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From the Maritimes to Montréal
Distance: 530 km (329 mi.). Plan a 3- to 4-day trip
Regions: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Chaudière-Appalaches, Québec, Centre-du-Québec, Montérégie, Montréal.
Greetings to our visitors from the Maritime Provinces! When you cross into Québec on Route 185, this circuit will take you straight to Québec City and Montréal to discover some of the greatest attractions in the province and magnificent landscapes found along the way. If you are looking for more detailed circuits, you can also consult Gaspésie Tour and the Navigators’ Route , which present many attractions well worth the detour!
1. If you are coming from the Maritimes via the New Brunswick-Québec border, you can take Route 185 north to the Dégelis infotourist centre. This is a good place to finish planning the last details of your trip to Québec or learn more about the latest activities happening in the area during your stay.
2. When you get to Dégelis, you will find yourself in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. As you wind down Route 185, you can admire landscapes of forests, rivers and lakes, typical of this region. At the end of the road, you’ll meet up with the St. Lawrence River and the city of Rivière-du-Loup. Here, breathe in the pure, salty air and discover the city’s remarkably rich history, as well as its welcoming natural setting, unique attractions and festivals that are unmistakably Québécois.
3. From Rivière-du-Loup, you have two options. You can get on Route 132, which offers a more panoramic ride, allowing you to discover some of Québec’s most handsome villages. Or hop on Autoroute 20 towards Québec City and get to the province’s capital in less than two hours. Either way, you’ll drive through the regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches, following along the mighty St. Lawrence River.
4. You are getting close to Québec City and it’s time for a stop! For a guaranteed favourite, we recommend you cross the river aboard the Lévis ferry; it will take you directly to Old Québec and as a bonus you’ll get an unrestricted view of Cape Diamant. Once on the Québec City shore, make the most of your time and explore the Lower Town district with attractions that aren’t to be overlooked like Place Royale and Quartier Petit Champlain.
5. It’s time to get back on the road and we suggest you take the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, beginning in Old Québec. This exceptional panoramic route will take you to the Pierre-Laporte bridge, which can lead you back to Autoroute 20 or Route 132 to explore the portion marked Route des Navigateurs (Navigators’ Route). On this section of your trip towards Montréal, you will tour country landscapes in the Chaudière-Appalaches, Centre-du-Québec and Montérégie regions.
6. You have nearly arrived at your final destination: Montréal! To cross over into the city, take the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel; it will lead you to the eastern part of the city where you will find the Olympic Park and Montréal Botanical Garden. Finish your trip by driving downtown to explore Old Montréal and its many attractions.