The warm, welcoming Laurentians region, north of Montreal, is an internationally renowned cycling destination. Revel in a wide variety of gourmet pleasures and a broad array of activities, and take in the wide-open spaces, endless forests, magnificent mountains and crystal-clear lakes. Come experience the P’tit Train du Nord Linear Park, an over 232 km bike path on an old railbed between Bois-des-Filion and Mont-Laurier. Explore the Laurentians by bike.
You can choose your way of relaxing in the Laurentians! Take a well-deserved break in a setting with the most beautiful havens of relaxation. The peaceful, magnificent Laurentian landscapes abounding in rivers, forests and mountains sublimely reveal themselves to you as soon as you set foot in a Nordic spa. Your adventure is a great chance to stay in the region’s inns, hotels and resorts. A total escape is guaranteed when you choose the Laurentians as your retreat for a relaxing stay!
Come enjoy a vacation or getaway in a fabulous setting, surrounded by nature! The Laurentian region is renowned for its gorgeous Nordic spas, expansive parks, and top-quality establishments, not to mention its residents’ zest for life. The spectacular fall colours cover the region as far as the eye can see, and the distinct character of the landscape will take your breath away! When winter comes to the mountains, snow-covered forests, hiking trails, and ski slopes, it’s time for some snow sports! Here’s what’s new in the Laurentians for the 2017-2018 fall/winter season:
To mark my birthday during a getaway together, my friends had the brilliant idea to book the “girls’ day out” package at the Hôtel Spa Watel in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. While it’s true that the wide range of body care treatments offered there – including massage therapy, heated pools, dry and steam saunas and hot tubs – were definitely a factor the next time I was deciding where to stay in the Laurentians, that was not the only one.
As lovers of great food, the outdoors and cultural activities, we were thrilled with this four-star hotel on the mountainside and its breathtaking panoramic view. With its 31 beautifully decorated rooms and suites offering spectacular views of the lake, friendly service, quality facilities and dream location, what more could we ask for!
Between the Swedish massage, the facial and relaxation time lounging on one of the seven patios with spas and fireplaces, we took advantage of the nearby cycling trail. After our ride, we settled down on the beach right in front of our hotel. Besides swimming, I tried out sailing on the majestic Lac des Sables, while some of us chose other, non-motorized water activities.
After a very full day, we went back to the comfort of our rooms to enjoy the bottles of champagne included in our packages, while preparing for the evening. Relaxed and refreshed, we couldn’t resist the call of the fondue – a classic on the menu at Uno restaurant – which helped us hold onto that feeling of relaxation we’d enjoyed since our arrival. After that, we headed over to the Le Patriote theatre, within walking distance of the hotel, where a highly entertaining comedy show awaited us.
I will never forget this special time celebrating my birthday with my friends in this charming hotel, which has won several awards, for the quality of service and facilities, and for its environmental responsibility. A real gem that you will enjoy discovering any time of the year, for any occasion!
With its Roman looks, its idyllic location and highly competitive prices, the Auberge de La Tour du Lac was the perfect place for the two of us to escape to celebrate our anniversary. But little did we know what the owners, Mario and Nathalie, had in store for us. We could see how delighted they were to welcome us into their inn with its old-fashioned charm. Aficionados of small tourist establishments and good food themselves, they bought this old bed and breakfast in 2003 and turned it into a real success!
Everything about the place encourages relaxation and romance, from the magnificent, restful site to the comfortable, country-style rooms with hot tubs, fireplaces and every amenity one could wish for, including the continental breakfast delivered in a basket to our room. Not to mention the spas, the sauna, the outdoor fireplace, and the excellent six-course set menu dinner we enjoyed at the Auberge. Possibly the best flank steak I’ve ever tasted! Refined dishes prepared from local ingredients, served by smiling, attentive staff, in an absolutely charming vintage interior. The countless treasures from the past preserved in this old-time beauty were a true feast for the eyes, from the dining room to our room overlooking the majestic Lac des Sables.
It’s hard to know where to begin when describing the warm, attentive service we received from Mario, who seems to take care of everything down to the last detail! It may have been the famous 50% discount offered year-round from Sunday to Thursday that first caught our attention, but we will be coming back for everything else. Because nothing can match the excellent value offered by the Auberge La Tour du Lac – except the warm antique decor, the restful ambiance, the amazing food, and the warm welcome given to us by our hosts, who treated us like family members!
The sun is just rising over the Laurentians and already it’s a fine warm day. In fact, it’s going to be another magnificent day. The only thing left to do is see which activity gets the short straw! That’s summer in the Laurentians: an unrivalled variety of activities to dream about. For relaxation, sport, culture and nature itself, or any other way you might like to enjoy summer at its best, it’s the destination par excellence.
What’s up this summer Spring/Summer 2016
Route des Belles-Histoires
The “Route des Belles-Histoires” allows visitors to discover the Laurentian region from another aspect. Its historic thematic perspective highlights the development of its various forestry, agricultural and touristic sectors. Running over 284 km from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier, following Route 117 and the “P’tit Train du Nord” linear park, you’ll track along one of the routes used by the early settlers. Several side-trips will take you to sites of particular heritage interest. In addition, you can visit old railway stations and museums, or use interactive terminals and view short video presentations, all providing glimpses of local and regional history. From the story of log jamming days to the Huberdeau Calvary with stopovers at Chute aux Iroquois, Espace Claude-Henri-Grignon, the Laurentian Ski Museum and the various heritage and historical circuits… more than 60 locations of interest to be discovered. Everything is in place for some fun and adventure along the Route des Belles-Histoires, a rendezvous with yesteryear, today in the Laurentians.
Espaces boutiques Métiers d’art Laurentides
The Conseil de la Culture des Laurentides (CCL) and its partners are proud to be providing four boutique spaces for the Métiers d’Art Laurentides. All year round, this public display presents the best of the creations being produced by the most talented professional craftspeople in the region. During your visit to the Laurentians, take time to enjoy the sheer beauty of the surrounding countryside, and prolong your enjoyment by surrounding yourself with the works of our local creators. Buy a local handicraft at one of the four outlets located at: Maison de la Culture et du Patrimoine (Manoir Globensky) in Saint-Eustache, the Laurentian Tourist Information Bureau at the Porte-du-Nord (exit 51 on Highway 15), at the Laurentian Ski Museum in Saint-Sauveur or at the Tourist Welcome Bureau located on Montée Ryan in Mont-Tremblant.
In company with a guide/interpreter, visitors can discover the history of the village site, founded at the end of the 18th century, which was the scene of one of the major episodes of the 1837 rebellion. In summer, there are a number of pedestrian tours to do, or you can be taken around the back streets with an audioguide, available year-round. A theatrical tour leads visitors on a tour of six historic frescoes painted on different buildings along the rue Saint-Eustache. Presented in collaboration with the Théâtre de la Petite Comédie, this tour provides an opportunity to enjoy a series of short theatrical pieces with an historical yet amusing background, inspired by the frescoes of Old-Saint-Eustache that you will see along the way. Guided tours and heritage attractions start on June 20, 2016 and there will be five representations on the theatrical circuit offered from July to September.
Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles
New in 2016: the Odyssée Map of the Rivière des Mille Îles: a new self-guided tour has been developed with some 29 points of interest for stops along the way. Four tours of various lengths are proposed allowing visitors to discover some of the lesser known sections of the Rivière des Mille Îles. Part of our fleet of watercraft has been renewed (rabaskas, canoes, rowboats, single and double kayaks). Like to amble along in a rabaska with no paddling to do? Yes, this is now possible. An animated tour lasting one and a half hours on board a motorized rabaska is just the ticket for those not wanting to paddle. The guide will share stories and facts concerning the history, flora and fauna of the Rivière des Mille Îles. Day Camp: 100% outdoors. Activities include fishing, bike rides and lots of discoveries for youthful explorers.
Les Vergers Lafrance
As of this spring, the Cabane à Sucre Lafrance will be boiling its own sap. With 1,500 trees tapped, the maple grove will allow them to produce maple syrup and other derivative products that you can obtain at the brand new boutique, which will open its doors in fall 2016. The maple grove is located up on the mountain and has walking trails and picnic areas. Something new this year to take your breath away!
At the 2016 Québec Cider Competition, the ice cider Cuvée Spé- ciale 2011 won the Grand Or Medal, having been awarded the highest note in the competition. A silver medal was also awarded to the Domaine Lafrance ice cider. Both these ice ciders are available at the Boutique des Vergers as well as in branches of the SAQ. The first organic cider will be available in the spring of 2016 in the 204 Métro grocery stores around Québec. The Cuvée 525 BIO, a pleasant cider produced from organically grown fruit at the orchards and by means of a manufacturing process approved by Écocert Canada, is sure to please everyone.
Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka
Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka welcomes you in a former abbey of the Cistercian monks. A one-of-a-kind lodging experience in a great setting with a unique architectural style. Escape the daily routine and enjoy the great outdoors, tourism, art and culture. Rooms starting from $85 per night (double occupancy). The Inn also offers: Catering services, weddings (church on site), sports equipment rental and 35 kilometers of mountain biking or hiking trails.
Super Aqua Club
This specialist in aquatic fun only 30 minutes from Montréal offers visitors an exclusive new ride for summer 2016, the TSUNAMI. Winner of the best innovation at the 2015 IAAPA Convention, it combines the perfection of the shapely hills and valleys with maximum corners and curves accentuated by centrifugal force. Comfortably seated in your boat, this new water-jet propelled technology guarantees you some moments of Formula 1-like thrills on the water! Come and enjoy a unique experience and high adrenaline! A drop and dive sensation that will take your breath away! There’s not a shadow of a doubt, the whole family is going to love getting into the Tsunami. In addition, numerous improvements have been made over the course of the winter. The main entrance has been totally reworked to provide quicker access and a more efficient bag search, with distinct turnstiles reserved for season pass holders and online ticket purchases. A new season high in color is on the cards at Super Aqua Club!
Boutique métiers d’art nous•vous•ils
In Rosemère, come and discover the talent of more than 50 Québec artisans: decorative objects, crockery, jewelry, fashion accessories; all types of arts and crafts work are featured. Thanks to the boutique nous•vous•ils, you can pick up this year’s latest creations. Under the same roof, you will find the atelier-boutique of jeweler Dominic Dufour who, in addition to his own creative work, features the work of another 20 Québec jewelers.
Hélibellule is fuelling up on maple syrup! Take off for a tour of the skies over the Chemin du Terroir and discover the sugar shacks of Mirabel from up above or better still, heliport yourself off for a maple syrup-flavored meal from the base at Mirabel International Airport to a sugar shack in the Mirabel area. This package includes a personalized reception with a special maple cocktail and a thematic gift to take home of a special sweatshirt. Tariffs will reflect your own expectations.
Located in Blainville, Défis-Défis is an indoor amusement center unique in Québec! Come and experience a very different way of having fun with the family, friends or by forming teams in this large building with 4,000 square feet under cover. Before the sand in the hourglass runs out, you must complete the 12 challenges: the labyrinth, the snake, the table that tilts, the word bath, the golf-billiards test, the bugs, the bungee, the Swiss cheese, the fishing test, the barrels, the colors and the piping. All games are accessible to the 5 to 75 age group! Grandparents are welcome to come and try the challenges in company with their grandchildren!
Agritouristic and breeding farm for miniature horses. Educational visits and equestrian activities for families. A herd of more than 100 miniature horses, with dozens of births each year. Come and enjoy a unique experience: cuddle a mini! Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to hold a newborn foal in your arms! Indoor riding arena open year-round, ideal for workshops, visits, children’s birthday parties and day camps.
Parc du Domaine Vert
Come and discover the new aerial exercise course for the whole family at Parc du Domaine Vert: the Écureuils course, adapted for children aged 3 to 6; the Petits Aventuriers course is for 7 to 10-year-olds, the Grands Aventuriers course, a new course to discover with a height of 20 feet above ground level, for those aged 10 or over accompanied by an adult. The Adults course is reserved for those 12 and older who can meet the height requirement. A series of four different courses high in color and emotion, each more daring and vertiginous than the next.
Golf et FootGolf Sélect
Footgolf is practiced on a specially-adapted regular golf course with cups 53cm wide. It takes about two hours to complete all 18 holes. All you need are some runners and a soccer ball. Footgolf is an individual sport that can be practiced alone or in groups of 2 to 8 persons. With no experience or training needed to play, your group will have tons of fun whether the players are 4 years old or 75!
With a group of avid skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, I was headed to Mont-Tremblant. Our destination, the highest summit of the Laurentians, is also renowned as the “#1 Ski Resort in the North American East “. We were looking forward to enjoy all the sports and cultural activities offered right at the mountain and in the other sectors of Tremblant.
Everyone, young and old, from thrill seekers to those looking for a relaxing experience, found just the right activity to suit their tastes: ice climbing, visit to the spa, festive nightlife at one of the bars or casino, and evenings by the fireplace in the comfort of our condos and chalets. The kids particularly enjoyed the new Tam-Tam Zone, the mountainside tubing evenings and skating next to the chapel.
With their many cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, the Mont-Tremblant National Park and Centre de ski de fond Mont-Tremblant allowed us to discover a true outdoor paradise. The latter, located on the site of the Domaine Saint-Bernard ecotourism park, offers fatbike rentals. You must absolutely try this brilliant winter cycling activity!
With its charming inns, small boutiques and a church converted into a concert hall, Mont-Tremblant is a picturesque village. Its downtown area has a charming heritage atmosphere. Find unique souvenirs and gifts in the Petit Hameau shops and take advantage of exclusive savings on brand names in the outlet stores. Mont-Tremblant is also renowned for its gastronomy, with a variety of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars serving local and international flavors.
In other words, Mont-Tremblant is the ultimate destination, with activities and adventures for all tastes!
Heading north to the Upper Laurentians was an excellent decision, and staying at the Rabaska Lodge was definitely a judicious choice! This resort, located in the heart of nature, is renowned for its cozy and intimate accommodation, fine dining and welcoming hosts. We felt like we were visiting friends! When we discovered this vast natural territory only a few kilometers away from Ferme-Neuve and Mont-Laurier, we understood why Dominique and Martin decided to transform this former outfitter into a resort.
Nature lovers and outdoor aficionados will fall in love with this true paradise, located on the banks of the Baskatong Reservoir and near the Montagne du Diable (Devil’s Mountain), where a multitude of activities are offered, with or without a guide. We all enjoyed our favorite winter sports; some chose to explore the mountain on their cross-country skis or snowshoes, while others rode a snowmobile or ATV. Everyone in the group, including the thrill seekers, outdoor sports enthusiasts as well as those looking for a refuge away from the hustle and bustle, had the chance to see the magnificent Windigo Falls at the foot of the mountain and the breathtaking views that awaited us at the top.
After fulfilling days spent in the great outdoors, we met at the chalet and spent the evening by the fireplace. We also went to the main lodge to take advantage of the Wi-Fi access, play billiards, have a drink at the bar and savor an excellent meal at the restaurant. Fun and relaxation were on the menu during this unforgettable stay. This is a way of life I could get used to!
The Rabaska Lodge can welcome up to 120 guests year-round and offers many services, including catering services; it’s the perfect place for groups and special events. With that in mind…this is where we should hold our next corporate retreat. I’m sure my colleagues will love the idea!
For a vacation or just a short getaway, nothing compares to the Laurentians’ B&Bs and small inns, where you are guaranteed to receive a personalized service and a warm welcome. The owners are always happy to welcome guests under their roof and share their passion for the Laurentians. Ask them to let you in on the region’s best kept secrets: boutiques, art galleries, museums, events, out-of-the-ordinary activities, etc.
Let yourself be pampered, enjoy delicious home-cooked meals and unwind completely. Authenticity and coziness await you in these havens of peace, wherever they are located: in the heart of a charming village or perched on the mountain side. Each one offers a unique experience, with many activities to choose from. The Laurentians is renowned for its vast selection of outdoor activities: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, skating, snowmobiling and tube sliding. Your hosts will be pleased to advise you; they can even help you find amazing discoveries. Restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, concert halls and Nordic spas also abound in the Laurentians, perfect for the cultural getaway or cocooning vacation of your dreams.
The region’s B&Bs and small inns offer a privileged access to scenic landscapes and a wide range of entertaining events and activities. You are also sure to find comfort, customized service and convenient amenities; and let’s not forget the local flavors and gastronomy for which the region is known.
Enjoy your stay!