Difference between revisions of "Mont-Tremblant"
Revision as of 16:01, 19 January 2010
Mont-Tremblant  is a small village in Quebec, Canada, known for the famous Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort. Located in the Laurentian mountain range, Mont-Tremblant (referred to by local aboriginals - the Algonquins, as the "Trembling mountain") is surrounded by lush boreal forest and breathtaking views, standing at 875 meters (2871 feet).
Despite being a ski resort, in recent years, Mont-Tremblant has become a popular getaway for tourist and locals alike, whether in winter or in summer.
Mont-Tremblant is divided into two parts. The original village of Mont-Tremblant now goes by the name of The Village, but these days it's The Resort (aka the Pedestrian Village), some 13 km away directly at the foot of the mountain, where the action is. Built by Intrawest (the company behind Whistler) starting in 1992, the Resort is a somewhat Disneyland-y concoction of pretty pastel houses, but it looks improbably idyllic in winter with a light (or, not uncommonly, heavy) dusting of snow, maple logs on the fire and lights twinkling in the windows. Vehicles are strictly prohibited — hence the name — and many hotels can be reached directly on ski. A free gondola connects the lower hotels to the ski lifts.
Surrounding the inhabited areas is Mont-Tremblant National Park (Parc national du Mont-Tremblant), the biggest park in the SEPAQ network and the first national park to have been created in Québec.
Mont Tremblant International Airport (IATA: YTM)  has seasonal direct flights to and from several US cities, such as Philadelphia and Dallas. Continental Airlines operates scheduled service to Mont Tremblant airport from Newark, and Porter Airlines from Toronto.
The nearest major airport is in Montreal.
Mont-Tremblant is most easily reached via Autoroute 15 North from Montreal to Sainte-Agathe, where it merges with 117 for the last 30 km (still four-laned highway). Take exit 119 (Montée Ryan) to Chemin Duplessis and follow indications for Tremblant Resort. The trip takes about 90 minutes.
From the west (Ottawa and Toronto), it's possible to use smaller roads to shave a few kilometers off the journey, but the roads are very small at times and may be snowed in during the winter. Detouring via Montreal is thus, in all likelihood, the faster option.
If you are driving in the winter remember Snow Tyres are now Law in Quebec! (Only mandatory for vehicles registered in Quebec.)
Car Rental really is essential if your looking to maintain your independance in and out of the resort, but prices vary dramatically between operators so do your homwork on price comparisons. Firms like AVIS also do deals with local hotelier's that can be accessed via simple link throughs and can really be worth checking out - try: http://www.avis.co.uk/avisonline/gb/ibe.nsf/reservationhomemicrosite?openview&MST=1B618EDABF897CB6C12573CB0043E4EC
Two intercity bus lines provide service into Mont-Tremblant. The primary service is operated by Groupe Galland  between Montreal, Mont-Tremblant, and Mont-Laurier. There are generally six trips daily between Montreal and the St-Jovite section of Mont-Tremblant; some trips provide direct or connecting service to the Mont-Tremblant resort. Two of the trips continue beyond Mont-Tremblant to Mont-Laurier. Autobus Maheux  also provides service to the St-Jovite section of Mont-Tremblant, but the service is restricted to carrying passengers only to points north of Mont-Laurier (local transportation to points between Montreal and Mont-Laurier is provided exclusively by Groupe Galland). During the winter ski season, Skyport  provides direct service between the Montréal-Trudeau airport and the Mont-Tremblant resort.
Most bus travelers from Ontario and points west travel first to Montreal, then to Mont-Tremblant. However, it may be possible to save some travel time by going through Ottawa instead of Montreal. Voyageur  operates one bus daily (two buses on Fridays and Sundays) between Ottawa and Grand-Remous, with a connection in Grand-Remous to Autobus Maheux  for service to and from Mont-Tremblant. Check schedules carefully before travel.
Regional transit bus service is provided by Transport collectif intermunicipal Laurentides . There are six weekday and two weekend trips that provide service to all points between the St-Jovite section of Mont-Tremblant and Saint-Jérôme. There are also two weekday taxibus services to all points between Mont-Tremblant and Labelle. At Saint-Jérôme connections may be made with the rush hour only commuter trains between Saint-Jérôme and Montreal, operated by Agence métropolitaine de transport ; and also with daily regional bus service between Saint-Jérôme and the Montmorency Métro  station in Laval, operated by C.I.T. Laurentides .
Within Mont-Tremblant, daily transit bus service is operated between the St-Jovite section and the Mont-Tremblant resort by a contractor to the local Chamber of Commerce. 
Aside from mildly iconic clocktower in the lower village, there are no historic sights in Mont Tremblant. But what it lacks in history it makes up for in the surrounding natural beauty. Mountains, lakes and forests provide an idylic setting - especially in the more rustic northern side.
Mont Tremblant is an internationally-renowned and multi award winning ski destination. It doesn't come cheap though: your basic day pass costs $70/day, plus possible high season surcharges. However, this is competitive to European resorts thanks to favorable exchange rates.
If you visit in the summer, the resort on the south side of the mountain is a great starting point for activities. As well as mountain activities there is cycle hire and an indoor pool, ‘Aqua Club de Source'. Try mini-golf or walk down to the shore of Lac Tremblant for water sports. At the top of the resort there is an ‘Activity Centre’ where you can book a huge variety of activities. 
Nearby, Parc de Mont Tremblant is one of the major parks listed in the Parcs Quebec network and features camping, canoe-camping, well-maintained hiking trails, canoe rental. See the SEPAQ website (in French and English)  for more information and rates.
If your looking for a more convenient Ski experience try the north side of the resort - not only does it have the best runs, but also an abundance of free parking that makes your walk to the ski lifts both shorter and easier. The North side also benefits from catering and equipment rental - great if you simply want to focus on what you came for and maximise your time on the slopes.
It's nice to soak your bones in a hot tub after hitting the slopes all day, either in a locally rented home (if your lucky enough) or in one of the half dozen or so spas in Mont-Tremblant.
The pedestrian village has a good selection of stores, with a predictable emphasis on high-end winter clothing, winter sports goods and maple syrup-themed souvenirs. There is also one smallish supermarket and several convenience stores for daily necessities. Prices for such convenience can be on the high side though, and you may be able to save quite a bit by visiting the original village or stocking up at nearby St Jovite instead.
Accommodation prices in Mont-Tremblant are highly seasonal: the same room that goes for under $100 on a rainy weekday in the fall may shoot up to over $400 on a holiday weekend in the winter. Book early!