The best winter activities on the Saguenay Fjord
Quebec is a magical destination to discover in any season, but even more so in winter! In this article, we take you all the way to the Saguenay Fjord for winter adventures like you can only find in Canada.
When you think of winter in Quebec, you might think of Montreal and its winter festivals, or Quebec City and the famous Quebec Winter Carnival. These are two unmissable destinations for enjoying the pleasures of winter. There are also plenty of outdoor and adventure activities in the area, such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and fat biking, but today we'd like to invite you to look a little further north to make your winter holidays in Quebec even more unforgettable!
Open a map, find Quebec City, then head up the St. Lawrence River and through the Charlevoix region to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region to discover the best winter activities around the Saguenay Fjord.
Discover our selection of winter activities that make the Saguenay Fjord and the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region a must-see destination this winter!
To discover the best winter activities around the Saguenay Fjord, we suggest you follow an itinerary from Quebec City or Montreal to discover the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. To begin with, you'll need to hire a car: don't worry, Quebecers are used to it, and you'll be able to drive easily even in winter.
First you'll have to head north for 2? hours from Quebec City or 5 hours from Montreal to reach Baie-Sainte-Catherine, at the junction of the Saguenay Fjord and the St Lawrence River. Once there, you and your car can take the free ferry across the Saguenay Fjord: departures are every 20 minutes and the crossing takes just 10 minutes. The ferry will drop you off on the north shore of the fjord at Tadoussac, a popular summer whale-watching destination. From there, it's just a 20-minute drive to the 5-star Ferme in the small town of Sacré-Coeur.
A - Sled dogs on the Saguenay Fjord
Dog sledding, or dog sledding as it's known to Quebecers, is a must in Quebec winters, and we particularly recommend this activity organised by the Ferme 5 Étoiles holiday centre on the banks of the Saguenay Fjord. Their huskies are eager to take you exploring the trails and discovering the snowy, mountainous landscapes of the Saguenay Fjord and the Tadoussac region.
Once you've recovered from your encounter with the sled dogs on the Saguenay Fjord, we invite you to head back west for 1 hour of snow-covered roads along the Saguenay Fjord to the picturesque little town of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord.
B - Ice fishing in Sainte-Rose-du-Nord
Looking for a typical Quebec experience? Ice fishing in Sainte-Rose-du-Nord is ideal for this: the idea is to hire your fishing cabin and all the equipment from Aventure Rose des Vents, then share it with your partner, friends or family. Venture out on the Saguenay Fjord together, cozy up in your ice fishing cabin and experience the thrill of fishing like Canadians in the middle of winter!
After enjoying Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, look up towards the mountains and drive 45 minutes to get a bit of height over the Saguenay Fjord to reach the incredible and wild Monts-Valin, known for their large quantities of snow during the winter!
C - Snowshoeing in the Parc des Monts-Valin
A snowshoe hike in the Parc des Monts-Valin is a must on your winter holiday around the Saguenay Fjord. Discovering the SEPAQ national park in this way will allow you to take full advantage of the incredible nature, landscapes and environment! After this activity, you'll finally be able to say, without being shy, that you've seen a lot of snow and even hiked among the peaks of the snow-covered boreal forest...
After the Monts-Valin, we invite you to head back down to the fjord and head even further west for a 1hr 15min drive to the mouth of the Saguenay fjord, and more precisely to Saint-Gédéon on the shores of Lac Saint-Jean. Here you'll find a slightly different landscape, almost reminiscent of a winter desert or a completely frozen sea.
D - Snowmobile ride on Lac Saint-Jean
Lac Saint-Jean, considered an inland sea by Quebecers, is immense, which makes snowmobiling the ideal way to discover it in winter. Équinox Aventure's instructors know Lac Saint-Jean inside out and will guide you along the trails between the boreal forest and the frozen lake.
After this little diversions for snowmobiling on Lac Saint-Jean, it's time to get back in the car for almost 2 hours to return to the banks of the Saguenay fjord and reach L'Anse-Saint-Jean! If you want to take a break halfway along the route, we invite you to stop in Saguenay, the largest city in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, where you'll find plenty of superb restaurants open even in the middle of winter!
E - Electric snowmobiling in the Saguenay from L'Anse-Saint-Jean
Electric snowmobiling is a new activity in Quebec and around the Saguenay Fjord! If you enjoyed your snowmobile outing on Lac Saint-Jean, you should love this snowmobile excursion from L'Anse-Saint-Jean. The winter landscapes of the Saguenay fjord are very different, and the electric snowmobile will allow you to explore them in silence while reducing your impact on the environment and local flora and fauna!
Without hitting the road, because L'Anse-Saint-Jean is a really great place to discover in winter, we invite you to stay put and discover the next activity, which is my personal favourite for this winter!
F - Ski touring in the boreal forest of the Saguenay Fjord
This ski touring excursion on the Saguenay Fjord is particularly impressive! Imagine going ski touring on the Saguenay Fjord, completely frozen, with a guide who also knows the trails in the heart of the boreal forest inside out, in the middle of winter, to get the most beautiful scenery!
Now that we've come to the end of our winter tour of the Saguenay Fjord, we hope we've inspired you to find out more about the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. From L'Anse-Saint-Jean, it's a 3.5-hour drive to Quebec City and a 6-hour drive to Montreal. If you want to take a break on the road, we recommend stopping off to discover the towns of La Malbaie or Baie-Saint-Paul in the Charlevoix region!
As you can see, we strongly recommend that you discover Quebec, and the Saguenay Fjord in particular, in winter. There are many other activities to discover in addition to the above recommendations. Check out all our activities in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region!