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A Fun Montreal to Quebec City Road Trip
This 3-day itinerary from Montreal to Quebec City will show you a world of spectacular nature, outdoor adventure, great restaurants and places to stay in the gorgeous regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie.
Driving Time Montreal to Quebec City
If you’re making the drive from Montreal to Quebec City (or vice versa), admittedly you can do it in fast. It can take less than three hours on the Trans-Canada Highway – Highway 20.
Or, you can turn it into an unforgettable Quebec road trip by exploring the incredible land in between.
Road trip, Montreal to Quebec City
Montreal and Quebec City are great destinations. Everyone knows that. What is less known is how rich in natural beauty and local flavour the area between Montreal and Quebec City is, and how fun a Quebec road trip can be.
So slow down. Turn your Quebec vacation into an action-packed adventure with this 3-day itinerary from Montreal to Quebec City – and discover the spectacular regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie.
Lanaudière and Mauricie
With timber lodges, deep blue lakes and rich dense forest, the regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie north of Montreal offer a trip into ‘Authentic Quebec.’
A road trip from Montreal or Quebec City will give you a taste of real Canadian wilderness, a scenic drive full of outdoor adventure, exquisite local cuisine and plenty of chances to relax and renew.
What’s in this Montreal to Quebec itinerary?
Everything. For adventure lovers this 3-night itinerary will take you high in the air on a seaplane and out onto the lakes with a fishing rod.
Spa lovers can slink into steamy outdoor pools at a number of nordic spas and for those who love comfort and fine dining, we look at some of the area’s best lodges and restaurants.
Pick and choose from the following itinerary, mold it to your personal tastes, and above all, get out and explore.
Spreading out from the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and up toward the Laurentian Mountains, Lanaudière and Mauricie together are known as Authentic Quebec.
The region can be accessed within an hour from either Montreal or Quebec City.
With some 30,000 lakes (yes, you read that right), it’s a land where wildlife roams – including bears – through two national parks, 15 regional parks, three wildlife reserves, and 52,000 square kilometres of land.
A True Canadian Getaway
If you want to avoid urban crowds, a drive from Montreal to Quebec City through Authentic Quebec is the route for you.
The region’s largest city is Trois-Rivières with a population of about 135,000, but for this itinerary we’re focusing on secluded lodges, the woods and the spectacular outdoors.
Montreal to Quebec City Road Trip – Day 1
Morning – Drive from Montreal to La Source Nordic Spa
If you want to relax on your road trip your first stop from Montreal should be La Source Bains Nordiques, a chic outdoor spa about an hour to an hour and a half away.
At this soothing nordic-style spa set deep in the forest, you can sink into blissful heated pools, steam yourself silly in a eucalyptus steam bath, revive your energy under an icy waterfall, and relax in a wooden deck chair by a wood fire.
For lunch why rush? This is a vacation, remember? Take time out for a fresh and healthy meal at the spa’s Bistro La Source.
Note: If you want a massage, make reservations in advance. La Source Bains Nordiques is located at 4200, rue Forest Hill, Rawdon, Quebec. J0K 1S0. Want to know what to expect?
For more info read my La Source Spa review.
Afternoon and overnight – Option 1 – Drive from La Source to the 4-star Auberge du Lac Taureau
Spend a night surrounded by the wilderness of the Haute-Matawinie region at the upscale Auberge du Lac Taureau.
Located on the shores of Lake Taureau, the Auberge du Lac Taureau is a sprawling four-star lodge that is perfectly situated for outdoor activities.
Yay! It’s time for hiking, kayaking or even driving your own quad (side-by-side) through the wilderness. A valid driver’s licence is required.
Local Cuisine at Lac Taureau
Have dinner at the lodge, where Chef Amélie Dumas combines traditional flavours and fresh local produce to create dishes inspired by the rhythm of the the seasons and Lac Taureau’s natural surroundings.
Auberge du Lac Taureau is located at 1200 Chemin de la Baie-du-Milieu, Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec, J0K 3B0.
Option 2 – La Source to the 3-star Auberge du Vieux Moulin
Alternatively, you can opt to stay at the Auberge du Vieux Moulin. It’s located at 200 Chemin du Vieux Moulin, Sainte-Émélie-de-l’Énergie, Quebec. J0K 2K0.
The Auberge du Vieux-Moulin (Inn of the Old Mill) is a family-friendly 3-star log inn on a tiny lake, and is a good option for families.
What raises it above the average 3 star is its cozy timber dining room, the recent addition of a small but delightful nordic-style spa, and its indoor swimming pool.
The hotel also has a maple sugar shack open in season from about mid March to late April.
Quebec Road Trip Day 2
Morning: Drive to Val Notre-Dame Abbey
Set your GPS for Val Notre-Dame Abbey at 250 Chemin de la Montagne-Coupée, Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec. J0K 2S0.
One of the most unique stops on your Montreal to Quebec City drive has to be Val Notre-Dame Abbey.
Plan to arrive at this intriguing Trappist monastery with enough time to wander the trails and shop for edible products made on the abbey grounds.
My favourites were the acai-filled chocolates, but you’ll find everything from edible forest products to wood teas.
A Contemporary Abbey
Just don’t expect a traditional-looking monastery. Designed by architect Pierre Thibault, Val Notre-Dame Abbey is startlingly contemporary, with clean lines and plenty of windows to bring nature inside.
Visit their website to find out additional activities offered by the abbey such as how to cook with edible forest products or how to pick and preserve herbal teas.
Lunch: La Maison du Pain d’Épices (The Gingerbread House)
From the monastery drive to La Maison du Pain d’Épices (The Gingerbread House). You’ll find it at 2181, Route Louis-Cyr, Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec. J0K 2S0.
It’s usually open Friday to Sunday, but check the website before you go.
Food With Purpose
At La Maison du Pain d’Épices you’ll find food with a conscience. The Gingerbread House is a charitable endeavour that serves simple but delicious food such as grilled cheese with local cheeses or salads with greens from their own garden.
If you’re wondering where to stop between Montreal and Quebec City for a simple, feel-good meal, it’s a good option. Their purpose is to promote the educational development of children both locally and abroad.
And of course it also sells fabulous gingerbread.
Afternoon – Drive from La Maison du Pain d’Épices to Sacacomie Hotel
Your Quebec road trip now moves from the Lanaudiere region into Mauricie for a stay at one of the region’s best known lodges, the Sacacomie Hotel.
It’s located at 4000 Chemin Yvon-Plante, Saint-Alexis-Des-Monts, Quebec, J0K 1V0.
Sitting on the shores of the Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve, Sacacomie Hotel is a seductive white pine log lodge in that luxe rustic tradition Authentic Quebec does so well.
Tucked into the heart of the forest, the lodge overlooks the majestic Sacacomie Lake and its 42 km coastline.
One of the things I like best about Sacacomie is their memorable nordic-style spa, the GEOS Spa Sacacomie, which has two outdoor soaking pools with great views of the lake.
If you’ve come to realize that nordic spas are a ‘thing’ in Quebec, you would be right!
Get out and enjoy the wilderness. For a different perspective on Quebec, fly over Sacacomie Lake and the region on a 20-minute flight in a seaplane with Hydravion Aventure.
It really does give you a bird’s eye overview – and a new perspective on Authentic Quebec as a prime nature destination.
Outdoor Adventures at Sacacomie
If you prefer to stay closer to the ground – or the water – step back into the world of the fur traders with a guided paddle on Sacacomie Lake aboard a rabaska, a large First Nations canoe.
Alternatively, you can take out your own canoe or a kayak, enjoy the private beach or soothe your tired muscles at the GEOS Spa Sacacomie.
For one of the most unique things to do between Montreal and Quebec City, sign up for the hotel’s bear watching excursion.
Have dinner at the lodge in the main dining room, with its upscale menu focused on local specialties and products.
Quebec Road Trip Day 3
Morning – Drive from Sacacomie to Pourvoirie du Lac Blanc for Fishing
Why not try fishing in Quebec, even if you’ve never done it before? If I can swing it, so can you.
For this activity you’ll head to Pourvoirie du Lac Blanc at 1000, Domaine Pellerin, Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, Quebec. J0K 1V0.
Pourvoirie du Lac Blanc is both a lodge and one of the most famous adventure outfitters of the region.
With one of their fishing guides, you can enjoy the peacefulness of nature while reeling for speckled trout and rainbow trout on one of the many lakes in the area.
Part of your fishing excursion includes a shore lunch by the fire at the outfitter’s camp, where you’ll eat what you caught and just enjoy being out of doors.
(Don’t worry, your guide can gut the fish for you, and will cook it up as well.)
Overnight – Drive from Pourvoirie du Lac Blanc to Le Baluchon Eco-Resort
Le Baluchon Eco-Resort at 3550, Chemin des Trembles, Saint-Paulin (Quebec) J0K 3G0 is one of the most scenic places to stop on the drive from Montreal to Quebec City.
This resort and its 1000-acre property is situated by the fast-moving Rivière du Loup (River of the Wolf). Here you’ll find both forest trails and rolling green fields that look as if they came straight out of Anne of Green Gables.
Things To Do at Le Baluchon
After you get settled in, take a walk along the riverside trail to Aux Trembles Waterfall. It’s petite, but one of the prettiest things to see between Montreal and Quebec City, especially if you’re into leaf peeping in fall.
Another option is to relax before dinner at the resort’s small but perfectly-situated spa with its outdoor Jacuzzis and terrace overlooking the steep river ravine.
Have dinner at the resort. Offering fine cuisine with an emphasis on local products, Le Baluchon has won several major culinary awards.
Day 4 – Drive from Le Baluchon to Quebec City
Oh, no! Your Montreal to Quebec City road trip is coming to an end, but let’s make the best of your last day. First, grab breakfast at Le Baluchon’s Eco-café Au bout du monde.
Before you set off on your final leg of this scenic drive through Authentic Quebec, take time to check out Le Baluchon’s own stables, L’Écurie du Royal.
If you have time, sign up for a one-hour trail ride in the Sabot de la Vierge Archipelago. It’s a gentle pace and a perfect way to start the morning before your Quebec Road trip comes to an end.
Depart for Quebec City, and wave goodbye to the stunning undiscovered regions of Lanaudière and Mauricie.
What to Do in Quebec City
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. There are some terrific options for Things to do in Quebec City.
Where to Stay in Quebec City
Now that you’re visiting one of Canada’s most scenic cities, with a flavour so French, but so very Canadian, where should you stay?
The top hotel in Quebec City is undoubtedly the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, a historic building with a great location and a castle-like feel. It’s beyond wonderful, to be honest, and I loved every second of my stay.
A cheaper alternative, but still very comfortable (we stayed here for 5 nights) is the Hotel Manoir Victoria. It’s a 4-star hotel with an indoor pool, two restaurants and a great location in Old Quebec.
Can You Do This Road Trip in Winter?
Yes. Surprisingly, high season for travel to Authentic Quebec is winter.
Most people choose to do road trips in summer, but rest assured – if you want to visit the region in winter, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get outside, with cozy lodges offering everything from ice fishing and cross-country skiing to dog sledding, skating and winter hiking.
Check the weather reports before you go and make sure your car has snow tires.
Final Travel Tips for Your Trip from Montreal to Quebec City
Your Quebec road trip may be over, but there’s plenty more to explore in both cities.