This year I wanted to give our family vacation a touch of freedom and adventure. Freedom + adventure = road trip, right?
Although my partner and I have several road trips under our belt, Rose, our two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, has not. And since we fully intend to share this passion with her, we might as well start as soon as possible. Having said that, a motorhome trip was a first for the 3 of us. So it’s all together aboard the comfortable Super Van Camper that we traveled the roads of Quebec this summer.
We had 23 days of vacation and the goal of this trip was to spend as much time as possible in nature, all while discovering new places. In three weeks, we have covered an almost 3000 km distance and discovered 5 regions:
Campsite with a view | The Passage Lookout, Mauricie National Park
Mauricie: La Mauricie National Park was our first destination. Our dire need to find ourselves in nature was quickly fulfilled. The road through the park is magnificent and there are many lookouts to stop at, offering breathtaking views. It had barely been a few hours since we had taken the road, that we were already overwhelmed by this feeling of freedom that we longed for so much. We took advantage of these first two days to familiarize ourselves with the motorhome and to settle comfortably in what was going to be our little home for 3 weeks. Our campsite was ideally located, near Lake Wapizagonke and a short path led us to a sandy beach. Surrounded by pine trees, huge maples and the gentle sounds of nature, the site was perfect. Our holidays were going to be memorable.
Our favorite: The Passage lookout.
Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean: In this magnificent region located a 2.5-hour drive north of Quebec City, you will find a lake comparable to an inland sea and a superb fjord. Outdoor enthusiasts and thrill seekers will find something of interest, just as much as families looking for tranquility. Many tourist attractions such as the Val-Jalbert village or the Saint-Félicien Zoo are must-sees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean . We spent 5 days there, visiting authentic villages, discovering a rich terroir and fascinating nature.
Our favorite: the train ride through the Saint-Félicien Zoo.
Zoo St Felicien, Saguenay Lac St Jean | Whale Watching in Tadoussac
: Well known for its superb village of Tadoussac
and noted for being one of the best spots for whale watching
in the world, the Côte Nord region has a lot to offer. From the Saguenay Fjord to the St. Lawrence River, the territory is not short on natural wonders. We criss-crossed part of the region in just 3 days and I can already tell you that we can't wait to go back and explore it further.
Our favorite: the whale watching cruise in Tadoussac.
Gaspesie: From its vertiginous peaks to the most beautiful bays in the world, from its famous Percé Rock to its impressive gannet colony, Gaspesie is undoubtedly the destination for nature enthusiasts in Quebec. We stayed in the area for almost 10 days and we loved traveling its roads, offering us breathtaking panoramas from start to finish. It is also a region favorable to the observation of typical Quebec fauna: moose, whales, seals, northern gannets, we sure can say that we have made some great encounters during our road trip.
Our favorite: the excursion to Bonaventure Island.
Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island, Gaspésie | Bas Saint-Laurent
The salty air, the immensity of the St Lawrence river and the sunsets of Bas Saint-Laurent, recognized worldwide, were quick to charm us. Our stay here was rich in discoveries and diversity, despite being rather short. The Reford Gardens
, the landscapes of Bic National Park
and the gourmet stopover in Kamouraska will remain etched in our memory.
Our favorite: The Pic Champlain hike inside Bic National Park
The RV Experience
The handling of the vehicle our RV rental in Canada experience started out great. After sorting out the administrative details at the Montreal location, we received a quick tour of the RV. Prior to departure, we had watched the instructional videos on the Canadream website. The explanations are very clear, and it is reassuring to have access to all this information before picking up the vehicle. We also had a very thorough Guest Guide that we could consult at any time: emptying waste water, operating the control panel, safety advice, parking, electrical connection, etc. Absolutely everything is explained in this guide. As this was our first experience driving an RV, we were apprehensive about parking maneuvers. But from the first campsite, we understood that everything was suitable for vehicles of this size. All you need is a lookout outside to help the driver navigate, and voila. It’s a lot less complicated than we expected.
Wooded campsite with our RV | Enjoying the outdoors with the RV
Why we loved our experience
The big advantage for us was being able to allow our daughter to sleep in the same environment every night and to be able to create a little routine for her. From day one, she found her feet, tucked her toys away in the large drawer under the bench seat and was independent to access her things whenever she needed them.
It is also very practical in terms of organization: our belongings followed us everywhere so no need to pack and unpack the bag every day, as it is the case when we are travelling by car and going from hotel to hotel. It’s a huge time saver. As for meals, once again, as we have everything on hand, we just need to find a place to park if we are on the road and simply open the fridge and prepare food. When we are on a campsite, we eat outside when the weather is nice. If we have a firepit, we take out the marshmallows and, if it rains, we just get back into our little home.
We spent a little over 3 weeks in the RV and we could have continued like this for a long time. The SVC is a reasonable size (24-27 feet) while still being spacious and comfortable.
We look forward to repeating the experience. Why not in Western Canada next time
About the author:
Sarah Mazière is the Social Media and Content Manager for our esteemed Tour Operator partner Authentik Canada. It was a pleasure to welcome Sarah and her family as they experienced Quebec at their own pace in a CanaDream RV.