Quebec's Îles-de-la-Madeleine (occasionally Magdalen Islands) are an island chain in the Gulf of St. Laurence, off the coast of New Brunswick.
When visiting Îles-de-la-Madeleine if you speak even just a little bit of French everyone will be a lot more friendly and go out of their way to help you out more than they would if you spoke strictly English and no French at all.
While each island is quite small, the distances between them along the connecting dunes are greater and these areas are isolated. Cycling is possible, scooters can be rented, as well as automobiles, bus tours are available, taxis are quite expensive.
One of the best things about Îles-de-la-Madeleine is the fact that it is known as one of, if not the best, places for wind sports (like windsurfing and kiteboarding). So if you're not the one riding it is always fun to be the one watching.
Beaches: amazing long sand dune beaches connect the islands,
there are several to explore and walk on for hours
windsurfing- rental available at l'istorlet, or bring your own
kitesurfing- courses from Aerosport, another company (ask at cafe les pas perdus in Cap-aux meules
sea kayaking- explore coastal cliffs, bays, and tunnels, one good place to rent is the Parc du Gros Cap, near Cap-aux-Meules
cycling- lots of places although some roads do not have paved shoulder. Wind can be a factor
hiking- several shore hikes possible near cliff-lined areas of the coast. However, stay away from the edges of cliffs as they are eroded, and are very dangerous (can collapse).
Fresh lobster is available in early summer (June-July).
Smoked fish: herring, scallops, mackerel.
Pot-en-pot: seafood pie.
Loup-marin: seal (very strong tasting, similar to liver or wild game).
Café de la Grave, Island of Havre Aubert. Reasonable laid back café-bar. Great place to go for a beer in the afternoon.
Bistro Bout du Monde, Island of Havre Aubert. Excellent but very expensive
Boulangerie Fleur de Sable, Island of Havre Aubert. Great bakery and restaurant (www.lafleurdesable.com)
Les Pas Perdus, Cap aux Meules. Popular restaurant-café-bar, good food, service variable.
There is a local brewery 'A l'abri de la tempete', which is located near Cap aux meules and can be visited (also has a nice pub). Their beers are very good: rousse(red), blonde(pale), blanche (wheat beer),noire (milk stout),and some special brews. Available on draft in certain restos such as Café de la Grave and Pas Perdus.
All of Îles-de-la-Madeleine is pretty safe.
Do not walk near the edges of cliffs as they are subject to erosion and collapse.
Certain beaches can have strong and dangerous currents which may pull you away from shore.