Step 1: Getting there
An arrival the day before is preferable to get off on the right foot! Enjoy a good ol' family road trip by arriving directly from Charlevoix via routes 170 and 381, from Quebec City via route 175, or from the North Shore via route 172. You could also choose to travel by air or rail to get to the region, either by plane at the Saguenay-Bagotville airport (YBG) or by train with arrivals in Chambord or Jonquière.
Step 2: Make the most of it
DAY 1: WITH FAMILY AND A VIEW OF THE FJORD
As soon as you arrive in the region, head straight for the Village-Vacances Petit-Saguenay. It's the perfect place to spend your first moments with your family. Located on the edge of the fjord, directly in the beluga whale corridor, keep your eyes open to admire these white whales and swim with the tides. You'll experience amazing adventures and precious moments with your family thanks to great programming ranging from mud baths, to swimming pools, to hikes and even shows. While you're there, you might even spot a Philip having a soothing mud bath.
Tips from the guide: Many families choose this destination to spend a whole week with their family, for the pleasure of young and old. Commonly known as VIVA, the Village-Vacances ia an all-inclusive resort, offering accommodation, food and programming for children by age group and even parents!
DAY 2: FOLLOW THE SPIRIT OF THE FJORD
Enjoy a relaxing morning sunbathing on the beach at VIVA or head straight on the road and make a few stops along the way. First, you'll pass the picturesque village of L'Anse-Saint-Jean and then the village of Rivière-Éternité, where you can take a wonderful hike to see the cliffs up close.
In the afternoon, visit the Musée du Fjord in La Baie. Immerse yourself in the world of the Saguenay Fjord and learn more about the marine life that inhabits this waterway. You will be able to attend the various temporary exhibitions at the museum, as well as explore the fjord aquarium, the vivarium and a museum-like Philippe Laprise!
You can also take advantage of your visit to discover the outdoor activities offered by the museum. With your rubber boots on, go and explore the organisms that inhabit the shores of the Baie des Ha! Ha! Allow a good half-day for all these activities.
In the evening, attend the iconic show La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume at the Théâtre du Palais municipal in La Baie. This immense historical live performance will take you through the history of Quebec through the main events that took place in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. On stage, more than a hundred passionate actors portray 1600 characters in a breathtaking visual and audio display.
For the night, several lodging options are available, including the Hôtel Le Montagnais, which is the largest hotel in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Psitt... The indoor water park will add a splash of fun to your evening!
DAY 3: LAND AND SEA
Today, leave the car at the Pavillon des Croisières de La Baie as you will take advantage of a unique means of transportation to get to Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux. It is aboard the Navette maritime du Fjord. Our spokesperson's tip: pack a lunch of regional products or go for a 1 km walk that will take you to La Vieille Ferme, next to the Parc Aventures.
A day at Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux, located in Saint-Fulgence, is synonymous with variety. This park offers a wide range of outdoor and ecotourism activities such as hebertism courses for all levels (3 years old minimum). A day of via ferrata, sea kayaking, fishing, not to mention its splendid beach where it's just nice to hang out and relax. While on site, come and say hello to our adventurous Philippe Laprise.
DAY 4: KICK BACK
Today, go to Alma and stop at the tourist information office there. Gather information for the rest of your stay. Well informed, it's time to head to Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon where you can bike, hike and enjoy the beach.
The Pointe-Taillon National Park is home to miles of fabulously rich shoreline. The warm, fresh waters of Lac Saint-Jean are a delight for water sports enthusiasts, as well as for swimmers at the supervised beach. The park's cycling network totals 45 km, 16 km of which are linked to the Véloroute des Bleuets.
Tip from your guide: In August, a visit to Lac-Saint-Jean would be incomplete without a tasty basket of freshly picked blueberries. Simply stop at a vendor along Highway 169 or pick your own at a blueberry farm if the weather permits.
DAY 5: SAY HELLO TO THE ANIMALS
Discover the animals of the Borealis at the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien. You will be immersed into the Boreal ecosystem in all its splendour. During your tour, you can admire the animals as you walk through the different sectors, watch a multi-sensory film and visit the Nature Trails Park on the train.
JOUR 6 : UN BAIN DE CULTURE
Hit the road this morning for a trip back in time. Today, you will explore the Village historique de Val-Jalbert and the Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh.
Guide's suggestion: Depending on your interests, you could add to your itinerary a day at the l’Ermitage Saint-Antoine in Lac-Bouchette, or at the Centre de villégiature Dam-en-Terre d’Alma.
On the way, veer off to Mashteuiatsh, the Ilnu community of Lac-Saint-Jean. Pekuakamiulnuatsh Discover their culture with a guided tour of the community and a visit to the Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh with its fascinating exhibits. Download the mobile application for the "On the Trail of the Ilnu" heritage tour and follow the route on foot, by bike or by car for the whole family to enjoy!
Take a historical tour and learn about the culture and traditions of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation. You can even get your hands dirty in the manufacturing workshops, fun for young and old alike. With the help of local artisans, you will craft objects that you can keep at the end of the workshop. This activity helps you learn about the origins and beliefs of the community and their culture. At the end of the workshop, you can come and say Kuei to our spokesperson!
Then, head to the Village historique de Val-Jalbert, an authentic 1920s company village. Meet many of the village's inhabitants, visit period buildings before stopping at the foot of the pulp mill to contemplate the gigantic Ouiatchouan Falls. Come and admire the view from the lookout by taking the cable car or by making the courageous choice to climb the steps! Between a class at the little village school and a game of geo-rally, you might even run into an olden days Philippe Laprise.
Step 3: Continue your stay !
The itinerary is coming to an end, but the region still has a ton of activities to offer. Want to continue your adventures in the region? Check out Phillipe Laprise's various itineraries to discover a multitude of summer offers that will make you want to stay even longer on holiday in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
Last tip from the guide: This trip can also be done "the other way around" by arriving directly in Chambord via route 155 from the Mauricie region or the 175 via Quebec. You will simply have to reverse the order in which you visit the companies, but the excursion is just as worthwhile and when you finish in Petit-Saguenay, why not opt for a whale watching trip or continue the pleasure in Charlevoix