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10 things to do in Quebec in summer

10 things to do in Quebec in summer

Canada Québec Quebec activities

Quebec in summer really is what it’s cracked up to be. Wide open spaces, forests as far as the eye can see… Nature really is what you’re looking for when you come to Quebec in summer. But hiking isn’t the only way to enjoy it!

Let me help you make the most of Quebec as soon as the fine weather permits  with 10 things to do in Quebec in summer

the view on the saint-laurent river in charlevoix

Some of the links I recommend are affiliated and marked with a star. This means that I receive a small commission if you use my link to book your activity. It’s totally free for you, but it helps support the blog, so thanks in advance!

10 things to do in Quebec this summer

Most of these activities have been tested by me. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!

Discover a national park

Quebec is a province known for its green spaces. To protect them, there are several national parks – 24 in total! I really think this is a must. You can’t come to Quebec in summer without visiting at least one national park. 

They’re pretty much spread out across Quebec, so whether you decide to stay in Montreal, Quebec City or take a Quebec road-trip, you’ll have the opportunity to access at least one of them.

As I said just above, there are 24 national parks in Quebec, and it would be a bit long to list them all here, so I’m just going to focus on the ones I’ve been lucky enough to visit and the ones I’ve been most recommended to visit.

La Mauricie National Park

La Mauricie is my favorite national park. I’ve been there several times. It’s quite large and offers sublime views.

view on the la mauricie park with a lake and forest

It’s particularly well maintained and easily accessible. If, like me, you’re not into hiking, Mauricie Park is for you. A road runs through the park, allowing you to get close to the most beautiful viewpoints.

Mont Tremblant National Park

Mont Tremblant is about 2 hours from Montreal. It’s one of the most accessible parks in the city.

national park mont tremblant

I’ve also had the opportunity to go there several times. I find that the hiking trails are a little less well marked than in the Mauricie park, but it’s just as extraordinary. 

You might think that all parks are alike, but the views in Mont Tremblant are really different. Around a bend in the road, you may come across a small lake, for example.

If you’d like to take advantage of this by making a detour through the town, I suggest you take a detour to visit the town of Mont Tremblant. You can check out my article about it!

Saguenay Fjord National Park

This park is a little further from Quebec’s big cities, but it’s magnificent. I’ve just passed through a few times, but I’ve never done any real hiking there.

saguenay view from baie sainte catherine

But the main reason I went there was to observe the fjord. It really is a breathtaking landscape.

Gaspésie National Park

I’m obliged to mention the Gaspésie national park because, even though I’ve never been there, I hear it’s the most beautiful! 

It takes several days, even weeks, to explore its nooks and crannies, so vast is this park.

Gaspésie is more than a ten-hour drive from Montreal, so you can’t really plan a visit on the spur of the moment. But if you get the chance to push on to the Gaspé, you won’t regret the trip.

Jacques Cartier National Park

Parc national de la Jacques Cartier is the closest park to Quebec City. It’s the ideal park if you want the perfect mix of mountain, river and forest. The 3 elements blend perfectly!

As gentle as the slopes may be on the Montreal side, you won’t be disappointed at Jacques Cartier Park!

A little anecdote: This park is named after Jacques Cartier, the famous man from Saint-Malo who discovered Canada.

Via ferrata

Via ferrata is a popular summer activity in Quebec. There are routes in many national parks, but not only! I saw one right next to the Chute Montmorency.

Via Ferrata is the ultimate outdoor activity, because you’re so close to nature. Whether along steep rock faces or via suspended footbridges, you’ll experience a moment of suspension.

Or so I’ve been told! I’d never do it, because I’m too afraid of heights. But if that’s not your case, I hear the panoramic views from the mountainside are magical!

Hiking to the most beautiful peaks

I really wanted to propose a “hiking” activity, because even if you can do it in the national parks, there are plenty of other possibilities, without having to drive for hours.

Here are some of the most beautiful hiking spots I’ve seen in Quebec in summer:

Owls’Head Mountain

I went there in autumn, so my photos are a little orange! But in summer, the view is just as beautiful! The gradient is quite steep, but if you take your time, you’ll get the hang of it.

owls head mount in automn with a breathtaking view on Magog Lake

Mount Orford

Mont Orford is one of the best-known peaks near Montreal. It’s very extensive, and when you reach the summit, you’ll have breathtaking views of the surrounding park.

Mont-à-Peine Falls

If you love waterfalls, this is the place for you. There are several paths along the watercourse, offering truly sublime views. In some places, you can even take a dip. The water is a little cool, but on a hot day, it’s good for you.

mont a peine waterfalls in quebec in summer


If you’re more the 2-wheeled type, there are over 12,000 kilometers of bike paths in Quebec

In town, you can rent bikes. From Bixi stations in Montreal to direct bike rentals, there are plenty of options.

In the countryside, Quebec is criss-crossed by a network of dedicated bike paths. Actually, National Geographic has declared it the most beautiful bicycle route in the world.

In the mountains, numerous sites have been developed for fatbike riding. Of course, it’s a little more adventurous, so if you’re looking for a thrill, this is the option for you.


Rafting in Quebec in summer is a bit of a rite of passage. I’ve done it twice since I’ve been here, and I’m not particularly fond of it!

experience a rafting activity in quebec during summer

For the record, rivers used to be used by log drivers to move logs from the cutting area to the sawmills.

That’s why there’s no shortage of rafting spots: there are plenty of rapids. Each time, we chose the Rivière Rouge as the place to go rafting, but there’s no shortage of options.

I wouldn’t recommend this activity if you have young children, as it can get a bit rough, but if you’re a thrill-seeker, you’ll really enjoy it.

If you’re interested in doing it where I did, you can buy your tickets here.*

Whale watching in the St. Lawrence River

Probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in Quebec: whale watching. From May to October, cetaceans swim up the St. Lawrence, and it’s possible to observe them near Tadoussac.

whale watching in quebec near tadoussac

The whales swim right up to the mouth of the Saguenay fjord, where plankton thrives and the water temperature is ideal.

I had chosen to take an excursion to get as close as possible to the animals (while maintaining a safe distance), and I loved it. The cruise was led by a naturalist who taught us lots of things. Along the way, I saw beluga whales, seals, whales and even porpoises.

If you’re interested in doing the same cruise, you can buy your tickets here*.

It’s also possible to take the same trip, but in a zodiac. Of course, this is less comfortable, but regulations allow you to get a little closer to the animals (keeping a safe distance all the same).

If this option appeals to you, you can buy your tickets here.*

Observe a bear or moose (with a guide)

In summer, it’s not out of the ordinary to come across a bear or moose while hiking. Personally, I’ve never been that lucky (or unlucky?).

If that’s really one of your goals when planning a trip to Quebec in summer, you can increase your chances by hiring a naturalist guide. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you’re bound to see them, but guides know the area and the animals’ habits really well, so the possibilities are greater.

If you’d like to increase your chances of encountering a bear, you can buy your tickets here if you fancy the experience!*

Kayaking in the Saguenay Fjord

As I mentioned above, the Saguenay Fjord is truly magnificent to behold, and one of the best ways to discover it is by kayak.

My partner, Sébastien, did it on his first summer in Quebec, and he’s always told me it was one of the best things he’s ever done!

If you’re lucky, you might even see some animals right next to your kayak!

Attend a festival

Quebec in summer is also synonymous with festivals. Everywhere in the province, entertainment and events are multiplying. Wherever you choose to stay, I’m pretty sure there’s a festival nearby.

If it’s Montreal you choose, check out my article on festivals in Montreal, where I list all the events taking place in the city.

Take a tour of craft micro-breweries

You might not know it, but Quebec is a major beer-producing province. As a result, there are many craft micro-breweries throughout the province.

visit a microbrasserie in quebec

If you’re a fan of this hoppy beverage, it could be a fun activity to add to your schedule.

Personally, I’m not a big fan, but Seb is an absolute fan, so here’s his selection of favorite microbreweries in Quebec:

I hope my tips will help you plan your discovery of Quebec this summer! Feel free to leave me your recommendations in the comments ????

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Sarah - Carnets Vanille

Hello! I’m Sarah, a Malouin at heart, living in Montreal for a few years. Carnets Vanille is an opportunity for me to combine my two passions, writing and travel, by sharing with you about the two corners of the world that excite me, Quebec and Brittany. I share my discoveries, provide tips to help you plan your visits, and also offer recommendations on the best restaurants and accommodations.

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Plan your trip with my ebook “Discover Saint-Malo” !

180+ pages in PDF or EPUB about Saint-Malo and the Emerald Coast. Works on your tablet as well!
Buy for 9,90€