Explore the Laurentians
There’s only one real reason why Montrealers head north: to answer the call of the great outdoors. In all four seasons, the expansive Laurentians region offers the greatest of great escapes. Its magical resorts of are full of wild excursions, leisure and sport activities, quality of life.
To stay in a place surrounded by the mysteries of nature, Saint-Sauveur, Morin-Heights, and Sainte-Adèle are vibrant towns in the regional municipality of Les Pays-d’en-Haut that should definitely be on your radar.
Your stay in the Laurentians
The Laurentians, or Les Laurentides in French, is a mountainous region where Montrealers go to reconnect with nature. Just imagine: An area of 22,000 km2 (8,500 mi2), enchanted with woods, forests of maple and pine, lakes, hills, wide-open spaces, all kinds of terrain, gentle wildlife, and a batch of picturesque towns and villages that are only inhabited by an approximate population of 500,000. Drive an hour north outside the city of Montreal, and you’ll find an enormous haven of peace and quiet.
Since the installation of the highway Autoroute 15 in the 1970s, the Laurentians has become an easily accessible weekend getaway, where visitors have their pick of pleasant chalets, cabins, cottages, and inns.
When it comes to the Laurentians real estate market, good news: it’s a total buyer’s market. There are large number of spacious luxury properties, many of them are coveted waterfront homes. Real estate activity in the Laurentians is strong thanks to its inventory of country-style and contemporary homes. The clientele is very upscale, composed of mostly French, British, American, Russian, and even Saudi Arabian nationals in search of a beautiful estates to use as vacation homes or recreational properties in the Laurentians.
Saint-Sauveur should be one of your first stops off the highway, Exit 60, just 63 km (39 mi) north of Montreal. An authentic rural village with the spirit of the Alps, this municipality is a renowned ski resort. In the winter, Quebecers (who are not running off to sunny Florida) head for the Valley of Saint-Sauveur, a ski area beloved for its snow-making capability, night-time skiing, and fun apres-ski. It consists of: Mont St-Sauveur, Mont Avila, Station de Ski Mont-Habitant, and their countless trails, lifts, and steep vertical drops. Tip: Look out for blue signs on Route 117 and Autoroute 15 indicating ski hills. In the summer, Rue Principale or Main Street is packed with cars and tourists, delighting in eateries of all sorts. Our favorite: Le Bifthèque, a local institution celebrated for its perfect steaks. This charming alpine village offers cozy accommodations in authentic inn, often decked the typical Quebecois roof, dormer window, fireplaces, and in-room hot tub. A romantic and charming stay.
West of Saint-Sauveur is Morin Heights, a town made especially for the outdoorsy type. Known for its ski hill, it is also a popular stop on the 58-km recreational trail Aerobic Corridor, open year round for endless exploration in all seasons. But that’s not all: hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and mountain biking, as well as canoeing and kayaking in the Rivière à Simon. These activities are essential parts of the landscape. Many outdoor enthusiasts choose to buy a residential property in Morin Heights because these recently built or shovel-ready lots and homey chalets offer multiple rooms and huge lawns that are bright green in the summer and a brighter white in the winter.
The municipality of Sainte-Adèle, 12 km (7 mi) north of Morin-Heights, offers family-friendly adventure, the ultimate relaxation, and gourmet cuisine. Full of thrills, this beautiful tourist resort welcomes out-of-towners to take advantage of its legendary hotels and restaurants, ski trails, natural landscapes, and breathtaking vistas. Families love to spend days at Au Pays des Merveilles, an amusement park where kids walk side-by-side fairy-tale characters like Snow White and Alice in Wonderland in between rides, the petting zoo, and the puppet theater.
Sainte-Adèle is especially known for its magnificent hotels: The great Le Chantecler is ideally located next to Lac Sainte-Adele at the foot of the mountains, with a golf club, private ski area with 6 lifts, 25 runs, 663-vertical drop, a cross-country trail, and much more; the Hôtel Mont-Gabriel is a 1,200-acre rustic resort offering contemporary rooms with exceptional views of the valley; or the elegant inn L’Eau à la Bouche is perfect for some R&R on its flowery terrace.
In conclusion: Pack your bags, head for the hills of the Laurentians, and invest in an exceptional property in Saint-Sauveur, Morin-Heights, or Sainte-Adèle.