Have you been to Québec in the winter? I will be first to admit I haven’t in a while but some lovely people from the region opened my eyes to the plenty of experience Québec has to offer. The theme for the Bonjour Québec winter campaign this year is “Bonjour all day all night” because while the days might be getting shorter, nights get longer. The promise not so gently hints at the fact that there are endless opportunities for night-time experiences in Québec. There are winter activities you can do in nearly every part of the province (skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking) so I wanted to focus on the unique experiences from every region. Here are 13 things to do in Québec this winter.
Cover image by Ludovic Migneault. All body images in this article are courtesy of the mentioned property or tourism board.
The event was sponsored by Québec tourism board who did not review or approve this story.
Camp Boule – Buvette de Montagne in Charlevoix
A restaurant and bar located in a mountain chalet serving up a gourmet menu in Le Massif de Charlevoix. Chef David Forbes draws inspiration from changing seasons, local forests, and farm products curating a culinary experience rich in flavour. The restaurant also promises daily specials making each dinner a one-of-a-kind meal.
To learn more and reserve visit lemassif.com
Forêt récréative de Val d’Or, Agnico Eagle trail
Val-d’Or Recreational Forest spans 50 km² and invites visitors to explore its trails. The park can be seen on foot, by bike, on snowshoes, cross-country skis, ice skates, fat bikes, and in-line skates. The hikes cut through pure boreal forest and offer a few shelters along the way to rest and warm up.
Learn how to cook with winter products in the Notre-Dame Abbey, Saint-Jean-de-Matha
Val Notre-Dame Abbey is all about finding new ways to help people experience edible forest products. This winter they are offering a cooking class in the deep woods inside a specially set up yurt. In addition, you can also try the people’s favourites including BBQ snowshoe hikes and sugaring-off meals featuring forest edibles.
More information on abbayevalnotredame.ca
Visit a German Christmas Market in Québec City
The largest annual Christmas Market in Québec is set to return November 24 – December 23, 2022 (Thursday to Sunday). For the 15th-anniversary market organizers added a few new activities including Santa Claus castle at Place d’Armes and a giant marionette parade on Saint-Jean Street.
More information on noelallemandquebec.com
Eat cheese and drink wine in the Eastern Townships
The small yet mighty Eastern Townships are home to 20 vineyards, 29 microbreweries, and 16 cheese factories. The wine route spans a whopping 140 km so it can certainly be a road trip on its own. Here you will also find La Station cheese factory and ECONOMUSÉE®. At this factory, the artisanal cheese is still made using traditional methods by the members of the Bolduc family who have been passing on the traditions for many generations. The museum offers immersive tours, cheese tastings, and multimedia shows. This region alone could make this article into a much longer list than “13 things to do in Québec”. But that’s for a later time…
More information on easterntownships.org
Taste some beers at the new microbrewery in Old Chelsea
The very first microbrewery in the village of Chelsea in the Outaouais region. Located near Gatineau Park (which offers 89,000 acres of forest, lakes, and trails) Chelsea & Co is a cool and friendly spot serving up locally brewed, artisanal, sustainable beers. In their own words, “Chelsea & Co is a place where we invent an experience that bridges the gap between beer and the outdoors”. If you chose to visit this area a lovely nearby accommodation is Laurette Lodges.
More info at chelseaco.ca
Immerse into Indigenous Québec with the evergreen winter package in Waconichi
This breathtaking boreal forest territory is located across the Albanel-Mistassini-and-Waconichi Lakes Wildlife Reserve, operated by the Nibiischii Corporation ᓂᐲᔅᒌ (Land of Water). The land harbors a vibrant culture of the Cree Nation of Mistissini. Among many activities on this wildlife reserve are canoe-camping, floating accommodations, cultural workshops, canoeing, fishing, yoga, hiking, sky gazing, snowshoeing, and drive-in movies by the water.
Winter glamping across the region
The region has an impressive selection of new and updated glamping accommodations. Charlevoix alone, for example, has a few mention-worthy properties:
- Scandinavian-inspired properties in Repère Boréal
- Trendy mountainside Dômes
- Intimate luxury stays at the Momentôm Refuges Nature (equipped with a private terrace and spa!)
- Some absolutely stunning mirror homes: Réflexion – Maisons Miroirs.
Lanaudière-Mauricie region, located just between Montréal and Québec City, also has a range of wonderful accommodations. Here you can stay in the Les pieds sur Terre, aka the Orion Bubbles, and even a small Hobbit House, all equipped with a private jacuzzi. Also in the area is a new clean, modern, well-equipped cabin in Saint-Jean-des-Piles, called Nature Nature. If you are planning a trip to MTL, a few other tips for what to do in Montréal can be found in this article.
Walk the Laurentides Treetop
Climb up this 40-meter-high panoramic tower for a spectacular view of Mont Tremblant across a forest-heavy region. To get to the tower you will stroll a nearly one-kilometer-long path through the Laurentian forest. The entire experience is safe and universally accessible so it is a fairly easy adventure.
More information on sentierdescimes.ca
Ski and dine at the Chic-Chac in Gaspésie
This is a brand new après-ski experience in the Murdochville church. The Church was built in the Scandinavian style and features a resto-bar, large performance venue, retail shop, and space for equipment rentals. In the winter this resort destination offers backcountry skiing (skinning, catskiing, heliskiing), downhill skiing on soft powder snow, and snowmobiling across groomed trails.
Embrace nature at the La Mauricie National Park
In the winter this park turns into a Wonderland where you can snowshoe, cross-country ski, hike, bike, ice climb, fish, and even stay overnight in one of their unique accommodations. Fun fact: 93% of this park is covered by forest and has over 150 lakes of mixed sizes. There are also multiple waterfalls all of which would look equally stunning covered by a lush of snow.
More information on pc.gc.ca
Go skiing in Mont-Tremblant, where they swear anyone can learn how to
It is a well-known fact that on this side of Canada Mont-Tremblant is the best place to go skiing but what Tremblant village really offers is an entire experience from lessons and rentals to casual ski-apres once the sun has set. These, much more approachable mountains, offer 755 acres of skiable terrain with 102 trails across 4 distinct faces. Between the slopes are shops, restaurants, a wide range of accommodations, and around-the-season entertainment.
Learn more on tremblant.ca
Stay and eat at Les Chalets Baie Cascouia
Number 13, last but not least, is an amazing property in Québec. The chalet offer is a two-in-one, optional of course but sounds fantastic so let’s go. Located in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean guests of the cottages can add a regional meal option to their reservation which will include a traditional meal with authentic Saguenay–Lac-Saint- Jean tourtière and homemade blueberry pie. If you come, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean offers a fun range of activities from snowmobiling to hiking so you will not get bored.
More information on chaletgitesaguenay.com