loading spinner
20512
Québec

Québec Town and Country: History, Arts, Landscapes, Flavors

Discover the story of French Canada by train, learning about renowned artists, unusual politics, stunning vistas and world-class cuisine as you voyage from Montréal to Québec city.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20512RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,799
Québec

Québec Town and Country: History, Arts, Landscapes, Flavors

Discover the story of French Canada by train, learning about renowned artists, unusual politics, stunning vistas and world-class cuisine as you voyage from Montréal to Québec city.
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,799
Program No. 20512 RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 12 - Jun 20, 2022
Starting at
2,799
Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2022
Starting at
2,899
Jul 24 - Aug 1, 2022
Starting at
2,899
Aug 7 - Aug 15, 2022
Starting at
2,899
Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2022
Starting at
2,899
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 12 - Jun 20, 2022
Starting at
3,779
Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2022
Starting at
3,879
Jul 24 - Aug 1, 2022
Starting at
3,879
Aug 7 - Aug 15, 2022
Starting at
3,879
Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2022
Starting at
3,879

At a Glance

Learn about French Canada's history and way of life as you visit three of its most fascinating destinations by train: the multicultural metropolis of Montréal, the historic capital of Québec city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the rural Charlevoix region along the St. Lawrence River, a World Biosphere reserve. Find an amazement of art, history and culture as you take in the views of Québec’s rustic countryside on this remarkable journey by bus and train.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day; some standing; some stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Journey along the spectacular mountains and seashore of Québec on a scenic train ride from bustling Québec City to the rural charms of Charlevoix.
  • Discover great Canadian artists, Inuit and modern, while exploring the region’s great museums and art galleries.
  • Learn about Canada’s unique “shared monarchy” at the residence of the Governor General.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Michel Jutras
Originally from Montreal, Michel Jutras holds a master's degree in the management of cultural organizations and has extensive experience in leading educational excusions. Passionate about researching history, especially the history of the dietary and culinary traditions of Quebec, he is working on a large collection of ethnological texts, the first volume of which has already been published, while the second is currently being printed.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Michel Jutras
Michel Jutras View biography
Originally from Montreal, Michel Jutras holds a master's degree in the management of cultural organizations and has extensive experience in leading educational excusions. Passionate about researching history, especially the history of the dietary and culinary traditions of Quebec, he is working on a large collection of ethnological texts, the first volume of which has already been published, while the second is currently being printed.
Profile Image of Marie Legroulx
Marie Legroulx View biography
Marie Legroulx, a native of Québec City, has a bachelor's in history and a master's in Québec literature. She taught French and Québec literature at local universities for over 20 years. In 2008, she returned to college to become a professional in the tourism industry, and has since been leading historical, architectural and literary explorations. Québec history and language are topics close to her heart since she is a twelfth-generation Québécoise whose ancestors settled on the St. Lawrence River in the mid-seventeenth century.
Profile Image of François Gariepy
François Gariepy View biography
François Gariépy, a native of Québec City, has lived in Montréal, Santiago de Chile, and now in Baie-Saint-Paul, Charlevoix — a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. He is a recognized professional in international development and tourism for Charlevoix, actively promoting the region in the Canadian, U.S., Mexican, and European markets. François is trilingual with a passion for people, traveling, and cultures. He will be delighted to introduce Road Scholars to Montreal, Québec City, and the Charlevoix Region, addressing everyone’s interests in an enthusiastic, instructive, and secure manner.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Montreal & Quebec City Guide – Lonely Planet
by Montréal-based authors
Montréal and Québec City really serve it up. You've got old-world grandeur, new-world sensibilities and big-city charms - there's enough neighbourhoods, restaurants and festivals to keep you mon-dieu'ing for months. This guide, penned by Montréal-based authors, gets you straight to the action. The Lonely Planet website has options to buy and download individual digital chapters from this book in addition to the full guide.
Where the River Narrows
by Aimee Laberge
This novel sweeps across the centuries, from the French royal court to the founding of Québec City in 1608, from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to the FLQ Crisis. Against this rich panorama, the daily lives of the Tremblay family unfolds over generations.
A Short History of Quebec
by John Alexander Dickinson and Brian J Young
A Canadian classic, A Short History of Quebec offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the province from the pre-contact native period to present-day constitutional struggles. The authors bring a refreshing perspective to the history of Quebec, focusing on the social and economic development of the region and its diverse peoples.
Shadows on the Rock
by Willa Cather
Set in seventeenth-century Canada, an evocation of North American origins highlights the men and women who struggled to adapt to the new world even as they clung to the one they left behind. The novel covers one year of the lives of Cecile Auclair and her father Euclide, French colonists in Quebec.
The Two Solitudes
by Hugh MacLennan
First published in 1945, and set mostly in the time of the First World War, this story revolves around the life and times of the fictional character Paul Tallard and his struggles in reconciling the differences between his English and French Canadian identities.
The Tin Flute
by Gabrielle Roy
The Tin Flute is a classic of Canadian fiction. This moving story focuses on a family in the Saint-Henri slums of Montreal, its struggles to overcome poverty and ignorance, and its search for love.
Champlain's Dream
by David Hackett Fischer
In this enthralling biography, acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer brings to life the remarkable Samuel de Champlain—soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France.
Bury Your Dead
by Louise Penny
BURY YOUR DEAD has come out to some spectacular results - hitting the extended New York Times bestseller list, as well as the USA Today and bestseller lists in Canada! It has been named one of the Top Ten Mysteries/Thrillers of 2010 by Amazon! This sixth Gamache mystery is set partly in the tiny fictional (and oddly murderous) village of Three Pines, in Québec’s Eastern Townships. However, most of the action takes place in Quebec City, a vibrant and sophisticated fortress city that lives in the present while guarding its past. It’s February and bitterly cold in Quebec City, but Chief Inspector Gamache barely notices. He's consumed with grief and guilt over his past mistakes. He spends his time with his now-retired mentor in the peaceful library of the Literary and Historical Society, a bastion of the dwindling English population. If Gamache thought death was finished with him, he was wrong. The body of a celebrated eccentric is found in the Lit and His, and Gamache is drawn again into hunting a murderer. The victim was an amateur archeologist with a monomaniacal pursuit to find the body of Samuel de Champlain. This is the great mystery that has haunted Quebec for centuries - Where is Champlain? The founder of Quebec died 400 years ago, and while the burial places of nuns, farmers and minor functionaries of the time are known, no one knows what became of the Father of Quebec. How could this be? As Chief Inspector Gamache digs through the crime and the venerable old city, it becomes clear the murder is rooted in this 400 year old mystery, and in people long dead but perhaps not buried. It also becomes clear to the Chief Inspector that to find the truth he needs to confront his own ghosts, and bury his own dead.
A People’s History of Quebec
by Jacques Lacoursière and Robin Philpot
A People’s History of Quebec is a lively guide to a little-known part of North American history. It tells of the settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley, as well as the Montreal and Quebec-based explorers and traders who travelled, mapped, and inhabited most of North America.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
9 days
8 nights
18 meals
7 B 1BR 4 L 6 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Montreal, QC
D
SpringHill Suites Old Montreal

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30-5:45 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table on the Mezzanine level to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other Orientation: We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Plus, a few useful tips to enhance your stay in French Canada. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At a popular steak house restaurant on rue St-Paul, the oldest street in Montréal, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée, dessert of the day, and beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Exploring Montréal
Montreal, QC
B,L
SpringHill Suites Old Montreal

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot dish, waffles, cereal, fruit, bread and pastries, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach with a local expert and ride through some of Montréal’s neighborhoods as we learn about history, architecture, immigration, and the astounding underground city that features a 20-mile network of pedestrian walkways. Along the way, we will make some stops to sample culinary specialities.

Lunch: At one of the city’s numerous cafés, we’ll order from a menu.

Afternoon: With our Group Leader, we will go by motorcoach to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) for an overview of the Quebec and Canadian art exhibition. Founded in 1860, the MMFA has an outstanding permanent collection representing artistic achievements from antiquity to the present day with paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs, and decorative art objects in four major areas: international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Québec and Canadian art that we will explore with a museum docent. Returns to the hotel will be via taxi in small groups for those who wish to leave earlier or stay later.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to go out and explore independently, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

DAY
3
Explore Old Montréal & Discover Canadian Art
Montreal, QC
B,D
SpringHill Suites Old Montreal

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Led by an expert, we’ll set out on a walking field trip in Old Montréal. We’ll learn about the delicate transformations of public art and architecture, and why the importance of blending old and new is at the heart of this urban conversion to create the Montréal of today.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to independently explore Old Montréal, Pointe-à-Calliere Museum, the port, the Botanical Garden.

Dinner: In Old Montréal, we will have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (chicken, fish, steak), dessert of the day, and beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
4
Basilica de Notre-Dame de Montréal, Train to Québec City
Quebec City, QC
B,L,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Baggage aboard the train is limited to one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag per person. We will carry our baggage when we transfer to the train station. There it will be loaded onto the train for us; keep carry-ons with you. The train ride is about 180 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Upon arrival in Québec City, we will retrieve our baggage and load it onto a van for transfer to the hotel where it will be taken to our rooms.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take a short walk to the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal for an expert-led exploration followed by a presentation for our group of the fabulous organ by the Basilica's titular organist. We will then walk back to the hotel and check out, take taxis to the train station, and board a train for the transfer to Québec City.

Lunch: Aboard the train, we’ll have box lunches from a local bakery with a sandwich, salad, and soft drink, coffee, or tea.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Québec City, we will take taxis to our hotel for check-in with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: We will walk to a renowned pub in Old Québec for a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (meat, seafood, vegetarian), and dessert of the day, plus beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar.

Evening: Walking back to the hotel, we will begin to explore the streets of the Old City and see the famous Chateau Frontenac.

DAY
5
Québec City History & Architecture, Musée de la Civilisation
Quebec City, QC
B,L
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; varied terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will be joined by a local expert who will tell us about the history of Québec City — the birthplace of French America and the first settlement in Canada. This stimulating lecture will highlight different aspects of the city's present-day social and economic realities. Led by our expert, we will go for a walking field trip through Québec's Historic District and be charmed by the very European atmosphere of its quaint streets as well as the history and architecture. There are two parts, the Upper Town that was the fortified area and the Lower Town that developed around the Place Royale and the harbor. The Historic District of Old Québec is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. From the inscription: “A well-preserved integrated urban ensemble, the Historic District is a remarkable example of a fortified city of the colonial era, and unique north of Mexico.”

Lunch: At one of the city’s numerous cafés, we’ll order from a menu.

Afternoon: Led by a local expert: Explore the unique Exhibition This Is Our Story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century at the Musée de la Civilisation. Discover what it means to be aboriginal in the 21st century. This permanent exhibition takes an in-depth look at today’s aboriginal cultures, from their diversity, worldviews, beliefs, and ways of identifying with their pasts, to contemporary expressions of aboriginality around the world. Enjoy free time to explore Quebec City (we will provide suggestions of places to explore)

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Governor-General's Residence, Musée des Ursulines
Quebec City, QC
B,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Led by an expert, we will visit the Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada, located within the Citadelle of Québec and overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River; a historic building housing an important collection of art and period furnishings. Québec, the cradle of French civilization in North America, is a repository of history and culture from the French, English, and Canadian periods. Its old fortified boundaries of the British fortress — La Citadelle — are the only such remaining walled defenses on the continent. It includes the official Québec residence of the Governor-General of Canada. After a terrible fire in 1976, it was restored with Canadian materials throughout to showcase the city’s history, modern cultural sensibilities, and outstanding artists.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We will re-group at the hotel and walk to Le Musée des Ursulines, an art and history museum where we will learn about the rich heritage of the oldest teaching order in Canada including Québec’s religious and social history. The remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Old Quebec, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), 4 choices of entrée, dessert of the day, and beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
7
Train to Baie St-Paul-Charlevoix
Baie St-Paul & La Malbaie - Charlevoix
B,L,D
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Activity note: For the night of Saturday August 31, it will be possible to leave your luggage at Hotel Manoir Victoria in Québec and bring only a carry-on for the overnight stay in Charlevoix. Getting on/off a motorcoach; on/off a train. Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride the short distance to stop at the foot of Montmorency Falls. This is one of the most scenic spots in Canada. The spectacular falls are nearly 100 feet (30 meters) higher — though much narrower — than Niagara. Then we will transfert to the train station at Ste-Anne-de Beaupré and ride the train from Ste-Anne through beautiful scenery of the Charlevoix region along the St. Lawrence River to our destination, Baie St-Paul. We expect to arrive before lunch at the lovely village of Baie St-Paul, renowned for its numerous art galleries and artisan workshops.

Lunch: Lunch in one of the charming Café of Baie St-Paul, La Muse.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration with a list of suggestions, Musée d'Art contemporain and/or the Art galleries. 3:00 pm: we will board the motorcoach, drive from Baie St-Paul to La Malbaie (30 miles), and check in at our historic hotel, the Manoir Richelieu, perched high above the St Lawrence River.

Dinner: Dinner in La Malbaie or at the hotel, we’ll order from a menu.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
8
Train to St-Joseph de la Rive, Return to Québec City
Quebec City, QC
BR,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach, on/off the train. The train ride is about 1 hour. Walking up to 2 miles.

Morning: With a local expert, we will visit the Charlevoix Museum and attend a talk on the history of art in the region. We will then go to Domaine Forget, a music and dance academy in Saint Irénée.

Brunch: At Domaine Forget, we’ll have a buffet lunch featuring local gastronomy. As we dine, we will enjoy music performed by a guest of the Academy.

Afternoon: We will transfer to the train station and travel from Ste-Irénée back to St-Joseph de la Rive along the St. Lawrence River and see more of the magnificent shoreline. Stepping off the train in St-Joseph de la Rive, we will take a walking field trip with a local expert to visit a local landmark: the Papeterie St-Gilles, a paper-maker and the first economuseum. We will have a close up look at the intricate process of crafting traditional handmade paper. We will be able to see unique patterns, watercolors, binding, silk-screen prints, and original decorative objects by masters of their crafts. We will then return to Québec by motorcoach and check back in at our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (meat, seafood, vegetarian), and dessert of the day, plus beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar. Share experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
Quebec City, QC
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.