Home Discovery Getaways Exploring the Coast and Islands
Exploring the Coast and Islands print email

From Pointe-aux-Anglais, the western gateway to the Duplessis region, to Pointe-Parent, where Route 138 ends at Rivière Natashquan, the shoreline runs just under 500 km through the Port-Cartier/Sept-Îles and Minganie areas. Take time to discover the towns, villages, and islands along the way-a world of salty air and glorious nature like no other!

Set course for the Sept-Îles and Mingan archipelagos and explore Grande Basque, Quarry, and Nipiskau islands, with their remarkable landscapes and wildlife. Take a whale-watching or birding tour or follow your own footsteps over endless beaches. If you're planning a trip to Île d'Anticosti, get ready to step off the beaten path and discover a spectacular and unique island ecosystem. By land or foam, the maritime life of Duplessis is something you'll always remember!

photo_gala_2009_LA-MAISON-DES-PIONNIERS_2 Villages

The best way to experience life on the Duplessis coast is to stop in the seaside villages. Be sure to spend a few hours in one, or better yet, a few days. On entering the region, the communities of Pointe-aux-Anglais and Rivière-Pentecôte are right along the road and feature hiking trails, scenic lookouts, and the first of many long, sandy beaches.

In Minganie, hiking trails near the villages Magpie, Rivière-au-Tonnerre, Baie-Johan-Beetz, and Natashquan are lined with secret treasures. Glide into the Aguanish and Île-Michon area by sea kayak, wander along the beach, or walk Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan boardwalk and gaze out on the first islands of Mingan Archipelago. You may even spot some of the local whales!

Basse-Côte-Nord is home to sixteen little English, French, and Innu villages. A coastal cruise on the weekly Nordik Express to Blanc-Sablon offers you a chance to stop by some of them for a few hours. If you have a bike with you, take advantage of daytime stops to go ashore and reconnoiter the area!

All along the coast, each tiny, charming village is a seaside holiday world of its own. Take time to enjoy what they have to offer-you won't want to leave!


Boat Tours & Outings

Share the passion of the great explorers and discover our region's wealth from the sea. For all those budding Jacques Cartiers, a new world of exciting discoveries awaits.

A Journey to the Land of Whales

Our large and small craft, piloted by experienced, colorful, and dedicated captains, guide visitors on a quest for the ever-popular inhabitants of the region's seas. You'll scout down humpback whales, minke whales, fin whales, mighty blue whales, killer whales, sperm whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

And once you're finished scrutinizing the water's surface for signs of life, look up to the sky where you can see terns, eiders, petrels, Atlantic puffins, and black-legged kittiwakes gliding in the wind.

Islands Unique to Québec

Get a taste of local pride for the many islands and islets, including the indisputable jewel of them all, the Mingan Archipelago. Over thousands of years, nature has carved out impressive natural sculptures here, called monoliths. These true natural masterworks-with names like the Good Woman of Niapiskau, the Castle, the Wolf, the Lamb, and the Flower Pot-leave no one indifferent!

Also discover the Sept Îles Archipelago, the reefs and shipwrecks of Île d'Anticosti, and the many lighthouses of the St. Lawrence, the last vestiges of a golden era of maritime trade. Your boat tour will be an experience to remember! Let the waves be your guide-and remember to wave to the seals and other marine mammals you see along the way!
ph_gala_ecotourisme08 Birding

The vast Duplessis region is home to a diverse avian fauna. From the shore, on birding cruises, or by sea kayak, you'll find a number of outstanding birding sites. The Port-Cartier/Sept-Îles and Mingan/Île d'Anticosti areas are particularly notable. Other Basse-Côte-Nord areas are also known for their abundant and diverse populations of nesting seabirds. Within these three large areas, there are no fewer than nine migratory bird sanctuaries (MBSs), and 16 important bird areas (IBAs)-close to 20% of all such areas in Québec.

Port-Cartier/Sept-Îles Area

Baie des Sept Îles and its archipelago are well known for seabirds. Île du Corossol in the archipelago is a major bird protection area. This island in the heart of the Sept-Îles IBA is known for its razorbill population and is one of the Côte-Nord's major MBSs. Because of its protected status, Île du Corossol is closed to visitors and can only be viewed from cruises or sea kayaks. The Jardins de l'Anse, Sentiers de la nature, and Parc Aylmer-Whittom sites along Baie des Sept Îles are easily accessible with walkways and observation towers to help birders view the area's many species.

Baie Sainte-Marguerite, the mouths of the Moisie and Brochu rivers, and the Base de plein air des Goélands outdoor center in the Port Cartier area are other excellent spots for migrating birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors. The largest common tern colony west of the Mingan Islands is also here at the mouth of Rivière Brochu. Numerous species nest in the area including the common eider, American black duck, and Canada goose.

Minganie/Île d'Anticosti Area

The common eider is abundant all along the coastline, but two subspecies winter in the waters between the Mingan Archipelago and Île d'Anticosti. The year-round presence of these seaducks is notable. The Mingan Archipelago is also home to one of Québec's largest populations of common tern. Île aux Perroquets with its population of Atlantic puffins and razorbills is also a major birding attraction.

Île d'Anticosti is known for its large bald eagles population. One of North America's most celebrated predators, its precipitous decline in eastern North America between 1930 and 1970 led to its being classified as a vulnerable species in 2003.

Basse-Côte-Nord Area

The Basse-Côte-Nord coastline has six migratory bird sanctuaries (MBS). Among them, the Baie de Brador Refuge near Blanc-Sablon boasts one of Québec's most impressive Atlantic puffin colonies. The puffins of Île aux Perroquets can be viewed from an observation site just off Route 138 near the village of Brador. Îles Sainte-Marie Sanctuary near Harrington Harbour is also of interest, with the largest seabird population in the region, including a major Razorback colony.

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