Traveling along the 470 kilometers of the Navigators' Route, which runs along the majestic St. Lawrence River between Baie-du-Febvre and Sainte-Luce, is a journey back in time. It is the epic of those sailors who braved the oceans in order to make our corner of the country what it has become: a welcoming land, rich in unique maritime heritage.
In the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, the Route des navigateurs, which stretches over 190 kilometers along Route 132, reveals many landscapes, breathtaking panoramas that will make you dream. The visitor can stop in any of the seaside villages, which all have their own particular history.
You will notice many Victorian-style houses facing the river. Do not forget that several of these villages were very popular seaside resorts. You can dip a toe ... if you are brave! As you head eastward, the water temperature gets... let's say ... a bit chillier.
In the course of your epic voyage, you will notice that the distance between shores gets wider and wider. In Rivière-du-Loup, the St. Lawrence River is already 23 kilometers wide. Many residents call it "the sea". By the time you get to Rimouski, it looks like it goes on forever.
Ports of call and ports
In order to guide the visitor well and help make the most of his experience, the meaningful stops are identified by sails. The Bas-Saint-Laurent region has no fewer than 18 home ports, that enable you to learn more about the river and 26 stops where you can admire or access the river.
In Kamouraska, embark with Zodiac Adventure to enjoy the marine and winged fauna. Our region is a privileged layover for thousands of seabirds. Kamouraska is also the interpretation site of the eel, where Gertrude Madore will tell you everything about this unusual fish.
A little further east, in Saint-André, the Ecological Society of the Battures (shoals) of Kamouraska (SEBKA) offers you wild campsites a hop and a skip from the river. You can also practice sea kayaking and climbing natural walls.
In Rivière-du-Loup, you must see the lighthouse on the Pot à l’eau de vie island (Brandy Pot Island), beautifully restored by the Duvetnor Society, which is one of our must-sees. You can visit the island and the lighthouse and perhaps even sleep over. Also at the Rivière-du-Loup wharf, Croisières AML offers whale-watching tours. You may get to see the blue whale, the largest mammal in the world.
The tourist circuit of L'Isle-Verte is unmatched, especially in terms of its heritage. Visit the Court of Justice as well as Maison Louis Bertrand. From there, take the ferry and go to Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs island, to visit the lighthouse, the oldest in Quebec (1809).
In Trois-Pistoles, following a kayak trip with the specialists of the Island Sea Kayaking Coop, treat yourself to an excursion on Île aux Basques, where you will find vestiges of the passage of the Basque people who came here chasing the whale to extract its oil and bring it back to Europe.
Not to mention the superb panorama of the Bic islands and their National Park, epics with Aventures Archipel, excursions to observe the seals on Île Saint-Barnabé, river cruises offered by Relais Nordik, discovery walks with Navigation Boréalis, and the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historical Site where you will learn all about the sinking of the Empress or Ireland and visit a real submarine, the Onongada.
Complete your adventure on Promenade de l’Anse-aux-Coques along the beach. Catch back your breath: Route des navigateurs offers some 30 stopovers!
© Entête : Kamouraska, Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent, B.Lavoie; 2e photo: Quai des Trois-Pistoles, Tourisme Bas-Saint-Laurent, B.Lavoiee