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Clichéd, perhaps? Even so, the words seem insufficient, because the beauty of Gaspésie is truly endless. Ocean, cliffs, forests, mountains and high peaks jostle each other to form a startling landscape.
When we talk of stunning, wild, national parks (Gaspésie, Forillon, Miguasha), the highest mountains in Quebec that take your breath away (Monts Jacques-Cartier and Albert), one of the most beautiful bays in the world (Baie des Chaleurs), the spellbinding Percé Rock, the mysterious Île Bonaventure, the seductive Matapédia valley, the picturesque landscapes and villages of the coast and the back country, or the many splendours all around this peninsula… well, come see for yourself! Gaspésie deserves more than just a “tour”. Explore it in depth!
Starting with your very first excursion, you’ll become attached to this “Land’s End ” where the air is salty and the ocean sparkles. It will find a place in your heart and you’ll want to return. So, leave the beaten path and challenge winter! Quebec is a Nordic land, and Gaspésie is its jewel in winter. Its dazzling contrasts of coast, sky and ocean are at their most impressive under a thick layer of snow. Imagine the fun you’ll have skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling...
However, don’t just visit the landscape in Gaspésie... Share the coziness of this place “between the land and sea” with Gaspesians, and chat with these engaging people. This is how you’ll discover the real Gaspésie.
Mythical, grandiose and spectacular!
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Flavours of the region
The flavours of Gaspésie come mostly from the ocean, but also from its agricultural terroir.
Just imagine the flavour of the small green peas from Cap-d’Espoir, or the apples, pears and cherries from the peninsula, which ripen deliciously a little later.
Deer farms and market gardening are also in development: the crunchiest broccoli is to be found in Saint-Simon.
In the Matapédia valley, “fiddleheads” (young fern shoots) are harvested in spring. Served with salmon or trout, they are a delicacy for Matapedians.
Cheeses, salted herbs, raspberries and honey are other products to be enjoyed.
Of course, lobster, cod and herring top the list. You’ll also find lots of smokehouses.
Don’t forget the Matane shrimp! These Nordic shrimp, which only swim upriver as far as Matane, are fished all around the peninsula. They were given the name of the town because the first shrimp processing plant was built in Matane. You can enjoy them anywhere in the region.
Did you know?
The largest colony of Northern Gannets in North America nests on Île Bonaventure. It’s an incredible sight to see these 120 000 feathered creatures spread in a huge white carpet over the high crags of this island. Couples stay together for years, each time they return to the island, and use the same nest each time to raise their young together. As it plunges vertically down to its aquatic prey, the Northern Gannet can send up a plume of water 3 m high. Luckily, it has small pockets of air under its skin to absorb the shock. This aerial acrobat can remain airborne for many hours at a time with just a few flaps of its wings, because it uses the currents of air formed on the crests of the waves.
A little history
It was in Gaspésie that Jacques Cartier planted the cross to take possession of Canada in the name of the King of France in 1534. While Gaspésie may be the cradle of history for New France, it also marks its end during the British conquest. A very clever General Wolfe disembarked at Gaspé in 1758, following a well-laid plan. In just over 15 days he had ravaged the Gaspesian coast and emptied it of its inhabitants. With his rear thus protected, he could continue to advance. A year later, he had taken Quebec City.
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