We’re proud of it and with good reason: its 4.6-km (2.8-mi.) fortress, the plains where the country’s destiny was played out and the world’s most photographed hotel—the majestic Château Frontenac... A fortified city that’s open to the world. The city of Québec lets you bask in old-European charm in a modern setting.
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To be discovered absolutely
In the Québec region, the soul of New France resonates in Old Québec. Enjoy an unobstructed view of stunning landscapes from above the Montmorency Falls. And savour the delights of the four seasons on Île d’Orléans.
The only fortified city north of Mexico, Old Québec is best discovered by strolling through its inviting cobblestone streets. You’ll find yourself in an area that’s centuries old yet wired for the future. Shopping and dining experiences await as part of the wintry magic and summer rhythms.
The mix of French, British, Indigenous and North American influences can be felt all around at Place-Royale, where the city was founded. You’ll think you somehow stumbled onto a movie set... and you actually have, as many filmmakers have chosen Old Québec for their backdrop. To go from lower town to upper town, take the challenge of climbing the Casse-Cou stairs or opt for a ride up in the funicular linked to Dufferin Terrace, where Château Frontenac looks out over the St. Lawrence River. You’ll want to continue exploring all the way up to Saint-Louis Gate, the Citadelle, the Parliament Building… before taking a well-deserved break on the Plains of Abraham.
Château Frontenac is the world’s most photographed hotel, with or without a filter.
At 83 m (272 ft.) in height, the impressive Montmorency Falls are a full 30 m (98 ft.) higher than Niagara Falls.
Whether by car or public transit, this outing will be the high point of your day: all the lookout points for taking in the falls will have you constantly reaching for your camera, whether it’s from the suspension bridge or the 487-step panoramic staircase. You can also fly past the falls on a zip line, stretching some 300 m (984 ft.), or in a cable car from the station at the foot of the falls. Or admire the falls from the vantage points offered by any of three cliffside adventure circuits (via ferrata); in this case, your hands probably won’t be free for taking photos! But you’ll certainly have lots of exciting stories to tell later.
The falls are 30 m (98 ft.) higher than Niagara Falls. You’ll need to turn your camera to fit them in!
For a more leisurely excursion, visit Manoir Montmorency, located in the park that is part of the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ), and dine on the restaurant’s terrace, before or after checking out the Manoir’s gift shop and interpretation centre.
Feeling a bit hungry? Where better to tempt your tastes buds than on Île d’Orléans, located in the St. Lawrence River across from Montmorency Falls. Vineyard, chocolate maker, vegetable farms, strawberry fields, large orchards, maple groves... the attractions of this agritourism paradise are equalled only by the hospitality of the local producers and artisans.
A trip to the island—67 km (42 mi.) by car or on bike—is a trip back in time. At the Maison de nos Aïeux, you just may discover that your ancestors were among the 300 families that arrived from France and went on to settle all over North America. You’ll also want to visit the 18th-century flour mill now converted into a restaurant as well as the Espace Félix-Leclerc, which pays tribute to the poet and singer in what was his last home. Take in a show at the coffee shop–concert hall, and stroll down the trail to the river. It’s like walking in Félix’s footsteps!
Only a panoramic photo can do justice to this heritage site, with its 3,600 buildings and stone houses.
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