-country skiing in Gaspésie, Parc national du Mont-Tremblant, Laurentians, Quebec
- King’s Road - historical 18th-century road connects Quebec City and Montreal)
- New France Route (connecting Quebec City and Cap-Tourmente) - 30 mile route
- Whale Route (Manicouagan and Duplessis)
- Navigators’ Route
- Wine Route (Eastern Townships)
- St. Lawrence Route (Charlevoix)
- Border Route (Bas-Saint-Laurent, the borders of New Brunswick and Maine)
- Agricultural tour (Southern Quebec)
Four Seasons Activities in Quebec
- Summer: in Quebec are hot, and the season offers festivals and outdoor activities.
- Fall: The leaves change colour in Quebec, creating colourful landscapes.
- Winter: Quebec’s snowfall makes skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, snowmobiling and dogsledding possible.
- Spring: Nature awakens and Quebec’s sugar shacks open their doors.
Festivals and Events in Quebec
Quebec’s events include sports, cultural events and festivals.
Montreal International Jazz Festival: With over 500 concerts, 350 of them presented free outdoors, the Montreal International Jazz Festival features Canadian and international ambassadors of jazz (end of June to beginning of July).
Just For Laughs Festival: Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival is the largest comedy festival in the world and attracts over 2 million spectators each year (July).
Les FrancoFolies de Montréal: The largest Francophone music festival, the Francofolies de Montréal features over 1,000 artists, singing stars, musicians and emerging talent from some 20 countries around the world (end of July to beginning of August).
Les Concerts Loto-Québec de l'OSM dans les Parcs: These three concerts by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) are presented in Montreal parks in a family atmosphere (June and July).
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec: The International des Feux Loto-Québec presented at La Ronde draws the largest pyrotechnics companies from around the world. Each show lasts 30 minutes, and the fireworks competition is the largest in the world (every Wednesday and Saturday evening from the end of June to the end of July).
International Flora/Le festival de jardins de Montréal: gardens on the festival site (end of June to beginning of September).
Festival international Nuits d'Afrique: The international-calibre Festival Nuits d'Afrique features music from Africa, the West Indies and the Caribbean, along with workshops, an African market and exotic cuisine (month of July).
Quebec City Summer Festival: For 40 years, the Quebec City Summer Festival has been presenting hundreds of artists from around the world on ten sites around the capital (beginning of July).
Loto-Québec International Fireworks Competition: an international musical fireworks competition takes place at the Montmorency Falls (end of July to beginning of August).
Plein Art Québec: Over 100 craftspeople gather at the Plein Art Québec festival to exhibit Quebec arts and craft creations in ceramics, textile and jewellery (beginning of August).
SAQ New France Festival: A celebration of the history of the first Europeans to arrive in North America, the New France Festival presents over 1,000 artistic events every year in a journey back to the past in the heart of Old Quebec (beginning of August).
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival: One of the most popular events in Eastern Canada, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival features hot air balloons and shows (beginning of September).
Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light: The Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light is a competition that crowns the champion of the international circuit of musical fireworks competitions over water (end of July to beginning of August).
Sports Events in Quebec
- Montreal Rogers Cup: For tennis fans, the Rogers Cup is one of nine Association of Tennis Professionals tournaments on the Masters circuit (beginning of August).
- Presidents Cup: A golf tournament, the Presidents Cup presents the best international players at The Royal Montreal Golf Club (end of September).
- Grand Prix du Canada Festival on Crescent: The Canadian Grand Prix takes place on downtown Montreal’s Crescent Street (beginning of June).
- Montreal Bike Fest: cycling activities take place during the Montreal Bike Fest including the Tour de l'île de Montréal , the largest gathering of cyclists in North America (end of May to beginning of June).
Quebec’s cuisine derives its rich flavour from a blend of influences. It has a French culinary base and is enriched by the contribution of the Amerindian peoples and the communities that have made the province their home. Terroir products that grace Quebec tables include ice cider, micro-brewed beer, wine and over 100 varieties of cheese.
Another feature of Quebec is the sugar shack, a family culinary tradition of eating maple products to the rhythms of Quebec folklore (beginning of spring, during March and April).
Others Quebec culinary specialities include: shepherd's pie, poutine, sugar pie, pouding chômeur (a sponge cake with a maple syrup sauce), maple syrup, baked beans, tourtière (a meat pie), cretons (a pork spread with onions and spices), etc.
Transportation to Quebec
Quebec has a road and air network for travel between cities, using car, bus, plane, train, bicycle on the Route Verte, or by ferry.
Transportation to Quebec includes plane, bus, train and car. There are flights to Quebec from major cities in North America, Europe and Asia. Montreal is a 70-minute flight from New York and is less than 6 hours and 45 minutes by air from London or Paris. Provinces and states that border Quebec are served by rail and road networks. Other means of transportation such as boat and snowmobile can also be used by the more adventurous.
Lodging in Quebec
Quebec has 5,800 establishments that hold official lodging certificates, from youth hostels to five-star hotels. Establishments are classified using a stars and sun system. Possibilities include: Hotels, Bed and breakfasts, Tourist homes, Wilderness lodges, Resorts, Youth hostels, Educational institutions, Hospitality villages, Campgrounds and Outfitting operations.
Discover Quebec Canada
If you are planning to travel to Quebec, whether for business or tourism, in addition to the passport and visa, we recommend you to check the following information: International Airports, Airport security rules, Type of luggage allowed and weight limits, Most visited cities, Driving in Quebec, Electricity, Time Stripes, Business Hours, National Holidays, Weights and Measures, Commercial Practices and Etiquette Rules.
An foreing wishing to enter Canada must obtain a temporary resident visa from one of the Canadian diplomatic missions unless he has a passport issued by one of the 51 countries and territories exempt from eligible visas or proof of permanent residence in the United States.
Flights Promotions to Quebec
Quebec International Airports
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (IATA: YUL, ICAO: CYUL) (French: Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal) or Montréal–Trudeau, formerly known as Montréal–Dorval International Airport (Aéroport international Montréal-Dorval), is a Canadian airport located on the Island of Montreal, 12 miles from Downtown Montreal.
Time Zone: EST (UTC–5) - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC–4)
Elevation: AMSL 118 ft / 36 m
Coordinates: 45°28′14″N 073°44′27″W
The airport terminals are located entirely in the suburb of Dorval, while the Air Canada headquarters complex and one runway is located in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent. It is an international airport serving Greater Montreal and adjacent regions in Quebec, eastern Ontario, Vermont, and northern New York. The airport is named in honour of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister of Canada and a native of Montreal.
Airlines servicing Trudeau offer non-stop flights to five continents, namely Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. It is one of only two airports in Canada with direct flights to five continents or more, the other being Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Trudeau airport is the headquarters of and a large hub for Air Canada, the country's largest airline. It is also an operating base for Air Inuit, Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines. It also plays a role in general aviation as home to the headquarters of Innotech-Execair, Starlink, ACASS and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facilities of Air Transat and Air Inuit.
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, also known as Jean Lesage International Airport (French: Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec, or Aéroport de Québec) (IATA: YQB, ICAO: CYQB) is an international airport located 6.9 miles west southwest of Quebec City, in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada.
Time zone: EST (UTC−05:00) - Summer: (DST) EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation: AMSL 244 ft / 74 m
Coordinates: 46°47′28″N 071°23′36″W
It is the second-busiest passenger airport in Québec Province after Montréal–Trudeau and the third-busiest airport by aircraft movements in Québec Province after Montréal–Trudeau and Montreal-Saint-Hubert. More than 10 airlines offer 360 weekly flights to destinations across Canada, the United States, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.
Public transportation to the airport is infrequently provided by Réseau de transport de la Capitale route 78 to Terminus Les Saules, west of the centre of Quebec City.
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