Tadoussac is a small village in the Québec Province of Canada. It sits at the bottom of a hill at the confluence of the Saguenay and St Lawrence rivers. Definitely a place for the outdoorsy type of traveller, Tadoussac is well known for its rugged coastline along the St Lawrence river, the beauty of the fjord of Saguenay and its wildlife. In season, it is the best place in the east of Canada to spot Humpback, Minke and Beluga Whales. Apparently you could get really lucky and spot a Blue Whale too.
My friend and I spent three nights in Tadoussac when we added an extra week on to our tour of Canada with Sinfonia UK Collective and Jazz Pianist, David Braid. We hired a car from Toronto and spent a greulling 13 hours driving to Québec City and from there we took the stunning four hour drive along the St Lawrence River to Tadoussac.
Here are my top ten photos of Tadoussac!
1) The Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine Ferry
If you are travelling to Tadoussac from the west, the only way you can reach the village itself is by ferry. Three ferries traverse the 1.6km stretch of the Saguenay Fjord during the summer, taking passengers and their cars to and from Tadoussac. The journey takes just 10 minutes, but it is time enough to get out of your car and watch the world go by. We were lucky enough to arrive at dusk and watch the sun set as we travelled across.
2) Whale Watching
One of the first things we did in Tadoussac was a whale watching tour. We had booked a package deal with our accommodation, Motel Chantmartin that came with a whale watching package included. We could choose between a normal boat, or the zodiac, which is an inflatable boat, carries less people, is more environmentally friendly and gets you closer to the whales. Obviously we opted for the latter. I will write more about this experience another time, but as you can see, we did get an encounter with a Humpback Whale and I was pretty pleased to get this shot!
3) Tadoussac Beach and Marina
Tadoussac obviously attracts the keen sailor due to its location and the marina is the best place to spot the luxury yachts. It is also where the zodiac boats leave for the whale watching trips. The crescent shaped beach here is beautiful and sandy and very safe to swim in thanks to the cove-like surroundings. The landmark Hotel Tadoussac overlooks the bay as does the boardwalk lined with cute little restaurants. Just up from the hotel is the Tadoussac Chapel, Canada's oldest wooden church.
4) Sunsets in Tadoussac
The sunsets in Tadoussac were always stunning. The ones we saw on the St Lawrence river were pastel coloured and the sky almost seemed to melt into the water. The coastline was rugged and so were the sunsets. It's easy to sit and watch the day disappear and hope that a whale might show its tail as you wait.
5) The Saguenay Sea Plane
I call this excursion my "brush with death", perhaps rather overdramatically. There was nothing to suggest I was going to die on this sea plane at all. However, just one week later, this very plane and our same pilot, dropped out of the sky and crashed into a mountain just miles away from this lake on the very same 20 minute tour we took. "It could have been me" came to mind when I read the news. Fortunately it wasn't!
6) Tadoussac from Above
There it is, the village of Tadoussac in all its glory! From the marina and sandy beach, to the little motels at the top of the hill. Air Saguenay's short sea plane tour takes you out over the St Lawrence river, over the top of Tadoussac, along the Saguenay Fjord and back over the mountains and crystalline lakes to land back on the water. It was amazing to see the sights from above, but you really do feel every little bump in the sky! We were amazed to see whales from the sky too!
7) Fjord Towns
The day after we saw the whales of the St Lawrence river, we took the ferry back to the other side and drove all the way up the fjord, across the bridge in Saguenay itself and drove all the way back down to Tadoussac. We stopped at the various must-see towns of the fjord and each one was as stunning as the next. This photo was taken at L'Anse St Jean. The waters were crystal clear, the rocks seemed perfectly placed and the backdrop of the fjord's mountains were just perfect.
Petit-Sanguenay was one of our first stops on our road trip around the fjord and it was actually probably the prettiest. It set a precedent for the rest of the day which wasn't really lived up to until the very end of the trip. The village itself was very small and we had to drive through it to get to the water. There was nothing here at all, apart from a walkway into the river and a small building hosting a sort of art gallery. There were a few houses dotted around the coastline, but other than that, you could easily be the only person there. The scenery was by far the best we came across in this area.
9) Baie Éternité - Saguenay National Park
Our last stop on our drive around Saguenay Fjord was Baie Éternité, set in the National Park, where we arrived just in time for the sunset. We had just encountered a black bear cub crossing the road in front of us (no cameras at the ready) which was pretty exciting, and then we sat here and laughed as we were joined by an overly friendly chipmonk. 'Rugged' is a word I have used a lot on this post, but it describes the landscape perfectly. The Saguenay National Park is an expanse of untouched beauty.
The Dalyan exposé will run for 3 weeks in May and will include a lot of exciting articles every day and videos on our YouTube channel with interesting interviews with business owners and those who work in tourism in Turkey. We'll also be tackling safety issues and what terrorism means for Turkey and the beautiful riverside town of Dalyan.