The best road trip to experience Indian Summer
The Indian Summer is, for many, the best time to travel to Quebec. One thing is certain, it promises to be colourful!
If you are looking for an Eastern Canada road trip that will leave you with lasting memories, buckle up, it's a go!
Road trip map
Road trip summary
Day 1 : Montreal
Your Quebec travel begins with an arrival in Montreal.
In the French-speaking metropolis, no need for a car; everything is done on foot or by public transportation.
Make sure to stop at Mount Royal Park , considered to be the lungs of the city.
Once at the top, the Kondiaronk Belvedere will allow you to enjoy one of Montreal's most beautiful views, fall version of course! Then, take a break at lac des Castors .
At the end of the day, head to Saint-Laurent Boulevard or Mont-Royal Street , where you will find a wide choice of restaurants, terraces and small cafes.
Day 2-3 : Mont-Tremblant National Park (132 km)
Enjoy the morning before taking the road to the Laurentians region, recognized worldwide for its flamboyant panoramas during fall.
Your destination today is Mont-Tremblant National Park , a vast territory made up of 6 rivers and over 400 lakes.
If you want to learn canoeing, this is definitely the place to be.
Don't forget to stop between paddling strokes to fully take in the scenery and photograph the reflection of the trees on the water. It’s absolutely beautiful!
Then, spend a couple hours visiting the Mont-Tremblant ski village . There you will find shops, restaurants, cafes and lots of entertainment.
The ultimate experience, if you dare, would be to discover the region from above, aboard a helicopter. You will not regret it !
Day 4 : Mauricie (285 km)
Today, you are headed to Mauricie, another region well-known for the beauty of its colorful fall landscapes.
Make the best of today by setting out to explore la Mauricie National Park , which is home to more than 150 lakes surrounded by lush forest.
Take the Promenade route , a 63-kilometer scenic road that criss-crosses the park, and where several lookouts are easily accessible.
Among the most beautiful points of view, the Passage belvedere and the Île-aux-Pins belvedere will certainly leave you speechless.
However, you will need to put in some effort if you want to discover the park's most beautiful gem: Waber Falls .
If you're up to the challenge, waking up early in the morning is a must, since the excursion to the falls demands several hours.
It starts off rather sportingly with a distance of 4 kilometers to cover in a canoe (hence the interest of practicing a little in Mont-Tremblant).
Once on the bank, you will then have to walk 3 more kilometers, before finally reaching the site. Rest assured, your efforts will quickly pay off, because the view from this place is absolutely idyllic.
Take the time to regain your strength, since the same challenge awaits you on your return.
Day 5 : Bas-Saint-Laurent (330 km)
Get ready for your next destination, where the colours are not only impressive in the trees, but also in the sky.
Indeed, according to National Geographic, it is in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, located along the St. Lawrence River, that we find the second most beautiful sunsets in the world, after those of Hawaii.
Moreover, several picturesque small villages in the area are among the most beautiful villages in Quebec: Cacouna, Notre-Dame-du-Portage, Saint-Pacôme and Kamouraska.
Above all, do not hesitate to explore their rich architectural and historical heritage.
Day 6-7 : Bic National park (146 km)
This morning, head to Bic National Park, located in the maritime estuary of the St. Lawrence river.
It is number two on our 5 National Parks to discover in Quebec list, and you will instantly understand why!
This charming and peaceful place is home to thousands of sea birds, including the Common Eider.
During the summer, it is also possible to observe two species of seals, and this until the beginning of fall.
Ask about their presence when you arrive at the park, maybe luck will be on your side!
Take the opportunity to go for a hike. This is a great way to experience the landscapes drawn by the sea.
The Murailles trail will lead you to spectacular and colorful views, amidst rivers and mountains.
Day 8-9 : Tadoussac (207 km)
Set off towards Tadoussac, the oldest village in Canada.
The reputation of the Tadoussac Bay is well established as one of the best places in the world to observe whales and other cetaceans, until mid-October.
Do not leave the village without going on a whale-watching cruise or tour in the company of a naturalist guide.
Day 10 : Charlevoix (124 km)
Today, you are headed towards Charlevoix, a region full of natural riches and unique attractions.
Between the villages of Malbaie and Baie-St-Paul, prioritize route 362, as it runs along the banks of the river and offers absolutely spectacular views.
By leaving very early in the morning, you will probably have the opportunity, if your physical condition allows it, to tackle one of the most beautiful hikes in Quebec: l'Acropole-des-Draveurs .
Because of its steep drop, this legendary trail is also considered one of the most difficult.
That being said, the view at the top of the Malbaie River valley will quickly make you forget the efforts made to get there.
Day 11-12 : Quebec City (93 km)
Today, you will reach Quebec city, nicknamed "the Old Capital".
Your first stop should be Parc de la Chute-Montmorency , located a few minutes from downtown.
Then, take the opportunity to discover the neighborough of Old Quebec , registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Stroll through the picturesque and lively streets of the Petit-Champlain district, before stopping at Place Royale, where Samuel de Champlain set up the first permanent establishment of the Royal New France upon his arrival in 1608.
Reserve a full day of your stay to explore Jacques-Cartier National Park , a true paradise for canoeing and hiking enthusiasts.
In autumn, the sentier des Loups trail is a must. The difficulty level is quite high, but still accessible to the vast majority of people.
Once at the top, the view of the Jacques-Cartier valley is sure to amaze you.
Don't forget your camera to capture these vivid landscapes.
Day 13-14 : Eastern Townships (253 km)
On your way to your last destination, but not the least: the Eastern Townships.
For the next two days, you are invited to discover the hinterland of la Belle Province, where the many vineyards and the undulating terrain create absolutely unique country landscapes.
At the heart of this region is the Mont-Orford National Park . Dominated by sugar maples, this is the best place to contemplate the peak of the leaves changing colours.
To explore the park, go for a hike on the Ruisseau-des-Chênes trail . You will follow along the eponymous stream, before starting to climb Mont Orford.
Plan about 4 hours for the ascent.
Also take advantage of your stay in the area to go for a drive on the Eastern Townships Wine Route , an absolutely magnificent tourist route renowned for its many gourmet stops.
Do not forget to reserve your dinner at the Tire-Bouchon restaurant, located at l'Orpailleur vineyard .
You will find gourmet regional cuisine here, which you can enjoy on the terrace with a good glass of wine.
Day 15 : Montreal (126 km)
It is now time for you to head back to Montreal.
Reach the airport and board your flight home.
Your vacation in Quebec is over, but you are headed home with your head full of beautiful memories.
And that's a wrap for your Indian summer road trip!
If you have any questions and / or suggestions, please feel free to use the comments box below.