Road Trip to Tadoussac
With so much to do and discover in Montreal, why on earth would anyone drive for 4 or 5 hours to another part of the province? Because, whales.
Tadoussac is located where the warm, salty waters of the St-Lawrence meet the cold, fresh waters of the Saguenay, making it a really unique and vibrant ecological spot.
Surrounded by gorgeous mountains with fresh air breezing off of the soothing water, you feel like you’re in a European vacation village. There are beautiful hiking trails that provide stunning views of the river and mountains, helicopter and seaplane expeditions to give you a whole new appreciation for the unique landscape, as well as boat tours to discover the fjord. As Tadoussac received its first European visitors in 1535, the village is also steeped in rich (and controversial) history.
So many species of whales come to this spot and the specialized boat excursions let you get right up close (but not too close!) to these incredible animals.
Croisieres AML offers whale watching cruises on either large boats or smaller boats called Zodiacs. Zodiac boats are not for kids 5 and under, but the large boats welcome all ages. If you opt for the Zodiac, the tour company will provide you with waterproof pants and jackets and you will quickly find out why as you zoom across the bumpy waves!
On our tour, we saw Belugas, Fin whales, Humpbacks, Minke whales and the long-finned pilot whale, although there are a total of 13 different types of whales that can be seen along the Whale Route, which extends from Tadoussac out to Blanc-Sablon. Because of the abundance of krill in the region (the preferred diet of these whales), it is considered one of the best whale watching locales in the world.
In fact, there are so many whales travelling, playing, eating and just hanging out that you can even see them from the hiking trails along the water. We hiked the Sentier de la Pointe de l’Islet Trail and caught several sightings of the massive creatures.
In addition to whales, you’re also likely to see seals and a variety of migratory birds.
If you plan a visit, we highly recommend camping, as the mountainous view, calming water and fresh air are the perfect way to recharge your batteries. If you’re more the “indoorsy” type, there are several hotels, motels, Airbnbs and the absolutely stunning Hotel Tadoussac.
But the best part about Tadoussac? The name. There are several theories about the origins of “Tadoussac”, but our favourite is that it is derived from the indigenous Innu word for “bosom” and refers to the two conveniently placed rounded hills west of the village. So, plan a roadtrip to Tadoussac and enjoy our nation’s bosom ;-)