When winter rolls round and lots of select to hibernate indoors, it turns into one among my favourite instances to discover. Locations are much less crowded, the expertise is festive, and snow brings its personal particular magic to any state of affairs.
When you’re in search of lovely, entertaining, and good for the soul forms of weekend journeys from Montréal to the encircling areas of Québec, these recommendations are all about consuming nicely (together with maple issues!), having fun with adventures in nature, and R&R.
1. Spa, Farm-to-Desk Eats, and Snow Actions at Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature (Eco Resort)
Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature sits on 1000 acres within the Mauricie area and presents all the pieces from actions to a Nordic-style spa and scrumptious farm to desk meals.
The rooms function a giant comfortable mattress, hearth, and furnishings that’s made on-site utilizing locally-sourced supplies.
I liked that the meals is native too, with the eco resort rising a lot of its personal choices, together with elevating its personal animals and sourcing 80% of the opposite elements from inside Quebec. They’ve their very own vegetable backyard, hazelnut bushes, winery, and their animals are raised consuming and residing nicely.
For dinner, I loved a winter salad with fennel and blueberries and for my predominant, a wild boar pasta with maple glaze and Brussels sprouts – it was so distinctive I simply needed to attempt it! Plus I’m straightforward to promote on something with maple syrup.
There’s an abundance of winter actions, too, together with a winter horse carriage, fats biking, Nordic snowboarding, horseback using, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The grounds are charming, with a picturesque windmill, chapel, and 35km of trails to select from.
My private favourite was the Nordic spa – one thing I miss dearly from my days residing in Europe and need we had within the US. For these not within the realize it options swimming pools of various temperatures, sauna, and leisure rooms. I additionally loved a prenatal therapeutic massage with Stephanie who knew simply easy methods to relieve my decrease again ache.
Not often have I stayed someplace that had so many issues to supply multi function place. I liked that it’s additionally not solely family-owned and operated, however a number of prolonged native households work on the resort as nicely, making it a real group effort. Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature is about 2 hours from Montreal.
2. Ma Yourte au Coeur des Collines Yurt Keep
I adored my keep at Ma Yourte au Coeur des Collines. It’s set in a captivating forest the place I skilled nothing however pure peace and quiet.
I stayed within the Kamook, which has home windows to the forest behind and allowed me to look at the falling snow from inside my well-heated domicile, full with a full kitchen, sitting space, comfortable mattress, deck, hearth pit, and composting bathroom.
The grounds function a number of yurts, which I used to be additionally in a position to go to, that may accommodate small households, in addition to a chalet, jungle health club for youths, a brief strolling/snowshoeing path, and a scorching tub. I used to be there within the early spring, however within the colder winter months when the lake is totally frozen, visitors can play ice hockey, too.
I used to be additionally handled to a fondue dinner and charcuterie breakfast, additionally with locally-sourced elements, two add-ons you may ask the fantastic proprietor, Man, about. E book it right here (although this web page is just in French, Man speaks nice English and will be contacted whereas reserving for those who want help).
3. Sugar Shacks within the Jap Townships
If planning your getaway in March to early April, get excited, as a result of it’s maple harvest time! It is a Québecois specialty that I liked experiencing for a peek into native tradition and clearly, LOTS of maple syrup tasting.
Although there are a lot of, I visited two very completely different, however each fantastic, maple farms whereas within the space.
Érablière Bernard in Granby
This feminine-owned, sixth era maple producer and sugar shack presents weekend festivities throughout harvest season, picnic in a bucket, and year-round maple merchandise of their store.
Their farm and property options an interpretive path with their historical past of maple manufacturing and harvest, in addition to maple taffy on snow with varied toppings in the course of the weekend sugar shack season. You’ll discover they’ve a intelligent tubing system between the bushes that permits them to pump the maple water to their facility the place they run it by means of a reverse osmosis system, adopted by boiling to create the top product – scrumptious maple syrup and extra. Study extra right here.
Cabane du Pic Bois in Bromont
Steeped in custom, the Cabane du Pic Bois is a superb probability to see how maple syrup, taffy, and maple butter are produced the old school method. The 4th era proprietor, Andre, nonetheless collects his harvest immediately from buckets individually hanging from every tree, and boils the maple syrup for hours utilizing a wood-fired boiler.
I sincerely have by no means tasted higher maple syrup in my life. He presents a weekend sugar shack in the course of the harvest season that includes taffy on snow, and guided excursions that may be booked by cellphone. Study extra right here.
Keep: I stayed in Bromont on the BEATNIK lodge close to the Balnea spa. I like to recommend consuming on the town at Chardo Restaurant for some scrumptious native choices centered on native sport, forest merchandise like mushrooms, and wine, or for the veggie lovers on the market, Gaia Cafe was fantastic, too. There’s additionally a small ski resort close by!
4. Mont-Mégantic Nationwide Park
Parc nationwide du Mont-Mégantic shouldn’t be solely pretty for mountaineering, however excellent for star-gazing, too. As the primary Worldwide Darkish Sky Reserve in North America, it’s been internet hosting star viewing throughout their astronomy evenings for the general public because the ’80s and incorporates a very well-done ASTROlab onsite with interpretive signage in each French and English.
The nationwide park is within the snowiest a part of southern Québec and presents over 60km of trails, 40km of that are excellent for snow-shoeing. You possibly can lease snowshoes or crampons on the nationwide park HQ if wanted.
If in case you have the time and the vitality, I like to recommend mountaineering to the telescope for some unimaginable views of the icy bushes and surrounding mountains. I didn’t have a transparent sufficient day for stargazing or sunsets, however I nonetheless liked the view from the highest and particularly the Whoville-like bushes. If in case you have much less time or need to do a shorter path, the rangers within the HQ converse English nicely and may present some suggestions primarily based on the present climate and your needs.
Keep: Aux Berges de l’Aurore is a small BnB in a home that’s over a century previous, a couple of minute’s drive from the park entrance. They serve a stunning dinner every night (allow them to know upfront that you really want this) and a breakfast within the morning with recent fruit, espresso, and once I was there, crepes!
5. SPA Eastman for a Mini Retreat
Situated in a 356-acre property, the SPA Eastman is the primary spa in Canada and all through the years has provided holistic wellness from the meals to the actions, spa, and lodging.
Based within the ’70s by Jocelyna Dubuc, a former schoolteacher, the spa is predicated on her private expertise of self-healing by means of meals, meditation, and life-style. Every day there are a number of actions starting from Qi Gong to Essentrics, all primarily based on mindfulness and motion for the physique. There’s additionally a Kinesiologist and Naturepath onsite, therapeutic massage, a number of swimming pools of various temperatures, saunas, and even a lake for the last word chilly plunge.
I liked the meals probably the most, with a concentrate on anti-inflammatory gourmand delicacies. Every part served is gluten and dairy-free, that includes locally-sourced elements, a lot of which they develop themselves with out utilizing chemical substances or pesticides. Study extra and e book right here.
6. The Laurentians and Choices to the West
This was my second go to to Québec, with the primary happening within the fall exploring the Laurentian area, together with Mont Tremblant ski resort, Parc Omega Wolf Cabin, and extra wonderful meals. Learn extra right here for my recommendations for this area as nicely.
All through each of my visits, I’ve come to understand Québec for its emphasis on maintaining issues native and family-owned and run. It makes accountable tourism a lot simpler and is best for the planet, our palettes, and the expertise general. There’s all the time a private contact that I discover inviting and charming, and when there’s maple syrup concerned, nicely, that simply seals the deal!
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*This put up was delivered to you in collaboration with BonjourQuebec. All ideas on the scrumptious maple all the pieces and beautiful wintery experiences are, as all the time, my very own.