When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Baie-des-Chaleurs or Chaleur Bay boasts a surprising diversity of vegetation and wildlife; stunning unspoiled ocean, mountain and river landscapes; a unique cultural heritage and, true to its name, the warmest water in Gaspésie!
The region has retained a rich and diverse culture: you will find that every village has its own particular accent, local festival and cultural traditions.
MIGUASHA FOSSIL PARK
Season: early May to mid-June and all the month of October: Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mid-June to early October: daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
History and nature lovers won't want to miss Miguasha fossil site, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 in recognition of its wealth of well-preserved fossils and their importance in understanding a page from the story of evolution. Visitors of all ages will enjoy discovering the fascinating world of fossils and paleontology. A visit of the site takes about an hour and a half.
231 Route de Miguasha Ouest, Nouvelle / 418-794-2475
BONAVENTURE RIVER CANOE RUN
Season: Late May to early September.
The Bonaventure River begins at Bonaventure Lake in the Appalachian mountain chain and flows over a distance of 126 kilometres before emptying into Baie-des-Chaleurs. It is considered to be one of the clearest and most pristine rivers in the world.
Canoeing down the crystal-clear Bonaventure River is a unique opportunity to discover the nature and wildlife of Gaspésie in a stunning natural setting. This activity is accessible for the whole family (aged 4 and over), for beginners and experts alike. All necessary equipment is provided. Different types of excursions are possible, lasting from 2 hours to 2 days.
Cime Aventures :
200 Athanase-Arsenault, Bonaventure / 418-534-2333
Season: Late June to early September.
Carleton-sur-Mer is one of few places in Québec where you can swim comfortably in the ocean, without getting too cold! The warm ocean currents that enter the bay from the Gulf of St. Lawrence result in some of the warmest saltwater on the Atlantic coast north of the state of Virginia. There are several beaches in the area, depending what you are looking for.
The most popular of these is the municipal beach, right in the heart of Carleton-sur-mer. Its warm water, easy access, bathroom facilities and soft sand make it a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike.
HIKING ON MONT SAINT-JOSEPH
Season: mid-June to Thanksgiving (2nd Monday in October).
Mont Saint-Joseph is one of the highest points in Baie-des-Chaleurs. At 555 metres above sea level, the summit offers a spectacular view of the sea, all the way to the New Brunswick coast.
Perched on its summit, the Oratoire Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Saint-Joseph is a former pilgrimage destination and is accessible by car.
While you are there, you can take a guided tour of the oratory and enjoy some of the 30 kilometres of hiking trails.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
1- LE SAINT-HONORÉ ($$-$$$)
This small gem of a restaurant, which seats only 24, is a local favourite. Run by co-owners from Auvergne, France, you can enjoy French specialties such as Tartiflette as well as dishes inspired by the Gaspé region. A good selection of appetizers, salads and main courses, complete with a chalkboard menu. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in high season. Reduced hours in low season. No reservations!
527 Blvd. Perron, Carleton / 418-364-7618
2- BISTRO DES BOUTS DE LIGNE ($$-$$$)
Your hosts Alain and Suzanne will be happy to welcome you to their bistro with its superb view of Baie-des-Chaleurs. The menu offers a wide variety of French and Québec cuisine, with an emphasis on fish and seafood specialties. Friendly bistro ambiance. Open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (opens at 7 a.m. on weekends).
445 Boulevard Perron, Maria / 418-759-3661
3- CASSE-CROÛTE MAM'ZELLE MARIA ($)
If you are looking for a quick meal on the go, Mam'zelle Maria's is the place for you. This charming snack bar serves hamburgers, poutine and several seafood specialties, in addition to the the best homemade soft ice cream in the province ;-) A real institution in the region since 1954! Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
597 Boulevard Perron est, Maria / 418-759-3739
4- BOULANGERIE ARTISANALE LA PÉTRIE ($)
What could be better than a sandwich on bread freshly baked in-house every day! La Pétrie is a great place for a light meal or just a good cup of coffee. The bakery offers a variety of breads and pastries baked with unbleached organic flour, as well as a breakfast and lunch menu of fresh salads, soups and sandwiches. The friendly, colourful decor even includes a kids' play area. Open Tuesday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
128 Avenue Grand-Pré, Bonaventure / 418-534-3445
5- LE CAFÉ ACADIEN ($$-$$$)
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., this local favourite serves a variety of breakfasts to suit all tastes. For lunch, enjoy a good soup, a sandwich with salad, or try the house specialties, homemade smoked salmon or Gaspé fish cakes. The dinner menu offers simple, tasty dishes prepared from local products and seafood such as braised meats and grilled fish. Be sure to try the salt cod brandade or the pan-seared scallops! Children's menu available.
168 Rue de Beaubassin, Bonaventure / 418-534-4276
6- POISSONNERIE DU PÊCHEUR ($$)
This unique establishment offers a fishmonger's and a restaurant under the same roof, with a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. The menu features fish and seafood prepared with the freshest of ingredients: Coquilles St. Jacques, fish soup, mousse, quiche, pâtés and much more. You can even bring your own wine! Dinner reservations are recommended. Open daily from May-September, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and evenings after 5 p.m.
230 Route 132 est, Bonaventure / 418-534-2434
Where to sleep ?
Festival Western de Bonaventure
Date: July 25 to 29, 2018
Description: Discover the biggest equestrian event in eastern Québec, featuring seven musical shows, four days of competitions, a fun-filled saloon, spectacular gymkhana and more. The Junior competition takes place on the Thursday evening, followed by the Open gymkhana on the Friday and Saturday. The finals on Sunday showcase the best riders from near and far.
- Very Favourable