Chic cities, eye-catching landscapes and welcoming people, passionate about their heritage: Québec has created a French-North American cocktail, and it tastes good.
Canada’s largest province encompasses vast tracts of barren mountains, 13,323km (8,279 miles) of coastline, looming canyons and craggy fjords. Thrilling sights grab you at every turn as you explore this mainly French-speaking region, where you can swim with beluga whales in Saguenay Fjord, visit 400-year-old clifftop houses on the Chemin du Roy and spot herds of caribou roaming the Parc National des Grands-Jardins.
Alternatively, you could don the Lycra and pedal around La Route Verte, an immense 5,000km (3,100 miles) network of cycle trails, which take riders through the pretty villages of the Eastern Townships, along the stunning coast of Lac Saint-Jean and down the disused Laurentides railway.
Québec is a giant water park: there are countless sandy beaches, lakes and rivers for swimming; the St Lawrence River is a magnet for kayakers, who also have a phenomenal number of inland waterways to choose from, such as the Bonaventure River in the Gaspé Peninsula.
Hikers can enjoy 100km (62 miles) of mountainous trails on the Traversée de Charlevoix or trek Québec’s portion of the International Appalachian Trail. In winter, skiers rip up the slopes at Mont Tremblant.
Craving city action? Hip and happening Montreal is an alluring blend of glitzy skyscrapers and historic cobblestone quarters, with cosmopolitan neighbourhoods and a buzzing cultural scene. As for UNESCO-listed Québec City, you can have a ball diving in and out of tiny eateries and bijou boutiques tucked among the fortified city’s 17th-century alleyways.