Scenic trains, whales, and bears in Charlevoix

From the heart of Montréal’s vibrant streets, to the cobbled lanes of Québec City and the sleepy villages of the Charlevoix region, this particular part of Eastern Canada has certainly sparked our interest….and what better way to see these stunning landscapes, than by the romantic means of the rail? So leave the car behind and join us on the tracks to discover an entirely different side to Canada by train.

Hit the streets

As soon as you’ve landed on Québec soil, you’ll set off for Montréal’s city center and your urban sanctuary, Le St Sulpice Hotel. Set right at the heart of the old city, this is the ideal base from which to explore this fascinating city. Dump your bags, freshen up and hit the streets, stopping off for a bite to eat in one of Montréal’s fantastic restaurants and a couple of drinks at one of our favorite bars, before heading back to your hotel room and sinking into your sumptuous bed. Early the next morning you’ll be met by your very own professional guide, who will lead you through the maze of streets on an engaging historic tour. Spend the afternoon exploring the different city districts, from the lively Latin Quarter, to the vintage boutiques, bistros and bars of the popular Plateau neighborhood.

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On the rails

Begin your day with a gourmet breakfast before heading of to the station and boarding the Québec City train. A far cry from what we’re used to, these trains offer up a healthy dose of style and comfort, speeding through the countryside amidst spectacular scenery. On arrival at the station you’ll be whisked off to your hotel in the old port area, the Auberge St Antoine. Housed in a former maritime warehouse, this hotel provides a window into this city’s historic past but with a sleek, modern edge. Awake the following morning for a chauffeur-driven tour of Québec City and its surrounding areas. Stop off at île d’Orléans, an idyllic rural island floating out in the Saint Lawrence River, pausing for a delicious lunch at one of the island’s top eateries before heading back to the city. Spend the rest of the day exploring the picturesque cobbled streets and the old city walls.

The following morning you’ll set off on your train adventure from Québec City right up into the Charlevoix region. With the sparkling waters of the vast St Lawrence River on one side and the  steep cliffs on the other, the views from this particular carriage are hard to beat. You’ll stop over for a chance to explore the scenic town of Baie St Paul and pick up a few treats from the farmers market and artisan boutiques, before stepping back on board and traveling on to La Malbaie.

A wild encounter

The next two nights of your trip will be spent in the gorgeous bolthole Auberge La Pinsonnière, surrounded by stunning landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine. Head off on a whale-watching adventure at Baie St-Catherine with an expert guide and travel into the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, before returning to La Pinsonniére for a lavish dinner.

Early the next morning you’ll be picked up and driven over to St Aimé des Lacs for an up-close encounter with the region’s magnificent black bears. After you’ve spent an hour or two exhausting your camera batteries you’ll head back to La Malbaie to board the train back to Québec City. Relax into the comfort of the opulent carriage and enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner alongside spectacular views out of the expansive compartment window.

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