Walking and Hiking in Québec City

Take daily hikes across four centuries of history and French Canadian heritage in the urban UNESCO setting of Québec City with enjoying plenty of time for independent explorations.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 23165RJ
5 days
Starts at
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5 days
4 nights
8 meals
4 B 2 L 2 D
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Quebec City, QC
Le Monastère des Augustines

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. Walking up to a mile in the heart of the Old City

Afternoon: Program Orientation. At 5:00 PM meet in the hotel conference room for an orientation to the program and introduction to your fellow participants. Your Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.This program is staffed with an expert Study Leader who will also serve as our Groups Leader. We will set out with our Study Leader who will provide expert commentary as we stroll through the streets of the Old City to the famous Château Frontenac and form our first impressions of Québec as we begin to explore the city. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the Monastery restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), 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.

Old Québec City, Architecture & History
Quebec City, QC
Le Monastère des Augustines

Activity note: The historical district of Quebec City is built on the hight of Cape Diamond, a 300 feet elevation above the river. Be prepared for dirt trail in the morning, steep hills (ascent and descent) challenging staircases, cobble stones and narrow streets in the afternoon. We walk for about 5 hours.

Breakfast: At the monastery, we will have a buffet featuring fresh fruits, bread and jams, yogurt, cereals, granola, applesauce, hardboiled egg, veggie pâté, chia pudding, cashew yogurt, fritata, waffle or beans in vegan sauce, tea, herbal tea and filtre coffee.

Morning: We will regroup in the Monastery lobby and set out on our first walking field trip through the Plains of Abraham. Walking from West to East, we will follow the nature path that runs along the cliff. Long before the historical battle of 1759, the area situated just outside the city wall was famous for the diversity of its natural resources. Heading towards the East, we will climb on the fortifications for an overview of military and civil architecture. In the wall city, we will learn about the various districts marked by the presence of French, English, Scottish, and Irish who left a significant legacy of architecture, economic, and political heritage. As we reach Cap Diamond, we will have an amazing view of Québec’s natural harbour made of three very ancient geological formations.

Lunch: At the famous Château Frontenac, we’ll have a 2-course plated meal with choice of entrée (prepared specially for us as hikers), dessert of the day, and beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar. The Frontenac — one of the landmarks of Québec City and the most photographed hotel in the world — boasts a fascinating history. It was named in honor of Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, who served as the governor of France’s colony in Canada during the late 17th century. Bon appétit!

Afternoon: With our Study Leader, we will explore the lower part of Old Québec near the river — including Quartier Petit-Champlain — that represents centuries of compromises and struggle between people and geography, to facilitate defense and economic development while protecting the natural bounty of the St. Lawrence. The Quartier Petit-Champlain is the site of Québec’s first port. As one of the city’s original neighborhoods, it has gone through various periods of development, decline, and revitalization. Today, after an extensive restoration project, the district exudes an Old World atmosphere with historical architecture and buildings dating back to the 1600s, narrow streets, artisans and craftsmen, charming boutiques, and much more. Before dinner, we will gather in a local bistro for camaraderie and drinks (on your own).

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

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy an opportunity for the excitement of more independent discovery. Our Study Leader will have plenty of suggestions for where you can go and what you can do.

Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
Quebec City, QC
Le Monastère des Augustines

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. The drive to Vallée de la Jacques-Cartier is about 30 miles, less than 1 hour. The beginning of the trail is uphill and downhill on a former forest road. There will be option for an extension (1mile) through a narrow trail with stone steps, roots, dirt and rocks. The main trail is mostly shady and follows the Jacques Cartier river. We walk for about 4h30 over approximately 5 miles.

Breakfast: Monastery Buffet.

Morning: We will venture out to the Laurentian massif for a hike in one of the most ancient mountain ranges in the world, home of the Parc National de la Jacques Cartier. The main feature of the park is the famous Rivière Jacques Cartier (Jacques Cartier River) put under the protection of the Park Act in 1981. The river has carved its passage down to more than 1,800 feet (550 meters) below the top of the plateau in a valley that existed even before the glacial period. During the hike with our Study Leader, we will learn about the ancient trail connecting Quebec to the Saguenay through the floating timbers period that ended in 1978. The Jacques Cartier national Park is an environmental testament to the role of nature and geography in the development of Canada. Focusing on area history before the European arrival up to modern time, the hike will provide insights into local conservation efforts of this historical salmon river and protected glacial valley.

Lunch: In the National Park, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll return to the hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to stroll through the Old Town or enjoy coffee and a digestif in a café or bar.

Île d'Orléans, Montmorency Falls
Quebec City, QC
Le Monastère des Augustines

Activity note: Getting on/off a school bus. The drive to Île d'Orléans is about 30 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. The trail begins and finish in a woody area: expect dirt and mud. On the river bank, mostly small rock, overstepping some stones and walking on unstable sand. We walk for about 3 hours covering about 3 miles.

Breakfast: Monastery Buffet.

Morning: Our next field trip is to the Île d'Orléans (Orleans Island) that has been called “a shining jewel in Quebec's crown.” It is the largest district under the protection of Cultural Property Act and first agricultural settlement of Nouvelle France. After crossing the bridge, we will drive to the eastern tip of the island and immerse ourselves in a wide open view over the estuary where fresh and salt water mix. A leisurely walk along the riverside will bring us to the intertidal area for a closer connection with the mighty Fleuve St-Laurent (Saint Lawrence River). As we explore, we will learn about its wildlife and navigation. We will then ride to St-Jean, considered the most beautiful village of the Island, renowned for its typical neoclassic architecture.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in St-Jean. There are boutique restaurants, a bakery, and snack bar.

Afternoon: After lunch on the island, we stroll along Montmorency falls Park for a visit to the 272' Montmorency Fall, a spectacular force of nature rich with military, economic and cultural history.

Dinner: At a renowned restaurant in Old Québec, 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. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner at this restaurant noted for its local “farm to table” gastronomy.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a last evening together with new friends, step out to see another spot in the city, sip an after dinner drink at a favorite café, or just relax. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Program Concludes
Quebec City, QC

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

Breakfast: Monastery buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding pro-grams in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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