Québec: Full throttle

Calling all bikers. Unravel the natural wonders of Eastern Québec with nothing but the wind in your hair and the growling full throttle of a Harley Davison. Get ready for a motorcycle adventure of a lifetime. With the Province of Québec being seven times the size of the UK, there’s a lot of untamed and undiscovered terrain for you to sink your wheels into. Starting your road trip in the über hip city of Montréal, this nine day experience will take you all the way to the Gaspésie region and back.

Live it up in montréal

As soon as you touch down in Montréal, collect your wheels and saddle up. For a test drive, there’s no better backdrop then this innovative, design conscious city. Driving through the city’s grid, pass your reflection on sky scrapers and get a glimpse of the Montréal’s history as you whizz past old-style masonry buildings. Leaving your wheels at our favorite modern boutique, St Paul Hotel, discover the unique flair and joie de vivre of Montréal’s afterhours hotspots – think great restaurants and hip indie bars. After a good night’s rest and armed with your pre-planned route, begin your journey on the Autoroute towards the Gaspésie region.

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Spirit of the national parks

The first leg of your journey will be the longest as you cover a total of 530km, but trust us it’s worth it. Passing through Québec City, ride across the St Lawrence River to Parc du Bic where you’ll reach the romantic hideaway that is the Auberge du Mange Grenouille. Located in the lower estuary of the St Lawrence River, expect to find secluded bays and coves in the shadow of the majestic mountains. Lap up the stunning panoramic river views from the banks. But if you really want to stretch your legs why not jump into a kayak to see the archipelagos that dot the river up close and personal. Whatever you decide to do, you mustn’t miss out on watching the most glorious sunset we’ve seen this side of the world.

The next day, leave Parc du Bic and ride for three hours towards the Gaspésie National Park for some pure unadulterated mountain vistas. With the Gite du Mont Albert as your base for the next two nights, explore the park as you like. Head out to sea for some whale watching, do a spot of fishing or simply relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

Mountain vistas and birds galore

Today, travel towards the highest point in Eastern Canada, Mount Jacques-Cartier. To make it to the summit of this mountain you’ll have to dismount your bike and take a shuttle, but if you’d rather get your blood pumping, why not hike the 4km trail by foot. From up here you can see the breathtaking landscapes of the Gaspésie in its entirety, and if you’re lucky you may even spot a caribou or two along the way. Back on your bike, wind down to Percé, a small village on the east of the Peninsula, and hole up at Hotel le Mirage for the night. In the morning, swap your wheels for a boat and head to Bonaventure Island passing the legendary Percé rock formation with its characteristic archway. Docking into Bonaventure, you’ll soon meet (or at least hear) the main inhabitants of this island. Cast your eyes on the thousands of gannets (all 300,000 of them) that flock here for the warmer summer months. Truly a remarkable sight worthy of a National Geographic special.

Crossing waters

Back on mainland, hop on your bike for a short 60km drive to Forillon National Park. This nature reserve marks the culmination of the monumental Appalachian Mountains, which stretches all the way down the East Coast of North America to Alabama. Luckily for you, we’ve made sure you can take in this breathtaking view right from your bolthole, Hotel le Mirage. After a peaceful night’s rest, you’ll be ready for another long stretch of smooth Harley riding. Driving alongside the Gulf of St Lawrence to Matane, you’ll cross back over the Saint Lawrence with your bike on board a ferry to reach Baie-Comeau. After re-fuelling at this quaint seaside town, ride along the west coast of the river for an unforgettable two and half hour drive. It’s just you, the open road and some truly mind blowing scenery. On reaching your penultimate destination, Tadoussac, stay overnight at the Tadoussac Hotel.

Unwind in Québec

From Tadoussac, drive 250km towards Québec City and hang your biking leathers at the grand Auberge Sainte Antoine. This amazing boutique pad is set in an old maritime warehouse, right in the historical old port. Leave your bike at home today, and discover the sights and sounds of Old Québec on foot. Picture cobbled streets, spiral towers and colonial architecture, and let’s not forget the endless amount of fine restaurants and hip bars. Of course, no trip to Québec is complete without a visit to its main storeping street Rue du Petit-Champlain or the newly restored and buzzing St Roch area.

Finally, ride back to where you began, Montréal, and bid farewell to your trusty motorcycle, as you end your once-in-a-lifetime Harley adventure.

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