Day 1 ‒ Matane | Godbout | Rivière-au-Tonnerre (299km)
From Matane, you will cross the Saint-Lawrence river, to Godbout on the North-Shore (55km).
Drive to Pointe-des-Monts (25km from Godbout). Here, you will visit the famous lighthouse and its museum. Once you have finished visiting the site, follow your itinerary to Sept-Iles (approx. 150km). Upon arrival in this industrial town, established on a magnificent bay, familiarize yourself with the different aspects of settlement and development of the North-Shore, with a visit of the “Vieux Poste” in the Innu community of Uashat, and the “Musée regional de la Côte-Nord”.
Continue along the “Route des baleines” to Riviere-au-Tonnerre (125km). You have just entered the Minganie region. We suggest a stop at the Riviere Manitou tourist information centre to enjoy the impressive falls (hiking trail with escarpments compensated by the presence of stairs), and to pick up a copy of an audioguide to accompany you while driving from Havre-Saint-Pierre to Natashquan in a few days.
In Rivière-au-Tonnerre, a welcome cocktail of local flavours awaits you at the Voyages CoSte office. From there you will have a superb view of the harbour, facing the Jacques-Cartier Strait.
Accompanied by a “Coaster”, visit the semi-cathedral Norman-style church, built by 300 volunteers. We also recommend a hike to the magnificent waterfalls that gave the village its name.
Settle in for 2 nights at l’Escale Lam-Air.
Meals not included
Lodging: L’Escale Lam-Air (2*)
Day 2 ‒ Rivière-Au-Tonnerre | Anticosti | Rivière-Au-Tonnerre
After your continental breakfast, climb aboard the “Express Anticosti” in Rivière-au-Tonnerre for the 6:30 departure for Port-Menier.
During the crossing (estimated time: 2 hours), you may have the chance to observe some marine mammals. The town of Port-Menier awaits your arrival.
Free-time to visit Port-Menier on your own, or take a guided tour (optional).
At approximately 16:00, it is time to board the boat for the return trip to Rivière-au-Tonnerre.
Meals: continental breakfast included, lunch and supper on your own.
Lodging at l'Escale Lam-Air 2*
Day 3 ‒ Rivière-Au-Tonnerre | Natashquan (260 km)
After your continental breakfast (included), head east.
On your way, take a moment and visit the peaceful village of Magpie. You won’t be disappointed. We recommend that you stop at the lookout overlooking the Gulf and/or at the site of the hydro-electric dam. You will then travel through the villages of Rivière-Saint-Jean and Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, possibly stopping at the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (guided tour of MICS at 09:30).
Take a boat tour (approximately 3-hours) to some of the exceptional sites for observing marine birds and mammals in the Mingan Archipelago, including Ile aux Perroquets and Ile Nue. Upon your return, enjoy a guided tour of the Maison de la Culture Innue d’Ekuanitshit (Innu cultural centre) in Mingan.
Continue driving east while listening to the audioguide you picked up at the Manitou information centre as you drive from Havre-Saint-Pierre to Natashquan. “The little village with a big name”, Natashquan was made famous thanks to the notoriety of the singer-poet Gilles Vigneault, who was born and raised in this village where, today, first nations and Acadians harmoniously coexist.
Stop to take a photograph at the site of the “Château” in Baie-Johan-Beetz, a historical site which is held dear by the residents, and take a stroll along the footbridges of this charming village. Continue to Natashquan and make yourselves comfortable at “Auberge Le Port d’Attache” (2*) for 2 nights.
Meals: continental breakfast included, lunch and supper on your own
Lodging: Auberge Le port d’Attache 2*
Day 4 ‒Natashquan | Kegaska | Natashquan (88km)
After your continental breakfast (included), today you are invited to visit the “Vieille École” (Old Schoolhouse). This museum highlights several local personalities from the works of Gilles Vigneault. A visit to the interpretation centre “le Bord du Cap” should also be on the agenda. Inside a reproduction of the general store, you will find 35 thematic areas about the history of this village that was founded in 1855 by Acadians from the Magdalen Islands.
Also, take a drive (44km), along the newest section of road, to the end of route 138 for a visit to the charming community of Kegaska: 1st village of the Lower-North-Shore recently linked to the Quebec road network (autumn 2013, 17 years after Natashquan was connected to the network). Stroll through this small village of 125, most of which are English-speaking (the majority of the residents are from Newfoundland descent).
Upon returning to Natashquan, a meeting with a “Coaster” is planned at the site of the “Magasins du Galet” (meeting to be confirmed the day before).
Lodging: Auberge Le port d’Attache 2*
Meals: continental breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own.
Day 5 ‒ Natashquan | Havre-Saint-Pierre (160km)
Early morning engagement in Aguanish (30 min. trip) at 8:00.
That is the departure time for a guided excursion on the Aguanus River to the Canyon called “Trait-de-Scie”. You will be transported to this impressive natural attraction aboard a motorized watercraft. Upon your return, we suggest lunch at the “Fumoir le Goynish”.
Afterwards, return to Havre-Saint-Pierre. Take the time to slow down or stop in the charming villages along the way. Later, in Havre-Saint-Pierre, a visit to the “Maison de la culture Roland Jomphe” and the “Maison des artisans” will allow you to learn about the history and the people whose ancestors left the community of Havre-aux-Maisons, Magdalen Islands to establish this village that was once called “Pointe-aux-Esquimaux”.
Take a walk along the oceanfront boardwalk before enjoying a meal of seafood or regional cuisine, served in one of the local restaurants.
Lodging: Hotel du Havre 2*
Meals: Continental breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
Day 6 ‒ Havre-Saint-Pierre | Baie-Comeau (454km)
You will be expected at the Portail Pélagie Cormier at 7:30 (for an 8:00 departure) to board, at the marina, for a cruise in the Mingan Archipelago. Parks Canada guides will be waiting for you on the islands.
You will have the chance to observe the numerous monoliths that have inspired a multitude of poets and artists.
When you return, it’s time to leave for Baie-Comeau.
Meals: continental breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
Lodging: Hotel le Manoir 4*
Day 7 ‒ Baie-Comeau – Return
Continental breakfast included. Take advantage of your stay in Baie-Comeau to visit the Jardin des Glaciers.
For the return, many options are available. Go back on the South shore of the Saint-Lawrence with the Baie-Comeau – Matane ferry (2 hour 20 minute crossing) or the Forestville – Rimouski ferry (55 minute crossing, or keep going toward Tadoussac and the Charlevoix region.
If you go toward Tadoussac, several activities and visits are available. Contact us for the details.
Your Voyages Coste travel counselor can check the ferry schedule, and book for you, if needed.