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Carleton-sur-Mer. Photo: Roger St-Laurent, photographe

A weekend in Chaleur Bay

Experience the effervescence of Chaleur Bay in Gaspésie for a weekend! A central point of restaurants, shops, bakeries, cafés, and more, this site is waiting for you with its salted body of water known as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Here is a suggested route* for your stay. Rule number 1: once in the car, get into vacation mode and enjoy the scenery! Heading east 6 hours from Montréal or 3.5 hours from Quebec City, the town of Mont-Joli is the gateway to the Gaspésie. Continue southward, via the beautiful Matapédia Valley, to reach Chaleur Bay.

Chute à Philomène
Chute à Philomène. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie

Day 1

11:30 a.m.: Food supplies in Mont-Joli

A stop at the Café-boutique Ma Cabane en Gaspésie in Mont-Joli is imperative to stock up for a picnic. Sandwiches, salads, and other homemade delicacies (including maple products) are complemented by a wide selection of regional products. An hour later, a little past Amqui, follow the signs for the Chute à Philomène. This 33 m waterfall will create a perfect backdrop for your picnic! Descending the 100 steps will stretch your legs, guaranteed. Once satiated, you can continue your journey towards Chaleur Bay.

Mount Saint-Joseph
Mount Saint-Joseph. Photo: Carleton-sur-Mer

4:30 p.m.: Stop in Carleton-sur-Mer

In Carleton-sur-Mer, follow the signs to Mont Saint-Joseph (555 m). You can drive directly to the top, or follow the route most of the way, then park your car and hike on a short forest trail (1.8 km) to reach the summit. From the lookout, you will be captivated by the breathtaking view of Chaleur Bay. This lookout is also one of the starting points of the hiking trails connecting Carleton-sur-Mer and its pretty neighbor, Maria. But the magnificent views, waterfalls, and other wonders of this network of trails will have to wait for the next visit!

Musée Acadien du Québec
Musée Acadien du Québec. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie

6:30 p.m.: Dinner and evening in Bonaventure

InBonaventure, check in at a hotel and go to a restaurant for dinner. La Poissonnerie du pêcheur – Dining Room is a must for fish and seafood lovers. There is no fish fresher than in this charming restaurant attached to a fish market! In the evening, there is nothing quite like walking on the beach, listening to the sound of the waves while admiring the starry sky…

Couscous, Bioparc de la Gaspésie. Photo: Jérôme Landry

Day 2

9 a.m.: History or fauna in Bonaventure

Curious about history? After lunch, visit the Musée acadien du Québec to learn more about Acadian culture and its influence through permanent and temporary exhibitions.

You prefer a visit to a wildlife park? Opt for the Bioparc of Gaspésie. You will find native species of the region (e.g. caribou, moose, seals) and a multitude of other endearing animals. You may be able to watch cougar feeding, greet Couscous the black bear, visit the reptile and amphibian pavilion, then go to the insectarium to see hairy tarantulas and taste insects. There is so much to see at the Bioparc! You could easily spend the day there, but other exciting discoveries await you.

Canoeing on the Bonaventure River with Cime Aventures
Canoeing on the Bonaventure River with Cime Aventures. Photo: Cime Aventures

Canoeing on the Bonaventure River

Cime Aventures offers a wide variety of activities on the sparkling turquoise waters of the Bonaventure River. This river is so clear you can watch salmon swim by as you glide over them—and your vessel will appear to be floating on air! You can also rent canoes, kayaks, rabaska canoes, stand-up paddle boards and rafts, with or without a guide. Various itineraries are proposed depending on your experience and the length of the activity, which can vary from one hour to several days (canoe camping).

9 p.m.: Return to Carleton-sur-Mer

Your visit to Carleton-sur-Mer would be incomplete without a stop at the Microbrasserie Le Naufrageur! Go in the evening to enjoy a tasty beer and meet the locals. Colourful shows are also often on the program.

Parc national de Miguasha
Parc national de Miguasha. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie

Day 3

9 a.m.: Parc national de Miguasha

After a hearty breakfast of breads, pastries, and espresso from the Boulangerie-Pâtisserie La Mie véritable in Carleton-sur-Mer, go to the Parc national de Miguasha, where fossils tell the story of species moving from water to land. The exhibition will tell you more about the transition that took place over 380 million years ago. Be fascinated by the witnesses of that time, such as the Prince of Miguasha and Elpi, and walk along the cliff where they were discovered.

Want to know more about the range of fall activities offered in Chaleur Bay and elsewhere in Gaspésie? Plan your stay at

* This itinerary is only a suggestion. It is not a package and is not for sale. It was designed based on businesses open in the fall, but whose schedules may vary. Before taking the road, book your accommodation and check the schedules of the businesses where you want to go. Have a great stay in Gaspésie! 

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