WITH its classic architecture, wild nature and peaceful surroundings, Quebec City has so much to offer.
Find out what you can get up to in 48 hours in this French-speaking Canadian city.
Walk the walls
French explorer Samuel De Champlain founded Québec’s Old City in 1608. A UNESCO World Heritage treasure, it’s the only fortified city in the Americas north of Mexico, and has a quaint, European feel.
You can take the three-mile walk around the walled fortifications that ring picturesque Old Québec. One of the prettiest streets in the city, the bustling Rue du Petit-Champlain is the perfect place to stock up on winter woollies or stop for a coffee.
While the city is blessed with sunny weather come summer, there’s something very special about snowy winters on the historic cobbles of the old town.
Drink in a castle
Perched at the top of Québec Hill, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel has towering spires and a magical feel. To get there, make the 20-minute uphill stroll from Basse-Ville (lower town) or take the three-minute funicular ride from Rue du Petit-Champlain.
At the top check out the panoramic view overlooking the winding Saint Lawrence River. Inside, the 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar serves fab and unusual cocktails, including the Genie In A Bottle, £10.90, a vivid purple concoction featuring gin, white cocoa, violet and lemon (Fairmont.com).
Hit the sweet spot
Across the Île de Ré Bridge is Île d’Orléans, AKA Quebec’s garden city and the place to sample local produce.
Pick up a jar of traditional maple syrup, from £11.50, at a street-side stall, or enjoy pancakes dipped in the sweet topping at Boutique Le Mason Smith Café (Smithcafe.com), before popping to a winery. Saint Pierre’s Isle de Bacchus has a 25-year history of wine-making and offers free tours, while a tasting session costs £8.50 (Isledebacchus.com).
Fill up on chocs
Québec City has lots of wonderful museums, including Érico, which is all about chocolate! Watch master chocolatiers at work, plus learn all about the history of the sweet stuff in the tiny building. It’s free to enter, and there’s also a quaint shop where you can buy lots of delicious goodies (Ericochocolatier.com).
Go chasing waterfalls
Montmorency Falls Park is just a 15-minute drive from the centre of town and home to Chutes Montmorency, a magnificent 84- metre-drop waterfall. Feeling brave?
Then opt for the 300-metre zip-line across Montmorency Falls Cove, which gets you up close to the water. Tickets cost £16.50. For those craving even more adventure, Via Ferrata – or harnessed climbing – gives you a breathtaking 360-degree view over the park. Tickets cost from £20 (Sepaq.com).
Do some soul searching
Le Monastère des Augustines is perfect for travellers craving space to think. The former nunnery was converted into accommodation at the wishes of the nuns, who asked that their story be shared with visitors.
The order built the continent’s first hospital north of Mexico here in 1639 – and today, all profits from the hotel go directly to the city’s carer community.
The hotel has a wellness area and hosts holistic therapies, yoga, meditation and organic breakfasts, which you eat in “quiet contemplation”.
The Discovery And Balance package costs from £101 per person for a double room and includes three meals a day and yoga (Monastere.ca).
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