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A Practical Guide to Camping in the Magdalen Islands

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The Magdalen Islands are a dream destination for tourists from Canada and abroad. Although officially located in Quebec, one must cross two other provinces, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, to get there by car from Montreal. Why not discover this beautiful archipelago by camping, in order to fully enjoy its magnificent nature and experience the islands differently? Here are some tips and tricks for a successful experience of camping in the Magdalen Islands.

What you need to know about camping in the Magdalen Islands

  • There are several campsites across all the islands of the archipelago, with different facilities and pitches. It is therefore important to do some research before you travel.
  • The campsites offer pitches for tents and caravans, and some also offer ready-to-camp options, glamping options, chalets or access to a hostel.
  • Many tourists take advantage of the idyllic locations throughout the archipelago to pitch their tents for the night. Care must be taken, however, as many large areas are actually private land. In some places it is even explicitly stated that overnight camping is prohibited.
  • If you plan to camp in July and August, reservations are essential and should be made about a year in advance. The Islands are a very popular summer vacation destination for Quebecers! If you are camping in the fall, be aware that the big gusts start in September and depending on the weather forecast, it may not be advisable to sleep in a tent. Many campsites offer alternatives such as chalets or ready-to-camp, which can be booked the same morning as there is less traffic.
  • Also check the closing dates of the campsites, as the tourist season on the islands ends around September 15th.
  • Plan to bring mosquito repellent: from July to September, especially at sunrise and sunset and near wet or forested areas, mosquitoes are very numerous.
  • The Magdalen Islands are 11 hours by road and 5 hours by ferry from Montreal, and 9 hours 30 minutes by road and 5 hours by ferry from Quebec City. It is also possible to get there by cruise ship or plane.

Corporation du Parc de Gros-Cap

74, chemin du Camping, L’Étang-du-Nord

Parc de Gros-Cap is a large campground with more than 100 sites for tents and RVs, as well as ready-to-camp options and a hostel. Tent sites are located in two small wooded areas accessible on foot, about a 5-minute walk from the sanitary block, while RV sites are located in a large open area.

Campers also have access to an enclosed shelter.

The biggest advantage of this campground is its location: it’s on a peninsula, so you can see beautiful sunrises and sunsets without even leaving your tent.

You can also participate in many activities for an extra fee, including yoga classes and kayaking.

Located on the island of Cap-aux-Meules, the campsite is an ideal base for exploring the island. Among the attractions not to be missed are the Quai viewpoint for a 360 degree view of the harbor, the La Poissonnière fish market, Cap Hérissé and its lighthouse, the microbrewery À l’abri de la Tempête, and Corfu Island beach, among others.

Chalets Campings Les Sillons

436, chemin Dune-du-Sud, Havre-aux-Maisons

Welcome to the island of Havre-aux-Maisons! Camping Les Sillons tent and camper pitches are located in a large open area, followed by a row of small chalets, a dune and the famous Dune du Sud beach. There is also a miniature golf course.

Campers have access to a few toilets scattered around the site, and showers and a common area (with microwave and toaster) are located in the reception building. The chalets have access to a full kitchen and bathroom and vary in size from one semi-enclosed bedroom to two bedrooms.

Staying at this campground means you’ll be able to watch spectacular sunrises and, of course, enjoy the beach, whether it’s for walking, reading, or exploring the red caves at low tide.

In addition, some of the most popular agritourism attractions of the islands are located nearby, including the Pied-de-Vent cheesemongers, the Fumoir d’Antan smokehouse, Le Barbocheux, and Miel en mer, as well as Butte Ronde, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the region.

For the perfect picnic spot, take the path opposite the cheese factory with your purchases of the day.

La Salicorne

377, Route 199, Grande-Entrée

La Salicorne is first and foremost an inn, but it also offers Bubbles, a permanent tent for glamping, as well as sites for tents and RVs in the heart of the island of Grande-Entrée. Definitely one of the top places to go camping in the Magdalen Islands!

The three Bubbles on the site offer all the amenities of a hotel, but with the benefits of camping: a real bed, an indoor table, a picnic table, and breathtaking views. Campers also have access to two sanitary blocks.

It is possible to simply spend the night on site, but the most enjoyable experience is to stay with a package. Packages include breakfast and a 4-course dinner, as well as three organized activities per day, nautical equipment rentals (canoe, kayak, SUP), and bicycle rentals.

Guests also have access to discounts on “Tours des îles” excursions and kayaking and caving excursions.

Nearby, do not miss a visit to the Pointe-de-l’Est National Wildlife Reserve, the Grande-Échouerie beach, Boudreau Island, and the Plongée Alpha Bistro, also known as “Mario Cyr’s Restaurant”, where you can attend conferences with the famous fisherman, in addition to tasting delicious dishes made with local products.

Cover photo credits: Caroline Colin/Bonjour Québec

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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