The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region beckons visitors seeking a fantastic array of activities and an immersion in the French-Canadian culture of Québec. And Nancy Donnelly of Tourisme Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean knows just where to start.
“A cruise along our Saguenay Fjord is a must,” she says. “Passengers enjoy the pristine landscape in the Saguenay Fjord National Park as well as a few little villages along the shores. This is the southernmost fjord in North America and one of the 10 longest in the world.”
The region is located some two hours northeast of Québec City and has a unique destination, Val-Jalbert.
“This historical village is an authentic 1920s ghost town with waterfalls higher than Niagara Falls,” Donnelly says. “Visits include a tour of the abandoned houses, old pulp mill, convent school and general store plus a cable car ride to the top of the falls. And FIT visitors can stay overnight in beautifully refurbished homes.”
Donnelly also has suggestions for local food and drink. “This region has 15 microbreweries and over a dozen artisanal cheese makers,” she says. “There is Musée Vieille Fromagerie Perron (a cheddar cheese museum) that’s the last of its kind in Québec. It offers workshops, and groups can make their own cheese in an hour.”
The region also is famous for its wild blueberries. “In fact, the nickname for people here is bleuets, which is ‘blueberry’ in French,” Donnelly says.
To roll with the theme, visit Domaine Le Cageot, a vineyard that produces blueberry-based spirits and its own blueberry champagne.
Top photo: Marine shuttle on the Saguenay Fjord
Photo by Martial Tremblay