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Birthplace of French America and epicurean destination
Île d’Orléans is a veritable jewel, first because of its bucolic scenery and stunning viewpoints on many attractions, including chutes Montmorency and Mont Sainte-Anne, and second because its passionate and highly skilled people make some of the very best local products available anywhere. Indeed many awards have been collected over the years, including for the internationally renowned blackcurrant liqueur made by Cassis Monna et filles. Forever known as “Québec City’s garden” for its fertile soil and proximity to this city, Île d’Orléans makes the most of the riches of its lands, and loves to share them with visitors. Its fruit and vegetables, honey, maple, cider and wine productions make it one of the most popular agritourism destinations. In fact its plentiful wild vines explain why Jacques Cartier gave the name of Bacchus to this island when he first came upon it in 1535!
But Île d’Orléans is much more than an abundance of natural resources: it also has a rich heritage and historical legacy. With some 600 buildings recognized for their important heritage value, it has earned the status of historical district. You will enjoy discovering the many farms and stone houses dating back to the French regime, including the oldest church in Canada, dating back to 1717. Nature lovers, local product aficionados, or history and culture buffs, Île d’Orléans has something for everyone. The birthplace of internationally recognized poet Félix Leclerc (discover his life and works at l’Espace Félix-Leclerc), Île d’Orléans is also home to 70 visual artists and artisans. Come and meet these “mystery catchers”, a group of local artists known together as the “regroupement BLEU”, when you visit Québec’s foremost heritage site.