Lower North Shore
They are 15 locales, some very colourful, but all at one with the sea. They are waiting for you, beyond the end of Road 138.
Isolated but standing strong, well used to being far from many services, doing wonders with the resources they have, and caring deeply about their people, these communities persist despite their young adults leaving, waiting – or not – for the road to finally reach them and provide them with the lower-cost services available in more populated areas, as well as a bit of tourism, some more profitable industries, and the eventual prosperity and stability.
If most of them are indeed isolated – the eastern part, linked to Newfoundland and Labrador, is the exception – they are all supplied by ship or plane once a week, and they remain proud of their achievements; they are resourceful people, and each of these villages had to work hard to keep their lifestyle intact, an admirable thing to most visitors, who sometimes come to envy their stress-free life.
In some villages, if everyone doesn’t have a car, or a pick-up truck, most people have a snowmobile, an ATV and generally a boat; in these parts, they are the tools that guaranty freedom, meetings with friends and family, and sometimes, provide a living.
Visiting this region is looking at the vastness of the land, filling your lungs with pure air; it’s letting this world and its lifestyle touch you and change you, as you talk about it with your hosts, or when you witness the simplicity of life.
When covering the coast, fly over the intricate river system, forming close to the coast, or approach by sea after having navigated through the small islands, and dock, looking over at the calm-inducing houses all around you; in these villages, things move faster when the supply ship or plane arrives.
If you visit in the winter, the snowmobile will be your vehicle of choice, feeling like you’re in an expedition, but actually being on the White Trail, a road maintained by Transports Québec as an official winter road linking Natashquan and Blanc-Sablon.
The Lower-North-Shore is the other maritime Quebec. A surprise, and an impressive sight, whether the land is clear and sunny, or covered with a thick fog. The area is filled with treasures, nesting areas and bird sanctuaries; seals playing among the 4,000 islands and islets; the landscape becoming more and more uneven as you move toward the 51st parallel.
At this latitude, in the Gulf of the Saint-Lawrence, we can observe a variety of whales, such as the blue whale, fin whale, minke whale; sea birds such as the puffin, the gannet, the common eider, the razorbill, the kittiwake, the herring gull, the common guillemot and the black guillemot.
Aside from the Atlantic salmon, a species specific to the Lower North Shore, the Gulf of the Saint-Lawrence is populated with halibut, snow crabs and rock crabs, mackerel, plaice, and other species such as the whelk and the cod, which had to be protected at the end of the 20th century, due to overfishing and use of dredgers; now, the population is rising again, except in some regions where the catches are still controlled.
The Lower North Shore, as pure and charming as the people who live on it, starts just East of the Grande Natashquan river. Spreading on a 500-kilometer-long coast, it can be reached by boat (with Relais Nordik), by plane (Air Labrador), by seaplane (by chartering), from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Trans-Labrador Highway, or from the island of Newfoundland, with a ferry that gives access to the other maritime provinces.
Voyages Coste provides a gateway to this vast and unique land. We’ve prepared experiential tourism packages that span from 3 to 9 days, most including a stay in the Minganie region, but we’re also more than happy to prepare a personalized program for you.
It is impossible not to mention the great work Tourisme Basse-Côte-Nord has done to showcase the region. Their website contains many stories and anecdotes of the coast. They were an inspiration, along with our experience in the region, when we chose how to introduce you to the territory, and how to make the information about this unique region available to you.
The Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent regional county municipality also supports all the efforts made by Voyages Coste to make the almost untouched territory stand out from the province of Quebec’s other regions.