Sample Tours: Central Canada

16 Day Quebec Ski Tour

When you travel in Québec you are embarking on a journey filled with action and peacefulness, ambience and beauty, not to mention the potential for reliving history at every turn. As you follow the route, you may feel like you are following in the steps of early explorers and voyageurs. It is a journey of adventure and discovery. It is also paced to be leisurely and restful. Many of the ski hills and activities are two to four hours from Montreal and the temperature is often around -10 C - perfect weather for skiing and outdoor activities.

Besides finding a wonderland of adventure and new experiences when you come to Québec in winter, you will find countless opportunities for joining in an energetic nightlife. Many Quebéckers like to go out at later in the evening and a majority of restaurants, pubs, bistros and cafés are open very late, or perhaps what the rest of the country would call early morning. So, it won't be hard to find evening activities to take part in. The hard part will be deciding which venue you may want to try that evening. If you are traveling as a family, some of these nightlife opportunities may not be of interest, but there are many family-oriented experiences that will ensure a memorable time. Certainly, Le Carnaval is a definite family-type destination, as is Mont Tremblant, Le Massif and Mont Orford.

Duration: 16 days
Total Distance: 1725 km/1075 mi

Ski Quebec 16 day Tour Map  view larger map
Winter day in Mont Tremblant - Stock photo
Day 1 - From Montréal Through St. Saveur des Monts to Mont Tremblant – 150 km/95 mi
If you are a cross-country skier, you may find it worthwhile to stop at St. Jerome and ski along the track bed of the former railway line known as “Le P’tit Train du Nord”. This 200 km trail is now a “linear park” and people ski along the trail between railroad stations. The trail begins in St. Jerome and ends at Mont Laurier, north of Mont Tremblant. There is a shuttle service available in the main centres along the route that will take you back to where you parked your RV.  full details

The railroad stations have been renovated and now mostly serve as restaurants. This railway line was built in the early part of the last century and took Montrealers north to the rustic ski resorts popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The further north you ski on this line, the fewer services are available beside the trail. Click here for more information.

For downhill skiing, St. Sauveur des Monts is a resort with lots of action. If you like going places where there is a wide choice of activities, you will like this venue. The small resort is at the centre of four ski hills that offer downhill skiing. Each mountain has a limited number of lifts, runs and a shorter vertical drop than other resorts in Québec, but for downhill skiing, they are popular nonetheless. If you prefer a greater challenge, you can continue to Mont Tremblant without stopping along the way. Mont Tremblant is about two hours north of Montréal. 

Ski Mont Tremblant - Stock photo
Day 2 - Stay at Mont Tremblant and Ski All Day
Mont Tremblant is an up and coming resort that is increasing in popularity every year. This venue draws celebrities from all over the world. It is the highest peak in the Laurentian Mountains, with a vertical drop of over 2,000 ft on one part. The Versant Soleil, which means “sunny slope”, is a new ski area opened in the fall of 1999. This side of the mountain has a vertical drop of 1905 ft. and offers plenty of challenging runs.  full details
If you came directly from Montreal to Mont Tremblant, you will have an extra day to spend on the many runs requiring varying levels of skill.
Beautiful Mont Tremblant - Stock photo
Day 3 - Stay Another Day at Mont Tremblant
Stay in Mont Tremblant and spend another day of alpine discovery. full details

Or perhaps you would like to do something different with your day. If you have a hankering for a different kind of adventure, Canadream can arrange a dogsledding tour in the area. Mention your interest at the office in Montreal and they will make the arrangements for you.


Barn covered by snow - Stock photo
Day 4 - From Mont Tremblant through Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Val David and Ste. Adèle to Trois-Riviéres – 266 km/165 mi

Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Val David or Ste. Adèle are all long-time settlements, with loads of history and activities. Even if you just take the day to wander through the villages and take in some of the sights, you will find many things to do and see.

Ste. Adèle has all kinds of craft shops, unique boutiques and all sorts of museums and historic buildings to explore. Ste Ad è le is known as a museum town and also offers a train tour through the nearby woods.


full details

There is a mountain resort, named “Ski Chantecler” close to Ste. Adèle with a vertical drop of 663 tft and for Nordic-skiing enthusiasts; the area offers 50 km of cross-country trails.

The village of Val David is a popular place for artists to gather and explore their talents. Check with the town information centre to find out which artists have opened their studios to the public.

Val David also has two ski resorts nearby—Mont-Alta, with two lifts serving 22 runs and a vertical drop of 587 ft., and Station de Ski Vallée-Bleue, with three lifts taking people up to the top of 16 runs.

Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is just 20 minutes from Mont Tremblant and has plenty of shops, boutiques and restaurants to tempt you. Lac des Sables situated in the centre of town is also a real draw.

Wintertime in Quebec City - Stock photo
Day 5 - From Trois-Riviéres to Québec City – 130 km/81 mi
Trois-Riviéres is one of the major commercial ports in Québec, so as you drive along the North Shore, you will likely see ocean-going tankers up close on their way toward or returning from the St. Lawrence Seaway. These tankers enter the Great Lakes on the other side of the Seaway and sail to the port of Thunder Bay in western Ontario, where a large grain terminal is located.  full details

One thing that many travelers talk about when they arrive home is the “pain de ménage” available for purchase in bakeries along the North and South Shores. It is exceptional bread that has a truly memorable, homemade flavour. Pain de ménage and cups of hot chocolate as a part of your breakfast should keep you going for a few runs on the hills. 

Québec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. Samuel de Champlain established Québec City as an early settlement, called an “abitation” in 1608. Le Vieux Québec, French for “Québec City’s old town”, is well worth the visit. The architecture is reminiscent of 17 th Century Europe and the streets are still paved in cobblestones. This part of the city has maintained its old-world charm and atmosphere. Québec City was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985. 

If you are looking for things to do in Québec City, consider joining an architectural tour, enjoying a meal in one of the wonderful restaurants that make eating an artistic adventure or going for a ride in a “caleche” – a small horse-drawn carriage. The caleche will take you around the old parts of the city and show you all the sites. There are fortresses, the Citadel, battlefields, embattlements and gates. Many battles were fought in and around Québec City. Political ambitions associated with the British and European powers were decided in six major battles waged around the city. You can descend the cliffs behind the Chateau de Frontenac by way of stairs and then climb back up or ride back up in a cogwheel tram. The French army naturally believed that they were safe leading up to one battle because the cliffs were the only way to get to the battlefield without having to go through strong lines of defense established on the other sides of the field. But the British army, led by General Wolfe, somehow climbed these cliffs and surprised the French army, led by marquis de Montcalm, and engaged them in battle when they were unprepared. They fought this particular battle on the Plains of Abraham – near the place where the Chateau Frontenac is now located. The English won this battle, but both Wolfe and Montcalm died on the battlefield. For more information on the history of Québec City, click here or here.  

In late January and early February, the city comes alive with a sense of celebration. This is the time for Carnaval! Carnaval is the French form of the name for this major winter celebration. The first Carnaval took place in 1894 and involved challenging feats – lacrosse game played on an ice rink, a bike ride across a frozen expanse of ice and a pretend siege of an ice palace. The first celebrations were organized by enterprising French and English business-owners in leadership positions in the city.  

For two weeks you can observe and take part in many activities that involve snow and take place in the outdoors. There is a snow castle with snow slides, an authentic igloo and music and entertainment. You will find other snow sculptures near the snow castle. If you are brave and hardy, sign up for the snow bath. There is a dogsled race and a soapbox derby that winds its way through the centre of the old town. Also, there are two night parades, one at the beginning and one at the end of the festivities. They also have visiting artists who create something in their medium that fulfills a current theme associated with that year’s Carnival. You can watch the artists while they work. There is no shortage of fun and activities suitable for the whole family. 

Quebec City sparkles in the winter - Stock photo
Day 6 - Mont Ste-Anne (part of the World Cup ski circuit), Montmorency Falls north of Québec City. – 49 km/31 mi
Spend the day at Mont Ste-Anne (part of the World Cup ski circuit) or spend the day in Québec City and go Mont Ste-Anne for night skiing. Although you may want to be there in the day, as this mountain offers you fantastic views of the surrounding area – the St. Lawrence in the distance and even the rooftops of Québec City itself. full details

Snowboarders would particularly like this venue, as there are two half-pipes to conquer and freedom on all other 56 runs. Click here for more details. If downhill skiing is not your style, you can ski the cross-country trails around Battlefields Park. As well as skiing at the Park, guided tours are available and are also recommended. Click here for more details.

If you are an ice-climbing fan, then Montmorency Falls are the place to go. They are just northeast of Québec City where the Montmorency River joins the St. Lawrence River. They make for a challenging and popular ice climbing venue. If you are not keen on climbing the falls, they are worth a visit just the same, as they are very beautiful when they are frozen and you get a good view from the crest of the falls – there is a suspension footbridge strung across the crest of the falls to give you a different perspective. From this vantage point, you get a broad vista of where the Montmorency River joins the St. Lawrence and Québec City’s downtown district.

Winter scene in Quebec - Stock photo
Day 7- Mont Ste-Anne to Le Massif de la petite rivière St-Francois – 61 km/38 mi
Le Massif is a spectacular resort! You will see the St. Lawrence River from the high points of this resort. It appears that the water lapping at the shoreline lies directly below the base of the mountain. In actuality, it is a few kilometres away. However, you can certainly get a good view of commercial tanker ships going up and down the St. Lawrence River. full details

This mountain is the highest in Québec and one of the most popular in eastern North America. It has a vertical drop of more than 2,500 ft. with the longest run taking you along 2.36 miles of trail in deep snow. Le Massif also has unlimited runs for snowboarding. Many of the runs give you an incredible view of the St. Lawrence River.

I hope you are in this area when it is sunny, so that you can appreciate the view. Make sure you bring a good pair of sunglasses, as the sun shines brightly and creates a sparkle on the bright blue water in the St. Lawrence River. There is also a strong glare coming off of the snow when the sun is out. The river does have ice floating in it, but it does not freeze over.

Le Massif stands in the area of Charlevoix is also a great region for cross-country skiing. There is plenty of snow here and many kilometres of trails that require beginner to intermediate skill levels. The trails begin very close to Québec City and wander for long distances, both close to the banks of the St. Lawrence River and points north and northeast. Where cross-country skiing is possible, you will also find dogsledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

Le Massif Ski Area, Quebec - Stock photo
Day 8 - Le Massif de la petite rivière St-Francois
Stay one more day for skiing at Le Massif, “Montagne sur la Mer” – Mountain by the Sea.  full details
When you feel hungry, be sure to check out the menus at the Mer & Monts Restaurant, the Summit Pub, Base Pub, the Camp Boule Creperie or the cafeterias at the summit and base of the mountain.   Wild game, seasonal veggies, family recipes, fresh ingredients ... from casual to catered, formal to on-the-fly, nothing matches the taste of authentic Charlevoix fare.  There's sure to be something here to whet every appetite.
Winter Snow - Photo: CanaDream
Day 9 - From Le Massif to Rivière du Loup (on the south side of the St. Lawrence River) – 188 km/117 mi
Whales arrive in early spring to calve in the St. Lawrence. Then they spend the summer in the area. If their arrival coincides with the end of the ski season, then you will enjoy seeing them at the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, located at Tadoussac on the North Shore, just where the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers meet. This is a good spot to take part on a whale-watching cruise (possibly seeing belugas, in particular) in season.  full details
There is a ferry that will take you across the St. Lawrence River from St-Simeon to Rivière du Loup. Some of these ferries only go to the smaller islands, but most also make a trip to the south shore and back. You may prefer to drive around a few of the islands that lie in the middle of the St. Lawrence on your way to the south side. These small islands have had European settlements since the early days when Québec was considered a part of New France. From 1832 until 1937, Gross I’le, was used as a quarantine station for European immigrants arriving at Montreal by ship.
Winter snow at a Quebec sugar shack - Stock photo
Day 10 - From Rivière du Loup to the Eastern Townships (Notre-Dame-des-Bois) – 390 km/242 mi
If you are in Québec in the month of March and early April, you will be there at the right time to take part in sugaring parties, or sugar shacks. If you are interested in fitting a sugaring party into your travels at this point in the schedule, you will find lots happening at Sainte-Marcelline. full details

Some sugaring parties have meals, music and other forms of entertainment to add to the activities. You can go for a walk in the woods and observe the process. The workers often sprinkle the runny sap on the snowy ground. The sap hardens somewhat when it comes in contact with the snow and then you can pick up the sap and “pull” it like taffy. When sugar shacks offer the possibility of “pulling taffy”, it is called a “trier de sucre”. 

If you are interested in including a sugaring party in your activities, ask the staff at Canadream to suggest a reputable venue. They have knowledge about who in the industry would offer you a good experience.

Another option for this part of the itinerary is to spend the evening stargazing at the Mont-Mégantic’s Observatory, just south of Thetford Mines. The Observatory opens up the ceiling at night to allow visitors to use the telescopes and see what they can see.

Ski lift above snowy mountain - Stock photo
Day 11 - From Notre-Dame-des-Bois to Orford. – 120 km/75 mi
Mont Orford is found by driving along Autoroute 10, a few kilometres outside the town of Magog. This ski area covers three different peaks, Mont Orford, Mont Giroux, and Mont Alfred DesRochers. All these mountains are more than 2,000 feet high and the runs are interconnected giving skiers lots of choice on how to get down the hill.  full details
The resort offers dining, ski schools, and child care. Click here for more details. There is also a snow park and a half-pipe for snowboarders at this resort, not to mention ice-climbing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 
Maple Taffy in Snow - Stock photo
Day 13 - From Owl’s Head Ski Area to Sugarbush Resort, Vermont – 128 km/80 mi
If you are a cross-country enthusiast and you are touring during the middle of December, you could be in Vermont in time to take part in the cross-country ski race called the Craftsbury Opener, just south of Newport and a little north of Orleans, west of I91. The race covers distances of 2, 5, and 10 km and there is a registration fee. There is also a series of cross-country touring and racing events in late January.  full details

You can go by way of two different routes. If you have camped overnight at Stanstead Plain, you can take the I91 south, then go west across Vermont along a secondary route, the No. 3, followed by the No. 2 until you reach Montpelier, the State capital.

Montpelier is an interesting city, being the smallest state capital. It was established as a town in 1781 and was likely named after Montpellier in France. It was chosen as the state capital because of its central location and because its citizens offered enough financial support to build the capitol. There is a museum in the town worth visiting and a bustling downtown district.

To get to the ski resort, go north from Montpelier a short ways along Route No. 2 until you come to Waterbury, then turn south along another secondary route, No. 100. Or you can go west along the US/Canadian border until you find the secondary route that crosses the border to become No. 100 and follow it the whole way south. It depends on how fast you want to get there. Sugarbush Resort is 10 miles west of the town of Warren.


Sugar Bush Resort, Vermont - Photo credit: Sugar Bush Resort
Day 14 - Sugarbush Resort, Vermont
Stay another day on the slopes at Sugar Bush, Vermont.  full details
Sugarbush has two mountains, six peaks, a terrain park, tons of gladed areas and the 2000 acre Slide Brook Wilderness area.  Choose from one of the 111 trails on the mountains totalling 53 miles long.
Montreal City Hall in Winter - Stock photo
Day 15 - Return to Montreal (two hours north of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Vermont) – 225 km/140 mi
Montreal is reputed to be the most romantic city in North America. It certainly is imbued with atmosphere from the historic buildings all around the city, and especially Vieux-Montréal. Despite all the change the city has undergone throughout its existence, it has maintained its early style and architecture. Take a day to tour around the city of Montreal and take in the sights. This city offers so many cultural and artistic activities to absorb much more than a day, but you may want to give yourself at least that much time. full details

The following points are only a few of the possibilities:

Visit the Centre d’histoire de Montréal facing onto the Place D’Youville. The Centre is housed in an old fire hall. They develop new exhibitions regularly. You can walk around on the rooftop and see Vieux-Montréal from a higher vantage point and learn about the city’s culture and history.

Or perhaps you are up to climbing to the base of the cross at the top of Mont-Royal, Montrealers’ favourite mountain.

There are numerous museums and places of interest to go and be inspired or wildly stimulated.

Montreal was the site for both the 1967 Expo and the 1976 Summer Olympics and some venues are open for tours.

Like so many civic centres in Québec, there are many restaurants, bistros and nightclubs throughout the city. The downtown district has countless establishments to choose from; there are oodles in the Underground City (a plus if the weather is inclement), as well as in the Quartier Latin.

There is also the Biodome, the Insectarium (kids would love this), and the Botanical Gardens.


Ice skating in Old Montreal - Stock photo
Day 16 - Return Home
Drop your RV back to our Montreal location by the time stated in your rental contract. full details
If you require transport to the airport or an airport hotel, please let our friendly staff know when you drop off and we'd be happy to take you there in our complimentary shuttle.