When you come to the Minganie, Anticosti and Lower North Shore regions, we encourage you to dress comfortably in clothes suited for exploration. In the summer and fall, it is a good idea to pack a windbreaker, t-shirts, jeans and sweaters. Definitely pack a raincoat. If you come during July, August and even September, shorts and skirts are recommended. As for footwear, you will want to be prepared to walk on the multitude of surfaces that can be found in this region. Walking shoes, sneakers and rubber boots will allow you to walk on trails, beaches, rocky shoals, plains and wetlands. Remember to bring a hat and sandals for those times when you want to relax and enjoy the sunshine!
Bring your camera and a pair of binoculars! Throughout the 900 km of coastline in the region, only Havre-Saint-Pierre has cell service. This provides an excellent opportunity to free yourself from the use of electronics. Briefly cut your ties to reality and immerse yourself in the beauty and lifestyle of this region!
The late spring months of May and June are known for having cool breezes and fog that rolls in and hovers over the Lower North Shore. As soon as the first days of summer arrive, we enjoy comfortable temperatures from June through October. The summer days are filled with blue skies and sunshine and the temperature holds until early October when the wind picks up and the fog returns.
November is windy and rainy and this precipitation turns into snow in December and stays until April. The months of February and March bring very cold temperatures (up to -35 Celsius), which makes for very dry winters. Thus, snowmobiling becomes extremely enjoyable and is also the sole means of inter-village transportation on the Lower North Shore right up until the month of April.
This assertion applies above all to the interior territories. The coastal region is not infested but, let’s say, “frequented”… There are conditions and times conducive to this presence: a day without breeze, for example, a prolonged stop near a river at a badly timed… then the “thing” might have you invoking a few saints or using colorful words and expressions that would not be appropriate to express at the table of a Victorian mansion… But, rest assured: the seaside , the breeze or the wind, if not the many accessories or lotions at your disposal, will quickly become faithful friends to live in peace, while several days pass in the sun without the presence of this friendly “winged fauna” being noticed.
Speaking of mosquitoes, there will be more talk about them in June and during a few “5 à 7” where, in certain places, when the wind drops, you will say that it would be good to open a “Mosquito Interpretation Center “. But the thing will be quickly forgotten because the littoral of the Gulf-Saint-Laurent contributes to their remoteness. And then, a good fire on the beach, on summer evenings, will keep the mosquitoes well at bay.
Very friendly. Generally, one hello calls another ‒ and a smile. We aren’t shy about asking questions or talking about the weather to break the ice, because it may lead to more interesting ‒ even memorable ‒ conversations.
If North Shore men sometimes come off as being cold or hard to approach, it’s only because they have a lot of hard work to do with little time for small talk. But ask them about fishing, hunting, the capelin run, the whales, seals, salmon or trout, their boat and what size motor is on their quad ‒ or ask them about that thingamajig in the back of their pickup ‒ and they’ll have all the time in the world to chat and tell you all about it. You may even come away with a good story or two.
Unless they’re extremely shy, you’ll find that most North Shore people are warm and friendly. They too enjoy a good conversation and in some places like Natashquan, a bar or bistro is a perfect place to meet and chat with the locals, making your stay even more pleasant.
Note that if we find you friendly and interesting or if we feel like you’re enjoying our part of the country, that’s it: you’re a winner. A connection has been made. Maybe a friendship has been spun and ‒ careful ‒ it may last a lifetime. Because everyone wants to come back, once they’ve been here. Some even stay forever.
When Jacques Cartier arrived, Innu was the only language spoken. Today, three languages are spoken along the 900 kilometres of coastline and depends on the community. In Minganie between Sheldrake and Natashquan, as well as in Port-Menier on Anticosti Island, French is mostly spoken but some people are bilingual should you wish to speak English. And if you meet a member of a First Nations community, you may have a chance to speak the few words of Innu we’ve taught you. On the Lower North Shore, depending on the village you are visiting, you will hear English, French or Innu being spoken.
Travelling with the Cooperative for a Sustainable Tourism Environment (Voyages CoSte) ensures that you will be using the same means of transportation as North Shore residents. Whether by road, boat, airplane, seaplane, zodiac or motor boat (taxis-boat), all are accredited to transport passengers. ATVs or snowmobiles could eventually be added (depending on the package) to the modes of transportation used by Voyages CoSte. In early winter, you might even have a chance to travel from Harrington Harbour to Chevery by helicopter!
Native Innu established themselves on the North Shore thousands of years ago, after years and years of seasonal migration into the hinterland. A sedentary lifestyle was implemented by the government and its administrators in the early 20th century, by the creation of reserves. But even today, Innu people return ‘to the land’ to hunt, to connect with their inner self or to return to the forests, among the fir, birch and spruce trees, alongside the rivers and lakes.
We may be sorry to see him wandering in these villages still called “reserves”, built from easy concepts, skirting these houses built in series, forming quadrilaterals on sandy bottoms, but we will understand many things, thus the resilience of this people for whom sharing and laughter remain sticks of life.
The answer is YES. Please be advised that Voyages CoSte creates an extra buffer day for unexpected delays. Unforeseen changes in the planned itinerary are always a possibility due to fog, high winds or other circumstances ‒ such as a transporter being unable to honour their schedule. However, to the best of our ability, Voyages CoSte will assist all passengers experiencing delays. In case of a lengthy delay, there is always the possibility that an activity or excursion will be dropped from the day’s program.
On the other hand, any customer registered for this experience trip is invited to plan an additional day themselves (eg to “return to the country”, return home or resume their activities after their vacation) because, on the coast , the described conditions may occur.
Voyages CoSte offers unique tour packages through our contacts which have been established through our cooperative and its members. Numerous arrangements have been made with establishments and service providers that we know, have tried and have deemed professional to be entrusted to offer our clients an authentic experience. Prices offered by CoSte are for groups of products; some fees are the same as you would pay if you were to pay for them individually. However, we make these products and services accessible and coordinate them for you in order to create a smooth journey. Travelling with CoSte allows you to explore much farther into this unexplored region. Enjoy the landscapes, savour experiences selected for their uniqueness, benefit from real contacts and precise information directly handed down by experienced guides who represent CoSte in every village you visit.
As the group sizes never get larger than 10 or 12 individuals, you will be able to enjoy your time alone or with your family or friends. You will be requested to stay together as a group during excursions, for arrivals and departures in a new village, at your hotel, or for a tour. If you wish to stay on your own and not participate in an organized tour, please ensure that you are on time for the next leg of your trip. The discoveries of the “coast” are sometimes best made alone, but in order to be on time for arrivals and departures, our guides are on hand to advise you of its particularities and ruggedness. Bon voyage!