Cap-à-l'Aigle (Secteur de La Malbaie)
High above its capes, Cap-à-l’Aigle village brims with charm, offering superb views of the St. Lawrence River. Only 5 kilometres to the east of La Malbaie Bridge, Cap-à-l’Aigle is a dream destination for horticulture lovers. On rue Saint-Raphaël, deep in the heart of this country village where the architecture recalls a long tradition in hospitality, is the renowned Village des Lilas.
The lilac garden was created in 1997 thanks to the efforts of journalist Denis Gauthier. To sweeten the offer, Konrad Kircher, a horticulturalist of German descent, donated a rare collection of over 1,000 lilac plants, of which 200 varieties are there for visitors to discover across the four theme gardens that comprise the property.
Early June, under its banner Le temps des lilas, the village hums with excitement in expectation of the magnificent, fragrant lilac blossoms that not only enhance this one particular garden, but most every other property on rue Saint-Raphaël too. On this occasion, the street becomes a meeting place for artists and musicians. Le Temps des lilas is the perfect excuse to discover exceptional buildings, such as Saint-Peter-on-the-Rock Anglican Church, and the Bherer barn with its thatched roof. To complete the experience, pannels along the route provide visitors with helpful information.
Still in Cap-à-l’Aigle, the stunning Jardins de Quatre-Vents are gardens created by Mr Francis H. Cabot, philanthropist and treasurer of the American Rock Garden Society and COB of the New York Botanical Gardens. Jardins de Quatre-Vents only opens its gates four times a year, between June and August.
Ranked among the largest private gardens of our era and sprawling across some eight hectares, Jardins de Quatre-Vents was designed over 70 years ago. Here, no less than 1,000 different plant varieties may be appreciated. The site enjoys a distinct maritime climate, includes two main sections as well as a manor house. The architecture of the farm and its secondary buildings is in the old European style, with outbuildings and structures complementing the garden, of which a dovecot and a Japanese bridge. Evocative names like Allée des Oies contribute to making Jardins de Quatre-Vents a truly unique site worldwide. Referred to as "an extraordinary garden" by Jean des Gagniers in his impressive opus for horticulture lovers, the writer revisits each step in the creation of this stunning horticulral masterpiece.
Everpresent, the river also makes Cap-à-l’Aigle a prized rendezvous for vacationers of other types. Owing to their position between Québec City and Tadoussac, off a quasi deserted stretch of shoreline, Cap-à-l’Aigle’s port and marina are a prime destination for sailing enthusiasts seeking the pleasures of riding the winds and waves along this lovely section of coastline. To mark the end of the Québec sailing season, every weekend before Labour Day Cap-à-l’Aigle hosts regattas – La Course Triangle, la Coupe Crescent-Price and le Défi Edmond Desgagnés. A must-see!