- For other places with the same name, see Charlevoix (disambiguation).
Charlevoix is a tourist and historic region in Quebec on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and in the Laurentian Mountains area of the Canadian Shield. This dramatic landscape includes rolling terrain, fjords, headlands and bays; the region was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1989.
- Charlevoix Regional Municipality County
- Charlevoix-Est Regional Municipality County
- 1 Baie St-Paul — a charming small town with several art galleries
- 2 La Malbaie — home of the historic Manoir Richelieu Hotel, the town has been drawing visitors since 1760
- 3 Les Éboulements — a group of villages in the centre of the Charlevoix crater
- 4 Baie-Sainte-Catherine — a gateway to the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and to the Saguenay Conservation Park, and a starting point for whale-watching cruises
- 5 Saint-Urbain — the gateway to Parc national des Grands-Jardins and the Charlevoix hinterland
- 1 L'Isle-aux-Coudres — an island in the St. Lawrence River about 6 km south from the mainland known for its historical sites, tourist accommodations, and craftspeople
- 2 Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park — part of the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve, popular with anglers, hikers, campers and vacationers
- 3 Port-au-Persil — hamlet in Saint-Siméon municipality
- 4 Baie-des-Rochers Municipal Park — in Saint-Siméon municipality, it offers marine and forest environments, marine mammals such as seals, beluga whales and whales can sometimes be seen
Covering 6000 km² in the Canadian shield, Charlevoix has a magnificiant mountain scenery caused by a 6.8-million-tonne meteor 350 million years ago. The earliest vacationers came to Charlevoix as early as 1760.
The region was named after Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix, a French Jesuit explorer and historian who travelled through the area in the 18th century. The community of La Malbaie was known as the first resort area in Canada. For much of its history, Charlevoix was home to a thriving summer colony of wealthy Americans, including President William Howard Taft.
Baie St-Paul and La Malbaie are the major cities of this region. You get in by car using Highway 138. 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, ☏ or ☏ .
- Baie-Sainte-Catherine—Tadoussac, duration: 8 minutes, free, ☏ .
Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive—Isle-aux-Coudres, duration: 15 minutes, free, ☏.
- Intercar, +1-800-806-2167 (toll free), offers the service from Quebec City (Gare du Palais, 320, rue Abraham-Martin) to Baie St-Paul and various cities in Charlevoix along the St-Lawrence River. Discounts for students and seniors. Reservations are mandatory for some cities.
- Train de Charlevoix, toll-free: , email@example.com. Seasonal service. This tourist train runs between Montmorency Falls and La Malbaie.
The best way to go around in Charlevoix is by car. However, you can get to many locations by bus with Intercar (see above).
For those interested in history and art, there's the Musée d'art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, a contemporary art museum, and the Musée de Charlevoix, dedicated to folk art, regional history and culture in La Malbaie.
There are two Quebec national parks in this region:
- Des Grands-Jardins National Park (Parc national des Grands-Jardins), Route 381, km 31, ☏ . 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. $9.25 per person.
- Hautes-Gorges-de-la-rivière-Malbaie National Park (Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie), Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, ☏ . Spectacular sight for canoeing or kayaking on the river. Nice hiking on Acropole des Draveurs. $9.25 per person.
- Alpine skiing: Massif de la Petite Rivière Sant-Francois, ☏ (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.
- Hiking: Des Grands-Jardins National Park, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-rivière-Malbaie National Park
- 1 A visit to "Jardins des Quatre Vents" ("The Gardens of the Four Winds"), 135, boulevard Malcolm-Fraser (secteur Cap-à-l'Aigle), 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. $35 per person.
- Les Mésanges, Baie-St-Paul
- Fairmont Manoir Richelieu. Hotel and casino overlooking 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, toll-free: . For a weekend or a longer stay. Villas, country homes, and four-star cottages available. $180+.