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What to do

  • Noteworthy
  • Worth the detour
  • Must see

Tadoussac, whale-watching capital of the worldTadoussac is quite rightly listed as one of the 50 most beautiful bays in the world.

Tadoussac is also the oldest village in Canada. In fact, the village celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2000.

But above all, Tadoussac is an internationally-renowned whale-watching site


Jumping humpback whale, TadoussacAll aboard for Tadoussac's signature activity! Accompanied by a naturalist guide, come and discover the giant of the seas.

Whale watching can be done from mid-May to mid-October. The whales are most numerous and most active in September.

Centre d’interprétation des mammifères marins (CIMM)

Before setting out on your whale watching adventure, you may be interested in visiting the marine mammal interpretation centre. You will find the largest collection of whale skeletons in Canada, whale song lessons, research information and more The Centre is located not far from the pier.

Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in high season.

Whale-watching from land

Visitors who prefer to remain on terra firma can follow the Pointe de l’Islet trail (0.8 km / 20 minutes) from Tadoussac pier. It's the best place in Tadoussac to observe marine mammals from the shore.The Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre , which is part of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, is another good spot to see whales, seals and seabirds from the shore. In summer, the centre offers marine wildlife activities as well as an exhibit on the history of the lighthouse and its keepers.

Open from mid-June to early September, daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reduced hours in low season.

Zodiac cruise

Whale watching by zodiac, TadoussacWhale watching by zodiac is without a doubt the best way to get close to the whales, while keeping a safe distance. It is also the least comfortable, so you may want to think twice if you are prone to seasickness. Children under 6 are not generally allowed. Not recommended for pregnant women.

Daily from the beginning of June to early October.

Catamaran cruise

Whale watching by catamaran, TadoussacGiven the size of the boat, you won't get as close to the whales as you would in a zodiac, but the ride is smoother and more comfortable. Some catamarans even have underwater cameras, offering an interesting view. Most tickets include a short trip up the Saguenay Fjord . Accessible to all.

Daily from the beginning of May to the end of October.

Sea kayak

Sea kayak in TadoussacThe most exciting and environmentally friendly option for whale watching. Sea kayaking requires a certain level of physical fitness and is more dependent on the weather. Not for children under the age of 7.

Daily from mid-May to mid-October.


What should you bring on a whale watching cruise?

Dress warmly! Even on a hot day, the temperature drops quickly once you are out on open water.

  • Warm sweater
  • Pants
  • Windbreaker or raincoat
  • Hat, gloves, scarf
  • Warm socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses (polarized for better vision)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera (protected from water/humidity)


Poste de traite Chauvin in the heart of Tadoussac village

This replica of one of Canada’s first fur trading posts tells the story of an industry that is a fundamental part of the country's history. The museum houses exhibits explaining the fur trade between the Montagnais Indians and the French.

Season: early to mid-June and early September to mid-October: daily from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mid-June to early September: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Point of view from the sand dunes of TadoussacThe dunes sector of the park offers exceptional views of the St. Lawrence River. The dunes are in fact 2 immense marine terraces measuring 30 metres in height that stretch along the edge of the river.

The impressive number of migratory birds in the sector led to the creation of the Tadoussac Ornithological Observatory (OOT). From August to October, large numbers of birds of prey and sparrows can be seen.



If you are heading to Tadoussac from the Charlevoix region or the south shore of the Saguenay Fjord (or vice versa), you will need to take a ferry across the Saguenay River, between Baie Ste-Catherine (to the south) and Tadoussac (to the north).

Note that reservations are not necessary. The ferry is free, and the crossing takes about 10 minutes. A boat leaves every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the season and the demand.

So in high season, you may reach Tadoussac a little (or much!) later than planned. Forewarned is forearmed!


Where to eat

  • $ Inexpensive
  • $$ Moderate
  • $$$ Upscale
  • $$$$ Fine dining

Le Gibard ($)

This friendly, colourful little café-bar offers regular musical evenings with local artists. It's a warm, authentic spot, pleasant to visit for a coffee, a beer or a snack with a beautiful view of the bay.

Open from April to October everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Reduced hours for the months of April, May and October.

À l’Emportée Coop ($)

The village bakery serves excellent sandwiches, healthy salads and pastries made with local wild berries. Just the thing for a picnic at Pointe de l’Islet or in the sand dunes.

Open Thursday-Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Pick-up grillé ($$)

A small restaurant with a charming patio overlooking Tadoussac Bay and the marina, offering grilled cheese sandwiches and hamburgers made with Quebec cheeses. Don't miss the warm potato chips!

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Microbrasserie de Tadoussac ($$)

This microbrewery relies on the quality of its products, but also on their originality, to stand out from the crowd by creating daring beers inspired by local brewing traditions. Come taste this Quebec difference in the tasting room, stock up on supplies at the beer store and learn more about the industry by visiting the interpretation area.

Open everyday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Café Bohème ($$-$$$)

The place to go for a good cup of coffee and a decadent dessert. This client-friendly bistro is located in the old general store dating back to 1892. Also serves fine pizza, gourmet burgers, reinvented Mac & Cheese, smoked Quebec seafood plate and regional artisan meats. They even offer an extensive children's menu with different and more interesting choices than those often found in Quebec restaurants.

Open daily in June from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., July and August from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and September and October from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Chez Mathilde ($$$)

Warm atmosphere and DELICIOUS meals. Live music in the evening on piano and double bass. Gourmet dinners concocted from regional ingredients.

Open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. from early June to late October. Reservations recommended!

*** Hours may vary ***

Festivals calendar

Festival de la Chanson de Tadoussac

Dates: mid-June 2023

The smallest of Quebec's large cultural events, this music festival welcomes close to forty acts on eight different stages. The entire village becomes one large festival site dedicated to music.


When to visit

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Travel reviews

Travel reviews

4.3 / 5 according to 894 reviews
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Brooke Splinter Wednesday September 8, 2021

whale watching and more

Sandi Armitage Wednesday October 9, 2019

Lots to see and do -recommend the whale watching from the hiking trails outside Les Escoumins and Tadoussac

Nice place!

Anonymous Monday July 30, 2018

We stopped there after the short ferry for a quick meal and walk. Beautiful and relaxing!

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