3
Introductory

Traveler Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 days cycling
Accommodation
  • 5 nights hotels and b&b's

Price

6 daysfrom

$675USD

Overview

Trip code: QBB

Trip highlights


  • Cycle the 256km bicycle circuit around Saint-Jean Lake near Quebec
  • Explore Point Taillon National Park
  • Experience Lac-St-Jean beaches and stunning views
  • Enjoy Blueberries, blueberry pies, blueberry chocolate and much more!
  • Sampling craft brews and cheeses
  • Learn about Indigenous history and Quebecois culture
  • Visit the Historic Village of Val Jalbert

The Véloroute des Bleuets is a 256 km/159 mile paved cycling circuit around Saint-Jean Lake, approximately 2 hours north of Quebec City. The well-established route offers a gentle ride through farmland, forest, small towns, lovely beaches and many small tourist attractions. Relatively short days of cycling allow you to truly discover the region with its warm hospitality and to indulge in the route's namesake - blueberries. Throughout the area, blueberries grow wild and are farmed from the end of July to the beginning of September each year. In season, you'll find them sold by the basket and throughout the year you will find them featured in menus and local products such as pastries, syrups, jams, chocolates and even combined with local game meat for a real local delicacy. Also along the route are fantastic microbreweries (microbrasseries), cheese shops and plenty of opportunities to sample Quebec's most famous dish - Poutine. The lake itself drains east into the Saguenay River fjord which in turn drains into the mighty St. Lawrence River. The entire tourist region is known as 'Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean'.


Itinerary

Please make your way to the joining hotel in Alma and enjoy its convenient location in the centre of town, near restaurants, shops, and the waterfront. Located on the southeast shore of Lac St Jean (pronunciation is closer to 'John' than 'Jean') where the lake flows into the Saguenay River, Alma was formed in 1962. Alma was formed as an important industrial center due to the construction of a hydro-electric dam on the Grande-Décharge River, a paper mill, and an aluminum smelting plant, during the 1920s and 1930s. All of these are still active today.

Meals:  Nil

This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the bicycle shop where you will pick up your bikes, make adjustments, and have a briefing by going over the maps. This is a good chance to ask any last minute questions before cycling off from the shop, which is directly on the Véloroute des Bleuets. This first day of cycling will include the crossing of a hydro-electric station, a ferry crossing, forest-lined roads and bike paths, bridge crossings, residential areas, and plenty of farmland. Before arriving in Sainte-Monique, our route takes you through beautiful Pointe-Taillon National Park, which has its own trail system and beautiful beaches. Overnight Sainte-Monique on the Peribonka River.

Meals:  B

After a delicious breakfast, the first half of your bike route is mainly along the edge of the Peribonka River until it veers north, away from the waterway and into the heart of the countryside. Although most widely known for its blueberry production, there are approximately 1000 farms in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region, growing everything from potatoes and green vegetables, to canola and fruit. Dairy and beef are the two main animal products to come from the region, with agrotourism and 'microfromageries' (cheese makers) contributing to the local culture. Overnight in Dolbeau-Mistassini, next to the pretty Mistassibi River.

Meals:  B

After breakfast at your accommodation, rejoin the bike route for the longest day of the tour through quaint stretches of peaceful farmland, alternating between the paved shoulder of route 169, and paved bicycle paths. There is an option to add another 44km/27miles to your route today on the partner network called 'Au Fils Des Rivieres' which takes you along a stone dust trail from the plains to the boreal forest, past a series of waterfalls, and along the Mistassini River where blueberries are ripe for the tasting. Paved backroads take you back to the main route at Albanel. From here, you continue through the town of Normandin, then along the Ashuapmushuan River to Saint-Félicien and your return to the shores of Lac-St.-Jean. The town of Saint-Félicien was founded in 1864 when the first settlers arrived from Charlevoix and Chicoutimi, drawn by it's location where ecologically-rich land met with the lake and the confluence of multiple rivers. Today, the town is best known as the centre for conservation of boreal biodiversity, but also enjoys a rich tourism industry with restaurants serving 100% local, organic produce, and a microbrewery where you can sample local beers.

Meals:  B

Enjoy another delicious breakfast before a beautiful day along the shore of the lake. The south side of the lake certainly offers the most detours and local attractions, so today's distance is short. It allows you to explore as much or as little as you desire. Highlights today include the town of Saint Prime and its 'fromagerie' (cheese shop and museum), the First Nations reserve of Mashteuiatsh with its interesting Amerindian Museum, and the historic village of Val-Jalbert, an authentic 'company town' of the 1920's. You could easily spend hours exploring the grounds with its charming original buildings, including an incredibly well-preserved schoolhouse, a restored general store, and an old mill situated at the base of a waterfall higher than Niagara Falls. Take the cable car to the top of the falls, or hike there via its canyon trails. Overnight in Chambord.

Meals:  B

Hop back on your bicycle after breakfast and head out on your way to complete your grand circuit! This section offers more incredible lake views and runs almost completely along rolling, smooth, and twisting bicycle paths. The terrain and the views make for a very enjoyable ride. In the town of Desbiens, you have the choice to turn 'off route' to the Parc de la Caverne Trou de la Fée, where you can enter an underground cave system and enjoy above-ground trails, waterfalls, and the ruins of a hydroelectric plant. Detour 15km/9.3 miles out and back along a paved, hilly back road. Highlights along the route include the gorgeous beaches at Métabetchouan and Saint-Gédéon (and the latter's microbrewery), and the quiet, designated roads and paths leading you back to your starting point across from the beach at Dam en Terre, just outside of Alma. The tour ends at the bicycle shop, but we are happy to arrange transfers to your next destination and/or add additional nights for you in Alma. There is also an option to add a two-day extension to the beautiful Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region for an extra challenge. The reward for this extension is a breathtaking view of the Saguenay Fjord.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 5 nights in 3-star accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 5 breakfasts
  • Hybrid bicycle rental including helmet, 2 panniers, and lock
  • 1 basic repair kit per 2 cyclists
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Navigation APP inclusive of detailed route notes and points of interest (available offline while cycling)
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Emergency Hotline

  • Optional electric-assist bicycle upgrade (extra cost, limited quantities)
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
  • Lunch and Dinner (suggestions are provided)
  • Additional gear rental is available at an extra cost. Please inquire.
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfers at end of tour (available at an extra cost)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Airfare, visas, travel insurance (required)
  • Applicable taxes

Accommodation


Bike information


Suitability

Introductory

3

Introductory. The Veloroute Des Bleuets is an easy, mostly flat, and paved 256 km cycling network of bike paths, paved shoulders, and designated low-traffic road surfaces. Distances each day are short, so this itinerary is suitable for even the most beginner cyclists, including active children 7 years and older. *Optional cycle route extension of up to 130km to La Baie on the Saguenay River is much more hilly and would be graded 'moderate' - for more experienced cyclists. Please contact us for details. Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!). Cyclists will be expected to know how to fix a flat tire and make basic adjustments to their bicycles using the included repair kit. Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7-day service hotline in the event of any problems.


Departure dates

Daily from mid-May through Mid-October

Notes

NB:
Limited local services available May to June and September to October
NB:
No discount available for bringing your own bicycle
Note:
Local services are shared/public, so solo travellers need only pay a single supplement for accommodation

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events or just tailoring a trip to suit your own needs - learn how you can tailor your own Customised Tour.

Total Priceper person from

$675USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
  • Child Discount (Under 12yrs with 2 full paying adults)USD$-163
  • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Extension (assuming double occupancy)USD$260
  • Electric Bike Supplement (on request, limited availability)USD$320
  • Single SupplementUSD$310
  • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Extension (assuming single occupancy)USD$400
* Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Our Expertise

Everyone who works with us, from our office staff, ground staff and guides is the ‘’real deal’’. Our team is comprised of actual hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region in which you will be traveling. Our entire network is highly-specialised in active travel.

Great Value

Quality services at the best price make our active trips great value for money. Having essential items included like National Park fees, accommodations, most meals, bikes for cycling trips, maps and support for peace of mind. Our inclusions allow you to better budget for your big adventure.

Innovative Itineraries

We look beyond the horizon to find new and exciting adventures. We’re passionate about shaping the next generation of outdoor travel in North America, and constantly seek different ways, routes and alternatives to exceed our clients’ dreams.

Eco Friendly

We are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability, formed when the company was established, and in the face of a multitude of threats to the environment, our commitment is stronger than ever. We aim to "leave no trace" in both an environmental and cultural sense.