What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
The Saguenay Fjord is an attraction in and of itself: a spectacular glacial valley now occupied by the majestic Saguenay River.
There are so many ways to enjoy its magnificent banks and dizzying cliffs... hiking, sea kayak, sightseeing cruise, sailing...
The Fjord is also home to a number of charming villages just waiting to be discovered during your self-drive tour in Canada.
SAGUENAY FJORD NATIONAL PARK
For over 30 years, Saguenay Fjord National Park has protected and showcased the Saguenay Fjord, unique in Quebec. The park offers awe-inspiring scenery created by the colossal forces of nature.
PARC NATIONAL DU FJORD-DU-SAGUENAY
Season: The park is open year-round, but the period during which services are available varies according to sector.
Entry fee: $9.25/adult/day and free for youth aged 17 and under
SENTIER DE LA STATUE
Distance (round-trip): 7.6 km
Time (round-trip): 3-4 hrs.
Level: Intermediate to difficult
Elevation gain: 472 m
If you are physically able, don't miss the chance to hike the Sentier de la Statue trail up to the Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay statue, which has been watching over the fjord since 1881 from the top of Cap Trinité in the Baie Éternité sector of the park. The hiking trail leading to the statue is about 7 km round-trip (about 3-4 hours) and is rated intermediate to difficult. The view from the top is simply breathtaking.
SENTIER DE L’ANSE-DE-TABATIÈRE
Distance (round-trip): 0.5 km loop
Time (round-trip): 10 minutes
Accessible by car, in just minutes this short trail leads to a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the fjord. It's the perfect spot to watch the sunset! Starts at the Anse-de-Tabatière parking lot (L’Ansede-Tabatière / L’Anse St-Jean sector).
Discover a spectacular via ferrata circuit on the imposing cliffs of Baie Éternité. This activity, a cross between hiking and rock climbing, offers incredible views of the Saguenay Fjord. Three circuits have been set up, lasting 3, 4 or 6 hours, with levels of difficulty ranging from intermediate to advanced. All climbs are accompanied by a professional guide. The minimum age is 12 or 14, depending on the circuit.
Open from the beginning of June to mid-October.
The charming village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec, and for good reason!
Tucked between the mountains and the Saguenay Fjord, Anse St-Jean offers legendary hospitality and incredible views of the fjord.
It is the only village on the south bank of the fjord.
SEA KAYAKING ON THE FJORD
One of the most spectacular ways to admire the dizzying walls of the fjord. The sea kayak lets you get close and personal with nature and its biodiversity, in the company of an experienced guide. You may have the chance to see seals and freshwater and sea birds along your way. And why not enjoy the sunset on the water?
Open from mid-May to early October (mid-June to early September with children aged 3 to 14).
CRUISE ON THE FJORD
The most comfortable way to capture beautiful photos of the fjord: on board a "bateau-mouche" sightseeing boat.
During this narrated cruise, you will learn about the history and legends of the fjord as you explore its majestic capes and impressive cliffs
Departures from early June to mid-October, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Several types of cruises and boarding locations are available.
Nestled between the capes on the north bank of the Saguenay Fjord, the small village of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord (just over 400 residents), known as "La Descente-des-Femmes" (The Women's Descent) until 1942, hides shyly along the Saguenay fjord in a small grassy valley away from the main highway.
A member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec, Ste-Rose-du-Nord is surrounded by wooded mountains and capes that give easy access to outstanding panoramas of the fjord and village. An Authentik favourite!
SITE DE LA NOUVELLE-FRANCE
Pay a visit to 17th century New France! Discover the Aboriginal and French cultures of the time: colourful characters, guided tours, carefully recreated period buildings, archaeological digs, home-cooked 17th century meals, a patio with a view of the fjord, and much more. Also available: 90-minute guided tours.
Visit their website for the 2023 schedule and reopening date : www.sitenouvellefrance.com
Imagine yourself high in the air, on one of five courses that include 73 aerial bridges, winding your way through a majestic pine forest as you admire the beauty of the Saguenay Fjord in all of its splendour far below...
All of the courses, which vary in difficulty, will take you from treetop to treetop in a variety of ways: vines, swings, nets, rope bridges, zip line and much more.
Open from the end of May until mid-October.
Tadoussac is listed as one of the 50 most beautiful bays in the world. It is also the oldest village in Canada. In fact, it celebrated its 400-year anniversary in 2000.
But above all, Tadoussac is an internationally-renowned whale watching site.
Don't miss it!
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Bistro de l'Anse, a local favourite, is a certified "Ambassadeur de Saveurs" restaurant, meaning that your meal is prepared from local and regional ingredients. The brewery Chasse-Pinte now shares the same address.
Closed during winter. Visit their website for the upcoming 2023 reopening and hours : www.chasse-pinte.com
AUBERGE LA FJORDELAISE ($$-$$$)
If you find yourself in l'Anse-St-Jean, be sure to stop for dinner at Auberge la Fjordelaise. Your hosts Rita and Denis will be happy to serve you flavourful typical regional cuisine. You will love their game, fish and seafood specialties.
Note: as priority is given to guests of the inn, reservations are necessary.
MICROBRASSERIE LA VOIE MALTÉE ($$-$$$)
La Voie Maltée started more than 10 years ago in Saguenay Lac-St-Jean and is continuing its incursion into the microbrewery world with the opening of several locations in other parts of Québec. The menu features beer cuisine with an emphasis on regional products and, of course, an impressive variety of beers brewed on-site. Warm, relaxed atmosphere and a patio.
Open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. and weekends from noon to 3 a.m.
LA CUISINE ($$$)
La Cuisine has a carefully created menu offering a wide range of dishes such as pretzel-crusted salmon fillet, beef tartare, General Tao chicken, seafood risotto and the Black Angus burger, to name just a few. Something for all tastes and appetites!
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Diners go to Opia for its relaxed atmosphere and for its menu filled with culinary delights such as cassoulet with duck confit, ox cheek, seafood chowder, Thai shrimp and lamb tajine. A gem to discover.
Open Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
LE DOYEN (AUBERGE DES 21) ($$$$)
Le Doyen is reputed for its sublime dishes with flavours that hint at the forest and nature, prepared with local gourmet and specialty products. As an added bonus, the elegant dining room offers a superb view of the bay.
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
Where to sleep ?
Les Grandes Veillées
Date: end of August
Description: 3 days of music and dancing that will have your toes tapping to the rhythm of the Fjord. Beside the main shows, the storytellers are a real crowd favourite as they spin their tall tales, enchanting old and young alike and conjuring up the spirit of a traditional evening of music and storytelling.
When to visit
- Very Favourable
- Very Favourable
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