Outside its two great cities – Montreal and Quebec City – Quebec is a very different place: its tidy provincial towns are mostly just modest hubs with little of great interest, leaving the rural landscape to become the main attraction. Fortunately it’s up to the task: rolling hills in the south provide all sorts of day-trip destinations for the big cities, while in the north the landscape gets wilder and more romantic and includes windswept beaches and even remote bohemian islands for which the province is not really known.
East of Montreal the Eastern Townships are the main attraction. This cluster of villages and minor towns dot gentle hills on the Vermont border and boast vineyards, maple farms, ski hills and lovely backroads for cycling.
Northwest of Montreal the more substantial Laurentians also lure skiers and hikers, but their resort towns are more substantial. Mont Saint-Sauveur is one key town, with outlet shopping and waterpark, while Val David offers a more bohemian alternative and Mont Tremblant is the key destination, both for its sheer size, possibilities and variety.
Northern Quebec – broadly all north of Quebec City – is far more lightly explored by visitors although there’s plenty for those willing to invest the time and effort. Among the more accessible key attractions are the whale-watching town of Tadoussac; Lac Saint Jean a bucolic cycling spot and and the Gaspé peninsula, where Quebec finds a craggy seaside identity.
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