Covering 6000 square kilometers in the Canadian shield, Charlevoix has a magnificiant mountain scenery caused by a 15-billion-pound meteor 350 million years ago. The earliest vacationers came to Charlevoix as early as 1760.
Baie St-Paul and La Malbaie are the major cities of this region. You get by car using the 138 highway. It is about 4 to 5 hours from Montreal and 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes from Quebec City.
Rivière-du-Loup—Saint-Siméon, duration: 65 minutes, (418) 638-2856 or (418) 862-5094.
Intercar, 1-888-861-4592 (toll free), offers the service from Montreal (Central station, Metro Berri-UQAM) and Quebec City (Gare du Palais, 320, rue Abraham-Martin) to Baie St-Paul and various cities in Charlevoix along the St-Lawrence River. Departs from Montreal : 6 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM from Saturday to Thursday; 6 AM, 9 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM on Fridays. 20% off for students. Reservations are mandatory for some cities. Schedules and stops: http://www.intercar.qc.ca/fr/02-01-15.html
The best way to go around in Charlevoix is by car. However, you can get to many locations by bus with Intercar (see above).
There are two national parks in this region:
Parc national des Grands-Jardins: 381 road, km 31, 1-866-702-9202 (toll free). This park has 134 lakes and 7 rivers. You can do hiking (hike on Mont du Lac des Cygnes is a must), cycling, canoeing, kayaking (rentals available on-site) and fishing (brook trout). Camping available. Admission: 3,50$/person. http://www.sepaq.com
Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie: Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, 1-866-702-9202. Spectacular sight for canoeing or kayaking on the river. Nice hiking on Acropole des Draveurs. Admission: 3,50$/person. http://www.sepaq.com
Alpine Skiing: Massif de la Petite Rivière Sant-Francois, 1-877-536-2774 (toll free). Alpine skiers, don't miss out this mountain, the highest drop east of the Rockies Mountains. Incredible ski conditions. 41$/day for 1 adult. Discounts available for students and large groups. http://www.lemassif.com
Hiking: Parc National des Grands Jardins, Parc National des Hautes-Gorges de La Malbaie
A visit to Les Quartre Vents (The Gardens of the Four Winds), La Malbaie, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . by reservation - see website. One of the finest residential gardens in North America and an object lesson in how to relate a garden to the landscape and create a viable growing condition within.$30 per person.
Les Ateliers DeBlois, . Discover work by artists Joan and Marc DeBlois, pottery, raku and paintings, in St-Irénée.
Les Saveurs Oubliées, Les Eboulements, 350, Rang Godefroy, (418) 635-9888. Exquisite country and Charlevoix regional cuisine. Famous for their lamb meals. Bring your wine. Reservation must be made well in advance. Around 40$ per person. http://www.agneausaveurscharlevoix.com/english.html
Les Mésanges, Baie-St-Paul
Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Hotel and casino over looking the St. Lawrence River.
Hôtel-Motel Castel de la Mer, located in the historic district of Pointe-au-Pic in La Malbaie.
Immeubles Charlevoix (Immeubles Charlevoix), 20, rue Leclerc, ☎ 1 1 866 435-6868, . For a weekend or a longer stay. Villas, country homes, and four-star cottages available. $180+.