The Charlevoix region is super popular with cyclists for so many reasons: the circuits are engaging, the 360° landscapes are breathtaking, the countryside is steeped in serenity, and there are attractions to charm everyone who comes to visit. The proposed circuit, Entre fleuve et montagnes (Between river and mountains), is the best of two worlds: an extraordinary view of the St. Lawrence River that blends perfectly with the mountains of Charlevoix that make this region world famous.
Attention! This course is ideal for intermediate or expert cyclists due to its significant elevation and challenging climbs. Read this article for the circuit’s technical details and ensure proper preparation.
This circuit begins on one of the most beautiful scenic roads in North America, the St. Lawrence Route. Although demanding, this route presents the most beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River along with the soothing aromas of the ocean. At the beginning of the circuit, a break at the Belvédère de Baie-Saint-Paul invites you to take the time to admire the magnificent view of this dynamic and cultural city’s bay. The other option is to stop at the Haltes Cratère at the edge of the Les Éboulements village, where you can find sheltered tables, toilets and water.
Once you arrive in the heart of the Les Éboulements village, the Chocolaterie du Village offers a satisfying stop for your sweet tooth. At the very top of the coast, delightful alpacas romp in the fields. It’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to stop for a few moments to visit the Alpagas Charlevoix farm, where they turn the animal’s wool fibres into unique and high-quality products. It’s difficult to say goodbye to these endearing little beasts with their impressive woolen coats. Next, it’s on to the Miellerie du cratère de Charlevoix that appears to the right of the scene and will instantly charm you.
The descent to Saint-Irénée reveals one of the most beautiful views of the river that many never get the chance to see. In Saint-Irénée, time stands still at the beach or at the Jetée des Capelans (Capelan pier). Across from the beach, the Le Sainti restaurant features local products and encourages you to refuel before starting the village’s famous climb, which is among the most beautiful villages in Québec. Still in Saint-Irénée, but this time onto the heights, a visit to Domaine Forget de Charlevoix is a must. Treat yourself to a walk and stretch your legs in the heart of the splendid Jardin harmonique de Sculptures (Harmonic Garden of Sculptures), where monumental artworks embellish this remarkable setting.
If you prefer to complete the circuit in two days, La Malbaie, Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, Notre-Dame-des-Monts or Sainte-Agnès offer accommodations that will have you falling deliciously into the arms of Morpheus.
The moment you enter the village of Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, be sure to make a gourmet stop at Fourchette et Vinaigrette, where an always welcoming and friendly couple create healthy dishes in a pretty ancestral home that also hosts the old village general store. On the menu: sandwiches, salads, beverages, snacks and desserts perfect for travelers. Their homemade energy bars are simply divine!
Now comes the moment when the Mountain Road seduces you with its tranquility and absolutely breathtaking views of the Charlevoix mountains dominating the landscape. On this road, to your left, you can even see the mythical home of Rose-Anna, the famous location for filming the legendary 1980s Québec television series, Le temps d’une paix.
Once in Saint-Urbain, take the opportunity to stock up on delicious local products directly from the producers at the Ferme Basque de Charlevoix, the Centre de l’Émeu de Charlevoix, the Charcuterie Charlevoisienne and the Viandes Bio de Charlevoix. On Route 138, add on a few extra kilometers to complete your provisions at the Famille Migneron de Charlevoix or at the Laiterie Charlevoix. There’s no better way to end a bike ride than an ice cream at the local dairy bar!
After an active day in the great outdoors, Le Bercail restaurant at the Hotel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix in Baie-Saint-Paul provides a relaxing atmosphere with an inviting patio that’s perfect for relaxing. A menu featuring fresh, comfort dishes with local products, will charm and satisfy. Take the opportunity to drop off your luggage at Hotel Baie-Saint-Paul, a lovely location for intrepid cyclists.