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The Portal of Quebec - Iles de la Madelaine
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Tourist Guide of Quebec

Let yourself be charmed by the beauty of the Îles de la Madeleine! Its long beaches along its carved cliffs, its everfresh seefood and the more than warm welcome of its inhabitants will surely delight you. Hope to see you soon!

Visit Îles de la Madeleine

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Iles de la Madelaine
The landscape of the Magdalen Islands is made of islands and sand dunes. Magnificent golden beaches contrast with the red of crumbly edges rocky steep slopes. The bright colours of the houses give an inviting style to the Islands and the greens, blues and reds catch the eye. The houses’ orientation may seem strange at first, but it is in fact well thought and done in that particular way because of the strong winds which periodically sweep the islands.

A pleasant countryside

cap paysage iles et dunes

To reach the Magdalen Islands by car, you first go to Souris (Prince Edward Island), where you can board a ferry to the Islands. It is 1420 km (882 m) from Montreal to Souris. The ferry trip from Souris to Cap-aux-Meules lasts 5 hours. This ferry service is operational from April 1st to January 31st. If you prefer to travel by plane, several airlines offer daily flights to and from the Magdalen Islands with departures from

Montreal, Quebec, Mont-Joli and Gaspé. Flying times vary from one to four hours depending on the departure point and the number of stops. The airport (YGR) is located on the island of Havre-aux-Maisons. If you decide to visit Magdalen Islands, note that they are in the Atlantic Time zone (one hour later than in Quebec).

The main Islands are:

Other small Islands and Islets:

  • Le Rocher aux Oiseaux
  • Île aux Loups Marins
  • Île aux Cochons
  • Le Rocher du Corps Mort

rocher ile madelaine

Grosse Ile

The church below is the second largest wooden church in North America.
Characterized by a maritime climate, the Magdalen Islands have mild winters, cool springs, summers without scorching heat and amazingly hot falls. This is the place in Quebec where the frost period is the shortest and where one can practice water sports for a longer time. Any time of year, the Islands will enchant and entertain you for sure.

These beautiful islands offer unique tourist attractions. Some of them are: museums, parks, plays, golf courses,

Église en bois Madelinots

horseback riding, bird watching, hunting, fishing, sea cruises, scuba diving, windsurfing, skiing and whale watching.

In spring, this is the ideal time for hiking, birds, flowers and butterflies watching, photography, sea products tasting and even lobster fishing! For those who would like to observe the Islands’ flora, the East Point National Wildlife Reserve in Grosse-Île, Havre aux Basques bay and the Mountain in Île du Havre Aubert, as well as Dune–du-Sud in Île du Havre-aux-Maisons are some of the best places where you will able to admire the most beautiful plant species. For biking lovers, a large number of cycling paths are available and will make you discover the beauty of the landscapes. Some off-road cycling paths run along the cliffs in Cap-aux-Meules, Étang-du-Nord and Fatima. It is also possible to take the main road that links the islands, or cycle along the secondary roads. Here are some cycling paths that you can take: Le Sentier du littoral, Le Grand large, La Piste cyclable et pédestre de la Belle-Anse, Les Sentiers de l’Anse de l’Étang-du Nord and Le Pédalier. There are also many good walking trails on each island. Take long scenic walks along panoramic secondary roads winding among the hills or along deserted beaches. Try different paths like Le Sentier la Bouillée des bois, Le Parc des Bucks, Scott Walking Adventures, Le Sentier de la butte du vent, Le Sentier du Barachois, Les Sentiers de l’Île Brion and The East Point National Wildlife Reserve. Horseback riding is another unique experience. Ride on the boundless beaches and hillsides of Magdalen Islands. For the beginners, lessons are available in different ridding schools like La P’tite Ferme au Gallop, the Centre Équestre « La Crinière au vent » and La Chevauchée des Îles.

Archipel de l'île
Summer in the Islands will charm the windsurfing, kite surfing, kiting and sailing lovers as well as the ones who prefer to bask in the sun on the golden beaches. Because of the strong winds and the hot temperature of the water, the months of August, September and October are the best months to practice water

sports. Take advantage of your vacations in the Islands to assist the Rendez-vous aventure, which is an international-level competition that combines one stage of the PKRA kite surfing World cup, La Coupe des Îles; Canadian windsurfing championship and the Tour Bleu; sea kayak festival and competitions. The Fred-Jomphe Park, located in the lagoon at Havre-aux-Basques, is one of the best sites for these kinds of sports. For those who prefer the tranquility of the beach and the sound of the waves, the water temperature in the bays and lagoons can reach 18°C to 21°C. That means you can enjoy swimming until the end of September! During the hot season, you can also play golf on Magdalen Islands. Experts will enjoy the unique 9-hole course in Étang-du-Nord and the 18-hole mini-putt in Dune-du-Sud will surely please all the family. Summer is also the season for festivals of all kinds. Among the most important are the Festival Sable-Eau-Vent, the Figurative Painting Symposium in L'Étang-du-Nord, the Acadian Festival in Havre-Aubert, the Small Boat Building Contest and the Sandcastle Contest.

In fall, have a photo safari and observe migratory birds. The best sites for bird watching are the areas around marshes and ponds, in tidal zones and dunes or on the islands and islets just off shore and in the forested sectors. Here are some sites that will surely charm the bird watching enthusiasts: La Martinique, between Dune de l'Ouest (chemin Coulombe) and La Martinique beach (along route 199), East Point National Wildlife Reserve on Échouerie and Marais Salés trails, Île aux Goélands in L'Étang-du-Nord (chemin Delaney), Île aux Cochons (near the Havre-aux-Maisons marina), and Île rouge (close to the bridge linking Cap-aux-Meules and Havre-aux-Maisons). Bird Rock, Île Brion and Île d’Entrée are also very fine marine bird colony observation sites. To watch birds in a woodland habitat, the trails in Parc des Buck are an excellent place. Some interesting festivals also take place in fall, such as the Grande Traversée des Îles and the Festival International Contes en Îles (int'l Story Telling Festival).

At the end of February and in the beginning of March, seals and white coats watching is an experience you won’t want to miss. At the east end of Île Brion, at the end of the Grande Échouerie beach in Grosse-Île, at Corps-Mort Rock and on the beach at Dune-du-Sud, you can observe the Gray seals and Harbor seals in their natural habitat. It is also possible to do snorkelling among the seal herd which lives near Corps Mort Rock. Boat tours are also available for the less adventurous. To learn more about these mammals, their observation or the seal hunt, the permanent exhibition at the Seal Interpretation Centre in the island of Grande-Entree is the right place. You could also try the travelling exhibition “Loups-marin, au pays des Madelinots”, which moves from one Canadian museum to another. Ice kayaking and dog sledding are other activities you don’t want to miss.

In any season, the Magdalen Islands are a preferred destination for fans of aerotourism. Seen from the air, the islands and islets, the lagoons and the sea offer an exotically enchanting spectacle. The archipelago has one national airport, located on Havre-aux-Maisons. Take also advantage from the pleasures of a ride in a horse-drawn buggy which will charm you with its scenic roads in Pointe Basse in summer or its sparkling ice on lagoons in winter. With a guide, you will discover the local heritage and history as well as the local artists and craftspeople.

Global Réservation: Lodging and accomodation, Magdalen Islands region

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