The Charlevoix region includes Quebec City, parts of the north shore of the St. Lawrence River and the Laurentian region of the Canadian Shield. The landscapes of this region are so dramatic and marvellous – with its rolling grounds, fjords, promontories and bays – that it was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1989. The best way to enjoy the scenario is to run along Route 138, going from Quebec City to Saguenay.
We did it on a ride bus on our way to the Saint-Lawrence Marine Park and we enjoyed every bit of it.
Not far from Quebec City, Route 138 passes just by one of the most famous landmarks of the Charlevoix Region: the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. A major Roman Catholic place of pilgrimage, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica has the reputation of being a place of miracles. It also hosts a copy of the Pietà, the famous statue by Michelangelo whose original is in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. From Route 138 you can see the basilica in all of its majesty.
Continuing towards Saguenay, you will find yourselves surrounded by a landscape of farms and rolling hills. Take the time to stop at one of the many creameries. They sell local products and are immersed in a beautiful nature.
Approaching Sainte Catherine’s Bay the landscape turns into high cliffs and breathtaking views over the water. Here, the Saint Lawrence river meets the sea, with wild forests as a background.
If you can, plan to spend some time to visit the coast and the forests: there’s a lot to explore!