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Exploramer, la mer à découvrir. Photo : CHOK Images

Gaspésie Tour: Family Discoveries Itinerary

Are you curious by nature? Here is a suggested itinerary for a 7-day trip around the Gaspé Peninsula that combines history, geology, culture and wildlife interpretation… enough to satisfy the curiosity of your whole family!

Les Jardins de Métis.
Reford Gardens. Photo: Roger St-Laurent

Day 1 – Gardens and salmon fishing  

Duration of drive: 1 hour from Grand-Métis to Causapscal

The Reford Gardens and the Site patrimonial de pêche Matamajaw (Matamajaw Fishing Heritage Site) were originally two fishing camps belonging to Lord Mount Stephen. Set off to discover these sites and their history.

Accommodations: In Causapscal, the Chalets La Coulée Douce cottages are specifically designed for family stays.

Other options for activities: La Vallée de la Framboise economuseum (raspberry farm), Chute à Philomène (waterfall), Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site.

Family-friendly art and culture activities: Explore the Murmures de la Ville, a walking tour of about 30 murals in downtown Mont-Joli.

More lodging and activities options in The Valley.

Parc national de Miguasha.
Parc national de Miguasha. Photo: Jean-Pierre Huard

Day 2 – Fossils and Acadian heritage

Duration of drive: 1.5 hours from Causapscal to Nouvelle, then 75 minutes from Nouvelle to Bonaventure

A fossil-rich site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Parc national de Miguasha will impress the whole family, while a visit to the Musée acadien du Québec may lead you to discover an Acadian ancestor!

Accommodations: In Bonaventure, Motel Grand-Pré offers units with kitchenettes, which are ideal for family stays.

Other options for activities: Écovoile Baie-des-Chaleurs (sailing), LilloJEUX

Family-friendly art and culture activities: Visit La Ruelle Fourrure, a workshop-boutique where Serge Boulanger creates clothing and accessories from upcycled fur.

Bioparc de la Gaspésie.
Bioparc de la Gaspésie. Photo: Jérôme Landry

Day 3 – Local animals and ecosystems

Day and overnight in Bonaventure

Showcasing five local ecosystems and the animals that live in each, the Bioparc de la Gaspésie wildlife park is a must-see for the whole family!

Accommodations: In Bonaventure, the cottages at Les Chalets des Blés de Mer overlook the beach, with a playground on site.

Other options for activities: Ferme Bourdages Tradition (strawberry farm), Domaine des Chutes du Ruisseau Creux (hiking, waterfall).

Family-friendly art and culture activities: At the Verre et Bulles studio boutique, meet artist Julie Frappier, who creates objects made of kiln-formed glass, among other things.

More lodging and activities options in Chaleur Bay.

Site historique national Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac.
Paspébiac National Historic Site. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Day 4 – Interactive historical activities and multimedia experiences

Duration of drive: 30 minutes from Bonaventure to Paspébiac, then 1 hour from Paspébiac to Chandler

Relive the cod fishing era at the Paspébiac National Historic Site through performances by characters in period costume.

In Parc du Bourg de Pabos, archaeological digs have revealed the history of this seigneury. Be sure to also participate in Ura and Nova Lumina, two fascinating multimedia experiences offered on site.

Accommodations: In Chandler, Motel Fraser offers units with kitchenettes as well as a family restaurant.

Other options for activities: Circuit des Bâtisseurs (founders’ walk), Vieille Usine de L’Anse-à-Beaufils (cultural centre)

Colonie de fous de Bassan sur l'île Bonaventure
Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island. Photo: Jean-Pierre Huard

Day 5 – Northern gannets and exceptional geology

Duration of drive: 45 minutes from Chandler to Percé

Explore Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, home to the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world!

Visit the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark and discover the exceptional geology of Percé via the Tektonik multimedia experience, a suspended glass platform, a zipline and hiking trails.

Accommodations: Overlooking Percé Rock, Riôtel Percé offers units with kitchenettes as well as a restaurant, an outdoor play area and evening campfires.

Other options for activities: Magasin général historique authentique 1928 (authentic general store), Coin-du-Banc Beach, La Boîte à Fruits de Mer (fish market where you can buy items for a picnic).

Family-friendly art and culture activities: Visit local painter Mylène Henry in her gallery-boutique in Percé to admire her whimsical and colourful art.

Site historique de la culture micmac de Gespeg.
Micmac Interpretation Site of Gespeg. Photo: Marilou Levasseur

Day 6 – Mi’gmaq culture and local history

Duration of drive: 1 hour from Percé to Gaspé

Step back in time at the Micmac Interpretation Site of Gespeg by visiting a reconstructed traditional First Nations village.

The Musée de la Gaspésie offers you a virtual-reality sea fishing experience as well as a permanent exhibition and a geo-rally.

Accommodations: Overlooking Gaspé Bay, Hôtel Plante offers units with kitchenettes in the centre of Gaspé.

Other options for activities: Forillon National Park, Pointe-à-la-Renommée Lighthouse

Family-friendly art and culture activities: The guide-interpreters, dressed in period costumes, are sure to immerse you in the heart of the fascinating history of John Le Boutillier at the Centre socioculturel Manoir Le Boutillier.

More lodging and activities options in Land’s End.

Reford Gardens. Photo : Éric Marchand

Day 7 – Marine life, gardens and farm animals

Duration of drive: 2.5 hours from Gaspé to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, then 1 hour from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to Matane

Visit Exploramer to discover the St. Lawrence through museum exhibitions, aquariums, touch pools, sea excursions and fish-harvesting activities.

In Matane, the Jardins de Doris offer you the opportunity to enjoy beautiful moments with your family among flower gardens, farm animals, fairy tale-inspired huts, a butterfly aviary and picnic areas.

Accommodations: Riôtel Matane offers units with kitchenettes as well as a restaurant, an indoor pool and breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence.

Other options for activities: Fromagerie du Littoral (cheesemaker), Mitis River Park

Family-friendly art and culture activities: Mother and daughter naturalist artists Monique and Gisèle Benoit invite you to discover the animals of the forest through their paintings. You can also watch a documentary explaining their artistic process.

More lodging and activities options in The Coast.

Please note that this itinerary is intended for information purposes only; it is not a package. It proposes a tour of the Gaspé Peninsula starting on the south side (and going counterclockwise around the region). This itinerary is meant to inspire you and may be modified as you wish.

Use this selection of activities to inspire your own itinerary around the Gaspé Peninsula! Be sure to also check out our Outdoor Adventures and Outdoor Family Fun itineraries. For more ideas for your cultural family vacation, read the following blog posts: 5 Historic Maritime Treasures.

To make sure you savour every moment, plan your stay at! #gaspesie

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