Visiting the Gaspésie Region of Quebec offers the chance to visit 4 National Parks in Canada of varied landscapes and exeriences. If you want to see woodland caribou in the wild, Gaspésie National Park is the place to do it. It was designated to protect the Gaspésie Caribou. Apparently it is the only place you can see caribou south of the St. Lawrence (and I mean, literally, just south of the St. Lawrence).
Located inland in the Appalachian Mountains, it’s a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. For the dramatic sea cliff views of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, head to, Forillian and l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé. And Miguasha National Park is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 370 million year old fossils. Needless to say, this is a great place to spend a summer vacation.
Location: Quebec – 8 hours North of Quebec City in the Gaspé Peninsula.
How Many Days Does It Take to Tour the Gaspésie Peninsula
On average, people take 7 to 10 days to visit Gaspésie as part of their summer vacation. However, the number of days needed for travel can vary a lot from person to person. Here are some factors to consider.
Touring Gaspésie in a loop (from Sainte-Flavie to Sainte-Flavie) consists of traveling 885 km, equivalent to about 11 hours of driving. Add to this the distance between your place of residence and the entrance to the Gaspésie (approximately 3 h 30 from Québec City or 6 hours from Montréal).
If you want to explore activities, some time to stop along the way is needed. One can count on one day to travel to Gaspésie and one day to return.
Day 1 – Montréal – Gaspésie
Day 2 – 3 hour drive + activity/tour
Day 3 – 3 hour drive + activity/tour
Day 4 – 3 hour drive + activity/tour
Day 5 – 2 hour drive + activity/tour
Day 6 – Gaspésie – Montréal
A different approach may be to allocate your time on the road differently; take two longer travel days, then stay in the same place for a bit before continuing your trip. Keep under consideration your individual situation and the expansive area of the territory.
Keep in mind, however, that travelling the roads in Gaspésie are not the same as a 3 hour drive on a highway. You will drive along the sea, see beautiful landscapes, and have the opportunity to stop in order to do activities everywhere along the way. The road journey is a large part of the holiday.
Activities at Gaspésie Peninsula ?
The second aspect to consider is the sort of activities you want to do. Visiting an interpretation centre does not necessarily require the same time as climbing a mountain. If you plan to mostly hike for example, you will have to keep this approach in mind.
On the other hand, if you prefer to enjoy the scenery, stroll on the beach, and read a good book sitting on your balcony at the hotel, you may tour the area in a different time range.
In summary, choose your activity and consider the time you have. If you want to hike, but only have a long weekend break for example, you could go to a park and enjoy it rather than trying to do the entire tour and other activities too quickly.
Which Itinerary Should You Choose for Your Tour of Gaspésie Peninsula ?
Should you travel clockwise or counterclockwise around the Gaspé Peninsula? Both directions are great! In the first case, you’ll see the St. Lawrence widen into the gulf while in the other direction, you’ll drive along the sea side of the road.
Gaspésie covers an area of over 30,340 km² and offers you a golden opportunity to tour the entire peninsula in either direction on a road that loops around the whole region.
- Route 132
- Route 132
- Route 198
- Route 195
Visiting Gaspésie Peninsula with Your Dog
Would you like to travel with your dog in Gaspésie? This blog post will help you figure out which lodging establishments and other sites will welcome your pet in our region.
First, please note that most sites that do welcome dogs require them to be leashed. Make sure you always have this essential accessory on hand!
To find out which lodging establishments, restaurants, shops, activity providers and attractions in Gaspésie are pet-friendly, we recommend you visit our website. Those that are pet-friendly will include a dog pictogram, as seen here, in the “Services” section of their profile. (If you don’t see this pictogram, pets are not allowed.)
For the accommodations listed on our website, you can use the “Pet-Friendly” filter to identify establishments that welcome dogs. In the summer, there are over 110 hotels, B&Bs, outfitters, cottages, campgrounds and other types of accommodations that do so. Of those, about 60 are campgrounds.
The Gaspé Peninsula’s restaurants run the gamut, including everything from gourmet haute cuisine to humble roadside snack bars. The Gaspé Tourist Association’s website has a search engine that displays restaurants by location and price.
The Gaspé Peninsula’s local cuisine is heavy and hearty, the better to see the early inhabitants through the long, rough winters. The most famous dish native to these parts is cipaille (a French adaptation of the English term “sea pie”, an old colonial-era dish popular in Eastern Canada), also known as six-pâtes. This delicious meal contains three or four types of cubed meats, potato chunks, and onions layered one over another and baked into a pie crust. An even more typically Gaspesian variation substitutes fish such as salmon, cod or haddock for some or all of the meat.
Produits du terroir (locally-sourced foods) are growing more and more popular in Quebec, and in the Gaspé Peninsula, first and foremost that means seafood. The Gaspesian economy has historically been based on the fisheries of the St. Lawrence, Chaleur Bay, and the interior rivers, and while it’s not the dominant monolith it once was, fishing is still an important sector of the regional economy. That means that the seafood you can find in the Gaspé — at local restaurants, specialty fish markets, and even right on the docks — is as fresh as it gets. Local specialties include halibut, lobster, scallops, crabs, and — above all — Atlantic salmon.
The poor soil and somewhat harsh climate of the area make much of the Gaspé Peninsula unsuitable for farming. An exception is the shore of Chaleur Bay, where there are a few farmers’ markets and other outlets to pick up fresh produce direct from growers, as well as a nascent agritourism industry. Berries are a Gaspesian specialty — raspberries, blueberries, black currants, and to a lesser extent, strawberries — and in season you can buy them at roadside stands all over the region. As well, like pretty much everywhere else in Quebec, the peninsula’s forests are chock full of maple trees. Maple syrup is harvested during “sugar season”, a beloved annual ritual of early spring.
If you’re a foodie, you can use the Gaspé Gourmet (Gaspésie gourmande) website to design your own culinary tour of the Gaspé Peninsula. It has a wealth of information about Gaspesian cuisine, specialty food shops, opportunities to buy locally sourced produce, and special events.
Quebec’s robust craft beer industry is represented in the Gaspé Peninsula by a trio of microbreweries — Frontibus in Rivière-au-Renard, Le Naufrageur in Carleton-sur-Mer, and Pit Caribou in L’Anse-à-Beaufils — which each produce a dozen or so beers available in bars, restaurants and shops around the region.