When winter rolls round and lots of select to hibernate indoors, it turns into one in all my favourite occasions to discover. Locations are much less crowded, the expertise is festive, and snow brings its personal particular magic to any scenario.
Should you’re searching for lovely, entertaining, and good for the soul kinds of weekend journeys from Montréal to the encompassing areas of Québec, these options are all about consuming nicely (together with maple issues!), having fun with adventures in nature, and R&R.
1. Spa, Farm-to-Desk Eats, and Snow Actions at Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature (Eco Resort)
Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature sits on 1000 acres within the Mauricie area and gives the whole lot from actions to a Nordic-style spa and scrumptious farm to desk meals.
The rooms characteristic an enormous comfortable mattress, hearth, and furnishings that’s made on-site utilizing locally-sourced supplies.
I beloved that the meals is native too, with the eco resort rising a lot of its personal choices, together with elevating its personal animals and sourcing 80% of the opposite components from inside Quebec. They’ve their very own vegetable backyard, hazelnut bushes, winery, and their animals are raised consuming and residing nicely.
For dinner, I loved a winter salad with fennel and blueberries and for my principal, a wild boar pasta with maple glaze and Brussels sprouts – it was so distinctive I simply needed to strive it! Plus I’m simple to promote on something with maple syrup.
There’s an abundance of winter actions, too, together with a winter horse carriage, fats biking, Nordic snowboarding, horseback using, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The grounds are charming, with a picturesque windmill, chapel, and 35km of trails to select from.
My private favourite was the Nordic spa – one thing I miss dearly from my days residing in Europe and need we had within the US. For these not within the comprehend it options swimming pools of various temperatures, sauna, and leisure rooms. I additionally loved a prenatal therapeutic massage with Stephanie who knew simply easy methods to relieve my decrease again ache.
Hardly ever have I stayed someplace that had so many issues to supply multi function place. I beloved that it’s additionally not solely family-owned and operated, however a number of prolonged native households work on the resort as nicely, making it a real neighborhood effort. Le Baluchon Éco-villégiature is about 2 hours from Montreal.
2. Ma Yourte au Coeur des Collines Yurt Keep
I adored my keep at Ma Yourte au Coeur des Collines. It’s set in an enthralling forest the place I skilled nothing however pure peace and quiet.
I stayed within the Kamook, which has home windows to the forest behind and allowed me to look at the falling snow from inside my well-heated domicile, full with a full kitchen, sitting space, comfortable mattress, deck, hearth pit, and composting rest room.
The grounds characteristic a number of yurts, which I used to be additionally capable of go to, that may accommodate small households, in addition to a chalet, jungle health club for youths, a brief strolling/snowshoeing path, and a scorching tub. I used to be there within the early spring, however within the colder winter months when the lake is absolutely frozen, visitors can play ice hockey, too.
I used to be additionally handled to a fondue dinner and charcuterie breakfast, additionally with locally-sourced components, two add-ons you possibly can ask the great proprietor, Man, about. Guide it right here (although this web page is barely in French, Man speaks nice English and may be contacted whereas reserving should you want help).
3. Sugar Shacks within the Jap Townships
If planning your getaway in March to early April, get excited, as a result of it’s maple harvest time! It is a Québecois specialty that I beloved experiencing for a peek into native tradition and clearly, LOTS of maple syrup tasting.
Although there are a lot of, I visited two very totally different, however each great, maple farms whereas within the space.
Érablière Bernard in Granby
This feminine-owned, sixth era maple producer and sugar shack gives weekend festivities throughout harvest season, picnic in a bucket, and year-round maple merchandise of their store.
Their farm and property options an interpretive path with their historical past of maple manufacturing and harvest, in addition to maple taffy on snow with numerous toppings through the weekend sugar shack season. You’ll discover they’ve a intelligent tubing system between the bushes that enables them to pump the maple water to their facility the place they run it by a reverse osmosis system, adopted by boiling to create the tip product – scrumptious maple syrup and extra. Study extra right here.
Cabane du Pic Bois in Bromont
Steeped in custom, the Cabane du Pic Bois is a good likelihood to see how maple syrup, taffy, and maple butter are produced the old school manner. The 4th era proprietor, Andre, nonetheless collects his harvest straight from buckets individually hanging from every tree, and boils the maple syrup for hours utilizing a wood-fired boiler.
I sincerely have by no means tasted higher maple syrup in my life. He gives a weekend sugar shack through the harvest season that includes taffy on snow, and guided excursions that may be booked by cellphone. Study extra right here.
Keep: I stayed in Bromont on the BEATNIK lodge close to the Balnea spa. I like to recommend consuming on the town at Chardo Restaurant for some scrumptious native choices targeted on native recreation, forest merchandise like mushrooms, and wine, or for the veggie lovers on the market, Gaia Cafe was great, too. There’s additionally a small ski resort close by!
4. Mont-Mégantic Nationwide Park
Parc nationwide du Mont-Mégantic shouldn’t be solely pretty for climbing, however excellent for star-gazing, too. As the primary Worldwide Darkish Sky Reserve in North America, it’s been internet hosting star viewing throughout their astronomy evenings for the general public for the reason that ’80s and includes a very well-done ASTROlab onsite with interpretive signage in each French and English.
The nationwide park is within the snowiest a part of southern Québec and gives over 60km of trails, 40km of that are excellent for snow-shoeing. You may lease snowshoes or crampons on the nationwide park HQ if wanted.
When you have the time and the vitality, I like to recommend climbing to the telescope for some unbelievable views of the icy bushes and surrounding mountains. I didn’t have a transparent sufficient day for stargazing or sunsets, however I nonetheless beloved the view from the highest and particularly the Whoville-like bushes. When you have much less time or need to do a shorter path, the rangers within the HQ communicate English nicely and might present some suggestions based mostly on the present climate and your needs.
Keep: Aux Berges de l’Aurore is a small BnB in a home that’s over a century previous, a couple of minute’s drive from the park entrance. They serve a beautiful dinner every night (allow them to know upfront that you really want this) and a breakfast within the morning with recent fruit, espresso, and once I was there, crepes!
5. SPA Eastman for a Mini Retreat
Positioned in a 356-acre property, the SPA Eastman is the primary spa in Canada and all through the years has provided holistic wellness from the meals to the actions, spa, and lodging.
Based within the ’70s by Jocelyna Dubuc, a former schoolteacher, the spa is predicated on her private expertise of self-healing by meals, meditation, and way of life. Every day there are a number of actions starting from Qi Gong to Essentrics, all based mostly on mindfulness and motion for the physique. There’s additionally a Kinesiologist and Naturepath onsite, therapeutic massage, a number of swimming pools of various temperatures, saunas, and even a lake for the final word chilly plunge.
I beloved the meals essentially the most, with a give attention to anti-inflammatory gourmand delicacies. The whole lot served is gluten and dairy-free, that includes locally-sourced components, lots of which they develop themselves with out utilizing chemical compounds or pesticides. Study extra and ebook right here.
6. The Laurentians and Choices to the West
This was my second go to to Québec, with the primary happening within the fall exploring the Laurentian area, together with Mont Tremblant ski resort, Parc Omega Wolf Cabin, and extra wonderful meals. Learn extra right here for my options for this area as nicely.
All through each of my visits, I’ve come to understand Québec for its emphasis on holding issues native and family-owned and run. It makes accountable tourism a lot simpler and is healthier for the planet, our palettes, and the expertise total. There’s at all times a private contact that I discover inviting and charming, and when there’s maple syrup concerned, nicely, that simply seals the deal!
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*This publish was dropped at you in collaboration with BonjourQuebec. All ideas on the scrumptious maple the whole lot and beautiful wintery experiences are, as at all times, my very own.