Discover the natural beauty of Montérégie

June 18th, 2018

Beauty takes many forms. In Montérégie, it’s all natural. Located in the southern part of Canada, this spectacular region is known as the “Garden of Quebec” for its rich, untouched, and varied landscape that not only inspires awe, but invites you to explore and enjoy the fruits of the land.

Welcome to Montérégie

Have you been searching high and low for a destination in the great outdoors that’s also not too far from the city? Then allow us to introduce you: Formally, Montérégie is an administrative region, but it’s also one that thrives from the agricultural production and “agritourism” of its fertile soil between the urban city of Montreal and the magnificent St. Lawrence River. Its name, a bit of a tongue-twister for non-French speakers, is derived from its position in the Monteregian Hills, which sit lowly between the Laurentians and the Appalachian Mountains, just brushing shoulders with the United States border.

Montérégie offers a quiet kind of beauty, which translates into a high quality of life in the fresh air. Its unique atmosphere has attracted a huge population of approximately 1.5 million residents, making it the second most populous region in Quebec – behind its neighbor Montreal, of course. With a diverse collection of towns and terrains, there’s a place for everyone to find happiness in Montérégie.

Pick your favorite

But we’re warning you, it’s a challenge. Here’s a small overview: Lovers of peace, quiet, and nature love the countryside of Suroît surrounded by water, soothed by St. Lawrence River and its branches Lake Saint-Louis, Lake Saint-François, and Lac Des Deux Montages. Along the river just above it is South Shore, a hub of heritage and history with many small towns and adorable boutiques that have maintained the charm of the past. From Lake Champlain to the mouth of the river, Richelieu River Valley is home to gentle animals, orchard groves, vineyards, cider houses, and maple syrup producers; simply put, it’s a haven for those with a green thumb and sweet tooth. To the east, the town of Mont Saint-Hilaire is a sanctuary for hikers to discover its old forests loaded with hiking trails, refreshed by its idyllic summit lake – no wonder it was declared Canada’s first UNESCO biosphere site back in 1978. Nearby, two world collide in Montérégie-East, a dynamic mix of urban sensibility and rural fields, a natural firecracker.

Exploring the Great Outdoors

Taking on Montérégie and its 11,000 km2 of agricultural land is the quest of a lifetime – so much to see, so much to do, so little time. Less of a great escape, more of a great escapade, this spirit of adventure has no limits, attracting families, couples, single voyagers, both young and old, from Montreal, Canada, the U.S., and even further abroad to embark on a journey through the great outdoors.

Start of slow on the romantic side of Montérégie with charming excursions like apple picking, Cider Route, and Wine Route. Stay on track to unearth the delicassenten creations at the many fine-dining restaurants and delight in dishes made with regional products.

To pick up the pace, wander into the wilderness at the Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno and Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville for lessons in herbalism and wonderful hiking, watersports, and camping expeditions on the Île Grosbois. Wrap it up with a drive along the scenic Route de Richelieu, the first official cross-border passage from Quebec to New York that stretches 265 km through a breathtaking natural landscape.

Throughout the trip, hear captivating tales of the region’s history and culture at the Maison Nationale des Patriotes and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum where you can enjoy a ride into the past on a vintage streetcar. You’re sure to come across many historic sites like its 2 Indian Reserves that still capture the presence of the First Nations people.

Festivities come to a peak in the summertime in Montérégie. There’s the musically-inspired Festival Chants de Vielles celebrating the tradition of folklore tunes, and the gastronomically-inspired Festival Octenbulle showcasing the works of talented and trendy chefs. Then there’s the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, where the sky is filled with a kaleidoscope of colorful hot air balloons, inspiring wonder in the very young to the very old alike.  

The call of the wilderness is strong. Don’t ignore it, contact BARNES Quebec, and explore the beauty of Montérégie.