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The Blueberry Route - the Véloroute des Bleuets - is a 256 km paved cycling circuit around Saint-Jean Lake, north of Québec City. Spin along flat, easy routes through national parks surrounded by forested peaks. Ride along the sapphire-blue lakeshore, through peaceful farmland and beside glittering rivers. Sample local delights from craft brews to handmade cheese to poutine, Québec's most famous dish. Explore indigenous history, Québecois culture and the Historic Village of Val-Jalbert, a "Company Town of the 1920s." Go whale watching (July is the best time of year!) If you've time, stay on afterward to explore historic Old Québec.
Meet in Quebec City. Head north to Pointe-Taillon National Park to begin bicycling the Blueberry Route along the shores of Lac Saint-Jean.
Fly into Quebec City Airport the day before your tour begins. Meet us at either Chateau Laurier or Relais Charles-Alexandre, both within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Québec. Shuttle north to St. Henri de Taillon near gorgeous Lac Saint-Jean. With three national parks and a marine park totaling over 1,800 KM (1,000+ square miles) the giant playground of Lac Saint-Jean is renowned for its plethora of outdoor activities. After a bike fitting, it's all-aboard for a ride on the Blueberry Route. Spin along flat country roads and beside the sapphire blue lake to the town of Dolbeau-Mistassini on the shore of the Mistassibi River. Route: 46 miles
Ride to a blueberry museum to see what all the fuss is about. Pedal the shores of Lac Saint-Jean to the village of Saint-Félicien.
After breakfast, hop back on your bike to continue your way along the Véloroute des Bleuets. Take a side trip to Les Délices du Lac-Saint-Jean, a blueberry museum celebrating the region's culinary history, then pedal on to Hotel du Jardin in the town of Saint-Félicien, perched on the shores of Lac Saint-Jean. Route: 36 miles, with options for more if you wish.
Bike from Saint-Félicien to visit the cheesemakers of La Fromagerie Perron. Continue on to the nation's oldest Innu reserve. Explore the museum and cultural site, then continue riding to the 1920s-themed Historic Village of Val-Jalbert.
Stop at La Vieille Fromagerie Perron to experience (and sample) a rural cheese factory's hand-crafted wares. Pedal to Communauté Innu de Mashteuiatsh, the nation's oldest Innu reserve, where descendants of the Aboriginal peoples have lived for over 6,000 years. Explore the museum's collective exhibit and cultural site celebrating thousands of years of life stories of these nomadic people. Enjoy lunch here. Then continue riding to the Historic Village of Val-Jalbert, a 1920s company town complete with 40 or so original period buildings. Its convent-school, general store, pulp mill and a waterfall taller than Niagara Falls offer plenty more to explore. Stay here tonight in a 20s-themed room with contemporary comforts. Route: 27 miles
Ride from Val-Jalbert Historical Village to Chicoutimi, with a visit to La Fromagerie Lehmann en route. Stay on the banks of the fjord tonight.
Ride from Val-Jalbert to Chicoutimi, an old French fur trading post on the banks of the Saguenay River. Now the central borough of the city of Saguenay, it's a mecca for hikers, skiers and other active people. Along the way, visit the cheesemakers at La Fromagerie Lehmann. Taste the family's artisanal cheeses made from milk produced by their little flock of Swiss Brown cows. Back on the bicycle, ride to visit the Little White House (La Petite Maison Blanche), a symbol of hope and perseverance which survived two floods, standing for four days with waters raging around its foundation. Tonight: stay at Hotel Chicoutimi on the bank of the fjord. Route: 64 miles
Ride from Chicoutimi to La Baie. Ferry to Saint-Rose-du-Nord, then ride the very picturesque shores of the Sainte-Marguerite River to Tadoussac.
Ride east along the Saguenay River to La Baie, third of the Saguenay city boroughs. Pedal onto a ferry and cross to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord on the other side. Bicycle quiet roads through farms and fields bordering the Sainte-Marguerite River, soaking up the views of lakes, forest lands and mountain peaks. Finish today's ride where the river meets the giant St. Lawrence River in Tadoussac. Spend tonight at the Hotel Tadoussac with its red roof and whitewashed walls. Enjoy views of Tadoussac Bay and the St. Lawrence River. Route: 55 miles
Enjoy a whale-watching cruise this morning. Take an optional out-and-back bike ride beside the St. Lawrence River this afternoon.
The St. Lawrence estuary at Tadoussac is a feeding zone for three types of whales: the fin whale, the mink whale and the giant blue whale. This morning, take a 2-hour whale-watching cruise through the heart of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park to see these majestic mammals. This afternoon, there's a 25-mile out-and-back optional ride north beside the St. Lawrence River to the town of Les Escoumins, another prime whale-watching destination.
Head to breathtaking Montmorency Falls to explore. After a finale lunch, shuttle into Quebec City and on to your further adventures.
Shuttle south this morning to Montmorency Falls, just north of Old Québec. The waterfall at the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is an awe-inspiring 83 m/272', a full one and a half times higher than Niagara Falls. Enjoy the stunning views, then board the telepherique for an unforgettable lunch at the Manoir Montmorency, right next to the falls. Time to head into Quebec City for the end of your tour. If you like, stay on for some additional exploring on your own: Old Québec's cobblestone streets and landmarks date from the 1600s. Take a walking tour of the city or try out Québec's Route des Via Ferrata - a guided hybrid cross between hiking and climbing.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.