We have just returned from a road trip in Gaspésie, so obviously, we want to share with you our essentials & our little favorites of this road trip on the famous 132, the Route des Navigateurs. First advice: if you do the loop, start from the south, the water will always be on the right and it will be easier for you to stop on the side of a road to enjoy an incredible view.
1 – Matapedia Valley & Chaleur Bay
In Mont-Joli, heading south, you will pass the Matapedia valley, which is full of salmon rivers and pretty lakes. You will be almost in New Brunswick once in the Baie des Chaleurs (be careful, your cell phone may change the time, but in Quebec there is only one time zone!). With its beaches and superb panoramas, the Chaleur Bay is definitely one of the most beautiful and pleasant bay in Gaspesia, to see in the world! In summer, come fish, swim or simply relax in one of the small villages that make it up. In Carleton-sur-Mer, take a detour to Mont Saint-Joseph which offers a pretty view ($). We found some sublime bondocking spots in this bay, it’s up to you to play the explorer.
Advice for our French cousins: Free does not work very well in Gaspesia, you are better off downloading Maps.me if you want to use your cell phone as a GPS!
2 – The Percé Rock
Obviously, after eating seafood, and making a few stops to discover pretty lighthouses, you will arrive in Percé. In addition to the view of its famous rock and Bonaventure Island, Percé is also a pretty town with incredible charm. Walking through the streets will allow you to discover the many cafes, restaurants and shops with colourful storefronts in the city. Also worth seeing is the UNESCO Global Geopark, with its glass platform suspended at 200 meters which offers a breathtaking view of the rock and Bonaventure Island. If time permits, head to Bonaventure Island where you can observe an impressive colony of Northern Gannets.
Our favorite campsite: Nature et Océan is definitely our choice for this destination (see photo above)! The camping pitches are large and the view simply … sublime!
3 – Forillon Park and its cliffs
Between mountains, meadows, pebble beaches and cliffs, Forillon National Park offers a panorama of impressive landscapes that are worth the detour. Indeed, many species can be observed in the park, including black bears, white-sided dolphins, seals and even whales. The park also allows various activities to discover all of its landscapes. The perfect place for nature lovers! From Mont Saint-Alban, the view is incredible, look by yourself:
Our favorite campsite: Griffon campsite, a family campsite located on cliffs. An obligatory sleep stop beside the 132!
4 – The Pointe-à-la-Renommée lighthouse
Previously it was the strategic center of communication during the two world wars, the Pointe-à-la-Renommée lighthouse is now a national historic monument of Canada and the Gaspé. Between architecture and history, take a guided tour (from June 10 to September 28, 2019) to learn more. This lighthouse has a crazy charm!
There are a few Bondocking possibilities nearby. Check out the PARK4NIGHT and IOVERLANDER app to guide you;)
5 – Gaspésie National Park
Are you a fan of hikes and varied landscapes? Then go to Gaspésie National Park to discover 25 peaks over 1000 meters and some 140 kilometers of trails through incredible panoramas and a variety of flora and fauna. On the hiking side, the Mont-Jacques-Cartier (8.3 km round trip, between 4 and 5 hours), which is the second highest peak in Quebec with its 1270m is ideal for the experienced (keep your eyes open, it is very probable to observe a caribou there). However, for beginners, the Lac-aux-Américains trail (2.6 km round trip, 1h30) allows you to observe Mount Xalibu and Mount Joseph-Fortin from a wooden dock.
How not to mention the Seashack, the auberge festive beside the St Laurent. What to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise, if you are a party animal.
6 – The Jardins de Métis
Formerly Elsie Reford’s fishing camp, the Jardins de Métis became in 1926 a veritable vegetal Eden. Today, it is more than 100 hectares occupied by more than 3000 species that make up all 15 gardens. Between the small lakes, exhibitions and resting place, the Jardins de Métis will appeal to young and old alike! And Psst, it is said to be the easternmost metro station in Montreal :).
Very close from there, you will find Camping Annie, which offers many pitches (choose a no-service, they are further out of the campsite).
7 – Bic National Park
Located in the maritime estuary of the St-Laurent river, the park is made up of capes, bays, island coves and mountains, which makes it so unique. Between the sounds of the sea, the sunset and flowering plants on the rocky capes, the park allows you to rest in a most pleasant setting. You may even spot seals on the shore. Honestly, we are close to heaven here!
Bic Park : 3382 route 132 Ouest, Le Bic, Québec
8 – Kamouraska
This little corner of paradise is a perfect stop for lovers of climbing and outdoor activities! The small surrounding villages are superb, and it is good to enjoy the local gastronomy. Without forgetting to take the time to contemplate a magnificent sunset on the edge of the St-Laurent river!
Our favorite campsite: SEBKA. Ideally located along the river, stop to relax and enjoy the multitude of activities they offer!
Bonus – The beer route
On your way, don’t forget to visit the micro-breweries. You can taste delicious beers and discover a little more about the area! Ready for a cold one?
Pssss: Did you see that Le Baroudeur is committed to the environment? Come help us plant trees and preserve our beautiful Quebec landscapes righthere🌞