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Visitors come here to get back to nature and to enjoy a heritage that includes superb manor houses, seigneuries and mills. Some villages are even recognized as among the most beautiful in Quebec.
All along the St. Lawrence River (Route des Navigateurs) you’ll be treated to a series of charming waterfront villages. From among the fairly high escarpments there are stunning views over the river and to the opposite bank, where in succession, you’ll see Quebec City (across the bridge at Lévis), Île d’Orléans, the Isle-aux-Grues archipelago, the rounded hills of Charlevoix, magnificent sunsets and the amazing spectacle of the aurora borealis in winter.
The slow climb up into the foothills of the Appalachians takes you through picturesque farming country and urban, forest and mining landscapes. The beautiful Rivière Chaudière has its source in Lac Mégantic, and winds its way delightfully through the region as it flows down to the St. Lawrence.
With its seven tourist sectors (Lotbinière, L’Amiante, Lévis, La Beauce, Les Etchemins, Bellechasse and Côte-du-Sud), the Chaudière-Appalaches region has much to offer in the way of attractions and activities all year round. This is also a favourite area for outdoor fun, cyclotourism and bird watching, in particular the spectacle of migrating snow geese. In short, a perfect pastoral region!
Countryside that’s a very well guarded secret...
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Flavours of the region
The Chaudière-Appalaches region is a stronghold for maple sugar production, with its numerous maple groves and many sugar shacks to satisfy your sweet tooth. Other gourmet delicacies are also on the menu:
- cheeses such as Riopel and Isle-aux-Grues cheddar. A real treat is apple tart topped with Isle-aux-Grues cheddar!
- ciders, wines, chocolates, baked goods and artisan breads;
- market garden produce, such as delicious non-hybrid tomatoes in the most beautiful shapes and colours – red, orange and purple;
- in addition to the traditional products, you’ll find quail, pheasant, partridge, rabbit, veal, deer, wild boar and bison;
- wild fruits (strawberries, raspberries, Juneberries, wild cherries);
- foie gras, conserves and pâtés from well-fed geese and ducks;
- sturgeon steak, a real classic and quite delicious!
Hundreds of thousands of snow geese stop over each year on sandbanks in the St. Lawrence River, such as those at Montmagny, to feed and replenish their fat reserves. They arrive in spring after having made a 900-km non-stop flight from the east coast of the United States, on their way to the Canadian Arctic where they will breed and nest. Once the fall freeze-up prevents them from feeding, they return in greater numbers than in the spring. And when ice begins to form here, announcing our own winter, they head south once more. Watch for geese that are acting as lookouts, with necks stretched out straight, ready to give the warning. Then get ready for the take-off...
In 1831, in order to protect New France from the cholera epidemic that was sweeping Europe, Grosse-Île was turned into a quarantine station for the immigrants that were arriving in huge numbers. This first wave of immigration was significant, but not as large as the one in 1847. This was the time of the Great Famine in Europe, and this little island, accepting over 1,000 people at a time, quickly became overcrowded with the more than 100,000 immigrants, most of them Irish. Over 10,000 people died. Today, this island is an important heritage site, as it halted the spread of various diseases and epidemics for 105 years, and thus played a considerable role in the history of settlement in Quebec, Canada and even the United States.
A little history
Did you know?
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