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A Foodie Road Trip Around Québec’s Île d’Orléans

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Île d’Orléans, nestled in the St. Lawrence River 30 minutes east of Quebec City, benefits from a unique microclimate fostering its thriving agricultural landscape. With the majority of its land dedicated to farming, it emerges as an agritourism haven, offering abundant fresh produce and culinary delights. Beyond its fertile fields, the island’s rich historical heritage enhances its allure, solidifying its status as one of Quebec’s most captivating destinations. Below are some of our favourite things to do in Île d’Orléans.

What to see, do and eat in Île d’Orléans

Île d’Orléans is divided into six municipalities. Visiting the island can be as short as a day trip from Quebec City or on your way to Charlevoix or as long as a few days spent enjoying its beauty. It’s especially stunning in the summer as well as in the fall when the bright autumn foliage is at its height.

Saint-Pierre

As soon as you cross the bridge to Île d’Orléans (and admire the Montmorency Falls from afar), take a left on Chemin Royal (Route 368) that winds around the entire island. The first stop will be at Cassis Monna et Filles, a five-generation family business of liquorists. Cassis Monna are the first producers of black currant wines and liquors in Quebec. Here you can taste their wines and many other black currant products such as mustards, vinegars, syrups and more. You can also grab lunch or an ice cream cone and admire the stunning view from their terrasse.

Sainte-Famille

Further down Chemin Royal you will come across the only microbrewery on the island, the Microbrasserie de Île d’Orléans. Stop by for a pint or a bite at their pub Le Mitan and its beautiful terrasse in the back. Don’t fill up though, there’s still a lot more eating to do on the island!
 
Drive along Chemin Royal and admire the gorgeous views on either side of the road no matter what season it might be. Your next stop is Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans and its many artisanal cheeses. Stock up on cheese and a history lesson from the employees decked out in period costumes before you hit the road again.

Saint-François

A few minutes down the road is the Observation Tower, a tall wooden structure from the top of which you can get a breathtaking 360º view of the beautiful fields and surrounding vistas. The climb is well worth it and a great exercise to work up an appetite for the next few stops.

Saint-Jean

The next stop is La Midinette, an artisanal bakery in the Saint-Jean municipality further down Chemin Royal. Everything here is delicious, especially the fruit tarts made with island produce, but the croissants are an absolute must! If you are too full to eat, get some to go because you are going to want some later on.

Saint-Laurent

All that delicious bread from La Midinette would go incredibly well with the delightful jams from Tigidou made strictly with fruit and herbs grown on the island.
 
Le Moulin de St-Laurent in the Saint-Laurent municipality is one of the best restaurants on the island. If you are staying on Île d’Orléans overnight, make sure to book a table here or to stop by for lunch. The restaurant is located inside a 1720 flourmill and surrounded by the most enchanting greenery and falls. The menu is seasonal and features local terroir products. The Moulin de St-Laurent also has accommodations with a view of the water.
 
A little shopping couldn’t hurt at this point in the trip and 3 Poules à l’île boutique in Saint-Laurent is the shop to visit while on the island. Everything from vintage signs, embroidered linen, gorgeous dinnerware, fashion accessories, handmade jewelry and many more unique objects can be purchased at this charming boutique.

Sainte Pétronille

Your next stop is at the western tip of the island in the small municipality of Sainte Pétronille. A must stop here is La Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans for the handmade chocolates, obviously, but also for the excellent chocolate dipped ice cream cones.
 
The last stop on this most delicious island tour is one of the best, the Vignoble Sainte Pétronille. Sainte Pétronille makes hands down some of the best wines on the island, if not the province. Grab a glass of their excellent rosé or crisp whites and tour the property on your own or sign up for a guided tour with one of the Sainte Pétronille experts.
 
This drive can take one day but you can also stretch it out longer and spend more time admiring the stunning views around each bend in the road. You can also reverse it and turn right as you first cross the bridge to the island.
 
Finally, Île d’Orléans is also home to many sugar shacks, vineyards, cider makers and pick-your-own farms, from strawberries (the best in the province!) to apples, pumpkins and more. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Île d’Orléans, you’re sure to find something to your liking.

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