When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Tadoussac 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
All 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 whale skeletons, a discovery film with magnificent images and more. The Centre is located not far from the pier.
Whale 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.
Given 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
CHAUVIN TRADING POST
Season: early June 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.
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.
157 Rue du Bord de l'eau / 418-235-4657
The 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.
YOU MAY NEED TO TAKE A FERRY ACROSS THE RIVER!
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
- $$$$ Fine dining
À l’Emportée Coop ($)
The village bakery serves excellent sandwiches, healthy salads and pastries made with local wild berries. Just the thing for a picnic at Pointe de l’Islet or in the sand dunes. Open daily in summer from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Also open in low season with a reduced schedule.
164B Rue Morin, Tadoussac / 418-235-4752
Pick-up grillé ($$)
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 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (until 9 p.m. in low season).
139 Rue du Bord de l'Eau, Tadoussac / 418-235-1420
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 May, June, September and October from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and July-August from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
239 Rue des Pionniers, Tadoussac / 418-235-1180
Chez Mathilde ($$$)
Warm atmosphere and DELICIOUS meals. Be sure to try the Cote Nord snow crab, oysters, brandade de morue, chai chocolate and creme brulee cup. Live music in the evening on piano and double bass. Sumptuous breakfasts, a bistro lunch menu and gourmet dinners. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (early June to late October). Reservations recommended!
227 Rue des Pionniers, Tadoussac / 418-235-4443
Where to sleep ?
Festival de la Chanson de Tadoussac
Dates: June 28 to July 1, 2018
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.
- Very Favourable
We stopped there after the short ferry for a quick meal and walk. Beautiful and relaxing!