Québec – a Canadian Province in Winter

I am invited by the Canadian Specialist Program for tourism professionals and bonjour Québec to visit the Québec region for five days in winter. With me are six other tourism professionals from all over Germany. To the German blog.

the Canadian Flag

This report has not been commissioned and is solely a reflection of my opinion. This FAM trip was paid for by CSP and bonjour Quebec. By naming it, it becomes an advertisement.


Our journey begins in the morning with the Air Canada flight from Frankfurt to Montreal. Jérôme Poulalier is our tour guide from bonjour Québec.

our goodie bag of bonjour Québec

The flight is almost fully booked. With the good entertainment programs on board, the 8 hours of flight time pass quite well.

To enter the country, Germans need an eTA, an electronic entry permit. When you arrive in Montreal, you scan your passport at one of the many immigration machines, answer a few questions and get a receipt for it and are then allowed to enter the country.


We are met by a representative of bonjour Québec and escorted to the bus. For five days our charming bus driver Amy will drive us through the region of Québec.

Some Facts about Québec

The province of Québec is about three times the size of France but has only around nine million inhabitants. The city of Québec has about 600,000 inhabitants and is located on the St. Lawrence River, which connects the Great Lakes. This is where the Apallachian Mountain range begins to rise, extending far into the United States. In total to about 2400 km. Therefore, downhill skiing is quite possible here in winter.

passing Montréal on the highway

Winter can last almost 6 months and temperatures often drop below minus 25 degrees Celsius.

There are not very many main roads that run through this province, many remote places are only accessible by plane.

There are many indigenous communities throughout the province, one of which we visit on the first day.

Wendake, a suburb of Québec Cité

After a three-hour drive, we arrive in Wendake, a district of Québec Cité, and our first hotel, the Hôtel – Musée Première Nations. Like so many houses here, it is built of wood and has an attached museum about the indigenous people in this region. Unfortunately, it is currently closed as it is being renovated.

the entrance to Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations in Wendake

Everything is very cozy inside, also with a lot of wood, the rooms are large and equipped with indigenous features. The hotel complex is connected to a traditional nave, which can also be visited.

Dinner will be served at the restaurant La Traite , which is located in the basement. Here, too, the indigenous motto goes on and so the dishes are based on traditional cuisine.

Afterwards we drive some minutes to

Onwah‘ Lumina

This is a year-round light installation that runs about 1.3 km through a forest. Films and images are projected into the landscape. In addition, it is accompanied by music. The projections convey the culture, history and life of the indigenous communities that have lived here.

Hôtel de Glace

The day begins with a tour through  the Hôtel de Glace in the Village Vacances Valcatier, just a short drive from Québec City. In summer it is a huge outdoor water park, now in winter it is a tobogganing paradise that we like to test. That´s a great day trip from Québec Cité!

Next door, the Hôtel de Glace is rebuilt year after year. With blocks of ice from the nearby river and snow from the surrounding area. Every year it has a different motto. This year’s theme is “Historic Timeline”.

outside of Hôtel de Glace 2024

All individually designed suites are designed by various artists under this motto and the wall decorations are formed from the snow. In addition, there is furniture made of ice. Even a small fireplace is not missing, even if it only warms the heart, not the room.

one of the suites of Hôtel de Glace

There are also simple rooms and suites with private saunas.

one of the suites in Hôtel de Glace with private sauna

Each room also includes a room in the hotel for changing and showering.

The hotel can be visited by the public until 8 p.m., from 9 p.m. each guest gets a sleeping bag and there is a night’s rest until 8 a.m.

The church of ice hosts weddings and musical performances. Delicious drinks are served in the ice bar.

Not far away we visit the

Resort Entourage sur-le-Lac

The resort is located directly on Lac Beauport, not far from Québec City, and offers many outdoor activities in summer and winter. Now, a 3 km long circuit for ice skating on the lake has been cleared of snow. In addition, there is an ice hockey field and ski slopes nearby.

the ice skating ring and ice hockey field at Lac Beauport

The rooms are a good size and are even equipped with a gym bag, which includes a yoga mat, among other things.

Hotel Entourage sur Le Lac

The whole resort is very modern. I especially liked the restaurant I’llot . It has an open kitchen, very modern design with a very high ceiling and open views of the lake.

a wine selection at Restaurant L´Îlot

The dishes are mainly made from regional products.

At the Tourist Bureau of Charlevoix

we are warmly welcomed and informed about this area and the province of Québec. For tourists, this area is ideal if they are looking for outdoor activities. Hiking, skiing, fishing, mountain biking are just a few of them.

the MRC of Charlevoix in Baie-Saint-Paul

If you are also interested in culture, Baie-Saint-Paul has a collection of many galleries on Rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Small cafes and restaurants invite you to take a break or enjoy a good meal.

house-in-Baie-Saint-Paul in Québec
winter decoration of one of the houses in Baie-Saint-Paul

In Malbaie we stay for two nights in the

Auberge des 3 Canards

This small hotel stands elevated above the Saint Lawrence River with a wonderful view over the whole bay.

the entrance to the Auberge des 3 Canards

It is traditionally furnished and the rooms in the main house are all different sizes, and each is decorated differently.

the view from the Auberge des 3 Canards over St. Lawrence River

The restaurant has a good reputation in the area, and we are also very fond of the delicious food.

In the morning, we will receive an exclusive guided tour of the

Charlevoix Museum

At the moment there is a large special exhibition of the contemporary painter Riopelle, but I am not allowed to post pictures about it.

the Museum of Charlevoix in La Malbaie

Part of the museum displays paintings and other works of art by local artists.

a piece of art in front of the museum

Not far away is the

Hotel Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

The hotel was modelled on a castle and celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2024. It was built of wood in 1899. After a fire, it was rebuilt in 1929 according to the original appearance, but this time made of stone. There are several Fairmont castle hotels in the province of Québec.

the entrance to the Fairmont Manoir Le Richelieu

It stands above the Saint Lawrence River. Different room categories of the approximately 400 rooms and suites offer a breathtaking view over the river, which is currently partly iced over. Unfortunately, it is snowing heavily today, so we can only see as far as the icy river bank.

the view from the hotel Fairmont over the St. Lawrence River

The very traditionally furnished hotel offers many amenities, such as an exceptionally large fitness room, a lovingly designed children’s playroom, a large spa area with an indoor and outdoor pool, which is now heated to about 38 degrees in winter. Many of the other sports activities are already included in the resort fee.

one of the official rooms in the hotel

Congresses are also often held here. We are invited to lunch in the Bellerive restaurant. Many of the ingredients offered at the hotel are regional or made especially for the hotel.

the indoor swimming pool at Fairmont Manoir Le Richelieu
gamer room at the hotel

To stretch my legs after the sumptuous and very tasty meal, I walk along the snowy “path of the planets”, which leads round trip about 7 km through the forest. Again and again with an otherwise fantastic view over the river.

This is also where the Via Ferrata begins, which some of us are now trying.


In this still very young brewery and distillery  in the province of Québec in Charlevoix, we learn more about beer brewing, they even export to Germany ! Gin and whiskey are also produced, but the whiskey is still too young to be tasted. So, we then try the other products, which are really good..

some of the brewery tanks at Menaud

Bistro 245

Inside, the Bistro245 looks a bit like an alpine restaurant, with the walls made of logs and the rustic interior. It seems to be very popular because in no time all the tables are occupied. Again, we are spoiled with a very tasty meal!

Imago Village

We check in here around noon. It is located in the mountains of the Saguenay-Lac-Sait-Jean in the province of Québec, about 225 km from the last location.

The special things about this small holiday village are the yurts in which we will sleep.

There are some that only contain the beds and some sort of small kitchenette, but no running water.

The newly built yurts are almost entirely made of transparent plastic, which is suspended with fabric to protect privacy. These also contain a kitchenette, a dining area, a sitting area and a bathroom with shower and toilet. On top of that, you can reach the open attic via a ladder, on which the two large beds are located. So, up to four people can sleep here comfortably.

good morning from my yurt

The highlight is the transparent roof, if you don’t like that, you can cover it do. It´s wonderful to watch the night sky with thousands of stars, I immediately see the Big Dipper and Orion and early in the morning the new day wakes up with a blue hour over the mountain ridge. It’s romantic when you’re snuggled up in bed!

Above the complex is a large yurt, La Yourte, the restaurant and bar for lunch and dinner.

Between the yurts is the breakfast bistro, Café Giallo.

After lunch, the adventure begins! We are invited for the

Snowmobiling (Ski-Doo)

However, these are not conventional snowmobiles that make a lot of noise, scare the winter wildlife and pollute the environment with their gasoline fumes. No, we get to try out the very first electric snowmobiles! They are brand new. As well as the overalls and helmets that we receive as not to freeze on the ride.

Driving is quite easy, on the right you press the accelerator with a lever and on the left is the brake. A large display shows how fast you are driving and how much power is left in the battery.

safety first!

Then we start with two guides. Through narrow passages in the snow-covered forest, uphill and downhill, over frozen lakes. A total of 22 km, with a break in a hut on a mountain where we will receive a hot coffee or other drink. In total, we make about 400 meters of altitude before we drive back. We are on the road for almost 4 hours and near the end we can admire the sunset over the mountains.


In Saguenay, which lies at the end of the long fjord of the Rivière Saguenay, we find hundreds of small huts on the ice.

Ice Fishing

is a popular sport in Québec and can be practiced by anyone.

We try that out today. Despite the cold with minus 12 degrees Celsius, we all decide to try fishing at an outdoor ice hole. The sun is shining, the snow is glistening on the ice and why go into one of the propane heated huts when the air outside is so wonderfully fresh and pure?!

the frozen fjord with lots of fishing huts

We get a brief introduction, and the short rods get equipped with a bait. Now we have just under 2 hours to try our luck.

Since I can’t tolerate fish, I actually hope that no one will bite, although the others would certainly eat it. Our Canadian guide brought a pan just to be on the safe side!

sitting in front of your hole in the icy of the fjord

But no matter how hard we all try, no one bites, so we’re not sad about it, because it was still fun. We didn’t freeze either because we all wear appropriate winter clothes.

At the Auberge des Battures

We are warmly welcomed and can first admire the magnificent view over the frozen fjord with the small huts on it. The hotel has a wonderful location and due to its proximity to the town of Saguenay, all summer and winter activities can be easily reached from here. From about May to September, it can even happen that you can watch whales from the window.

behind the curtains, the fjord is visible

The chef almost outdid himself with the delicious lunch. Unfortunately, we hardly have time to take a close look at the spacious rooms, because in Québec a last highlight of the trip is waiting for us.

We drive a good three hours to

Quebec Cité

and check quickly into the

Hôtel Château Laurier Québec

The hotel is situated within walking distance of the old town and still quite quiet. The hotel is winding, so I use the wrong elevator at first, which doesn’t even go to my floor.

Some others of the group also wander around a bit before they find the right lift to our hotel wing.

The hotel has a large indoor pool and a fitness center. In the morning we enjoy a reasonable breakfast buffet.

Now it’s time to put on thick clothes, because at 6 p.m., when it’s completely dark, the

Carnival of Québec

starts. Many roads are closed so that the parade can pass through the city. Thousands of people are already standing waiting behind the barriers. A balcony is reserved for us, from which we have a good view over the parade.

Then the spectacle starts! Music groups, colorful floats with acrobats and other carnival groups pass us by. It’s loud and cheerful!

We received a traditional scarf for this event, which is worn by many spectators as a belt around the waist. This is also part of the tradition of the carnival.

Around 7 p.m., the parade is over, and the crowds quickly disperse in all directions.

Our bus driver Amy is already waiting for us on a corner to take us to the farewell dinner in the

Restaurant Il Teatro

As the name suggests, it is located in the Québec theater. It’s quite stylish and you ´ll need a reservation. The Italian-inspired food creations are interesting.

Since it is not far from the hotel, we walk back.

Old Québec City Walking Tour

Before we fly back from Montréal this evening, we have the chance to explore the old town of Québec on foot this morning.

Since we stay elevated on one of the hills, we walk downhill. Past the parliament building, through a city gate.

the famous Bonhomme at the park in front of the Parliament building

To warm up, we visit the Anglican Cathedral, which is the only building still in its original state, as it has never burned down like all the other old houses in the old town center. We are lucky to listen to the organist as he practices.

the organ inside the Anglican Church

We continue past and briefly enter the Hotel Fairmont Le Château de Frontenac, a landmark of the city, which is situated above the Saint Lawrence River, which is still completely shrouded in fog, so that we can’t even see the opposite shore yet. But the sun is doing its best and soon we can see the buildings on the other side.

the famous Fairmont Le Château de Frontenac

We end the tour in the oldest quarter of the city, now an artists’ quarter, where only regionally produced products may be sold.

The Place Royale with its pretty houses is our finishing point of the city tour

the oldest part of Québec

Montréal Trudeau International Airport

From Québec we drive about three hours to the airport. The roads are wonderfully cleared of snow and there is little traffic.

At the airport we say goodbye to our bus driver Amy, who was a wonderful driver! She unloads us at the terminal for flights to the USA, as we get an officially farewell by a representative here.

Then we walk through the hall to the international departures area, where we check in at the self-terminals and handle the suitcases ourselves.

Minutes later, we have passed the automatic passport control and can relax a little before the departure.

Conclusion of this trip through Québec:

It was short but incredibly informative! The Québec region is worth a visit, whether in summer or winter, as there are many activities possible at any time of the year. In autumn, the Indian summer attracts visitors with its incredibly beautiful leaf coloring.

English is spoken in most tourist places, so no one has to worry about the language barrier as French is spoken here. In a pinch, a translation app will do the trick.

I bought a weekly flat rate for Canada from my mobile phone provider and had the best connection everywhere. Not only for the phone, but also for the internet. Thus, a round trip in a rental car can be easily driven with Google Maps or one of the other map apps.

Credit card payment is possible everywhere, cash is hardly necessary. An eTA is required for Germans to enter Canada, you´ll get the information at your Canadia Consulat.

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You can find even more winter adventures here!

I’m looking forward to your likes and comments!

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Here are a few more pictures:

sunset while snowmobiling
an ice sculpture in Québec
the kitchen area inside my yurt
still misty over the St. Lawrence River in Québec

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Recent Comments


    • Gabriela
      February 29

      Yes, that sounds good, even if I haven’t tried it.

  1. Anonymous
    February 27

    Hi Gabriela, thank you for your very interesting insights about Quebec. This region is usually not coming to my mind when thinking about traveling during winter times, but after reading your blog I will have a closer look when planning the next tour.

    • Gabriela
      February 27

      That is certainly a good idea! There is so much to see and nearly endless activities!
      Have fun,

  2. Collin J
    February 27

    A great report that paints a truly appealing picture of the region. Thanks for this report, Gabi and keep up the good work.

    • Gabriela
      February 27

      Thank you,that is very kind of you!
      Best regards

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