Dreaming about practicing that hard-earned high school French, but your wallet is feeling a little too empty for a cross-Atlantic flight? Then it’s time to flex those skills closer to home in Quebec.
For an authentic French-Canadian experience, take a step off the overly beaten path, and let trivago magazine guide you to five of the most beautiful areas in la Belle Province where you can embrace Quebecois and Acadian culture all while perfecting your use of the passé composé.
Best yet, turn your trip into a fully immersive experience with these local bed and breakfasts where your hosts are sure to ease the French out of you from bonjour through to bonsoir.
trivago tip: Did you know that you can search and book B&Bs, Inns and Vacation Apartments on trivago.ca? Simply look under Extra Filters and select your ideal type of accommodation… et voilà!
Îles de la Madeleines
Red cliffs, crescent-shaped beaches, underwater caves, and classical French maritime architecture are just the start of what makes the Magdalen Islands so charming. There’s no missing the archipelago’s largest town Cap-aux-Meules and where you can join into the local Acadian nightlife at a boîte à chansons, or kayak, windsurf, hike and whale watch as you explore the 12 islands that Madelinots call home.
Aux Vents des Îles
Hosted by Micheline and Pascal[caption id="attachment_50660" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Photo by Jean-Francois Noel CC BY[/caption]
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Painted in “Fatima” green, this standalone inn finds itself in a cove of calm at the centre of the Magdalen Islands near the magnificent Dune du Nord, perfect for a morning stroll. Guests rave of the warm welcome from Micheline and Pascal, with high ratings on trivago are sealed by the breakfast made to order. Your hosts here suggest ending the day with a sunset at Belle-Anse or the lighthouse at Cap Hérissé, just five minutes from Aux Vents des Îles.
Stay in Charlevoix’s charming towns of Baie St. Paul or La Malbaie to explore the fjords, headlands, bays, and hills of this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The Charlevoix region is a gourmand’s dream, and the famous Route des Saveurs (Flavour Trail) — starting in Petite-Rivière Saint-François and ending in La Malbaie — is a must-try for any travelling foodie.
Hosted by Odile and Arnaud
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Open year-round, Auberge La Châtelaine is a turn-of-the-century mansion perched above La Malbaie on Pointe-au-Pic. Each of the uniquely appointed rooms is named after French castles and come with the added charm of rustic wooden floorboards. A highlight for many is taking their petit-dejeuner on the veranda facing the soothing St. Lawrence.
Perhaps the single best place to whale watch in Canada, Tadoussac is alive with marine wildlife and home to Canada’s first marine national park. Step inside the Petite Chapelle de Tadoussac, the oldest church in the US and Canada, or hike up to Islet Point for a view of the Saguenay Fjord that will leave you breathless.
Au Gîte De La Chute
Hosted by Lucie and Jean-François
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At the confluence of the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence Rivers, you’ll find the tiny town of Baie Sainte-Catherine, the loading point for those hopping on the ferry over to Tadoussac. From May through October, Lucie and Jean-François are happy to host nature lovers at their B&B (with green products used around the house) and are able to advise visitors on how best to spot the region’s famous ocean mammals.
The town of Percé is home to one of the world’s largest natural water arches, the Rocher Percé (Percé Rock). Visit at low tide, and walk right up to the hole in the rock. A favourite with bird lovers, visitors to the town can also take a ferry to Bonaventure Island, the world’s largest and most accessible bird sanctuary.
Au Coin de la Berge
Hosted by Lyne
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It’s all about hitting reset and settling into relaxation at Au Coin de la Berge. With a focus on wellness, Lyne Laberge is master of the art of detoxification with a full menu of massage therapy and oxygen baths overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Rocher Percé. Original wood panelled walls frame the five guest rooms where you can let the breezes off the water fill the room every morning.
There’s more to this crown jewel of the Laurentians than its winter ski slopes. Come the warmer months, it’s time to boat and swim Lac Tremblant, hike (or gondola) up the mountain, fish, enjoy the music of Les Rythmes Tremblant festival, or practice your conversational French as you explore la petite village.
Auberge Le Lupin
Hosted by Sylvie and Pierre
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With the same architectural heritage as the gilded Chateau Montebello, the Auberge Le Lupin is a more intimate affair with nine rooms all with private ensuites. A mere one kilometre from the action of Tremblant, the Auberge has private access to Lac Tremblant and is well connected by biking and hiking the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
This article was adapted from a trivago Canada Press Release.