Go to meet nature, flavors, people and yourself. For a day, a weekend or a week, with or without a plan. Let intuition guide you to find what to do, as a couple or as a family. Île d’Orléans, very close to Old Quebec, is the perfect destination for that. Here are some suggestions based on your interests.
Generous terroir, smiling agrotourism
The reputation of Île d’Orléans as an agrotourism destination is well established. Passionate producers, recognized artisans and daring restaurateurs transform the island into a little foodie paradise. The agricultural know-how, dynamism and innovation of producers are renowned and the result is products of sought-after quality: strawberries, apples, potatoes, blackcurrants, wine and many others. As agriculture occupies most of this territory with fertile soils and varied cultures, the exceptional concentration of fruits and vegetables allows an ever growing supply of fresh and local products. Many companies specialize in agrotourism on Île d’Orléans. This can be seen in the variety and quality of regional cuisine tables as well as the many places where you can taste and buy products. Recipients of numerous honors, the products of Île d’Orléans will satisfy even the most demanding. We prefer to warn you, you could develop an addiction!
Land of memory of French America
Île d’Orléans is one of the first settled sites in the New France colony. There are notably the oldest houses known as Quebecois, the oldest dating from the 17th century. Its inhabitants are aware of the rich national heritage that they have inherited. Sensitive to the symbolic load that the Island carries, they continue to highlight the specific characteristics of the Island, which make it the “land of memory” of French America. Maritime and natural heritage, political and territorial, social and family, artistic and cultural, the entire historical chain, all human activity is represented. In the hearts of Quebecers, the island of Orleans has become, over time, a powerful center of identity. Linger in this place of memory, the home of more than 300 families, allows you to discover a part of our history, personal or collective.
Visit the interpretation centers to learn more about the history of the legendary Île d’Orléans and its founding families. The Maison de nos Aïeux is the island’s history and genealogy center. The Maison Drouin, almost 300 years old, is the only typical and authentic house that is accessible to the public. The Mauvide-Genest Manor, by its size and elegance, testifies to the ambition and success of Sieur Mauvide, a young surgeon in the King’s army. L’Espace Félix-Leclerc pays tribute to this great Quebec poet and perpetuates, through his exhibition, the memory of his life and his work. Saint-Laurent Maritime Park is a picturesque site by the river that recounts the bygone era of wooden shipbuilding on Île d’Orléans.
Celebrate art and craftsmanship
Île d’Orléans has more than 80 artists and craftsmen whose production covers all facets of creation. From popular to speculative, from figurative to abstract, from classic to modern, the pictorial and sculptural arts rub shoulders with new technologies and express themselves through all materials. Here, the colors explode in an apparent disorder that only the creative energy explains, there the shapes and nuances are wisely arranged in order to reproduce reality smoothly. Traditional trades are also in the spotlight, practiced in such a way that they become crafts and where the smallest piece of fabric, metal or wood is used to express skills. The Island is surely there for something. Whether it serves as a model, or a refuge for the inventive soul, the artist finds there the ideal center of his expression.
Bucolic and panoramic escapes
True delights for the eyes, the landscapes of Île d’Orléans are in themselves an unmissable attraction. Already, by accessing the bridge, you fall in love with this island which welcomes us in all seasons. During your visit, take the time to follow the landscape interpretation circuit, made up of 12 panels strategically located in the six villages. These panels interpret current landscapes, while making a link with ancient landscapes. This allows us to better understand and appreciate the physical nature of the island as well as the different landscapes that have marked, and even transformed over time, human settlements sometimes isolated and sometimes grouped into villages.
Are you more of an outdoor type?
On Île d’Orléans we have snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling and even dog sledding as winter fun. During the summer, camping, biking, golf and kayaking excite our senses. And our feet enjoy year-round hiking. And what better setting for these activities than the river and the rural landscapes in the background!