• a snow covered street

French Culture, Lobsters and Lighthouses

Embark on our French Culture, Lobsters and Lighthouses self drive and visit the places that hold the stories of how Canada came to be the country it is today. Discover cities with deep roots, vistas of untouched wilderness, and the ocean and rivers that define this part of the nation.

You’ll trace a route around some of Canada’s most formative places. The cities and towns that the first European settlers called home wait to be explored, alongside the stunning villages along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. This part of the country abounds with even more than a vibrant history; beautifully wild lands and breath-taking ocean vistas call travellers to Canada’s east coast time and time again.

Discover the beautiful architecture, museums and diverse cuisine of Quebec City and Montreal. See the cities’ beauty and learn of their history, illustrations of the vibrant culture that colours the French-speaking province of Quebec. As you head into the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, get ready for breath-taking scenery of pristine wilderness and a beautifully untamed coastline. Uncover the history that makes the Maritimes so unique and the places that hold the stories of Canada’s formative years. Visit small coastal towns and let yourself be charmed by their heritage, their deep sense of community and the mix of French, Scottish and First Nations influence.

Duration
18 days
Best time to go
June to September, and December to February
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a view of a city at sunset

Trip highlights

  • Experience Quebecois culture as you take a tour of Quebec’s capital city
  • Explore some of Canada’s most captivating waterside towns
  • Look out for majestic whales swimming in the St. Lawrence River
  • Drive along the famous Cabot Trail, a scenic route that offers breath-taking views of Cape Breton Island

Arrive at Montreal Trudeau International Airport and make your way to your hotel in downtown Montreal. Once you’ve checked in, the day is yours to start exploring this modern city at leisure. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Delta Hotels By Marriott Montreal or Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain or similar
a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background

Today, you’ll head deep into French Canada as you say goodbye to Montreal and hit the road. Travel east along the St. Lawrence River towards the city of Montmagny. On the way, you may want to stop at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, a national shrine to the Virgin Mary, or perhaps head a little north to the town of Trois-Rivières. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel L’Oiseliere Montmagny or Auberge Sur Mer or similar
a group of people sitting on a bench

As you leave Montmagny this morning, you’ll journey through towns and villages formed along the St. Lawrence River. You might choose to stop at a few, such as Riviere-du-Loup and Sant Pascale, to experience authentic Quebecois culture and discover the tales of Quebec’s complex history during Canada’s formative years. Bid farewell to this intriguing province and cross the border into New Brunswick and continue until you reach the small town of Edmundston, your stop for the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Best Western Plus Edmunston Hotel or Four Points By Sheraton Edmunston or similar
an island in the middle of a body of water
a sign in front of a house

Venture into some of Eastern Canada’s most pristine wilderness as you drive through the centre of the province on the way to its southern shores. You’ll pass thick forests, full of roaming wildlife, eventually reaching St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. This picturesque village is yours to explore for the rest of the day. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Algonquin Resort or Rossmount Inn or similar

Take a break from driving today and spend the day exploring this coastal gem. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Algonquin Resort or Rossmount Inn or similar
Whale watching

Today’s route will take you to St. John, where you can board a ferry (paid locally) that will carry you across the beautiful Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia. When you reach the town of Digby, Nova Scotia, you can spend the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing, or exploring your home for the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa or similar
Buskers Festival

Leave Digby behind this morning and make your way across Nova Scotia to the province’s southern coast. The drive will lead you past stunning landscapes, including Kejimkujik National Park, and past quaint towns. After passing through the port of Lunenburg and journeying along the northern shores of Margaret’s Bay, you’ll reach the city of Halifax, your stop for the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites or Hotel Halifax or similar
a group of people walking down a street next to a building

Today, you’ll get to drive through the centre of Nova Scotia. You’ll pass through the towns of Truro and New Glasgow as you make your way to Cape Breton Island. Drive through gently-rolling fields and the Bras D’Or Lake lowlands, then arrive in Baddeck.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Cape Breton Highlands, Cabot Trai or similar
a rocky beach next to the ocean

Spend the day exploring at your leisure. Why not head to the highlands of northern Cape Breton and take a drive along the Cabot Trail? Take in the wonder of each breath-taking vista as you journey through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, then make your way through Margaree Valley and back to Baddeck for the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Cape Breton Highlands, Cabot Trai or simlar

Make your way to Shediac today. After leaving Baddeck, head back towards New Brunswick, passing back through the small towns you saw on the way here. You might choose to make a stop at Truro or Moncton, then continue your journey to Shediac, where you can spend the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Cape Breton Highlands, Cabot Trai or similar

Today, a drive along the New Brunswick coast awaits you. There are some great places to visit along the way, including the Bouctouche Bay Eco-Tourism Site and Kouchibouguac National Park. When you reach Caraquet, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Travel through areas that are full of Acadian history ready to be discovered. Following the shoreline of the Baie des Chaleurs, you’ll pass the town of Bonaventure before crossing the provincial border back into Quebec and arriving at Percé.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Iconic Perce Rock, Acadian history and artifacts or similar

Spend today exploring Percé, a bustling town that sits amid a bounty of breath-taking scenery. Its seaside location, boardwalk, restaurants and cafes make it the perfect place to wile away the day.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Iconic Perce Rock, Acadian history and artifacts or similar

Follow the path of the St. Lawrence River today as you drive to Matane. You’ll pass close by Parc de la Gaspésie, the perfect place to stop and explore the mountainous landscape for a while. You might also want to stop in the town of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and see its carefully restored cathedral. Continue your journey onwards, stopping in the French speaking town of Matane. Here, the rest of the day is yours to explore before settling down for the night. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sainte-Anne-des-Monts restored cathedral or similar
a small boat in a body of water

Today, you’ll get to enjoy a ferry ride across the St. Lawrence, from Matane to Baie-Comeau. Here, the north shore of the St. Lawrence River awaits with beautiful waterside towns to discover. In summer, you may even get to see whales swimming by. As the evening sets in, make your way to Tadoussac and stop for the night.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Riverside town at the meeting of rivers, whale watching. Ferry crossing: Matane to Baie Comeau or simlar
a view of a city

Today’s drive will take you along the same route taken by the First Nations people to trade and hunt and, later, the early European explorers as they travelled into Canada’s interior. Reach the province’s french speaking capital, Quebec City, where you’ll spend the night.  

Suggested Accommodation

  • Walled city, Quebecois culture, colonial fortifications or similar
a group of people standing in front of a brick building

Learn all about this intriguing city as you join a comprehensive tour. You’ll get to explore historic Quebec City and learn about the French and English empires that formed Canada as we know it. From the Latin Quarter and the Citadel to the Place Royale and the Basilica, you’ll get to see some of the city’s most significant sites. When the tour comes to an end, enjoy the rest of the day exploring at leisure. This is your last night in this wonderful part of Canada, so why not sample some of the local fine dining options? 

Suggested Accommodation

  • City Tour of Quebec or similar
Quebec City

Say goodbye to this captivating city as you make your way to the airport and board your flight home.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 15 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis: Room Only
  • Car hire and insurance
  • Ferry crossing from Matane to Baie Comeau
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Gratuities
  • Meals
  • Attractions and excursions