The Lighthouses and Whales Trail

They light up the way of the sea, they cheer up the road for hitchhikers.  Research workers dedicate themselves body and souls for them, travelers swoon over them. The lighthouse route and the whales: for all those who know how to appreciate the beauty of the seas.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Montreal

    Montreal Pick-up your vehicle and discover beautiful Montreal.





    Optional activity(ies) ($):
    A Stroll in Eastern Old Montreal

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 2 La Malbaie - Charlevoix Region

    La Malbaie - Charlevoix Region You will travel down the St-Lawrence River on one of the most beautiful roads in Quebec. (B in STD)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 3 Baie Comeau

    Baie Comeau Spend the night in the Pointe-des-Monts area which is famous for its magnificent lighthouse!




    Optional activity(ies) ($):
    Bateau Mouche Cruise in the Hautes Gorges National Park

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 4 Havre-St-Pierre

    Havre-St-Pierre The Mingan area offers you its amazing monolithic rocks. (B in STD) (B in SUP)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 5 Sept-Îles

    Sept-Îles Discover Sept-Iles. Its archipelago and its charming inhabitants. (B in STD) (B in SUP)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 6 Sainte-Anne-des-Monts - Gaspésie Park

    Sainte-Anne-des-Monts - Gaspésie Park It’s now time to take the ferry to cross the majestic St-Lawrence River. Welcome to the legendary Gaspe Peninsula.

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 7 Sainte-Anne-des-Monts - Gaspésie Park

    Sainte-Anne-des-Monts - Gaspésie Park According to local hearsay, this region has the best shrimps in the world. Don’t miss this occasion to taste them. Hiking by the lac aux Américains trail. You will discover the magnificent glacial cirque of the Lac Aux Américains. Under the light a setting sun, the landscape of the lake is particularly impressive.

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 8 Gaspé

    Gaspé Live the experience of the unique Forillon National Park.

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 9 Gaspé

    Gaspé It was here that Jacques Cartier took possession of the land in 1534 in the name of Francois 1st! (B in SUP)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 10 Percé

    Percé Don’t forget your camera for the famous Perce Rock which poses for posterity! (B in SUP)




    Optional activity(ies) ($):
    Bonaventure Island and Rocher Percé cruise

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 11 Bonaventure

    Bonaventure The Baie des Chaleurs welcomes you! (B in SUP)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 12 Rimouski

    Rimouski A region with the reputation of having some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world!




    Optional activity(ies) ($):
    Guided canoe excursion on the Bonaventure river

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 13 Rivière-du-Loup

    Rivière-du-Loup Live the fabulous experience of a night in the house of the lighthouse keeper. (D in STD) (D in SUP)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 14 Quebec City

    Quebec City Discover beautiful Quebec City. (B in STD day 14) (B in SUP day 14)

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 15 Quebec City

    Quebec City Enjoy one more day in Quebec.

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 16 Montreal

    Montreal Returning to Montreal, it’s up to you to discover all the other attractions of this vibrant city.

    Accommodation: Hotel, inn or B&B (Depending on the accommodation chosen)

  • Day 17 Return flight

    Return flight Drop-off your vehicle before your return flight. (B in STD)

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

From C$1,749

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

  • Ferry between Cote-Nord and Gaspesie area (day 6)
  • Ferry to île du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie (day 13)
  • 16 nights accommodation (1 night in the lighthouse guardian house)
  • 6 meals in STD or 7 meals in SUP (see abbreviations, please note that continental breakfasts are included in B&B accommodation)
  • Applicable taxes

Not included

  • The personalized roadbook   (OPTION: 87$ cdn)
  • Air travel
  • Car rental
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks (excluding coffee and tea with meals included)
  • Private bathroom for B&B accommodation

International flights

Why would you worry about lots of booking? We can offer your trip under the same roof and we are here in case of a problem. As we have excellent contacts with major airlines in Canada and in the US, we can help you by offering you advantageous prices. All you need to do is to make it clear when you request an estimate in the box ‘’describe precisely your project’’ in our form we will be pleased to include it in our offer.

Terms and conditions

To know more about our terms, visit the section Terms and conditions

Insurance

It is possible to offer you a medical insurance as well as a trip cancellation protection because we know the importance of being at peace before or during your trip, we can help you. All you need to do is to make it clear when you request an estimate in the box ‘’describe precisely your project’’ in our form we will be pleased to include it in our offer. Our methods of calculation are simple and don’t cost a lot, to know more about it, visit our section insurance.

Practical info

Staff

Trip in total freedom, guideless. If you add an optional roadbook, it will consist of :

  • A day by day (itinerary) description
  • Destination description
  • Useful tips on driving
  • Cities and parks maps
  • Activities description

Food

It is possible that some meals are included, seek ‘’the price includes’’ on your estimate, it is however impossible (or even rare) to include all meals during a trip in total freedom.

Accommodation

Depending on the category of hotel, you will sleep in 2-star or sun (Canadian classification) rated accommodation. When you request an estimate, you can ask to be upgraded in more comfortable accommodation for some days or for all the days of your trip, near national parks or out-of-the-ordinary accommodation such as cabins in the trees, cottages or tent (Huttopia, or ready-to-camp). We offer a wide range of accommodation, from classic to original, all of our trips are flexible and can be adjusted to your desires!

Transportation

In some cases and depending on your needs, we can offer private or public transfer services such as train, shuttle, ferry or seaplane… We can also include a car rental with very interesting rates. You just have to make it clear in your initial estimate in the box ‘’ describe your trip precisely’’ of our form, we will be pleased to do so.

Driving in Canada :
Autotours by car are perfect to explore the great Canadian landscapes. Our country offers numerous breath-taking roads with panoramic sceneries. Traffic is generally moderate when compared to other countries. 

Standard European driving license is valid in Canada. Traffic regulation is no different. The speed limit is 100 Km/h on the highway (110 km/h on certain highways in Alberta and Novia Scotia); 90 km/h on main roads; 50 km/h in urban areas. Highways are free (expect for one in the Toronto region), generally well-maintained, they provide rest areas..

Traffic lights are situated on the other side of the streets intersection. There is no priority to the right: priority is indicated by road signs at each intersection. It is generally allowed to turn right when the light is red (if no road sign forbid it) in Canada, except for the Ile de Montréal.  

To park your vehicle, pay attention to road signs that indicate authorized days and hours of parking. It is forbidden to park near a fire hydrant. Parking fees are sometimes required by hotels (especially in big cities) and in public parking areas. In Toronto and Montréal, parking fees can rise up to 20$ per day. In small cities, it is easy to find free parking spaces.  

Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory everywhere and at every time, for all the passengers, in the front seat and in the back seat. 

Children must sit in a child car seat specially designed, adapted to their weight and height and be appropriately installed until he is tall enough to wear the seatbelt correctly. Seek your car rental. 

It is mandatory to stop at more than five meters from a school bus which flashing lights blink. You can only cross or pass a school bus when its flashing lights are off. You must make sure that this manoeuvre is riskless.

In Canada, it is forbidden to drive with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08% (80mg for 100ml of blood). Drivers younger than 25 years old and the ones who have a learner’s permit are submitted to the rule of ‘’0 alcohol’’ which forbids driving after alcohol consumption.

Budget & exchange

Canadian currency is the Dollar ($) which is divided in 100 cents. You can find 5$, 10$, 20$, 50$, 100$ and 1000$ bills. Although they are still in circulation, 1$ and 2$ bills have been replaced by coins of .05$, .10$ and 0.25$.  

To benefit from the best exchange rate, we advise you the exchange your currency in a Canadian bank. Generally, these institutions are open between 10 AM and 3 PM from Monday to Friday (except statutory holiday). You can also exchange your currency in exchange offices. Although the office schedule might be more flexible, exchange rate and service fees could vary considerably from office to office.

Traveler’s check in Canadian dollar are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. You can also exchange euros: 1 Euro = 1,57$CAN (04/04/2018). 

Before your arrival in Canada, make sure your credit card is programmed to be used in ATMs. They are open at any time in banks, airports, stations and malls. The most accepted credit cards are Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Tips

In the United States and in Canada, service is never included in the prices. In bars, restaurants and all the places where service is provided, it is expected that you tip the waiter/waitress between 15% and 20% of the total sum. Note that a lot of employees working as waiters are paid by tips only. Not giving anything or not giving enough would be poorly received. Even when paying by credit card, you’ll indicate the sum you wish to give.

Supplied equipment

See what is included in your estimate

Luggage

Depending on the size of the trunk of your rental car, make sure to choose the right size and number of luggage that you will bring.  

Passport

Consular formalities for Europeans and Swiss nationals: 

Upon your registration, please transmit your passport information (name, first name, passport number, date of issues and expiration). Currently, to stay as a tourist for less than six months, a visa is not mandatory and a valid passport is sufficient with a validity exceeding by one day your stay in Canada.

Travelers must imperatively have an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. You will have to fill the form online and individually (one application per person) on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/ave.aspIt is essential that you have a valid email address. The 7 CAD fees are payable by Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit cards. The eTA is granted in just a few minutes but we advise you to apply for it as soon as your trip is confirmed. The eTA is an electronic document linked to your passport and stays valid for 5 years or until the expiration of the passport, depending on the first of these eventualities to occur. You must then travel with the passport used to apply for it. 

CAREFUL: for French women, the eTA must be filled with your maiden name. Hence, to facilitate the check-in at the airport, we ask travelers in Canada to indicate their maiden name for the booking of their tickets.

You travel with children:
Children and adults are submitted to the same obligations regarding passports and visa described above. Registration of minors on parents’ passports is now impossible; children must hold an individual passport. It is compulsory to apply for an eTA for each child individually. 

CAREFUL, from January 15th 2017 onwards, for all French minors traveling abroad alone, an authorization to leave the country is compulsory.
The child will have to submit the three following documents:
- The minor’s valid passport
- A photocopy of the signatory’s identity card, valid or expired for less than 5 years and the birth certificate
- The form, signed by one of the legal guardians, available online on https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1359 

Concerning other nationalities, seek the Canadian consular authority of your country.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA VIA A TRANSIT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES :
CAREFUL, we can exceptionally use American airlines for travels bound for the American continent (North and South). 
They stop over in the US: you must possess an electronic or biometric passport which is still valid 6 months after your departure from the US (under ‘’passport’’, a rectangle under a circle meaning a secure symbol). 

You must also apply for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) on the official website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Valid for a duration of two years or until the expiration of the passport, this authorization must be requested at the latest 72h before your departure: we advise you to apply to it as soon as your trip is confirmed. It has to be paid for (14 USD online by credit card). The name you put on the form must be the same as the one that figures on your plane tickets and must of course appears on your passport. If the name used on the ESTA form is different from the one on your tickets, the airline can deny your boarding. Minors must also fill out an ESTA authorization. 

The Visa Waiver Program allows French nationals to enter the American territory without a visa, either via transit or for a stay of 90 days to the maximum. A visa is nevertheless necessary if you only have an emergency passport. Furthermore, travelers who went to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen or Soudan since March 11th 2011 and people who are national of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Soudan cannot benefit from the Visa Waiver program anymore: more information on http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/etats-unis/

ARRIVAL IN THE US OR TRANSIT THROUGHT THE US :
Upon your arrival, the immigration service will take your photo and fingerprints. You’ll have to wait behind the yellow line and not cross it unless you’re told to, it can take some time. Customs controls will take place at the first access point to the territory (in case of a transit through a Canadian airport, it will be considered as a first access point to the US and the following process must be applied). Once you’ve been through the immigration service, you’ll get your luggage back from the conveyer belt and go to the customs. In case of a continuation of your trip, you’ll have to get your luggage back and bring them the baggage conveyer which serves.

Health information & recommendations

Canada is one of the safest destination in the world. Its crime rate is low and there aren’t much endemic diseases. For a trip to Canada, no vaccination is mandatory but it is advised to be up to date concerning basic vaccinations (Diphtérie, Tétanos, Poliomyélite). Medical infrastructures are excellent but it is strongly advised to purchase medical insurance before your departure.

In case of an emergency, to call the police, firefighters or paramedics, dial 911. The ‘’911’’ service could sometimes not be reachable in certain regions. You can also dial 0. A receptionist can get you in contact with emergency services.

Canada has a lot of lakes ad forests; there are numerous insects in June and July. Hence, you need to have a repellent cream and strong antihistamine for people suffering from allergies.

During your trip to Canada, you may very well be able to see some wild animals in their natural habitat. It is particularly true in wildlife reserve where originals, cariboos, deer and other species are commonly observed.

In Canada, regulation about alcohol consumption can differ from what most of international travelers could expect. Apart from Québec, alcoholic beverages are sold only in specialized places and often under Government control (liquor Stores, beer stores, etc.). It is forbidden to consume alcohol in public areas. Legal age for alcohol consumption is 19 years old in Ontario and Maritime Provinces, 18 years old in Québec, Alberta and Manitoba. If you wish to drink wine or beer in certain restaurants, you have to choose a licensed place. It is possible, in some restaurants, to bring your own wine bottle, but it has to be specified. Throughout Canada, strict regulation exist to counter driving under the influence of alcohol (0.08%). 

Weather

Spring is a rainy season in the major part of Canada. During the day, temperatures generally get high but nights still cool. The median temperature is 12°C in March, April and the beginning of May. Summer officially starts on June 21st but for most Canadians, July and August are the real summer months. It is warm in most regions of Canada. In the South, they are above 20°C during the day and can sometimes pass 30°C. Autumn starts in September. Temperature gets chillier and leaves change color and fall. This season can be very rainy. In some regions, particularly in the North and in the mountains, it may start to snow towards the end of October. During the day, normal temperatures vary between 10 and 12°C in the major part of the country.

Unlike Europe, seasons are well defined in Canada. Temperatures can get higher than 30°C in summer and down to –30°C in winter. In fact, Canadian climate changes a lot from a region or a season to another. Canada extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and lies at the same latitude as Roma at his southern extreme, where it reaches the Arctic.  

To knoz the current climate and weather conditions by provinces and territories, go to www.meteo.gc.ca or www.meteomedia.com 

Spring : Spring comes as soon as February on the West Coast. In the rest of Canada, weather gets warmer at the beginning of April and lasts until June.

Summer : Summer in Canada bring cool to hot temperatures from the end of June to the end of September. The warmth of summer last from June to August, and July is often the hottest month.

Autumn : Autumn brings pleasant and cool temperatures, particularly in September and in October. It is the best time of the year to enjoy the spectacular beauty of Autumn leaves in the East of Canada, to take long walks while breathing fresh air.

Winter : A major part of Canada is covered with a white coat during winter, temperatures fall below the freezing point, and snowfalls start at the end of October. However, winters are very cool on the West Coast where the snow doesn’t stay long.


Electricity

As everywhere in the US, voltage runs at 110 Volts/60 cycles. New electric devices can be adapted o the current. It’s preferable to check whether or not your device is equipped with a current transformer. In general, it is a black box located between the electric plug and your device. If your device isn’t compatible with the 110-volt current, you’ll need to get a current transformer sold separately. As electrical plugs are flat, you’ll also need an adaptor to plug your device in. you’ll find it easily on the spot or before departure in a shop specialized in travels. A waterproof Zip Lock bag is a good way to keep your equipment in a dry place.

Local time

Canada covers six of the twenty fours time zones of the world. From East to West, they are identified as follow: Newfoundland time, Atlantic Time, east Time, Central Time, Mountain Time and Pacific Time. Some provinces and territories cover two time zones.

Ontario and Québec are in the Eastern Time (central European time -6 hours) whereas the maritime provinces are in the Atlantic time (Central European Time -5 hours). Note that the Newfoundland province is ahead of 30 minutes compared to Atlantic hours. In Manitoba, West of Ontario, and in Saskatchewan, the time difference to Europe is -6 hours, -8 hours in Alberta and -9 hours in British Colombia.

From the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday of October, North America goes 1-hour backward to Summer Time.

Concretely, there is an 8-hour time difference between France and Calgary, a 9-hour time difference between France and Vancouver and a 6-hour time difference between France and the East coast of Canada (Toronto and Montréal). For instance, when it’s 1.00 pm in Montréal, it is 7.00 pm in Paris.

Topography

CANADIAN POPULATION

Canada has a multicultural population of 33 million of inhabitants that spreads throughout 10 provinces and 3 territories. Ontario and Québec are the major ones from a numerical point of view (with 62.1% of the Canadian population); British Colombia, Alberta and Manitoba follow, being the only provinces with more than one million of inhabitants. Territories from the North are sparsely populated.

French and English are the two official languages of Canada. In the 2001 census, English speakers constituted close to 60% of the Canadian population, whereas French speakers constituted the second group with more than 22%. Official languages are unequally spread throughout Canadian provinces. It’s in Ontario that you can find the largest group of English speakers (8 million), followed by British Colombia (2.8 million) and Alberta (2.4 million). Apart from Québec (8%) and Nunavut (27.6%), English speakers are majoritarian in all the provinces and territories. French speakers are only majoritarian in Québec as they represent 81.2% of the province.

While waves of immigration of the 19th Century bring to Canada mainly people of British origins, the current immigrant population is of diverse origins. Between 1900 and 1960, immigration in Canada was essentially European (90%). The 2001 census reveals that in the last decade, 58% of the immigrants are Asian (Chinese overcame the 1-million mark) and European (only 20%).

For a certain number of years now, we call ‘’visible minority’’ the minorities which are not of European origin. 20 years ago, visible minorities accounted for 4.7% of the total population, they now represent 13.4%. They will likely represent one fifth of the Canadian population by 2016.

In 1996, auboriginal populations of Canada reached 799 010, 2.8% of the total Canadian population.

Sustainable tourism

Since the outset, Altai works for an eco-tourism and an organization of trips that respects equitable and sustainable principles.  

The harmonization of practices assures:
  •  A fair economical repartition
  • The improvement of local teams’ working conditions and their awareness of the protection of the environment
  • The information of travelers about respecting the local population and environment and the collection of their feelings at their return. 

You can also act in favor of an eco-tourism by adopting simple green gestures during your trips:
  • Avoid letting waste out, throw it in the trash can or bring it with you
  • Use potable water sparingly (take a shower instead of a bath and report any leaks) and avoid wasting it (use biodegradable soap to wash yourself)
  • Avoid damaging cultural sites: don’t touch the statues, don’t move the stones and objects
  • Exchange instead of giving (too Important gifts can destabilize the local economic stability of the country depending on their living standards)
  • When taking a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the fauna from afar, do not go beyond beaten roads, limit stamping and do not bring any souvenirs: give up picking rare flowers picking fossils...
  • In some hotels, you can have  individual air conditioning. It is advised to systematically switching it off when you’re out of the room to avoid energetical overconsumption and greenhouse gas emission.

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Max

My local agent
Max

  • Passionate about the great outdoors
  • Sportsman
  • Like to discover new cultures
  • Always looking for new challenges
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Region
Quebec
Activity
Self-drive Summer
Duration
17 days
Code
AUT-08
Price
From C$1,749
Level
2/5
Comfort
3/5

Strengths

  • Unique night in a lighthouse
  • Discovery of Gaspésie
  • Discovery of the local fauna 













Optional(s) short(s) trip(s) : 
Package(s) from 2 to 4 days offering the opportunity to discover other facets of our beautiful country. Possibility of adding to your quote.

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