Tadoussac ... where should I start? The story begins before our trip to France when my cousin told me about a youth hostel that was recommended to him. In addition, Tadoussac is an essential place to go and see the whales ... so why not? I can tell you that the adventure that we lived there, I will never forget it!
So we had booked upfront... and what an adventure to reach our destination! We left Montreal where we started our roadtrip across Canada. First, we made the mistake to trust our GPS. On the way, there is a ferry to catch and the GPS show you the one on Wolf River (this is not the right one). And it’s not very convenient because there are only twice crosses a day. Don’t make my mistake or you will have to turn back to Quebec and take the bridge to cross the river. A detour of 6 hours.... The best way to reach Tadoussac is to cross the river St-Laurent by Quebec and then take the small ferry from Saguenay (there is one approximately every 20 / 30 mn 24/7). Once you get there, the adventure begins.
The Tadoussac Hostel is located on the right after taking the ferry. The building is easily recognized by the color of its carmine red roof. The price per night is cheap: $ 24 per person or $ 60 per double room. You can either take a bed in a room to share, or a double room. At the reception, you will meet the friendly staff who will explain to you everything you need to know: what you could visit around, where to hike, the shops around or even the points to go and admire the whales.
The atmosphere in a youth hostel
After a day on the road, it was already midnight, we had a beer at the bar of the hostel. It's a great way to meet people during your stay, there is even a pool table or music instruments if you want to play a song. After a short evening at the bar, we went straight to the double room that we had rented. The advantage is that you have access to your own bathroom and therefore no need to share it with the rest of the hostel ;)
In the morning, you have “buffet” breakfast for $ 4.25. The owners provide utensils and ingredients, all you have to do is cook. Whether pancakes, fried eggs, toast, fruit... you will certainly find what you need!
My advice: In the morning, you need to place a reservation for the dinner, it's worth it and only cost $ 10. Everyone who dine here ending up to sit at a very long table (like at a banquet) and everyone participates in the service as well as doing the dishes. Everything contributes to creating a good atmosphere. This is like that, my cousin and I met people to spend our time during our stay.
A little anecdote: one day per week, the building in front of the youth hostel turns into a bar / nightclub. The DJ of Tadoussac is one of the store’s owner who comes to liven up your evening. A local must have!
All around Tadoussac, you will find many trails that to fulfill your journey! Whether it is walks along the beach, passing through the forest or even at the Saguenay Fjord, the landscapes are breathtaking. In addition, if you walk during the fall, the colors of the leaves are beautiful.
Go see the whales
If you have heard of Tadoussac, it is certainly for this reason. If you can see it from the shore near the harbor; there are also organized tours on the river that I highly recommend to you!
The tour lasts around 1h30 / 2h hours and really worth it. Please follow the recommendations that will be given on site when they explain to you what kind of clothes to wear. If it is a little warm on the shore, in the middle of the St Lawrence, the temperature is cooler and the speed of the boat will expose you to the wind. If you have a car, you should go there with Croisières Neptune which is about 20 minutes north of Tadoussac. Their boat is closed and glazed, which makes shipping more pleasant if the weather is cool. In addition it will cost you around 60 dollars instead of 90 dollars near Tadoussac.
When you arrive to start the tour, you will be equipped with an outfit that can make jealous a fisherman (as you can see in the photo). Once this heavy equipment on your shoulders, the journey begins with a bus trip that takes you to the port. That's it ! You are finally going to board the boat! And now you’ve got to choose : Should you choose the right or left side to sit? Indeed, depending on which side of the boat the whale will appear, a luck factor will play. To counter this factor, my cousin and I each separated on both sides in order to have a better chance of capturing the best shot or the best video.
And during this trip we were really lucky. We have observed beluga whales that are endangered (but from a great distance to respect their space), but also humpback whales which offer a superb spectacle during their dive. You will leave the place with stars in your eyes. :)
The atmosphere of Tadoussac
I really think that Tadoussac is in a dimension apart. We lose track of time, and we are surrounded by calm nature and conviviality. I barely stayed there for 3 days and I feel like it lasted a whole week ... and I really came out rested.
Because yes, Tadoussac is also taking the time to do nothing ... Sit near the port and admire the landscape, listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Admire the sunset and the sunrise while enjoying being in nature.
Before leaving Tadoussac, with the group of people we met, we decided to leave a note in the hostel in order to leave our mark. So now it’s your turn to come to Tadoussac to write YOUR legend ...
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